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Author Topic: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here  (Read 256779 times)

crazy8

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #70 on: July 28, 2006, 12:16:02 PM »
I think it's a personal insult that the VRA act was up for debate in the first place. They should have just renewed it period.

crazy8

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #71 on: July 28, 2006, 12:16:40 PM »
An op-ed from a friend:



Have you ever listened to songs or watched videos from the 80's or early
90's and realized how much things have changed, in life as well as
music? How about watching people in the club lose control when a classic
hip-hop record blares through the speakers, whisking everyone over the
age of twenty-one into a state of complete nostalgia, remembering
exactly where you were and what you were doing when the song was brand
new. As the years go by, it's always experiences like these that really
let you know full and clear that you are getting old. But with age
always comes wisdom. Kickin' it with younger kids always brings this
home for me. In a poetry/hip-hop workshop I facilitated the other day,
while discussing music, writing and creativity with a group of 8th and
9th graders, I couldn't help but notice that one of these young
scrappers was wearing a Tupac T-shirt. After a proud speech on how Tupac
was "the realest", I was shocked to hear after asking him what his
favorite Tupac song was, that he really didn't have one, as he wasn't
interested in Tupac's music as much as he was in the way the t-shirt
made him look. I then asked him how old he was when Tupac died, to which
he replied, "I think like...3". I was baffled by this boy's pride to
wear a t-shirt of a rapper he has never really listened to.

This experience has caused me to question, has hip-hop lost its roots?
Is the new generation of fans and emcees out of touch with their
heritage? Because hip-hop, for the most part, is marketed to youth
culture, how important is it for young people to know the history of the
music, the culture and the revolution? Who is out there to ensure that
we never forget the strides and mistakes made by those who have come
before us? How do we know where we're going if we don't know where we've
come from? Ultimately, I ask, has hip-hop lost its soul?

To truly answer these questions, we must first determine what it means
to have "soul". To be "soulful" should not be misconstrued as someone
who wears thrift-store clothing while going shopping for head-wraps and
incense. Having soul also does not mean you don't have a job either,
because you don't want to work for "The Man", pumping your fist while
you pose in your Marcus Garvey or Che Guevara shirt. More than an image,
a look or an ideal, I think the criteria to be considered "soulful"
involves, more than anything else, a keen awareness of your culture or
background. Be it African-American, Latino, European, Arab, Asian or
even hip-hop, it's important to be aware of who you are culturally
because in the end, those are your roots as an individual. The soul is
considered to be the root of the human being. The soul is the very
essence of our existence, thusly becoming the foundation from which we
spring forth into the world. To say some one or something has "soul"
means that they embody the potential of the present, motivated by the
promise of the future and strengthened by the wisdom of the past.

It is our understanding of our past and our culture that guides our
future, thus giving us soul. It can be argued that hip-hop music is in
the unique position of being the only genre of music that doesn't
appreciate its own past. If you consider the lifespan of the average rap
career, which is about three years, and factor in the constant turnover
of record labels' artist rosters, you would see that we have more "Where
are they now?" questions than a missing persons website. It would seem
that our cultural icons are not meant to stay. Why else is it that when
a rapper passes the age of 30, he's considered washed up, unlike rock
artist such as Steve Tyler from Aerosmith, Paul McCartney from The
Beatles, and Mick Jagger from the Rolling Stones, who are all almost in
their 60's and are still able to pack arena's and sell records? On 106th
and Park, the Flashback Joint of the Day is usually a song that came out
no more than four years ago by artists who, more often than not, are no
longer on the scene. Hip-hop artist comebacks are seldom seen, because
the artist is usually replaced by a younger, upgraded version of who
they once were.

You can't blame hip-hop for neglecting its own past and culture, as this
is the result of a larger problem. Hip-hop, being young itself, is a
sub-culture stemming from other cultures that have influenced not only
the music, but the attitude of the people who identify with the entire
movement. Along with the ethnic influences, be they African-American,
Latino or Caucasian, hip-hop is mostly a product of its environment, the
ghettos and low income communities of the inner city. The music was born
from the plight of the people who created it. Past and culture are
typically what develop one's morals, values and what we all view as
important. People understand culture and what's important based on how
they are raised, their upbringing and all that is instilled in them from
the institution of family. Because the institution of family is
conspicuously absent from the landscape of urban America, where fathers
figures aren't present and mothers, more than likely, work all day or
night, we are raised without a sense of history. When there is no sense
of history, there is no sense of pride for our own heritage, as we are
left unaware of who we are; unaware of our past, unaware of our culture,
unaware of our souls.

