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Saturday, April 24, 2004

From the "About Da*n Time" Department

Yeah, I listen to a little rap, both the black and white variety. However, I usually stick to the below-the-radar stuff that have lyrics containing words longer than the one syllable drivel that is punched out from any given 1985 Buick. I'm all for freedom of speech. These guys have every right to write this crap and make money from it. My beef is with the idiots buying it. For too long, black women have just acquiesced to the bashings they've taken, literally and figuratively, from modern male hip hop.

Everything's about shaking a butt or making a buck. There might as well be a computer program where you just press a button, and BAM, an instant hit. Here, just off the cuff, I'll make up an example for you.

I shall begin rapping now.

I'm poppin in the club feelin love from the bub
i've got the hoes on my toes with the rub
a foot massage is good in the club
cuz that's what's the women's fo don't ya know
playa what

And there you go. An instant club hit....idiots. Please read the following news article. Thank you ladies of Spelman, I salute you.

Black College Women Take Aim at Rappers

Apr 23, 1:54 PM (ET)


ATLANTA (AP) - Maybe it was the credit card that rap superstar Nelly swiped through a woman's backside in a recent video. Here at Spelman, the most famous black women's college in the country, a feud has erupted over images of women in rap videos, sparking a petition drive and phone campaigns.

Nelly planned to visit Spelman earlier this month for a charity event enlisting students for a bone marrow registry. But the rapper canceled the appearance after hearing that a protest was in the works because of his videos - especially "Tip Drill," the one with the credit card, which also shows men throwing money between women's legs and women simulating sex acts with each other.

Misogyny in pop music, especially hip-hop, has been around for years. What's new, students say, is an explosion of almost-X-rated videos passed around on the Internet or shown late at night on cable channels like Black Entertainment Television, also known as BET.

Never before, students say, have the portrayals of black women been so hypersexual and explicit.

"It's very harsh. This is something we have to see and listen to on a daily basis," said senior Shanequa Yates. "Nelly just didn't want to come here and face the criticism for the choices he's made."

Not all students agreed that rappers are to blame, or that the images were harmful to society. At a recent meeting at Spelman to decide what should be done to protest rap music, some pointed out that women in the videos know what they're doing and are paid to do it.

The issue especially incensed some men studying at Morehouse, a black men's college closely affiliated with Spelman. "These are grown women. I'm putting the blame on the women," said Kenneth Lavergne, a senior who was loudly booed by the 300 or so women at the meeting.

Another student, Bradley Walker from Clark Atlanta University, talked about the credit-card swiping. "Bottom line, a woman let him do that," he said. "I do think sometimes the total blame is put on artists themselves."

Nelly's record label agrees. A spokeswoman for Universal Records, Wendy Washington, complained that the charity event fell apart just because women at Spelman were looking for a scapegoat. She said the feud unfairly made Nelly an example to fire up urban radio stations and music writers across the country.

"He did not think it was appropriate at all for students to use that as a forum," Washington said. "I think he was profoundly frustrated. He was not the first, certainly, to do a video like that."

Spelman women have low hopes of getting a change from BET, which shows bawdy videos with genitals and breasts fuzzed out on "BET Uncut" at 3 a.m. ET.

The network has no plans to stop running it. "'Uncut' has developed an almost cult-like following because of the freedom of artists to express themselves," said network spokesman Michael Lewellen. "It is specifically for adults. These are music videos whose content is too strong for our day points. We exercise more scrutiny than is required."

That sums up the basic message Spelman women have gotten from rappers and TV executives - if you don't like it, don't watch the videos or listen to the music. But the student activists insist the stereotypes in rap music hurt black people even if they don't listen.

"Black entertainers have become the new myth makers, showing gangsters and bikini-clad women with hyperactive libidos," said Zenobia Hikes, vice president for student affairs. "For non-black children it creates a gross misrepresentation of the black experience."

The next move is a petition drive, and a campaign to phone complaints to TV networks and radio stations that run offensive material. If Janet Jackson's breast sparked such a crackdown on indecency in the media, the students say, surely a woman shaking so violently her bikini bottom pops off should anger people, too.

"We need to organize and say no to this stuff, this nasty, disgusting stuff," said Beverly Guy-Sheftall, director of the school's Women's Research and Resource Center.

It won't be easy.

"I don't see a solution as long as you have people willing to do it," said senior Nikole Howard. "You have to demand respect, but I doubt these women even thought they were being disrespected. It makes me sad, makes me realize how much work we have to do to educate women."

From the "Moron Legislator" Department

You know, I hate all the pants hanging at about crotch level, but this idiot's threshold of exposing "intimate clothing" is a bit much. I'm a skinny fella. Sometimes if I reach straight up, my t-shirt pulls up, and my jeans drop a bit, exposing the *gasp* first 1/4 inch of elastic on my boxers. To quote the thinker, Bart Simpson, Mr. Sheperd, EAT MY SHORTS!

