Hip-Hop mogul Jay-Z's new book, Decoded, has officially broke ground on the New York Times Best Sellers list by debuting within the Top 5.

Jay-Z is no stranger to sitting high on the charts when it comes to his music career, which makes the Brooklyn rapper's No. 3 debut on 'The New York Times' Best Sellers list an expected achievement. The Roc Nation head honcho's memoir 'Decoded' landed on the Hardcover Nonfiction edition of the newspaper's Best Sellers list for the week of December 5. Coming in at the top of the list are George W. Bush's 'Decision Points' and Lauren Hillenbrand's 'Unbroken.' (The Boom Box)

The book, which provides insight into Jay-Z's lyrics and life, has seen brisk sales since its release earlier this month. It was included on Oprah's coveted "Favorite Things" show and is currently in the top 10 sellers on Amazon.com. Entertainment Weekly gave Decoded an A-, calling it "Shawn Carter's most honest airing of the experiences he drew on to create the mythic figure of Jay-Z," while The New York Times says "Decoded gives the reader a harrowing portrait of the rough worlds Jay-Z navigated in his youth, while at the same time deconstructing his lyrics." (Rap-Up)

"I think people are going to be surprised at how careful Jay-Z is when they read the book and how much of a thinker he is and how much he thinks about what he does. Obviously in hip-hop we his fans know he doesn't write anything down, but we shouldn't mistake that for thinking he's not a careful emcee [or] that his music isn't layered. [His songs] often have four or five different meanings. This book we started last year, summer of 2009, so it took a year [to finish]. When Jay told me in 2005 that the Black Book wouldn't come out and that he wanted to do a book about lyrics, even back in 2005, he was thinking about what this book was going to be. Even when you're in the studio with him looking like he's talking to himself, I'll try to talk to him and he'll be like, 'Yo, you're f*cking up my lyrics,' I didn't know he was sitting over there writing a song in his head. And so I guess that's what he's been doing with this book." (SOHH's Buy My Book)


Sunday, November 28, 2010

AUGUSTA -- A deadly shooting at an apartment complex is now a murder case, Richmond County investigators told News 12 tonight.

ADVERTISEMENTDeputies were called to the Fairway Village complex on the 2900 block of Richmond Hill Road around 8:20 p.m.

Sam Carroll Jr.'s body was found in the woods near the apartment complex and the coroner was paged to the scene. Crime scene technicians were also processing the area.

Sources say another person was shot at but was not hit.Man killed in Augusta's 38th murder for 2010
Investigators are trying to solve the 38th murder in Richmond County this year. Sam Carroll Jr. is dead after a shooting at an apartment complex off Richmond Hill Road.


AUGUSTA, Ga. – Richmond County investigators say the suspect in yesterday’s murder on Richmond Hill Road has turned himself in.

23 year old Desmond Marquette Anthony is is the suspect in the shooting death of Samuel Carroll Jr. He is being charged with murder, criminal attempt armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

News 12 at 6 O'clock / Monday, November 29, 2010

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- It was a busy day looking for answers following a deadly weekend in Richmond County. A man is now facing charges in the county's latest homicide. Desmond Anthony turned himself in Monday afternoon and will be charged with Murder and Attempted Armed Robbery. Anthony is accused of killing 20-year-old Sam Carroll Jr. who was found dead Sunday night at the Fairway Village apartments on the 2900 block of Richmond Hill Road.

Investigators found Carroll's body in some woods by the apartment complex.This is Richmond County's third murder in less than a week and 38th homicide for the year.

It's a story that seems to be becoming all too familiar in Augusta. One young person charged with killing another, leaving families torn apart and searching for answers. Flowers now mark the spot where Sam Carroll's body was found Sunday night.

Sam lived with his Aunt Crystal in Augusta. She's known the young man his whole life. "Me and Sam grew up together- everybody called us twins! And I'd say no we're not twins! But I feel it now- it feels like a part of me is gone."

Sam had a one year old son who lives in Marietta. "He would say, 'I'm gonna give my son the things I didn't have. The choices I made- make sure he didn't do that.'" Sam's other Aunt Alma Lee says her nephew never got into any serious trouble, "He would be out with his friends you know, but he was never one to start any trouble, never one to be in any trouble."

They say at twenty years old, Sam was just starting to figure out who he wanted to become. "He was still looking for himself," explains Crystal. "He loved his family and we loved him, but he had not found who Sam Carroll was yet."

After investigators questioned several people Monday afternoon, Desmond Anthony turned himself in. He is charged with murder. Crystal says even with all her pain, her heart goes out to Anthony's family, too. "They're gonna have to come to terms with losing their family member as well. So you killed two dreams, you know?"

Meanwhile, she says they keep expecting Sam to come home any minute. Crystal says, "I'll still be waiting for him to come home." "He's gonna be missed," Alma says through her tears. "He was such a happy person."

Sam's mother lives in New York and his father in Brunswick. Family members tell News 12 they are devastated, now planning a funeral for their twenty year old son.

Authorities haven't named a motive yet but are also charging Anthony with Armed Robbery. Sam's family thinks the murder started as a robbery. They say he went to the store that night and they never saw him again.

Sunday night's murder on Richmond Hill Road marks the 38th murder for this year, for Richmond County...that's twelve more than this time last year.

We've done some research...here are the murder rates for the past four years in Richmond County.

According to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, the county had 26 murders in 2009, 19 in 2008, 25 in 2007, and in 2006, there were 18 murders.

As you can see, Augusta is seeing it's highest murder rate in years, and lawmakers say it's time to do something about it.

We spoke with Georgia State Senator Hardie Davis, U.S. Attorney Ed Tarver, and State Representative Quincy Murphy about their efforts to stop crime. They tell us, leaders are looking at national programs to see how other cities have reduced their crime rates, such as the Crimestoppers program.

Now, this initiative is still in the beginning stages...leaders say they will continue to work on developing the project over the next few months.

(RIP LIL SAM)"; if (timestamp != '') { var timesplit = timestamp.split(","); var date_yyyy = timesplit[2]; var timesplit = timesplit[1].split(" "); var date_dd = timesplit[2]; var date_mmm = timesplit[1].substring(0, 3); } --

What Women Want: Listen with Your Heart
By Gary Smalley
Tips for Men
1. Make and keep eye contact. Few things assure your loved one that you are listening
closely more than making eye contact. Without making it seem like you are staring through her,
lock your eyes on hers and listen to what she has to say.
2. Cease all other activity. When your loved one wants to talk to you—when she has
something very important to talk to you about and needs your undivided attention—make sure
you can do it in an atmosphere free of other activity.
3. Let your loved one know you are being attentive. In addition to keeping eye contact,
let her know that you are listening closely and attentively by acknowledging what she’s saying
through head nods and other signs of attentiveness.
4. Speak occasional words of agreement or understanding. While you listen to your loved
one, it is good to interject words that communicate that you understand how that person feels.
Simple statements such as, “I can see how you would feel that way,” or “I would feel the same
way myself” can do much to communicate that you are listening with you heart.
5. Ignore all interruptions. Sometimes a man and his loved one need to get to a place where
there is no chance they will be interrupted so they can jus talk. When you take the time to listen
with your heart, try to do it where you won’t be interrupted.
How women say men can become experts at listening with their hearts:
▪ “Solve problems with me, not for me.”
▪ “Just listen. Give me a chance to voice my inner thoughts and feelings.”
▪ “Listen without offering unsolicited advice or blame.”
▪ “Teach me your problem solving skills.”
▪ “If you don’t understand what I’m saying, ask me questions.”
▪ “Offer feedback that says you understand what I’m telling you.”
▪ “Be compassionate as you listen.”
▪ “Resist laughing or mocking me in what I have to say.”
▪ “Offer me advice with humility.”
▪ “Use facial expressions and body language so that I know you’re really hearing me.”

