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My daughter was studying the Rift Valley in her sixth grade geography class last week; as coincidence would have it, I came across this picture of the valley the day after she mentioned it . Go figure.
Thanks to


Daily Bloggerback
Best of Blogs Round-Up: Monday, April 3, 2006

Quote of the day: "I think guys tend to throw caution to the wind when they're horny, and then, when they’ve lightened their balls, their secondary, cranial brain resumes control, and they realise that they’ve been fucking you in the linen closet, or up a ladder, or in an incredibly uncomfortable position on the couch in front of an investigative report on Indonesian prostitution while you're eating chocolate soy ice cream.”Pillowbook


Featured Blog, I: Mirages
Flatlines and Arab Summits

BEIRUT—The Arab Summit, that's an oxymoron if I ever heard one. Arab and summit should never be used in the same sentence. Summit of what?
Let's tour the region, shall we?

Sudan hosted this event, unfortunately out of billions of rocks floating in space, not a single one happened to cross paths with Khartoum yesterday. How many families died in Darfur today?

Egypt is a democratic ally of the U.S. so everything is rosy as can be there.

Libya. I sent a Telex to inquire about Libya, I should get something back before the end of Qaddafi's term.

Algeria has known wacko "religious" killers long before Bin Laden's niece posed nude in Rolling Stone. They still are very well acquainted with them.

Tunisia has made the World Cup again. They are doing better than their neighbors, so we'll overlook their dictatorship.

On to Morocco, have you heard of the Sahrawis? Shhhh, they don't exist.

Mauritania, Ok, I'm not gonna pretend I know anything about it, but I have a hunch Mauritania is not what pushes the arab world over the top.

Yemen. Yeah right!

Kuwait. Again in much better shape than it's neighbors, so we'll skip it. Dear Kuwaiti government, if you want to $upport free $peech please hit the contact me link in my profile. Thank you.

UAE. Enjoy your wild college years because you're going to be paying for them for the rest of your life.

Saudi Arabia. Dr. Vic in 3 .... 2 .... 1 ....

Gaza Stripped. Freedom reigns. What more can you ask for?

Jordan has learned a few mukhabarati tricks from its northern neighbor, racist tricks from its western neighbor, and some wacko religious tricks from its southeastern neighbor. Trick or treat.

Syria went from a strong criminal dictator to a nincompoop criminal dictator, definitely not heading in the right direction.

Lebanon. Did you see our prez and prime minister go at it in Khartoum? We'll dub this round: Who da Man in Sudan.

Iraq. Ahhh, the only bright spot in the Arab world.


Featured Blog, II: Duke Bog
White Guys Gone Wilding?

Update:Tiffany at has an excellent post to elaborate of how the slang of the late 80s ended up leading to the media and police incorrectly coining the concept of wilding.

The Duke Lacrosse team rape case has really touched a nerve with me, and one of the things that bothers me most is the discrepancies between how White men’s crimes and black men’s crimes are covered in the popular media. Since it is no longer politically correct to use blatant racist language or explicitly racial terms in these cases, we have to look beyond the surface. Black men who are accused of committing crimes against Whites, especially White women, are not directly labeled “scary Black men” but everything about the way the story is told promotes the “scary out of control Black man persona.” One of the most troubling ways this is done is by the use of special terms coined in honor of Black men’s crimes or criminal involvement.

The most famous example of this is the term “wilding.” The term wilding was used to describe the attack of a White woman in Central Park in the late 1980s. Scared Whites suddenly worried that groups of young Black and Latino men would descend on innocent White women and attack them, like that has supposedly done to this woman. The term was almost exclusively used for young Black and Brown men, and as such has became synonymous with them. What is even more striking it that through DNA evidence and a confession by an imprisoned man, we later found out that this group of young men didn’t attack the Central Park jogger and in 2002 their sentences were vacated (DNA evidence confirmed that it was a lone attacker, who was a Latino man.). Why not use the term wilding to talk about what the rape survivor said happened at Duke. One of the regular commenters on my blog, Anthony, reminded me of this term, when he argued that the attack at Duke was an example of wilding. I wondered if popular media outlets will use the term wilding, or will they come up with some special code word that referred to groups of young White men who attack women (especially Black women). Probably not. When White men behave badly it is usually framed as a problem with the individual White man or the small group of White men involved, but it is almost never a collective statement about the problems with White guys in America.

Another example of this is the whole “Stop Snitching” phenomenon, which has been labeled as a huge threat to the criminal justice system. The term “Stop Snitching” has been connected with an underground video out of Baltimore. “Stop Snitchin’” has also been advertised on T-shirts that have become very popular mostly among young urban Black and Brown kids. If you watched shows like America’s Most Wanted or the nightly news, you would think the “Stop Snitchin” phenomenon is new and young Black men created it. However, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the idea of not snitchin’ has been around for a long time, way before Hip Hop and way before the T-shirts. In fact, I was watching the Abrams Report, since he has been covering the Duke case, and he kept alluding to the editorial that he was going to do at the end of the show. The editorial was about “Stop Snitchin.” My initial reaction was good somebody finally gets it. These Duke boys are living by the “Stop Snitchin” code of ethics. It’s not just poor Black and Brown people and Hip Hop artists. Well much to my chagrin Abrams didn’t even connect the Duke case to this phenomenon even though it was so blatantly obvious—the Duke lacrosse players need to start snitchin. Read the rest at Alas...


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