Louisiana May Ban Low-Slung Pants

Apr 23, 7:37 AM (ET)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - People who wear low-slung pants that expose skin or "intimate clothing" would face a fine of up to $500 and possible jail time under a bill filed by a Jefferson Parish lawmaker.

State Rep. Derrick Shepherd said he filed the bill because he was tired of catching glimpses of boxer shorts and G-strings over the lowered belt lines of young adults.

The bill would punish anyone caught wearing low-riding pants with a fine of as much as $500 or as many as six months in jail, or both.

"I'm sick of seeing it," said Shepherd, a first-term legislator. "The community's outraged. And if parents can't do their job, if parents can't regulate what their children wear, then there should be a law."

The bill would be tacked onto the state's obscenity law, which restricts sexual activity in public places and the sale of sexually explicit items.

Joe Cook, head of the American Civil Liberties Union's Louisiana chapter, said the bill probably does not meet the U.S. Supreme Court's standard for the prohibition of obscene behavior under the First Amendment.

"What about a woman who is wearing a bathing suit under her garment or she has something like a sarong wrapped around her and it's below her waist," he said. "I can think of a lot of workers, plumbers, who are working and expose their buttocks ..."


Thursday, April 22, 2004

Some Interesting Stories

Thousands Hurt, Killed in N. Korea Crash

North Miami PD Drops Requirement In Bid To Recruit Blacks

House OKs Speedy Elections if Attacked


Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Senator says US may need compulsory service to boost Iraq force

Senator says US may need compulsory service to boost Iraq force

From the AFP

Tue Apr 20,12:34 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A senior Republican lawmaker said that deteriorating security in Iraq may force the United States to reintroduce the military draft.

"There's not an American ... that doesn't understand what we are engaged in today and what the prospects are for the future," Senator Chuck Hagel told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on post-occupation Iraq.

"Why shouldn't we ask all of our citizens to bear some responsibility and pay some price?" Hagel said, arguing that restoring compulsory military service would force "our citizens to understand the intensity and depth of challenges we face."

The Nebraska Republican added that a draft, which was ended in the early 1970s, would spread the burden of military service in Iraq more equitably among various social strata.

"Those who are serving today and dying today are the middle class and lower middle class," he observed.



Monday, April 19, 2004

A Report on the War

Cribbed from the Net

April 20

National Guard units seeking to confiscate a cache of recently banned weapons
were ambushed on April 19th by elements of a para-military extremist faction.
Military and law enforcement sources estimate that 72 were killed and more than
200 injured before government forces were compelled to withdraw.

Speaking after the clash, the Governor declared that the extremist faction,
which was made up of local citizens, has links to the radical right-wing tax
protest movement. Gage blamed the extremists for recent incidents of vandalism
directed against internal revenue offices. The Governor, who described the group's
organizers as "criminals," issued an executive order authorizing the
summary arrest of any individual who has interfered with the government's efforts
to secure law and order.

The military raid on the extremist arsenal followed wide-spread refusal by
the local citizenry to turn over recently outlawed weapons. The Governor issued
a ban on private ownership of weapons and ammunition earlier in the week. This
decision followed a meeting early this month between government and military
leaders at which the governor authorized the forcible confiscation of illegal
arms. One government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, pointed out
that "none of these people would have been killed had the extremists obeyed
the law and turned over their weapons voluntarily."

Government troops initially succeeded in confiscating a large supply of outlawed
weapons and ammunition. However, troops attempting to seize arms and ammunition
met with resistance from heavily-armed extremists who had been tipped off regarding
the government's plans.

During a tense standoff, National Guard Colonel Francis Smith, commander of
the government operation, ordered the armed group to surrender and return to
their homes. The impasse was broken when a single shot rang out. This shot was
reportedly fired by one of the right-wing extremists. Eight civilians were killed
in the ensuing exchange. Ironically, the local citizenry blamed government forces
rather than the extremists for the civilian deaths.

Before order could be restored, armed citizens from the surrounding areas had
descended upon the guard units. Colonel Smith, finding his forces overmatched
by the armed mob, ordered a retreat.

The Governor has called upon citizens to support the state national joint task
force in its effort to restore law and order. The Governor has also demanded
the surrender of those responsible for planning and leading the attack against
the government troops. At this time, the ringleaders remain at large.

First reported on April 20, 1775


Sunday, April 18, 2004

A Terrorist, is a Terrorist...Unless it's Not

U.S. "gravely concerned" about Mideast stability

Hamas Leader Killed in Israeli Strike

Above are two news stories covering the attack on the Hamas leader. I provide them for those of you who may not know about the attack, or the international reaction.