Rekindle the Joy
of Being Married
Marriages hold no joy for couples who feel stuck. But they hold infinite happiness for couples
who learn to celebrate their one-of-a-kind love. The fifth of the 6 Secrets to a Lasting Love is
Celebrating Love.
Celebrating love revels in the emotional, physical, and spiritual connections that bond you to
your spouse. It’s a love that protects you and your spouse from drifting apart and enables you to
fall in love and feel discovered all over again. Celebrating love rejoices daily in the marriage you
have and helps you feel cherished and captivated by each other.
Ideas for Celebrating Your Husband
• Send him off and welcome him home with a smile and a kiss.
• Write down a list of reasons why you love him, then share the list with him over a
romantic dinner.
• Buy attractive new nightwear for yourself – and hide his!
Ideas for Celebrating Your Wife
• Compliment her, especially for the little things.
• Give her a head-to-toe massage.
• Send her cards or love letters.



As World AIDS Day approaches, black advocates say the deadly disease continues to inflict a staggering human and financial toll on the African American community.

The AIDS epidemic has claimed the lives of more than 230,000 African Americans over the past three decades. And although black Americans constitute just 12 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 46 percent of the 1.1 million Americans currently living with HIV.

To some observers, the fact that America hasn't yet won the battle against AIDS boils down to pure economics.

"If we had large numbers of millionaires, billionaires and those impacting the economy dying of AIDS, I guarantee you a cure would be found virtually overnight," says LaMont Evans, CEO of Healthy Black Communities Inc. in Atlanta.

"It's sad to say," Evans told BlackVoices, "but there's a lack of urgency in addressing this problem because those impacted are seen as disposable and not economically important."

Whether one agrees with Evans, he may be on to something: Wealth and status indeed play a huge role in the likelihood of becoming infected with HIV in America.

In a first of its kind study on the link between economic status and HIV, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in 2010 that those living in poor neighborhoods were more than four times more likely to be stricken with HIV, compared with the national average. Researchers theorized that residents in poor areas had limited access to health care and other basic services, along with higher rates of substance abuse and incarceration – factors that heighten one's risk for HIV.

"This study reveals a powerful link between poverty and HIV risk and a widespread HIV epidemic in America's inner cities," said Kevin Fenton, director of the CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. "In this country, HIV clearly strikes the economically disadvantaged in a devastating way."

So if it's clear that individuals in poor communities in general, and African Americans in particular, are being disproportionately ravaged by AIDS, what is being done to prevent the disease from spreading?

Critics say not nearly enough.Until this year, America had no comprehensive program to fight the AIDS epidemic. Then, in July 2010, President Obama launched the first National HIV/AIDS Strategy, designed to reduce the number of new HIV infections, increase access to care for people living with HIV, and reduce HIV-related disparities and health inequities.

For 2011, Obama's federal budget includes a $27.2 billion request for HIV and AIDS. That's a 4.6 percent increase over 2010 funding, which totaled $26 billion.

But just 3 percent of the 2011 AIDS budget, or $900 million, is earmarked for prevention. Many AIDS advocates say this is completely insufficient, especially considering that one study conducted by the CDC and John Hopkins University showed that for every HIV infection prevented, $355,000 is saved in the costs of providing lifelong HIV care and treatment. The study concluded that an investment of $4.5 billion in HIV prevention over 10 years would save $104 billion in medical costs.
With relatively few dollars devoted toward prevention it's little wonder, perhaps, that every year, about 56,000 Americans are infected with HIV; 25,000 of them are African-Americans.

The CDC says one in 22 African-Americans are expected to get HIV during their lifetime. The CDC estimates that the chances of a black person being diagnosed with the AIDS virus is more than twice the risk for Hispanics and eight times that of whites. For Hispanics, the odds of contracting HIV in a one's lifetime is one in 52; it's one in 170 for whites. Meanwhile, Asian Americans had the lowest lifetime risk, at roughly one in 222.

In some parts of the country, namely the nation's capitol, the rate of HIV infection is particularly alarming. In 2009, a Washington Post story, citing CDC data, reported an HIV prevalence of at least 3 percent among individuals age 13 and above in the Washington D.C. area. That's an infection rate similar to some parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

The Global AIDS Problem and Worries About the GOP:

And speaking of AIDS in Africa, the problem there isn't getting any better either.

The worst-infected region of the world is sub-Saharan Africa, where approximately 22 million people are living with HIV, which is two-thirds of the 33 million people globally who are living with HIV.

Of the $27.2 billion federal AIDS budget requested by President Obama for 2011, $6.7 billion is allocated for global efforts to combat HIV/AIDS.

But federal AIDS funding is broken into two parts. A chunk of it -- 47 percent or $12.9 billion -- is mandatory, and must be spent on various entitlement programs. However, the majority of the AIDS budget -- 53 percent or $14.3 billion -- is discretionary, meaning Congress has to approve it through the appropriations process.

That worries some people.

Federal funding for HIV/AIDS is already a tiny fraction – less than 1 percent - of the overall federal budget of the United States. And with Republicans recently taking control of the House of Representatives, some observers fear what the GOP may do concerning AIDS spending – domestically and internationally.

The recent election results "present at least three major challenges to the fight against AIDS," Phill Wilson, President and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute, said in a statement.

"First, many of the strongest Congressional AIDS champions will no longer occupy key leadership positions to advance an AIDS-friendly agenda," Wilson said.

"Second, the new Republican majority campaigned on a platform of reducing federal spending on discretionary programs, such as the Ryan White CARE Act, the HIV prevention program at CDC, and substance abuse and mental health services for people living with HIV," Wilson added.

"Third, although it is unlikely that Republicans will be able to muster the votes needed to repeal health care reform, critics of health care reform may well seek to withhold the funding needed to implement key provisions of the legislation," Wilson noted.

The Ryan White Program is the largest HIV-specific discretionary grant program in America. With $2.3 billion in funding requested for the program in 2011, the Ryan White program is also the third largest source of funding for HIV care in the U.S.

Recent Promising Developments:

The news about AIDS isn't all doom and gloom.

In fact, three recent promising developments in the fight against AIDS all emerged on the same day, November 23.

First, a new research study showed that a daily pill now being sold in pharmacies nationwide could help prevent the spread of AIDS among gay and bisexual men. The pill is called Truvada and is marketed by Gilead Science. It was shown to reduce the risk of infection by anywhere from 44 percent to 73 percent.

