Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Black History Fact Of The Day

Bronx raised Ruth Miro invented the personalized paper ring. She also founded her company RJ Miro.

Today's Fly Or Die Commerce Report

For quite a few weeks, financial news outlets have been reporting on Kraft Inc's desire to purchase Cadbury (the company that is popular for its chocolate products) in a multi-billion dollar deal.

The United Kingdom based Cadbury has issued an ultimatum to Kraft Foods. They have states that they will give the United States food giant a month-and-a-half to make a formal bid, or all negotiations will be shut down.

According to The Wall Street Journal, there is speculation that Nestle or Hershey may also have an interest in bidding for Cadbury in the near future.

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law

Four Google executives are on trial in Italy. According to The BBC, the executives are "accused of breaking Italian law in allowing a video of a teenager with Down's Syndrome to be posted online. The video reportedly shows the teenager being bullied by four other teens while a group of students look on.

The prosecution is arguing that Google should have had better "content filters" that would have prevented the video from being posted. They are also arguing that Google violated Italy's privacy law by posting the video without the consent of all the parties involved.

The outcome of this case will likely have international ramifications of how the internet is monitored, and who is responsible for what is posted on the world wide web. Although the youth involved in the aforementioned case are from Italy, the video was reportedly posted from The United States.

The Google executives could face up to 3 years in jail if they are convicted.

Quote Of The Day

"After you've heard two eyewitness accounts of an auto accident, you begin to worry about history." -Author Unknown

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Anecdote Of The Week: The Truth is The Truth Edition

"How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg." -Abraham Lincoln

Black History Fact Of The Day

In 1853, African American/Native American chef George Crum invented potato chips.

Today's Fly Or Die Commerce Report: The Billion Dollar Vaccine Business

According to The Wall Street Journal, "Vaccine sales are growing faster than sales of other prescription medicines...Government agencies both in the U.S. and around the world are increasingly reliable buyers of the vaccines." With the on slaught of news reports warning of a "flu epidemic," drug companies are eager to do business with vaccine manufacturers.

The Wall Street Journal reveals that Johnson & Johnson has brought. 18% of a Dutch biotech company for $441 million. This purchase will allow the companies to collaborate on creating vaccines. Other companies are also making similar deals.

Merck & Company has purchased the rights to market a seasonal flu vaccine from the Australian-based company CSL Ltd. Abbott Laboratories is negotiating a multi-billion dollar deal that reportedly "includes a vaccine-making business." Also, Pfizer Inc. purchased a drug company that specializes in vaccines earlier this year.

The Wall Street Journal" has quoted one of the leading vaccine makers as saying, "Vaccines are expected to generate $21.5 billion in sales by 2012."

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law

European countries are seeking to create a law that will require people to play their MP3 players no louder than a required limit. European Union officials state that implementing such a law will reduce hearing loss that may be accompanied with constant use of portable MP3 players.

The law will reportedly set a maximum MP3 volume at 80 decibels. Some devices can currently exceed a loudness of 120 decibels.

Quote Of The Day

"If you get up one more time than you fall you will make it through." -Chinese Proverb

Monday, September 28, 2009

Quote Of The Day

"An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it." -Mahatma Gandhi

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Quote Of The Day

"Lets have faith that right makes might; and in that faith let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it." -Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Quote Of The Day

"If you want to study a people, observe their families. How can a people build a nation if they can't build a family? The state of the family is also the state of the nation." -Jawanza Kunjufu

Friday, September 25, 2009

Book Excerpt Of The Week- Part 2: "Awakening The Natural Genius Of Black Children" By: Amos N. Wilson

"For a people to vote and pay taxes for weapons that are going to destroy their very lives and the future of their people, they have to be out of their minds. For physicists to build weapons that would end their lives and the lives of their children, they have to be out of their minds. For biologists and for doctors with M.Ds to develop bacteria so that populations can be wiped out by disease, which also means that their own children and their future generations can be wiped out, they must be out of their minds.

For us to sit here and be unaware of what is going on in the world means that we have to be out of touch with reality. And one of the major instruments for putting people out of their minds is education. It is often the very basis for making people ignorant. It is the intellectual and the Ph.D that have us in the trouble we're in today. Who do you think builds atomic weapons- the man in the street? No! The physicist who went to school and wanted to be a "Mr. Spock figure, only concerned with facts, only concerned with being objective, only concerned with having an amoral education, only concerned with an education that has no central values, morality, religion.

These scientists are so denuded of morality, love for humanity, and concern for their own children and generations of their children that will sell their services to the highest bidder and permit themselves to become the tools of politicians.

And this is true for other professions as well. Isn't it strange that the more social workers and psychologist we produce the crazier we get? The more economists we produce the more our people starve in Afrika? You must recognize that things are backwards. But they must be backwards if a minority of people is to rule over the vast majority. The vast majority must be kept in a state of deception, and they must be even arrogant in their states of ignorance, not open to critical thinking and analysis of their situation.