The attack on the Hamas leader came last night. It was the latest of many pinpoint attacks on terrorist leaders by the IDF. The Israelies claim this was not a retaliatory strike; it is but one more example of their “war on terror. After the strike came, there was the predictable outcry on the Muslim street for Jewish blood. And also, there came the international dismay at this Israeli “provocation”. The response to this strike by the international community is incredible. Let’s write off the Europeans for a bit and focus on the good ole USA. Our lovely presidential administration is asking both sides to “show restraint” and for the Israelies to be mindful of the “consequences of their actions.”

Last look at this in a little bit of context. Ok, we get attacked by someone on 911. Our government says it is Al-Qaeda and ole Osama bin Laden. So we strike out, and basically carpet-bomb Afghanistan for a few months. Then, in furtherance of GW’s “War on Terra”, our troops invade Iraq. Now I must ask, did we show restraint? Did the Israelies warn us to be mindful of the consequences of our actions? Now, we claimed we were acting in self defense, and most everyone bought it and hasn’t been complaining horribly.

I know there’s much criticism of the situation in Iraq. I’m a big critic of that mess as well. However, when we shredded Uday and Qusay, I don’t remember the British issued a statement anything like the following, which was issued in response to the latest attacks on Hamas:

"The British government has made it repeatedly clear that so-called targeted assassinations of this kind are unlawful, unjustified and counterproductive,"
Maybe I missed it, but I didn’t see any talk like that. And we certainly weren’t acting with restraint, neither in Afghanistan or Iraq.

But now, we are so wary of hurting the feelings of Yasser Arafat, and Hamas, and Islamic Jihad. This is not necessarily a list of our great friends. Buses are blown up, and we ask for restraint. Cafes full of innocent men women and children are exploded into so many flesh piles and concrete bits, and we ask for consideration of consequences when the ATTACKED decide to attack? As most of you know, I despise hypocrisy in all forms. It is my core ideological stand. And this sickens me.

I simply wish our leaders would just come out and say

“Hey, you know, we were wrong. A terrorist isn’t necessarily a terrorist, only when we say it is. You can just go blow up people because they strap bombs to children and send them into your land while holding the child’s family at gunpoint. Only we can decide who terrorists are and when and where to attack”

That’s all I’m asking for, just a little honesty. Oh wait…I forgot…it’s a campaign year…never mind…..


Monday, April 12, 2004

More Genius From Our Commander-in-Chief

"Obviously, every day I pray there is less casualty,"
- President George W. Bush, Sunday April 11 2004, on vacation (again) in TX

Yes, that's what he said, word for word. He prays there is "less casualty", and yet he ( really the administration et al.) does nothing to see this prayer become reality. Our troops are fighting a war against an enemy whose identity our guys don't even know. Shiites, Sunnis, Iranians, Fedayin? We're not sending more desperately needed reinforcements. We have no real battle plan for this type of warfare. We have an arbitrary, politically-timed "turn over" of June 30. THERE IS NO GOVERNMENT TO TURN OVER TO. THERE IS NO IRAQI ARMY TO DEFEND THAT GOVERNMENT IF THERE WERE.

In "The War On Terra", the main problem is, we still have a Cold War military apparatus. Not our troops, not our mechs, but the bureaucracy, the establishment, they are all about 20 years behind. We are attempting to fight a war as if our enemy was one nation, one group. There is no one to declare war on, there is no one to negotiate with. We are dealing with animals now.

Saddam was bad, he should've been taken out, but we are in deep my friends. If this DOESN'T escalate to WW3 (which I think it will when we begin attacking Syria and Lebanon) we'll still have troops in Iraq well after I'm dead. There is no good way out of this. Moreover, there is no way out period. Vietnam? Nah. It's worse than that. And regardless of what you may think, it's not even all Bush's fault. Shocking, no?


Sunday, April 11, 2004

Weird Al's Mom and Dad Dead

Yes, you read correctly. His parents died in their homes of apparent smoke inhalation due to a fire built with the flue closed. Mrs. Yankovic had Alzheimer's, so this could be part of the reason the flue was left closed. At any rate, it is a great loss. They were a wonderfully sweet couple, respected in the community, and good to charities. My heart goes out to Al and the Yankovic family.


Thursday, April 08, 2004

War on Terror takes backseat to War on Porn, according to the Reverend Ashcroft

The story from the Baltimore Sun

Yeah. You read that correctly. We have our guys getting KILLED everyday by those animals in Iraq. The Government is telling us that another terrorist attack here is "inevitable"". One after another, there are either attacks or thwarted attacks in Europe. But no, Ashcroft in his puritanical insanity says, "you know, the real problem here is adults looking at other naked adults."

Is no one else outraged here? The "Justice" Department is set to spend "millions of dollars" to prosecute porno dealers. We're not talking bestiality here, or kiddy porn, or weird sick illegal type stuff. Nope, plain old normal sex and naked people. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!?!?