Likewise, AIDS advocates cheered the news that the number of HIV cases has dropped significantly over the past decade. According to the United Nations, the total number of HIV cases worldwide fell by 20 percent in the last 10 years, and there are now 33 million people living with HIV.

That news came the same day in which the Pope issued a statement saying condom use is acceptable in order to prevent the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

While the general population greeted these developments with great enthusiasm, the reaction in the black community was more tempered.Evans, who is leading the efforts to organize National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on February 7, 2011, questioned who would pay for the pricey drug Truvada. "Will it be insurers or the government?" he asked, suggesting there's ambiguity on whether or not members of poor and minority communities will have access to those pills.

The Truvada pills cost between $5,000 and $12,000 annually in the U.S. They sell for a tiny fraction of that – around $140 a year – in some poor countries that are selling generic versions of the pill.

In America, AIDS patients with good health care coverage can get antiretroviral treatment. But those who are uninsured or under insured typically have to go without, or resort to public programs like Medicare, Medicaid and the Ryan White program.

With funding for those programs subject to Congressional approval, many AIDS prevention advocates worry that the battle against this deadly disease is far from over.

The high rate of HIV infection among African-Americans is, "compelling proof that you get what you pay for, or that you don't get what you fail to pay for," says Wilson, of the Black AIDS Institute, adding, "We simply won't be able to turn the epidemic around in Black communities without stronger federal support for HIV prevention."
Tagged as: economic impact of AIDS, EconomicImpactOfAids, federal government and AIDS, FederalGovernmentAndAids, global impact of AIDS, GlobalImpactOfAids, HIVAIDS awareness, HivaidsAwareness, World AIDS Day 2010, WorldAidsDay2010


This commercial just ran in KCBS TV in Los Angeles, featuring a little stocking suffer -- a Chia Pet , the Chia Obama edition. The question ... is it racist?

Obama's "do" is caricature-like and, standing on its own, makes the Prez look like someone from "What's Happening!!"

The commercial also hawks Chia Pets of two other presidents -- Washington and Lincoln. But it's clear the Chia Obama is the selling point.

The store Walgreens has PULLED this insane Barack Obama Chia Pet from its shelves, and now 200,000 of them are simply sitting in a warehouse. Apparently customers complained that the beige Obama head with green hair was RACIST against black people and junk. At least that’s what this article is implying? Or maybe the complainers were Oompa Loompas, although it is generally assumed that the military gassed them into extinction sometime in the ’80s.(ap)


Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga and a slew of other celebrities have pledged to sign off social media platforms as part of an effort to raise $1 million for charity.

The stars are part of a new campaign called Digital Life Sacrifice that will benefit Alicia Keys' AIDS charity, Keep a Child Alive. The entertainers plan to sign off sites including Facebook and Twitter starting Wednesday, which is World AIDS Day, and will not sign back on until the charity raises $1 million.

Other celebrities taking part are Usher, Jennifer Hudson, Ryan Seacrest, Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Elijah Wood, Serena Williams, Janelle Monae and Keys' husband, Swizz Beatz.

For the campaign, the stars have filmed "last tweet and testament" videos and will appear in ads showing them lying in coffins to represent what the campaign calls their digital deaths.

"It's really important and super-cool to use mediums that we naturally are on," Keys told the Associated Press.

Keys said not one celebrity who was approached about the campaign said no. The move will likely make an impact in the social media world: Keys has 2.6 million Twitter followers, while Timberlake has 3.5 million and Gaga boasts more than 7.2 million.

Keys' organization, which began in 2003, plans to accept donations through text messages and bar-code technology; the donations will support families in Africa and India who are affected by HIV/AIDS.



NEW ORLEANS – A New Orleans police officer was laughing after he burned the body of a man who had been gunned down by police in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, a fellow officer testified Thursday.

The testimony came during the trial of officer Greg McRae and Lt. Dwayne Scheuermann, who are charged with burning the body of 31-year-old Henry Glover in a car after he was shot and killed by a different officer outside a strip mall on Sept. 2, 2005. Three other current and former officers also are charged in Glover's death.

Lt. Joseph Meisch testified Thursday that he was standing outside a police station near the Mississippi River when he saw a car followed by a pickup truck driving on a levee. McRae was driving the car and Scheuermann was driving the truck, according to prosecutors.

Moments after the car drove off the levee, Meisch saw a plume of thick, black smoke.

Meisch didn't know who was driving the vehicles until McRae and Scheuermann ran toward him. Scheuermann had a blank look on his face, but McRae was laughing, Meisch said.

"Laughing like somebody had just played a joke?" Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracey Knight asked.

"It could have been humorous or nervous laughter," he said.

Meisch said he asked what had happened, and McRae told him not to worry about it.

"I got it," Scheuermann added, according to Meisch.

McRae's lawyer, Frank DeSalvo, has conceded that his client burned the body. DeSalvo said in his opening statement that McRae was under stress from Katrina's harsh conditions when he made a "very bad decision" to toss a flare in the car. Jeffrey Kearney, one of Scheuermann's attorneys, has said his client didn't know McRae was going to set the car on fire.

Meisch said he didn't check on the car until four or five days later. When he looked into the back seat, he saw what appeared to be a ribcage.

"It kind of actually scared me," he said.

But he didn't tell anybody about his discovery, assuming Scheuermann was handling it, Meisch said.

"It did raise some suspicion in my mind," he said. "But, again, Lt. Scheuermann said he's got it."

Meisch said he didn't discuss the matter with Scheuermann again until 2009, after federal authorities started investigating Glover's death. Meisch said Scheuermann told him that they wouldn't deny what happened and that McRae had made a "stupid mistake."

A former officer, David Warren, is charged with shooting Glover. Prosecutors say Glover wasn't armed and didn't pose a threat to Warren.

Scheuermann and McRae are accused of beating people who drove Glover to a makeshift police headquarters in search of help. The three men were handcuffed when the officers drove off with the car containing Glover's body.

Former Lt. Robert Italiano and Lt. Travis McCabe are accused of falsifying a report to make it appear Glover's shooting was justified.


(AllHipHop News) Lil Kim has been quiet as Nicki Minaj has had disparaging remarks to her rival, but now Kim has returned fire with a new diss song called “Black Friday.”

The song, which has leaked online, has Lil Kim lyrically challenging the now-dominant Nicki Minaj.

On the song, Kim spews, “I’m turning Pink Friday to Friday The 13th.”

“Aight, you Lil Kim clone clown / all this buffoonery s**t stops now / Time for you to lay down / I’m sick of the fraud / I’ll put hands on this b**ch like Obama’s guards,” Kim says. “We all know your last name / what got you your job / You a put together gimmick / something like a collage.”

In the song, she also mentions Nicki Minaj’s Young Money ally Drake. “This his hood sh**t you and Drake ain’t built for. This sh**t the other b**ch almost got killed for…”

The song continuously refers to Nicki Minaj as a copycat artist that has stolen her style, which debuted in the 1990’s.