It has been said that science has done great things for humankind. But when you look at it, it has done great things only for a small percentage of humankind. When you add the population of this country together with European countries, you've got maybe 20 percent of the earth's population. What's going on with the other 80 percent? The vast majority don't have even indoor plumbing, not even good scientific farming, not any of the conveniences (but maybe a television set so they may be propagandized) that we take for granted.

Do not look at what goes on in the USA and assume that this applies to the humankind in general. The greater percentage of the world's wealth is used by a small group of people who have the feeling that they have the right to consume over 60 or 80 percent of the world's energy and resources to maintain their lifestyle." -From, "Awakening The Natural Genius Of Black Children" By: Amos N. Wilson

Book Excerpt Of The Week- Part 1: "Awakening The Natural Genius Of Black Children" By: Amos N. Wilson

"The Afrikan American community cannot maximize its existence and quality of life unless and until it educates its parents, caregivers, and those who school its children, along lines appropriate to optimizing their mental and physical potential as well as their Afrikan consciousness, identity and common humanity. A significant part of the social chaos so typical of American society, in general, can be blamed on the fact that there is little, if any, formal preparation for full adulthood and responsibility.

The revolutionary change in the education of Afrikan children must begin with changes in the parent-child caretaker-infant relationship, followed by changes in the pre-school, elementary, secondary and post-secondary and school environments." -From, "Awakening The Natural Genius Of Black Children" By: Amos N. Wilson


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

"How can a society that exists on instant mashed potatoes, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners, and instant cameras teach patience to its young?" -Paul Sweeney

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Black History Fact Of The Day

Zoologist Charles Henry Turner was the first researcher to prove that insects can hear.

Today's Fly Or Die Commerce Report

Two-time Presidential Candidate, Ross Perot, is reportedly in negotiations to sell his internet service provider company (Perot Systems) to Dell Computers in an all-cash deal. The sale of Perot Systems, which was founded in 1988, will reportedly result in an approximately $3.9 billion windfall (collectively) for the company's shareholders. The deal is expected to be finalized by January 2010.

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law

In early October, a New York court is slated to rule on whether or not Google will be permitted to publish millions of books online. Google is seeking to publish the books and compensate the authors every time their work is viewed online. The online company states that they would set up a Book Rights Registry Fund with $125 million to pay the authors. According to the BBC, "The deal was agreed in October 2008 with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers (AAP) after they sued Google for copyright infringement."

The BBC also reveals that Amazon, Microsoft, and Yahoo have all expressed their objections to the deal. The U.S. Justice Department is also suggesting that the New York court declines to implement the deal.

Quote Of The Day

"If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves." -Thomas Edison

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Riddle Me This

Are some of the new legal precedents being set with twitter, facebook, and my space updates being used against people in a court of law an attack on freedom of speech? Where are the lines going to be drawn? What is considered verbally venting and what is considered threatening or admitting a crime?

Video Of The Week

How the emotions and the minds of the masses have been manipulated...

SIDEBAR: I think there's a LOT more to the death of Marilyn Monroe than expressed in this video.

Definitions Better Than Webster's: Part 26

"Learning refers to a short-, intermediate-, or relatively long-term change in perception, ways of integrating and organizing information, of communicating, expressing and applying processed information in the world by both verbal and nonverbal means that occur as the result of experience, imitation, deliberate and/or repeated practice, and the inferential construction of concepts, procedures and rules. Because experience, models for imitation, practice, some concepts, procedures, rules of thought and behavior can be consciously manipulated and scheduled, the potency and character of learning can also, to some significant degree, be enhanced or impaired." -From, "Awakening The Natural Genius Of Black Children." -Amos N. Wilson

Black History Fact Of The Day

Today is the birthday of George Jackson. George Jackson was a Black Panther and the author of "Soledad Brother" and "Blood In My Eye."

Today's Fly Or Die Commerce Report

The South Korean government has reportedly decided to lift its ban on the sale of iPhones within their country's borders.

According to The Wall Street Journal, officials of South Korea have stated that the Apple Inc. manufactured phone was barred from their country because its mapping capabilities "violate a South Korean rule requiring the use of domestic technology for location-based services in cellphones." The Apple Corporation has agreed to remove the mapping function so that the "smart phone" is in compliance with South Korean law.

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law

A Senate Committee hearing regarding extending The Patriot Act will take place today.

According to Wired Magazine, the following 3 provisions of The Patriot Act are due to expire:

(1) "A secret court, known as the FISA court, may grant 'roving wiretaps' without the government identifying the target. Generally, the authorities must assert that the target is an agent of a foreign power and/or a suspected terrorist."