Because we don't know who we are culturally, the corporate power
structure that controls television and radio programming, all the while
marketing hip-hop to sell their products, have been telling us what our
culture is. With missing parental guidance, television and radio have
replaced parents in some households, raising you in the absence of your
actual mother and father. Corporate America is trying to have its
consumer base focus on the right now, keeping your hearts and minds
living for the moment, rather than moving forward based on your
understanding and pride of the past. If all you're about is your fads
and the most recent trend, what will you have when the trend and the
fads are gone?

Hip-hop culture is starting to lack culture. Is our "in the moment"
mentality along with our contempt for anything that isn't brand new
ushering in the decline of the entire movement? Because hip-hop is now
in its 30's, is it starting to face the same fate as artists in their
30's? More than street credibility, I think hip-hop artists need soul
credibility. Like one would have respect for their elders, a hip-hop
artist should show respect for those who have come before them, those
who have paved the way for new artists to find their direction in the
haze and calamity of the entertainment world. I realized however that in
order to get the soul back into hip-hop, we must first get the soul back
into our households. We must learn about our own history, culture and
values and be proud of them, in order to aware of who we are, where we
come from and what we stand for. If you don't stand for something,
you'll fall for anything, but it is the soul of the past that will catch
you and bring you back to the heights that you aspire to reach.

"It ain't about what you cop, it's about what you keep..."-Lauryn Hill
The Final Hour

jarhead

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #72 on: July 28, 2006, 11:37:24 PM »
An op-ed from a friend:



Have you ever listened to songs or watched videos from the 80's or early
90's and realized how much things have changed, in life as well as
music? How about watching people in the club lose control when a classic
hip-hop record blares through the speakers, whisking everyone over the
age of twenty-one into a state of complete nostalgia, remembering
exactly where you were and what you were doing when the song was brand
new. As the years go by, it's always experiences like these that really
let you know full and clear that you are getting old. But with age
always comes wisdom. Kickin' it with younger kids always brings this
home for me. In a poetry/hip-hop workshop I facilitated the other day,
while discussing music, writing and creativity with a group of 8th and
9th graders, I couldn't help but notice that one of these young
scrappers was wearing a Tupac T-shirt. After a proud speech on how Tupac
was "the realest", I was shocked to hear after asking him what his
favorite Tupac song was, that he really didn't have one, as he wasn't
interested in Tupac's music as much as he was in the way the t-shirt
made him look. I then asked him how old he was when Tupac died, to which
he replied, "I think like...3". I was baffled by this boy's pride to
wear a t-shirt of a rapper he has never really listened to.

This experience has caused me to question, has hip-hop lost its roots?
Is the new generation of fans and emcees out of touch with their
heritage? Because hip-hop, for the most part, is marketed to youth
culture, how important is it for young people to know the history of the
music, the culture and the revolution? Who is out there to ensure that
we never forget the strides and mistakes made by those who have come
before us? How do we know where we're going if we don't know where we've
come from? Ultimately, I ask, has hip-hop lost its soul?

To truly answer these questions, we must first determine what it means
to have "soul". To be "soulful" should not be misconstrued as someone
who wears thrift-store clothing while going shopping for head-wraps and
incense. Having soul also does not mean you don't have a job either,
because you don't want to work for "The Man", pumping your fist while
you pose in your Marcus Garvey or Che Guevara shirt. More than an image,
a look or an ideal, I think the criteria to be considered "soulful"
involves, more than anything else, a keen awareness of your culture or
background. Be it African-American, Latino, European, Arab, Asian or
even hip-hop, it's important to be aware of who you are culturally
because in the end, those are your roots as an individual. The soul is
considered to be the root of the human being. The soul is the very
essence of our existence, thusly becoming the foundation from which we
spring forth into the world. To say some one or something has "soul"
means that they embody the potential of the present, motivated by the
promise of the future and strengthened by the wisdom of the past.