Nicki Minja has always mentioned Lil Kim has one of the rapper’s she admired, but recently told Angie Martinez that Kim’s present stance mars her legacy.

"I feel like you're gonna go down in history now as a sore loser, as opposed to going down in history as the queen because if you can't beat 'em, join 'em," Nicki told Martinez. "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all. You don't have to feel the need to put somebody down and make yourself feel better."

The song was debuted on Hot 97 with DJ Absolut and the full song is expected to drop tomorrow, Black Friday. Minaj's Pink Friday was released on Monday and is expected to sell about 375k - 425k in the first week.


ATLANTA -- While people were stuffing themselves with turkey and dressing over Thanksgiving, Montell Jordan was coming to peace with a major career change.

For more than a decade he's been known as the backwards-hat wearing hip hop artist behind the Grammy-nominated, mega-hit "This is How We Do It".

All that will change after his final concert New Year's Eve. After that, Jordan says he will only step foot on one stage, the dais of World Victory Church in Norcross.

"It's just been an amazing career. And it has been great," Jordan said, returning from a three-city swing, one of hihis last. "But it's a calling that's probably been with me all my life since I was a child. And I've known it. A lot of people in the business know it and have the same calling but that leap of faith is difficult."

The day before Thanksgiving, Jordan broke the news through a litany of tweets on his Twitter account.

"The teaching at that church is very strong and it's very real. It's a practical, multi-cultural church, multi generational," Jordan said. "You're there worshipping with different people of different nationalities different ages and that's my idea of what heaven really looks like."
Jordan says he has no problem borrowing from his charisma and fame as a singer to help bring more people into the faith.

"I've travelled all over the world and I know there are a lot of people out there who are hungry for God and I think I have an opportunity not just to reach people who know God and also people who don't know God."

Jordan has yet announce a location for his final concert.



SHANGHAI: A congressional advisory group said this week Web traffic to major US corporate and government websites was routed through China for 18 minutes in April because of an incorrect signal sent by China Telecom.

The commission said it was unclear whether the incident was accidental but it affected other countries and amounted to the routing of traffic to 15 per cent of all Internet destinations, going through China. China Telecom denied any hijacking of web traffic.

The report highlights growing tensions between both sides, strained since January, when Google Inc accused China of hacking into its system and stealing its intellectual property.

Following are some questions and answers on how Internet data flows work and what could have happened to the data in the 18 minutes it was routed through China.

How does Web data flow between countries?
Data over the Internet is sent from one destination to another over interconnected networks that form the Internet. Directing the flow of data are routers.

The flow of data between routers is determined by the most efficient travel route and based on trust between Internet service providers and countries. To add security layers to the networks would slow down the flow of web traffic.

What exactly happened in April?
On April 8, China Telecom sent out an incorrect routing signal that advertised routing through China as the most efficient route. This caused web traffic to 15 per cent of the world's Internet sites to pass through Chinese servers for 18 minutes.

This means data traveling to sites owned by the US Senate, NASA and the Commerce department as well as sites in Brazil, France and Russia were passed through China. Dell, YouTube and CNN were corporate sites reportedly affected.

Is this a big deal?
Internet users in China are subject to censorship behind what is known as the "Great Firewall of China." The system of gateways and routers that block users from China from accessing popular social networking sites Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

From 2004 to 2005, Cisco was criticised for selling "mirroring routers" to China. These routers now form the backbone for its firewall and allow the Chinese government to monitor the Internet use of its citizens if it wishes.

This means the data that travelled through China in the 18-minute period could have been easily copied, and if the data was not encrypted, it could have been edited and resent to its destination in a blink of an eye.

Read more: If China hijacks US' internet traffic? - The Times of India


A fight over a Facebook posting may have led to a stabbing in central Toledo on Tuesday night. Toledo Police say Aaron Calhoun, 25, went to a home on Pinewood Ave. to confront a couple after they posted something on Facebook about his sister. When Calhoun arrived at the home he was attacked, according to authorities.

Investigators say Calhoun was hit with a frying pan before being stabbed by Taresa O’Neal, 20. Calhoun was transported to Toledo Hospital with reportedly non life-threatening conditions. O’Neal and another man have been arrested.

Dude was asking for it though…how you gonna just show up at somebody’s crib beefing about something on Facebook…about your sister at that…not even you????(bossip)


ATLANTA (FinalCall.com) - There is a saying that the ancestors of Blacks brought to the Western Hemisphere didn't come here on the Nina, the Pinta, or the Santa Maria, the famous ships of explorer Christopher Columbus, but as cargo shackled and chained in the hulls of ships during the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Historians have documented the abduction and subsequent devastation of Black life, noting that the past violations still have far reaching impact well into the 21st Century.

On Nov. 19-21 an assortment of scholars and activists convened here for the 19th Black African Holocaust Conference to discuss the Black condition and advance solutions to counter the legacy of abuse.

In recent years, “the issues and the plight of Black people got marginalized and really camouflaged,” said Eric Ture Muhammad, the main conference organizer. He pointed to several significant events, including Hurricane Katrina and the shameful response from the U.S. government to provide emergency aid and help rebuild Black lives as examples of the modern Black holocaust.It became a need to bring the conference back because we needed to convene; we needed to set an agenda. We need some underpinning guidelines to move forward,” said Mr. Muhammad, who is also a Final Call contributing writer.

Conference organizers explained that the purpose of the Black African Holocaust Conference was to bring healers, thinkers, scholars and community folks together in a forum where issues could be discussed and progressive solutions offered.

In workshops and presentations a myriad of views were shared about current methods employed against Blacks and strategies to counter the attacks. Participants and presenters dealt with the prison industrial complex; education; physical, mental and spiritual health, economics, environmental racism and other issues.

Over the course of several sessions presenters agreed that the Black experience in America has largely been about genocide—the systematic attempt to destroy Blacks as a people.

“We are in a period of mass extermination. We are no longer being oppressed, repressed, or suppressed—we are being exterminated,” said Dr. Umar Abdullah Johnson, nationally certified school psychologist. Dr. Johnson conducted a workshop on “Post Traumatic Slave Disorder” and outlined how public mis-education is used as a mental killing field and how some Black independent schools that need public funding have fallen under the influence of the oppressor.

Speakers outlined the critical need for Blacks to tell their own story, come to grips with past violations and recognize that the Black Holocaust continues.
It's nothing for European Jews to keep the sights and images of their holocaust before the eyes of the world and cry “never again,” remarked Ashra Kwesi, an historian and Egyptologist.

However as the Jews speak of a holocaust in the context of a past event, Blacks speak of the holocaust in the present tense, presenters said.

“When Jews talk about the holocaust, they talk about what was and it should never happen again,” observed longtime activist Pam Africa, who is based in Philadelphia. “We are living a holocaust; we are living under terrorism. Their people are not being shot down in the streets every day; they don't have the housing problem, the economic problems.”

Furthermore, Dr. Johnson added, the Black Holocaust has become self-sustaining. “The chief goal of slavery was to make the victim a willing accomplice in their own extermination,” Dr. Johnson said.