(2) "The FISA court may grant warrants for “business records,” from banking to library to medical records. Generally, the government must assert that the records are relevant to foreign intelligence gathering and/or a terrorism investigation."

(3) "A so-called 'lone wolf' provision, enacted in 2004, allows FISA court warrants for the electronic monitoring of an individual even without showing that the person is an agent of a foreign power or a suspected terrorist."

The Obama Administration has expressed that they are in favor of renewing the aforementioned provisions. The American Civil Liberties reportedly opposes this. The Patriot Act is seen by opponents as a gross narrowing of freedoms.

Quote Of The Day

"Money is like love; it kills slowly and painfully the one who withholds it, and enlivens the other who turns it on his fellow man." -Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Riddle Me This

With the emergence of "e-books," I can't help but ask: How easy would it be to cut people off from knowledge if tangible reading material goes totally digital? Could you imagine having your digital book, or newspaper, account shut down and having no other way to have access to first-hand informational material?

Black History Fact Of The Day

"On August 2, 1920, more than 20,000 African Americans gathered at Madison Square Garden in New York, which, at the time, was the largest indoor auditorium in the country. The UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association) convened this meeting to develop a 54 statement Bill of Rights. Their motto was 'Africa for the Africans, Let Africa be Our Guiding Star.' The participants of that historic meeting declared that night that the word 'Negro' was going to be capitalized.

Then the leader of the UNIA movement entered onto the main stage. There was a 15-minute standing ovation for the young printer from Jamaica whose vision included Black-owned ships, stores, newspapers, banks, and churches. When the crowd finally took their seats, Marcus Garvey unveiled the liberation flag; the red, the black, and the green. Red for the blood, black for the people, and green for the land. The Black nation would never be the same again. Marcus Garvey went on to organize more than a million people to promote the concept of Black nationalism." -From, "Sankofa: Stories of Power, Hope, and Joy" By: Jawanza Kunjufu

Today's Fly Or Die Commerce Report

With the advent of hybrid cars, battery manufacturers are seeing a boost in business. Toyota Motor Corporation is reportedly in negotiations with Sanyo Electric to hash out a deal that will allow the car manufacturer to purchase batteries from Sanyo that will power their hybrid gas/electric cars.

Toyota reportedly had a joint venture with Panasonic to supply them with batteries. However, due to high demand Toyota is also seeking other battery manufacturers who can help fill their orders.

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law

A New Jersey pharmacy technician is suing her employer for setting up a mock robbery training drill without her knowledge. The pharmacy technician claims that her company arranged for a masked gun man, carrying a fake gun to burst into her place of employment at The Hampton Behavioral Center and demand OxyCotin. Allegedly, the plaintiff was not notified in advance that the staged drill would take place. She states that she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the pre-planned fake robbery.

The mock stick-up was reportedly so realistically performed, the "gun man" declared that he had taken a worker as a hostage. The phones were also inoperable during the phony set-up.

Quote Of The Day

"If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can't buy" -Proverb

Monday, September 21, 2009

Riddle Me This

How has the advent of the internet and "smart" phones affected our relationships and the quality of communication? If we don't use the internet matrix purposefully and wisely, it can cause more harm than good.

Anecdote Of The Week: The One Good Turn Deserves Another Edition

"The hotel clerk in Philadelphia had been very busy that night. There was a convention in town and literally every hotel room in the city was occupied. It was close to midnight and the clerk was beginning to do his record keeping for the evening when an elderly couple came in and asked if there was any room available in the inn. The clerk regretfully said that all of the rooms were taken. The husband looked at the wife and the wife looked at the husband and they looked very sad. They didn't know where they were going to spend the night. The clerk then offered his room. He said, 'If you don't mind, you can stay in mine. It's a little office room, but it has a cot. That is all we have.' The elderly man looked at the clerk and said, 'You would do that for us? Thank you very much, son. You are a fine young man. Maybe someday we'll build a hotel that you will manage.' The three of them chuckled.

The elderly couple went to the clerk's room and fell asleep. Several years later, the clerk received a letter from the elderly man along with a train ticket to New York City. The clerk had no idea what the elderly man wanted. He figured the elderly couple was going to provide him with a nice weekend in New York. When they met at the train station, they hugged each other. The clerk said, 'You didn't have to do this for me,' and the elderly man said, "I know my son.' The got into his car and drove to Fifth Avenue and 34th Street. They got out of the car and the elderly man pointed to the building at the corner. It was a tall, elegant building. It looked like a beautiful castle. The clerk had never seen a hotel of this magnitude.