It is our understanding of our past and our culture that guides our
future, thus giving us soul. It can be argued that hip-hop music is in
the unique position of being the only genre of music that doesn't
appreciate its own past. If you consider the lifespan of the average rap
career, which is about three years, and factor in the constant turnover
of record labels' artist rosters, you would see that we have more "Where
are they now?" questions than a missing persons website. It would seem
that our cultural icons are not meant to stay. Why else is it that when
a rapper passes the age of 30, he's considered washed up, unlike rock
artist such as Steve Tyler from Aerosmith, Paul McCartney from The
Beatles, and Mick Jagger from the Rolling Stones, who are all almost in
their 60's and are still able to pack arena's and sell records? On 106th
and Park, the Flashback Joint of the Day is usually a song that came out
no more than four years ago by artists who, more often than not, are no
longer on the scene. Hip-hop artist comebacks are seldom seen, because
the artist is usually replaced by a younger, upgraded version of who
they once were.

You can't blame hip-hop for neglecting its own past and culture, as this
is the result of a larger problem. Hip-hop, being young itself, is a
sub-culture stemming from other cultures that have influenced not only
the music, but the attitude of the people who identify with the entire
movement. Along with the ethnic influences, be they African-American,
Latino or Caucasian, hip-hop is mostly a product of its environment, the
ghettos and low income communities of the inner city. The music was born
from the plight of the people who created it. Past and culture are
typically what develop one's morals, values and what we all view as
important. People understand culture and what's important based on how
they are raised, their upbringing and all that is instilled in them from
the institution of family. Because the institution of family is
conspicuously absent from the landscape of urban America, where fathers
figures aren't present and mothers, more than likely, work all day or
night, we are raised without a sense of history. When there is no sense
of history, there is no sense of pride for our own heritage, as we are
left unaware of who we are; unaware of our past, unaware of our culture,
unaware of our souls.

Because we don't know who we are culturally, the corporate power
structure that controls television and radio programming, all the while
marketing hip-hop to sell their products, have been telling us what our
culture is. With missing parental guidance, television and radio have
replaced parents in some households, raising you in the absence of your
actual mother and father. Corporate America is trying to have its
consumer base focus on the right now, keeping your hearts and minds
living for the moment, rather than moving forward based on your
understanding and pride of the past. If all you're about is your fads
and the most recent trend, what will you have when the trend and the
fads are gone?

Hip-hop culture is starting to lack culture. Is our "in the moment"
mentality along with our contempt for anything that isn't brand new
ushering in the decline of the entire movement? Because hip-hop is now
in its 30's, is it starting to face the same fate as artists in their
30's? More than street credibility, I think hip-hop artists need soul
credibility. Like one would have respect for their elders, a hip-hop
artist should show respect for those who have come before them, those
who have paved the way for new artists to find their direction in the
haze and calamity of the entertainment world. I realized however that in
order to get the soul back into hip-hop, we must first get the soul back
into our households. We must learn about our own history, culture and
values and be proud of them, in order to aware of who we are, where we
come from and what we stand for. If you don't stand for something,
you'll fall for anything, but it is the soul of the past that will catch
you and bring you back to the heights that you aspire to reach.

"It ain't about what you cop, it's about what you keep..."-Lauryn Hill
The Final Hour



its sad really...these kids nowadays have no clue...hip hop used to be about something even when it wasn't...you had to have lyrical skill......i had a 18 year tell me that a tribe called quest was corny....what!!!!! corny i almost lost my mind low end theory midnight mauraders it just dont get no better i asked him who he liked and he said Dip Set...Dip Set WTF! i mean just kill yourself, kill yourself now... i mean most of these kids dont even know who lauryn hill is once again kill yourself....nevermind slick rick, dougie fresh, big daddy kane, ll (back when he rocked the bells and took a muscle bound man and put his face in the sand), erik b and rakim, just no clue...they dont even that most of these dudes re-use other people's lyrics...
...man, you was who you was before you got here

crazy8

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #73 on: July 30, 2006, 09:54:17 PM »
SUPREME COURT CONFIRMATIONS
Roberts and Alito Misled Us

By Edward M. Kennedy
Sunday, July 30, 2006; Page B01

I have had the honor of serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee for 43 years, during which I've participated in confirmation hearings for all the justices who now sit on the Supreme Court. Over that time, my colleagues and I have asked probing questions and listened attentively to substantive responses. Because we were able to learn a great deal about the nominees from those hearings, the Senate has rarely voted along party lines. I voted, for example, for three of President Ronald Reagan's five Supreme Court nominees.