A modern day slave system perpetrated in the form of the prison industrial complex is one holocaust method, said participants in a workshop titled “Is Mass Incarceration the New Jim Crow?”The session looked at the re-enslavement of Black people through felon disenfranchisement. National privileges such as the right to vote are revoked for convicted felons, opening the door for widespread discrimination in housing, employment and public assistance, said Atty. Nkechi Taifa, of Legacy Empowerment in Washington, D.C.

In most states ex-offenders, often tied to drug crimes, are not eligible for food stamps and other kinds of benefits, including grants for education, she said.

“Slavery, Jim Crow, mass incarceration is the same thing,” Ms. Taifa said. Where some kinds of discrimination supposedly ended with Jim Crow, the justice system has become the legal way to continue the same violations of Black life, she argued.

Ms. Taifa said a major part of the solution is tying the international arena into the work of uplifting Black people in the United States.

“We can't keep things within the confines of this country; we must internationalize our struggle,” Ms. Taifa said.

There are stronger legal conventions in international law pertaining to discrimination than domestic laws and these international standards can be used to seek justice for Black people, she said.

Mr. Kwesi agreed current strategy must include a global reach to expand the view beyond the borders of America. It is part of “holistically” looking at who Blacks are because the perpetrators of the Black Holocaust never intended a reconnection to Africa, he said.

“When we leave America we are actually (like) runaway slaves because mentally we are not supposed to even think like that,” said Mr. Kwesi.

Another critical area covered by the conference was a “Health is Wealth” panel where insights were shared on how to counter the assault on Black life through taking charge of one's health.

“We are a part of a legacy of whole people, but we are not coming from a whole place. So what we have to do is address spirit, is address what did our ancestors do? What did our grandmothers do when there were issues, because they went through those holocausts and we are still travelling through that,” advised Dr. Siti Opio.

Author and publisher Supreme Understanding emphasized awareness and education about health and the onslaught Black people face.

“The current crises in health for original people in America and worldwide today are a byproduct of a global system of oppression that stems from White supremacy and with that understanding we can proceed to develop responses,” said Supreme Understanding.

Increasing the Black Economic IQ was the message from twin brothers Dwayne and Daryl Mooney, sons of comedian Paul Mooney. The twins gave a high energy presentation about the necessity of building wealth and knowing the difference between financial literacy and financial IQ. The Mooney's encouraged listeners to become involved in investing and developing “passive” streams of income to free them from economic dependency—another aspect of the Black Holocaust. The brothers also said Black people should trade in international markets just as banks do using what the average person deposits.The Black African Holocaust conference plans to convene sessions in several cities to build on solutions and ideas coming out of the weekend conference.

A tribute dinner honoring socially conscious comedians Paul Mooney and Dick Gregory and Elizabeth Omilami, the daughter of longtime civil rights activist Hosea Williams, who leads a program that feeds thousands of homeless people each week in Atlanta, was also held.



(CNN) -- It's a bit like train-spotting but rather more serious. On October 10, Korea-watchers pored over live televised coverage of a massive military parade in Pyongyang, held to mark the 65th anniversary of North Korea's ruling party. Just like the Soviet parades of yore, it was a chance to see what military hardware the North might be showing off.

The official news agency said the parade showed "the will and might of Songun Korea to wipe out the enemy." The hardware was accompanied by slogans such as "Defeat the U.S. Military. U.S. soldiers are the Korean People's Army's enemy." And besides the incredible synchronized goose-stepping, there were tanks and new missiles.

Analysts paid special attention to the first public appearance of a road-mobile ballistic missile with a projected range of between 3,000 and 4,000 kilometers (roughly 1,900 to 2,400 miles), though reports of its existence had circulated for several years. There was also a new version of the No-dong ballistic missile, with a tri-conic nosecone, on show. That led Aviation Weekly and others to observe design similarities to Iran's Shahab missiles, suggesting further military cooperation between the two governments.

North Korea's nuclear capability and ballistic missile technology are its trump card, to make up for its aging conventional forces and as a bargaining chip in negotiations. So that's what receives the bulk of funding and expertise. But despite economic stagnation, technological limitations and international sanctions, its conventional forces can't be discounted, if only because of their size.

According to South Korean analysts, the North scraped together what little foreign exchange it had to buy $65 million of weapons from China, Russia and eastern Europe between 2002 and 2008. One example: It appears to have bought Chinese-made ZM-87 anti-personnel lasers, using one to "illuminate" two U.S. Army Apache helicopters flying along the southern side of the Demilitarized Zone in 2003. None of the crew members was injured.China says it continues to be open to military collaboration with Pyongyang and last month welcomed a senior North Korean official to Beijing to "enhance coordination of the two militaries." China is thought to have supplied the North with multiple rocket launchers and spare parts for planes, among other equipment. Pyongyang has also turned to Iran and Egypt for military transfers.

Much of the North's hardware is locally built using Chinese and Russian templates. It has begun deploying a new tank, called the P'okpoong (Storm), which is modeled on the Russian T-62 tank but hardly a match for modern U.S. battle tanks. It's not clear how many of these are in service, but Jane's Armed Forces Editor Alexander von Rosenbach says it is thought that only a few have been delivered -- and they lack devices like thermal imaging sights.

Also on show at the October parade: a new surface-to-air missile similar to a Chinese model. Jane's concluded that it represented "a major expansion in North Korea's air defense potential," with a radar/guidance system that would be harder to jam. And although little is known about the size and scope of the North's artillery, the barrage fired this week at Yeonpyeong Island suggests that it can't be ignored.

The North Korean regime has also devoted great resources to developing its navy, not with battleships but fast-attack vessels and an array of submarines. Jane's estimates that it has more than 400 surface vessels. And it is not hesitant to use its maritime forces, as demonstrated by the sinking of the 1,200-ton South Korean corvette Cheonan by a torpedo in March. But in a confrontation, the South Korean navy is likely to come off best, as happened in a firefight in 1999.

The main weakness of the North's military is a chronic shortage of computers, modern command and control and electronic warfare assets -- in other words, much of what makes up the 21st-century battlefield. At the same time, South Korea has used its economic strength to modernize its armed forces: for example, building three $1 billion Aegis-class destroyers to counter ballistic missiles.

The same applies in the air. North Korea's air force largely comprises aging Soviet MiG fighters (though it has some MiG 29s) that would be unable to compete with South Korean F-15 jets or the F-16 fighters of the U.S. 7th Air Force, based in South Korea. In addition, the North's air force has suffered fuel shortages, and Jane's estimated that the North's fighter pilots may get as little as 25 flying hours per year. The North Koreans also have a large fleet of Russian-design biplanes that would be better suited to crop-spraying but could be used to drop special forces behind enemy lines in the event of conflict.

To compensate for obsolescence, the North deploys boots on the ground in great numbers. Jane's estimates that its standing army numbers just over 1 million personnel, with reserves estimated at more than 7 million. But North Korean soldiers are poorly fed, according to analysts and reports from defectors, and rarely train due to scarcity of fuel and ammunition

Despite the size of its armed forces, few analysts expect that the regime in the North would want to launch a general assault on the South, knowing that it would probably be repulsed and that in turn would imperil the regime. It might also ignite dissent.