Terrorists, illegal immigration, no big deal. But let’s crack down on those darn porno people. Honestly, I can’t fathom this. I mean, I know Ashcroft is loony, but to me, this act is now putting our national security in jeopardy to satisfy his self-righteous psychosis.

I’m too annoyed to type anymore about this.


Tuesday, April 06, 2004

The FBI Recently Alerted Law Enforcement Agencies
That People in Possesion of Almanacs Might Be Terrorists

Crazy huh? That old Ben Franklin was such a terrorist. I think we should all carry at least one copy now. And buy an extra to keep on your dashboard for that next annoying traffic cop to whine about.

You can get one here.


Saturday, April 03, 2004

Umm...we just can't say hey, we're the government, stop sending jobs overseas...I mean, it's not like we condone it...um...

This is an article I cribbed from the Medium Rare Archives. It's about a whole government agency ,OPIC, which exists solely to assist American companies in creating new jobs, just not in America. Enjoy.


By Jim Rarey
March 23, 2004

No, not the oil cartel, that’s OPEC (although it wouldn’t be a bad idea to abolish that as well). OPIC is the little known government agency Overseas Private Industry Corporation. Its charter is to use millions of the taxpayers’ dollars to help American companies create jobs……in foreign countries. Although structured like a corporation with a board of directors, it actually is an independent agency in the executive branch nominally reporting to the Office of Management and Budget.

President, CEO and Chairman of the Board is Peter S. Watson. He is well connected in various organizations dealing with international law, a former Chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission, former director of Asian affairs at the National Security Council and, to no one’s surprise, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

OPIC provides its support to over 400 U.S. companies in over 100 countries. It provides insurance coverage (I) of up to $250 million against currency incontrovertibility, expropriation, and loss of assets due to political violence, wars, etc. It can also provide financing (F) of up to $250 million per project (not per company) however total financing and insurance provided cannot exceed $400 million. Financing can be through direct loans or loans from investment banks which OPIC says are guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the United States (which means the U.S. taxpayers).

OPIC claims it only provides support in cases where the private sector cannot, or will not. (If you believe that there is a bridge in Brooklyn for sale. See partial list of “clients below.) It says it charges interest and insurance fees at “market rates’ but doesn’t say how that is determined.

OPIC serves small medium and large businesses. Support to small companies typically ranges from $100,000 to $2 million.

The following is a partial listing of projects supported in 2002 (latest figures available)

S & N Pump Company repair facility in Africa $495,000 (Finance0.

Pride Forasol SAS Medical facility in Ethiopia $489,677 (Finance)

Chad Pride Int’l. Oil and gas drilling $100 million (Insurance).

Ghana B & C Management. Gravel quarry $168,560 (Finance

Namibia Diamond Fields Int’l. Diamond mining $15 million (Finance)

South Africa Soros Economic Development. Residential housing $15 million (Finance).

Unocal Corp. Oil and gas exploration and production $340 million (Finance).

Pakistan Remington Holdings. Purchase oil and gas concessions. $130,750,000 (Finance)

El Paso Corp power plant $23 Million (Insurance). - Private company

Citibank N.A. Pakistan lending facility $75 million (Finance).

NIS Regional Caucasus Citibank lending facility $150 million ((Finance).

OPIC claims that by creating jobs in foreign countries it enables them to by American products thus creating jobs in the U.S.
What do you think?

It sounds like just another corporate welfare program to this writer.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)

Permission is granted to reproduce this article in its entirety.
The author is a free lance writer based in Romulus, Michigan. He is a former newspaper editor and investigative reporter, a retired customs administrator and accountant, and a student of history and the U.S. Constitution.

If you would like to receive Medium Rare articles directly, please contact us at jimrarey@comcast.net. Although not necessary, we would appreciate an indication of the city and/or state or country (If outside the USA) in which you are located to give us an idea as to where our articles are being received.

An Update! (well, there soon shall be)

If I can get the coding right, i'm going to add some links over on the right side of the page. They'll be direct links to some of my favorite articles I've written, some poems, some short stories, some photo collages I've done. I thought it'd be nice to offer direct access to some of my stuff I'd like to keep on the blog, instead of having to repost it every few months to keep it available. I guess I should quit typing and get coding...


Neat Quotes

I was flipping channels today, and I came across some lame made-for-tv-movie. In this crappy piece of production, an old rich lady had just been robbed. She spoke this wonderful line:

"Why would a man resort to burglery when there are so many legal ways to be dishonest?"

HAA!!!!!! Brilliant!

Also, I believe it was Bob Dylan who wrote the following:

"Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you king."


If you've got any good quotes you'd like to share, click on the "Comments" link below this article and leave them where you would normally leave a comment. I look forward to reading ya'll's suggestions.


Friday, April 02, 2004

I Know the Feeling Kid

I don't think these pics really need any explanation.



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