Of course, an examination of a nominee's views may cause the Senate to withhold its consent. That is what happened in 1795 to John Rutledge, who was given a temporary commission as chief justice by President George Washington (while Congress was in recess) and was then rejected by the Senate several months later. In 1970, President Richard M. Nixon's nomination of G. Harrold Carswell was derailed when the Senate learned of his segregationist past. At that time, I explained that "the Constitution makes clear that we are not supposed to be a rubber stamp for White House selections." That was also the Senate's view in 1987, when its rejection of Robert H. Bork's extreme views led to the unanimous confirmation of the more moderate Anthony M. Kennedy. The Senate's constitutional role has helped keep the court in the mainstream of legal thought.


But the careful, bipartisan process of years past -- like so many checks and balances rooted in our Constitution -- has been badly broken by the current Bush administration. The result has been the confirmation of two justices, John G. Roberts Jr. and Samuel A. Alito Jr., whose voting record on the court reflects not the neutral, modest judicial philosophy they promised the Judiciary Committee, but an activist's embrace of the administration's political and ideological agenda.

Now that the votes are in from their first term, we can see plainly the agenda that Roberts and Alito sought to conceal from the committee. Our new justices consistently voted to erode civil liberties, decrease the rights of minorities and limit environmental protections. At the same time, they voted to expand the power of the president, reduce restrictions on abusive police tactics and approve federal intrusion into issues traditionally governed by state law.

The confirmation process became broken because the Bush administration learned the wrong lesson from the failed Bork nomination and decided it could still nominate extremists as long as their views were hidden. To that end, it insisted that the Senate confine its inquiry largely to its nominees' personal qualities.

The administration's tactics succeeded in turning the confirmation hearings for Roberts and Alito into a sham. Many Republican senators used their time to praise, rather than probe, the nominees. Coached by the administration, the nominees declined to answer critical questions. When pressed on issues such as civil rights and executive power, Roberts and Alito responded with earnest assurances that they would not bring an ideological agenda to the bench.

After confirmation, we saw an entirely different Roberts and Alito -- both partisans ready and willing to tilt the court away from the mainstream. They voted together in 91 percent of all cases and 88 percent of non-unanimous cases -- more than any other two justices.

A few examples help illustrate how the confirmation process failed the American people. During Roberts's hearing, I asked him about his statement that a key part of the Voting Rights Act constitutes one of "the most intrusive interferences imaginable by federal courts into state and local processes." In response, he suggested that his words were nothing more than an "effort to articulate the views of the administration . . . for which I worked 23 years ago."

Today -- too late -- it is clear that Roberts's personal view is the same as it was 23 years ago. In League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry , the Supreme Court held that Texas's 2003 redistricting plan violated the Voting Rights Act by protecting a Republican legislator against a growing Latino population. Roberts reached a different view, concluding that the courts should not have been involved and that it "is a sordid business, this divvying us up by race."

The same Roberts who wished the federal government would leave Texas alone was unconcerned by federal intrusion into Oregon's approach to the issue of assisted suicide. In Gonzales v. Oregon , a majority of the Supreme Court held that the Justice Department lacked the power to undermine Oregon's Death With Dignity Act. However, Roberts joined a startling dissent by Justice Antonin Scalia, stating that the administration's actions were "unquestionably permissible" because the federal government can use the Constitution's commerce clause powers "for the purpose of protecting public morality."

It is difficult to believe that a neutral judicial philosophy explains Roberts's very different views in these two cases. He memorably claimed during the confirmation process that he wanted only to be a diligent umpire, calling balls and strikes without regard to what team was at bat. But it turns out that our new umpires have a keen interest in who wins and who loses.

One clear loser is the environment. In Rapanos v. United States , the court was asked to interpret the definition of wetlands under the Clean Water Act. Four justices deferred to the Army Corps of Engineers' expertise in implementing the statute. But Roberts and Alito joined an opinion that describes wetlands as "transitory puddles" and criticizes their colleagues for "giving that agency more deference than reason permits." For Roberts and Alito, protecting the environment -- unlike "protecting public morality" -- is clearly not a top priority.

cont'd....



crazy8

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #74 on: July 30, 2006, 09:55:45 PM »
....cont'd

Perhaps the biggest winner is the president himself. During Alito's hearing, I asked him about a 1985 job application in which he stated that he believed "very strongly in the supremacy of the elected branches of government." He backpedaled, claiming: "I certainly didn't mean that literally at the time, and I wouldn't say that today."