The elderly man said, 'I would like for you to manage my hotel that I built for you.' The young man asked, 'Who are you?' The elderly man responded, 'My name is William Waldorf Astor.' The young clerk's name is George Boldt, and he did become the first manager of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel." -From, "Sankofa: Stories of Power, Hope, and Joy" By: Jawanza Kunjufu

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words Pic Of The Week

Ernie Davis and JFK

Black History Fact Of The Day

Ernie Davis was the first African American to win the Heisman trophy. He was also the first African American football player to be taken first overall in the NFL Draft. Ernie Davis died at the age of 23, and never got to play in a professional football game. However, his talent and accomplishments were so admirable, the Cleveland Browns retired his number after his death.

Today's Fly Or Die Commerce Report

The Disney Corporation has reportedly agreed to purchase Marvel Entertainment Inc.- the legendary comic book company. Marvel has created thousands of characters, including: Captain America, Iron Man, Spider Man, and The Incredible Hulk. Now Disney will be able to claim ownership of them. The deal was worth a reported $4 billion.

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law

A group of Facebook users recently filed a class action lawsuit against Facebook after feeling that their privacy was violated when the online networking site implemented a service that shared their personal information with various companies. The personal data was allegedly shared in an effort to create "targeted advertisements."

As part of the settlement (which is pending approval in the U.S. District Court in California), Facebook will cease to use the aforementioned service. The company will also reportedly spend close to $10 million to set up a foundation to give financial support to companies that create products that promote internet privacy and safety.

Sunday's Monday's Op-Ed: When Good People Are Caught Up In Bad Systems

What happens when people with good intentions are caught up in bad systems? What happens when an attorney who entered their profession to help justice prevail finds out that the “justice” system is far from just? What happens when the teacher who becomes an educator with designs on helping to positively mold the future learns that the curriculum that he or she is mandated to teach is in fact poisonous to the minds of the youth? What happens when a newbie politician who wants to help the community discovers that their political peers are no where near the squeaky clean images that they portray; Instead they are power-hungry vultures who couldn’t care less about their constituents, and are unwilling to be allies in helping those who are in need? What about the entertainer who wishes to share their talents with the world, and finds out that they are merely a pawn in a manipulation maneuver to hypnotize the masses? This list of hypothetical questions could go on and on until it would rival the number of pages contained in a phone book. There are countless rude awakenings for many of us who are brashly educated in the systems we are caught up in.

Knowledge can be akin to that knick-knack that is a box within a box within a box. There are different levels to knowledge and information, some of which can be invisible to the naked eye. Only with deeper exploration is more knowledge revealed; and that’s only if we’re lucky enough to have the privilege to get closer to the real truth. Sometimes we are just doomed to ignorance. On the flip side of things, the cliche “Ignorance is bliss” acknowledges that with knowledge comes the burden of responsibility- which is no lightweight load to carry.

Once a person who has good intentions realizes that they are caught up in a putrid system, heavy decisions must be weighed. Will the person become: Ineffectively jaded, a crusader, an individual who decides to turn a blind-eye to the wrongs, an organizer for the better good, a person who “abandons ship” and tries to forget that they were ever there, or join the wrong-doers in a show of “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” This is a conflict that can become a real Heroes vs. Villains vs. Cowards proposition. What is your criteria for distinguishing who is who?

With so many American (and Global) systems failing the masses of people on so many levels, one can only concluded that too many villains, cowards, and villains disguised as heroes are running loose. This world isn’t too overt-hero friendly. A quick glance at history and present-day examples can confirm this. However, that doesn’t mean that heroic changes can not be implemented in today’s society.

While I enjoy a great heroic tale as much as (if not more than) the next person, grand heroics aren’t necessarily necessary to stop the proliferation of life-destructive systems. Once people stop feeding a system (good or bad), it will die. We must be aware of what types of systems we are a part of and how we are fortifying them. Once we are aware, we have to realize who has the real power. THE PEOPLE DO!

If we collectively withdraw from the system it will die! The manipulators who set up and control the corrupted systems are well aware of this. One glaring example of this is Marcus Garvey’s “Back To Africa” Campaign.

At one of the heights of America’s covertly racists eras, Marcus Garvey was prompting Black Americans to migrate to Africa. If America truly hated Black people and found us as unnecessary and “worthless” as they proclaimed people of African descent in America to be, they would have cheered on Marcus Garvey’s efforts. They would have jumped at the opportunity to rid the country of masses of people that they had branded as undesirable. Of course, this didn’t happen. Instead the American government attacked Marcus Garvey for his plan, and branded him as an enemy of the country. Governmental forces quickly attempted to take Garvey down, hoping that his ideas hadn’t spread too widely. From this situation, one can only logically reason that America desperately NEEDED the very people that they deemed unworthy. So I ask: Who has the real power? We are no where near as impotent as we have been lead to believe. Please remember this as you go through your day confronting putrid systems.

Lots of Love,

Elsie Law aka Starface

[SIDEBAR: I usually like to post my Op-Ed pieces on Sunday morning. However, due to my brief blog hiatus; I didn't post anything yesterday.]

Quote Of The Day

"Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." -Henry David Thoreau