"With the ongoing leadership transition in North Korea, there have been rumors of discontent within the military, and the current actions may reflect miscommunications or worse within the North's command-and-control structure," geopolitical risk analysis firm Stratfor says.

There is another practical reason why a land invasion would be difficult. South Korea has built an array of obstructions on roads from the North that would force an invader's tanks off the pavement and into rice fields. Only in the winter would those fields be hard enough to allow the tanks to cross them.

Short of a general assault, the North clearly has enough in its arsenal to cause damage and death to its adversary, as the torpedo attack in March and the barrage this week have shown. And it has thousands of artillery pieces close to the Demilitarized Zone, which is just 30 kilometers (18 miles) from Seoul. Recent events show that it is also quite ready to exploit the element of surprise.

There remains the great unanswered question about intentions. There's plenty of what one expert calls "echo chamber analysis." But as former President Carter wrote with a hint of understatement in the Washington Post on Wednesday: "No one can completely understand the motivations of the North Koreans."



Following are excerpts from a Nov. 13 talk at the Workers World Party national conference given by Monica Moorehead, member of the WW Secretariat, a WW managing editor and editor of “Marxism, Reparations and the Black Freedom Struggle.”

This unprecedented global capitalist economic crisis is devastating the lives of workers not only in the poorer, developing countries but also in the rich, capitalist countries including the U.S. Almost daily some study is released on how workers are being impacted by unemployment, underemployment, home foreclosures, debt, lack of education and health care, attacks on pensions. The list goes on and on.

Just reading all these statistics can easily be a downer and a source of tremendous demoralization and desperation, especially for the masses who right now see no way out of this morass. But for the movement it should have an opposite effect because as Marxists, our duty and responsibility is not just to interpret and analyze the world’s problems but to change them. Revolutionaries must be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

The experts never view these deteriorating conditions within the general framework of the decadent, archaic nature of the capitalist system, which is driven insanely to make profits at the expense of providing human needs.

The workers, as exploited wage slaves, continue to be a tremendous source of profits for the corporate bosses. This exploitation has laid the basis for globalized solidarity as the growing poverty in the capitalist countries is moving quickly in the same direction as the poverty in the oppressed countries.
Read entire story at workersworld...............


Kanye’s Latest to Debut #1, Nicki Minaj #2, as Black Friday Looms

November 24, 2010

Kanye West’s Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy just got a lot brighter.

The Roc-A-Fella/IDJ renaissance hip-hop icon and awards show provocateur lives up to his own lofty ambitions with a chart-topping debut for his latest rap opus, on target for between 525-600k, surpassing all pre-release forecasts. That tops the total registered by 808s and Heartbreak, which bowed on almost the same week last year with 450k.

Those figures are based on those intrepid music retailers not being full body-scanned at our nation’s airports by the frisky TSA.

Cash Money/Universal Motown’s red-hot Nicki Minaj also bested pre-release predictions, with a total in the 375-450k range for her hotly anticipated debut, Pink Friday, though the upcoming Black Friday could render these estimates a little less accurate than usual.
















Here we go again...............Apparently even Death doesn't take any time off. After the succes of the fourth Final Destination film in 3D, the fifth one will be shot that way, too. We've got photos and a synopsis after the jump.

Final Destination 5 stars Emma Bell (The Walking Dead), David Koechner (Snakes on a Plane), Nicholas D'Agosto (Psycho Beach Party, Heroes), Miles Fisher (Superhero Movie) and Tony Todd (Candyman). Steven Quale makes his directorial debut after shooting second unit on films like The Haunted Mansion and Avatar.

Death makes a killing in the next installment in the horror series which once again proves that no matter where you run, no matter where you hide...you can't cheat death.




The bit-player Ugly Betty actor who allegedly killed his mother with a samurai sword in Brooklyn on Tuesday was in the throes of a religious frenzy and shouting at his mother to repent for being a sinner, according to multiple reports.

Michael Brea, 31, who has been charged with murder, howled, "Sinner! Sinner! You never accepted Jesus!" at his mother Yannick before killing her, neighbors and police told New York's Daily News.

He screamed at her to repent and later told psychiatrists at Bellevue Hospital that he had seen the devil in her, according to the New York Post.

Alerted to the commotion by neighbors, police broke down the apartment door at around 2 a.m., tasered Brea and arrested him, and later charged him with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

Brea's uncle, Serge Marcel, told the New York Times that his actor nephew was "a very nice kid, a gentle kid."


(CNN) -- French firefighters have freed an elderly woman who was locked in her bathroom for nearly three weeks.

Police said the 69-year-old woman had been stuck in her windowless bathroom in the town of Epinay-sous-Senart for 20 days.

She became trapped in the bathroom when a doorknob fell off while she was inside, police said. She repeatedly banged on her door and cried for help, but the neighbors apparently thought workmen were the source of the noise.

French media reported that the woman survived her ordeal by drinking warm water from the bathroom tap.

Neighbors grew concerned and alerted authorities after going several weeks without seeing the woman.


Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) -- A federal judge pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of drug possession and another charge, admitting he had paid a stripper to buy drugs for the two to use together.

Senior U.S. District Court Judge Jack Camp Jr. admitted to giving money to a woman to buy drugs, according to prosecutors.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of drug possession, federal prosecutors said. He also pleaded guilty to one count of conversion of government property for giving the woman a government-issued laptop.

As part of a plea deal, Camp did not plead guilty to a firearms possession charge included in the initial federal complaint.

The plea came shortly after Camp, 67, retired from the judiciary.

Federal prosecutors accused Camp of giving Sherry Ann Ramos, 26, money to buy drugs including cocaine, marijuana and roxicodone, which the two then frequently used together.

FBI agents arrested Camp on October 1 after he tried to buy drugs from an undercover officer.

Camp's attorneys issued a statement saying the judge took responsibility for his actions and would spend the next several months trying to understand the "uncharacteristic nature of his actions."

He will be sentenced March 4.



(CNN) -- A Catholic priest, facing criminal charges and a lawsuit alleging that he sexually abused a teenage boy, is now charged with attempting to hire someone to kill the youth, authorities said Tuesday.

The Rev. John M. Fiala was in the Dallas County, Texas, jail on Tuesday, charged with one count of criminal solicitation to commit capital murder, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety and the jail's website. He also is charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. His bail totals $700,000.

Fiala, 52, of Dallas, was out on bond on other sexual assault charges involving the youth, now 18, when he allegedly attempted to negotiate the boy's murder, said Tom Rhodes, the teen's attorney.

He was arrested last week after he offered an undercover agent with the Texas Department of Public Safety $5,000 to kill the teen, according to department spokeswoman Lisa Block.

This guy," Edwards County Sheriff Don Letsinger said, "is an evil man."

A call to Rex Gunter, the defense attorney listed in jail records for Fiala, was not immediately returned Tuesday.