But he is willing to say it now. In the very recent case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld , Alito signed on to a dissent by Justice Clarence Thomas that asserts a judicial "duty to accept the Executive's judgment in matters of military operations and foreign affairs" as grounds for allowing the administration to use military commissions of its own design to try detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

This is part of a pattern. When he was in the Reagan Justice Department, Alito wrote in support of signing statements, through which the president has claimed to limit the scope of measures passed by Congress -- including the ban on torture. When questioned about the legal status of such statements, he said it was an open issue that still needed to be "explored and resolved" by the court. But Alito joined a Scalia dissent in the Hamdan case that endorsed the use of signing statements without providing any analysis or legal support.

Similarly, Alito had a pattern of ruling against individuals in Fourth Amendment cases -- including a case involving the strip-search of a 10-year-old girl. When questioned, he insisted that one of the judiciary's most important roles "is to stand up and defend the rights of people when they are violated." But Alito cast the deciding vote in Hudson v. Michigan , in which the court decided -- contrary to almost a century of precedent -- that evidence gathered during an unconstitutional search of a suspect's home could be used to convict him.

In the term that begins in October, the court will decide major cases on abortion, affirmative action and the Clean Air Act. Roberts and Alito may well cast the deciding votes. If their first term is any indication, their agenda will be exactly what many of us feared -- and nothing like the judicial modesty they promised during their hearings.

At a time when great legal issues are being decided by the slimmest of margins, we cannot afford to learn nominees' views only after they have obtained lifetime tenure on our highest court. Instead, the Judiciary Committee, the Senate and the American Bar Association need to work together to return to an honest confirmation process. I support reform despite my belief that the next justice will be nominated by a Democratic president and be sent to a Democratic Senate for confirmation.

The discussion should start with a few truths. First, any qualified nominee to the Supreme Court will have spent many years thinking about legal issues. We should require that nominees share that thinking with the Judiciary Committee, and not pretend that such candor is tantamount to prejudging specific cases. In particular, the Senate should have the same access to the nominee's writings as the administration. Second, the Judiciary Committee will need to reorganize the way it asks questions. An in-depth inquiry will require something more than short rounds of questions that pass from senator to senator. Third, we need to remember what this process is all about. It is good to hear that a nominee has a loving family, faithful friends and a sense of humor. It is important to know that nominees possess the intellect, life experience and discipline that make a good judge. But it is essential that we learn enough of their legal views to be certain that they will make good on the simple promise etched in marble outside the Supreme Court: "Equal Justice Under Law."


Edward M. Kennedy (D) has represented Massachusetts in the Senate since 1963.


crazy8

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #75 on: July 31, 2006, 10:28:04 AM »
Monday, July 31, 1:30 p.m. ET
Series: Being a Black Man

Michael Eric Dyson
Professor, University of Pennsylvania
Monday, July 31, 2006; 1:30 PM


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2006/07/24/DI2006072400708.html?nav=nsc

Michael Eric Dyson is a University of Pennsylvania professor and author of Is Bill Cosby Right? Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind? (Basic Civitas Books, April 2005) and Come Hell or High Water (Perseus Books Group, February 2006).

Read Dyson's July 21 Washington Post op-ed "The Injustice Bill Cosby Won't See."

Dyson will take questions and comments on Monday, July 31 at 1:30 p.m. ET from readers about issues raised by the Post's "Being a Black Man" series.


KeepitRealGirl

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #76 on: July 31, 2006, 02:35:57 PM »
 >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(


http://www.newyorkmetro.com/news/intelligencer/17161/

A Very Late Checkout
New York’s last Katrina evacuees prepare to depart (under duress) from the JFK Airport Holiday Inn.

This winter, FEMA put up over 300 Hurricane Katrina evacuees in New York City hotels. Almost all of them have gone back to their lives, their jobs. But not Theon Johnson. He’s currently sprawled out watching Halloween 5 on one of the two full-size beds in his room at the JFK Airport Holiday Inn. He is one of four evacuees still living in a hotel in the city.