The youth met Fiala in 2007, according to Rhodes. The attorney said the priest started "grooming him," buying him gifts including a computer and a car. In early 2008, when the boy was 16, under the guise of providing private catechism lessons, Fiala "gained access to him and began to sexually abuse him once or twice a month, including on church grounds," Rhodes said.

At the time, Fiala was administrator of Sacred Heart of Mary in Rocksprings, Texas, which is in Edwards County. The alleged abuse occurred in two counties -- Edwards and Howard -- and included the youth's rape at gunpoint, the attorney said.

Fiala allegedly threatened to kill the youth if he told anyone -- threats he repeated in daily text messages, Rhodes said, and Fiala also threatened to kill himself, telling the teen they would "go to heaven together."

The teen, after struggling with the abuse, told a school counselor, who notified authorities, Rhodes said. He filed suit in April against Fiala, as well as the archdioceses of San Antonio, Texas, and Omaha, Nebraska -- where Fiala was before Texas -- and Fiala's religious order, the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, the attorney said.

The suit claims that all three covered up Fiala's record of abuse. All three have denied doing so, according to the San Antonio, Texas, Express-News. When former San Antonio Archbishop Jose Gomez and the religious order learned of the police investigation into Fiala's relationship with the teen, he was removed from active ministry in October 2008, the newspaper reported.

In September, an Edwards County grand jury indicted Fiala on three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of aggravated sexual assault by threat, according to the Express-News. Fiala was arrested in Kansas by a fugitive task force and was extradited to Texas, where he posted bail on September 27, according to the newspaper. He then moved to Dallas County.

A grand jury in Howard County handed up an indictment last week on the two aggravated sexual assault charges, the Express-News said.

Meanwhile, "approximately a week ago, we got an anonymous phone call from someone saying, 'Look, I'm living in a building with this guy, and he's talking about killing this young man,' " Rhodes said. "Our response was, 'You need to call police.' "

Letsinger said he got a call November 11 from the neighbor. The man at first just told authorities they should "be looking at this guy," the sheriff said, but later said Fiala had offered him $5,000 to kill the teenager. The allegation surprised him, Letsinger said.

The Department of Public Safety and its Texas Ranger Division got involved, sending the undercover agent to speak with Fiala, Rhodes said. The conversation was caught on video and audiotape.

Rhodes said his client was relieved to hear of Fiala's arrest. He was attending college but had to withdraw and be spirited away somewhere safe because of the threats, he said.

"He's still very afraid, but he is hoping that this time Fiala will stay behind bars," Rhodes said.

A hearing on the lawsuit was held Monday, he said. The Omaha diocese had argued it should be sued in Nebraska rather than Texas. The judge rejected that argument, Rhodes said.

"I think he's cooked his goose now," Letsinger said of Fiala. "We know that pedophiles sometimes threaten their victims to keep them quiet. But this is kind of an older victim, and you wonder sometimes why they wouldn't come forward. ... I can see now the evil in this guy is pretty bad."





The initial Beatles sales figures are in: More than 450,000 albums and 2 million individual songs were sold on iTunes worldwide, according to Apple, since the Beatles catalog was made available Tuesday (Nov. 16). In U.S. the best-selling album was "Abbey Road" and best-selling song was "Here Comes the Sun."

Of that tally, U.S. album sales totaled 119,000 units, which included 13,000 digital box sets, while individual digital track sales reached 1.4 million, according to industry sources. Each digital box set included 13 studio albums, the two-volume "Past Masters" compilation and the "Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964" concert film. Sources say the U.S. album sales tally of 119,000 counts each box set as one unit, while Apple's worldwide album sales tally counts each box set as multiple sales units, although it wasn't immediately clear how many units each box set accounted for.

The Fab Four's debut-week sales on iTunes compare favorably with the first-week sales of previous iTunes holdouts. When Led Zeppelin's catalog made its digital debut in November 2007, the band generated total U.S. digital album sales of 47,000 units, which included sales of 33,000 units of the two-volume hits compilation "Mothership," which was released the same week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Led Zeppelin's first-week individual track sales totaled 300,000, according to SoundScan.

But these numbers also show that digital music consumers aren't necessarily holding their breath to pounce on buying music when holdouts finally join the fray. Led Zeppelin's entire catalog may have generated digital track sales of 300,000, but Eminem's digital track "Not Afraid" alone sold 379,000 units in the its debut week ended May 9, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

First-week digital track sales for superstar acts this year typically ranged from 100,000 to 300,000 per title, while digital album sales ranged anywhere from 40,000 to 278,000 for Taylor Swift's blockbuster third album "Speak Now."

The Beatles' debut on iTunes was accompanied by an extensive marketing campaign, including prominent homepage placement on iTunes and TV spots that aired during Sunday's American Music Awards broadcast on ABC, Sunday Night Football on NBC and other prime-time programming......... (BILLBOARD)


This year our Nation has seen an increase in child bullying and deaths related related to child bullying and child physical abuse away from home. So I pose the very revelant question, should those that standby and instigate and agitate a situation be charged along with the guilty parties. I've been blessed to work in and around law enforcement for many, many years and I have seen many cases of children especially teens doing dispicable and down right senseless and ignorant crimes mostly from peer pressure. In no way shape or form am I giving the guilty parties an automactic cop out because they all should be sentenced to the full extent of the law and then some but in addition to them, the ones that help bring about another person's demise or life altering injury mentally and physically should be charged as well. I'm going on record saying that instigators and agitators should be charged and if found guilty should pay a price not the heavy price of the guilty parties but a stiff enough price to send a message to all the instigators and agitators that hype up situations for no reason. I have no sympathy for bullies period, especially when it's so over the top that innocent people get killed or take their own lives. Many of this years suicides are bullying related physically and mentally. These social sites have become the new battle ground for alot of bullying. Cyberspace bullying across Facebook, Myspace, and these other social networks that teens and even some adults are addicted to. So I pose the question again, should instigators and agitators be charged too????? Too many senseless murders and deaths in general has happened as aresult of bullying and teen violence as a whole. We as parents and concerned citizens have to stand up and crush it wherever we see it because it can come back around to haunt us all in many ways. We all have family, most of us in general and it can be a child, a nephew,or niece, a family associate or anyone else we love or care about that ends up a victim of this horrible crime. We all have to identify the little signs because children oftimes dont report it until after the fact and thats serious very serious. We have to unfify and fight to help stop this bullying and senseless deaths. PEACE (THA CHILL ONE)


A variety of rap stars paid their respects to The Universal Zulu Nation during the celebration of the organization's 37th anniversary last weekend in Harlem, New York.

Legendary rap luminaries like Big Daddy Kane, Ice-T, The Cold Crush Brothers, Jesse West, Kool Herc and The Rock Steady Crew came out to support the event, which was promoted by an organized by Mick Bentson's Pay Up Entertainment.

Multiple pioneers of the genre of hip-hop music mingled freely with the crowd during the event, which featured performances by Jessie West, Son of Bezerk, The Cold Crush Brothers, Big Daddy Kane and hard-core metal band, Half Lip.

The highlight of the celebration came when hip-hop's founding fathers, Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa, took the stage together to give fans a stirring message about hip-hop unity and the genres influenced across the globe.




The events of Plymouth in autumn 1621 relates to the first thanksgiving, there are 2 primary sources for them. However, research conducted by Center for World Thanksgiving at Thanks-Giving Square throws a good deal of light on the subject. Given below are the citations from the two original writings followed by an analysis of the roots of Thanksgiving. Enjoy the history of Thanksgiving and forward it to your friends.
Winslow, Mourt's Relation :

"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which we brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty." William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation :

"They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their house and dwelling against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck of meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned by true reports."

The story of Thanksgiving is basically the story of the Pilgrims and their thankful community feast at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The Pilgrims, who set sail from Plymouth, England on a ship called the Mayflower on September 6, 1620, were bound for the resourceful 'New World'. The Mayflower was a small ship crowded with men, women and children, besides the sailors on board. Aboard were passengers comprising the 'separatists', who called themselves the "Saints", and others, whom the separatists called the "Strangers".

After land was sighted in November following 66 days of a lethal voyage, a meeting was held and an agreement of truce was worked out. It was called the Mayflower Compact. The agreement guaranteed equality among the members of the two groups. They merged together to be recognized as the "Pilgrims." They elected John Carver as their first governor. Although Pilgrims had first sighted the land off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, they did not settle until they arrived at a place called Plymouth. It was Captain John Smith who named the place after the English port-city in 1614 and had already settled there for over five years. And it was there that the Pilgrims finally decided to settle. Plymouth offered an excellent harbor and plenty of resources. The local Indians were also non-hostile.

But their happiness was short-lived. Ill-equipped to face the winter on this estranged place they were ravaged thoroughly.
Somehow they were saved by a group of local Native Americans who befriended them and helped them with food. Soon the natives taught the settlers the technique to cultivate corns and grow native vegetables, and store them for hard days. By the next winter they had raised enough crops to keep them alive. The winter came and passed by without much harm. The settlers knew they had beaten the odds and it was time to celebrate.

They celebrated it with a grand community feast wherein the friendly native Americans were also invited. It was kind of a harvest feast, the Pilgrims used to have in England. The recipes entail "corn" (wheat, by the Pilgrims usage of the word), Indian corn, barley, pumpkins and peas, "fowl" (specially "waterfowl"), deer, fish. And yes, of course the yummy wild turkey.

However, the third year was real bad when the corns got damaged. Pilgrim Governor William Bradford ordered a day of fasting and prayer, and rain happened to follow soon. To celebrate - November 29th of that year was proclaimed a day of thanksgiving. This date is believed to be the real beginning of the present Thanksgiving Day.

Though the Thanksgiving Day is presently celebrated on the fourth Thursday of every November. This date was set by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939 (approved by Congress in 1941). Earlier it was the last Thursday in November as was designated by the former President Abraham Lincoln. But sometimes the last Thursday would turn out to be the fifth Thursday of the month. This falls too close to the Christmas, leaving the businesses even less than a month's time to cope up with the two big festivals. Hence the change.

"The turkey is a much more respectable Bird and withal a true original Native of North America". Remarked Benjamin Franklin, the scientist cum statesman, who was in favor of making Turkey the national Bird, instead of Bald Eagle.

The wild turkey is native to northern Mexico and the eastern United States. Later it was domesticated in Mexico, and was brought into Europe early in the 16th century.

Since that time, turkeys have been extensively raised because of the excellent quality of their meat and eggs.

Some of the common breeds of turkey in the United States are the Bronze, Narragansett, White Holland, and Bourbon Red.
Though there is no real evidence that turkey was served at the Pilgrim's first thanksgiving, but through ages it became an indispensable part of the Thanksgiving tradition. The tradition of turkey is rooted in the 'History Of Plymouth Plantation', written by William Bradford some 22 years after the actual celebration.

In his letter sent to England Edward Winslow, another Pilgrim, describes how the governor sent "four men out fowling" and they returned with turkeys, ducks and geese.

Unfortunately the Bradford document was lost after being taken away by the British during the War of Independence. Later it was rediscovered in 1854. And since then turkey turned out to be a popular symbol of the Thanksgiving Day. And today of all the the Thanksgiving symbols it has become the most well known.
The turkey has brown features with buff-colored feathers on the tips of the wing and on the tail. The male turkey is called a 'tom'. It is bigger and brighter with more colorful plumage. Also it has a long wattle (a fleshy, wrinkled, brightly colored fold of skin hanging from the neck or throat) at the base of its bill and additional wattles on the neck, as well as a prominent tuft of bristles resembling a beard projecting downward from its chest. The female is called a 'hen' and is generally smaller and drab in color.



This is so sad. A toddler suffered fatal injuries last night after a tragic tumble from a luxury suite at the Staples Center shortly after the Lakers defeated the Golden State Warriors 117-89.

The parents of a 2-year-old who died after plunging 50 feet from a Staples Center luxury suite had lost sight of their son and were searching for him when they learned he had fallen, said sources familiar with the investigation.

The boy, Lucas Anthony Tang, had been crawling around the suite during the Lakers’ game against the Golden State Warriors, sources said. At some point, his parents noticed he was missing and began to look for him.

They did not know then that their son, who would have turned 3 in January, had fallen. Witnesses at the game told The Times that the boy was moving his arms, legs and head before paramedics took him out on a stretcher.

A spokesman for AEG, the company that manages Staples Center, said he had no comment at this time.

The death is being investigated by the LAPD’s abused-child unit, a standard practice that officials said does not necessarily mean a crime has been committed.

We’re still trying to understand how this happened. Those suites are blocked in by a low wall of glass that should have been high enough to prevent a toddler from climbing over. Something doesn’t seem right about this.

Better preventative measures should have been in place, it shouldn’t take something like this happening for them to build an effective barrier.

A police investigation was under way Monday in the death of a toddler who plunged from a third-level luxury box at Staples Center after a Los Angeles Lakers basketball game.

The fall occurred Sunday as 2-year-old Lucas Anthony Tang was taking pictures with his family in a skybox with a glass safety barrier that varies in height but is at least several feet high, police Officer Julie Sohn said.

"Somehow the child went over the edge of the section and fell to the seating below," Sohn said.

Fire officials said boy fell 25 to 50 feet.

The case was being handled by the Police Department juvenile division, which investigates deaths of young children and other crimes involving juveniles.

"It's procedural," Sohn said of the probe involving Tang, declining to elaborate or discuss possible causes of the fall.

The Garden Grove boy suffered severe head trauma, Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott said. However, an official cause of death had not yet been determined. Witnesses said the boy was moving his arms, legs and head when paramedics put him in an ambulance, said Michael Roth, vice president of communications for Staples Center and owner AEG. The child later died at a hospital.

"Our condolences and prayers go to the Tang family. We are working with the Los Angeles Police Department on the investigation of this tragedy," Roth added in a short prepared statement.

Tang fell several minutes after the Lakers beat the Golden State Warriors. There was no immediate word on whether the death would affect the Staples schedule, which included a Monday night game between the Los Angeles Clippers and New Orleans Hornets.