The others left in February and March, when, after spending more than $500 million, FEMA stopped paying for hotel rooms housing some 40,000 evacuees across the country. That left many scrambling for places to live. But thanks to the city’s squatters-rights law, evacuees here were safe. Their rooms weren’t paid for, but since they’d been in them for more than 30 days, the hotels couldn’t just kick them out. Only a judge’s order could evict them.



And Johnson, 49, isn’t that motivated to leave. For one thing, AMC’s in the middle of its “Thrill Me” marathon. Next up, Gothika. “Halle Berry,” he says with lazy lust. These days he’s usually up all night—it’s hard to sleep on an empty stomach. When he has to, he’ll go outside and beg for change, but he doesn’t really like that too much. Most days he just showers and gets back in bed, showers and gets back in bed. Once a week he and another evacuee, a diabetic named Larry, walk to a church off the Van Wyck and get canned goods. When Johnson’s caseworker, Sharon, comes around, she gives him some bus passes and maybe a few bucks, but she’s getting frustrated. “They sit around on their butts watching TV. There’s only but so much I can do if they’re not willing to help themselves.”


After being flown here for free back in September, Johnson’s been at the Holiday Inn since Super Bowl Sunday. On April 21, the hotel served Johnson with three notices of occupancy termination, saying that it would begin court proceedings if he wasn’t out by May 9. He wasn’t, so it did. If the court boots him, Johnson could end up in one of the city’s homeless shelters. He’s been broke for over a month now. FEMA sent him $9,000 in housing aid, but he spent it all on booze, cigarettes, some clothes, and food—partying, mostly. “I spent my money just the way I wanted, and I think [fema] should send me some more,” he says. But it won’t. Johnson’s caseworker says FEMA offered to buy him a ticket home to New Orleans in February, but he didn’t take it. FEMA won’t now. So he’s stuck, at least until the Holiday Inn pays him to leave.



Attorneys with the Legal Aid Society have been negotiating a buyout deal for Johnson and the remaining evacuees, and expect a settlement—he heard about $1,200—imminently. He says he’ll use the money to get a room for a few nights and have some fun before flying back to his little house in New Orleans’ Third Ward. But for now, Gothika’s on. “Halle Berry,” Johnson says. “Halle . . . Berry.”
UCLA '09

A.

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #77 on: July 31, 2006, 02:43:10 PM »
Lol.  At least the government isn't paying for it.

blk_reign

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #78 on: July 31, 2006, 02:59:13 PM »
good lord..
We're not accepting this CHANGE UP in the rules. Period. American presidents have been in the bed with organized crime, corporate pilferers, and the like for years. And all u want to put on this man is that his pastor said "Gotdamn America?" Hell, America.U got off pretty damn well, if you ask me...

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #79 on: July 31, 2006, 03:49:37 PM »
I didn't know it was offensive either:

Massachusetts governor apologizes for 'tar baby' comment

Monday, July 31, 2006; Posted: 9:42 a.m. EDT (13:42 GMT)

BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) -- Gov. Mitt Romney has apologized for referring to the troubled Big Dig construction project as a "tar baby" during a fundraiser with Iowa Republicans, saying he didn't know anyone would be offended by the term some consider a racial epithet.

In a speech Saturday, Romney, a Republican considering a run for president in 2008, acknowledged he took a big political risk in taking control of the project after a fatal tunnel ceiling collapse, but said inaction would have been even worse.

"The best thing politically would be to stay as far away from that tar baby as I can," he told a crowd of about 100 supporters in Ames, Iowa.

Black leaders were outraged at his use of the term, which dates to the 19th century Uncle Remus stories, referring to a doll made of tar that traps Br'er Rabbit. It has come to be known as a way of describing a sticky mess, and has been used as a derogatory term for a black person.

"Tar baby is a totally inappropriate phrase in the 21st century," said Larry Jones, a black Republican and civil rights activist.

"He thinks he's presidential timber," Jones said. "But all he's shown us is arrogance."

Romney's spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, said the governor was describing "a sticky situation."

"He was unaware that some people find the term objectionable and he's sorry if anyone's offended," Fehrnstrom said.

White House spokesman Tony Snow sparked similar criticism in May when he used the term in response to a question about government surveillance.