September 2008


New track use ol’ school video. Well not use because they edit they hell out that joint to match some of the lyrics. dope.

While heads was screaming Ramon!!!! Melly Mel slide this crucial 2nd verse in the rap, which got to be the sickest lyrics then and damn near the times now in the land of the free!!!!

A newspaper burns in the sand, and the headlines say ‘Man destroys Man!’
Extra! Extra! Read all the bad news on the war for peace that everybody would lose
The rise and fall, the last great empire, the sound of the whole world caught on fire
The ruthless struggle, the desperate gamble
The game that left the whole world in shambles
The cheats, the lies, the alibis
And the foolish attempt to conquer the skies
Lost in space, and what is it worth, huh?
The president just forgot about Earth
Spending multi billions, and maybe even trillions
The cost of weapons ran into zillions
There’s gold in the street, and diamonds under feet
And the children in Africa don’t even eat
Flies on their faces, they’re living like mice
And the houses even make the ghetto look nice, Huh!
The water tastes funny, it’s forever too sunny
And they work all month and don’t make no money
A fight for power, a nuclear shower
And people shout out in the darkest hour
Of sights unseen and voices unheard
And finally the bomb gets the last word
Christians killed Muslims, and Germans killed Jews
And everybody’s bodies are used and abused, Huh!
Minds are poisoned and souls are polluted
Superiority complex is deep rooted
Leeches and lice’s, and people got prices
Egomaniacs control the self-righteous
Nothing is sacred and nothing is pure
So the revelation of death is our cure
Hitler and Caesar, Custer and Reagan
Napoleon, Castro, Mussolini and Begin
Ghengis Khan and the Shah of Iran
Mixed with the blood of the weaker man
The peoples in terror, the leaders made the error
And now they can’t even look in the mirror
‘Cause we gotta suffer while things get rougher
And that’s the reason why we got to get tougher
To learn from the past and work for the future
And don’t be a slave to no computer
‘Cause the Children of Man inherits the land
And the future of the world is in your hands
So just throw your hands in the air
And wave ‘em like you just don’t care
And if you believe that you’re the future
Scream it out and say ‘Oh yeah!’ (‘Oh yeah!’)
‘Oh yeah!’ (‘Oh yeah!’)
Raah!

Congressional leaders have put the finishing touches on legislation aimed at rescuing the troubled financial markets.

The Associated Press reported Sunday that lawmakers had released final legislation that would give the Treasury Department the authority to use $700 billion to acquire toxic mortgage-related securities.

The House of Representatives on Monday morning voted 220 to 198 to move the bill forward, the AP reported. A final vote is expected by midday. The Senate is expected to follow later in the week, the AP said.

The legislation will bring the biggest government intervention in the nation’s financial markets since the Great Depression, the report noted.

President Bush said he was confident lawmakers would approve the legislation, according to the report. “Without this rescue plan, the costs to the American economy could be disastrous,” Bush said in a written statement quoted by the AP.

Earlier, in the wee hours of Sunday morning, congressional leaders had reportedly announced they had reached a tentative agreement on a rescue plan but needed to finalize the legislation.

The Treasury and the Federal Reserve had been pressing Congress for more than a week to grant Treasury the authority to relieve banks of soured assets. The plan is aimed at stabilizing the credit markets, which have essentially frozen in recent days, and preventing the financial crisis from claiming more banks and further damaging the broader economy.

Although Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke had asked Congress to quickly approve their request, it became bogged down on Capitol Hill as lawmakers — at times prodded by angry constituents — insisted upon more control over the Treasury’s spending authority and provisions to protect taxpayers and struggling homeowners.

Talks on the bailout plan broke down late Thursday, partly because of opposition from House Republicans, who had tried to craft an alternative plan that would let banks buy insurance on mortgage-related debt they hold.

Bernanke, in a statement issued Monday morning, praised Congress and the Bush administration for working out an agreement.

“This legislation should help to restore the flow of credit to households and businesses that is essential for economic growth and job creation, while at the same time affording strong and necessary protections for taxpayers,” the Fed chairman said.

Bernanke also said the central bank supported “timely actions” taken by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to support “financial and economic stability,” a reference to the FDIC’s brokering of a deal of Wachovia’s (WB Quote – Cramer on WB – Stock Picks) banking operations to Citigroup (C Quote – Cramer on C – Stock Picks).

The finalized bailout plan reflects lawmakers’ insistence on some control over Treasury’s spending. The administration would get $250 billion immediately, followed by another $100 billion if the president certified it was required, according to the AP report. The final $350 billion would require a separate certification and be subject to a congressional resolution of disapproval, the report added. The president could veto this resolution, however.

Negotiations made a breakthrough when Democrats agreed to incorporate a Republican demand to have the government insure some debt instead of buying it, the report said.

The plan would prevent participating companies from giving “golden parachutes” to their executives and aims to limit pay packages, the AP report said. Firms that get $300 million or more of help from the program would have to pay heavy taxes on executive compensation of more than $500,000 a year, the report added.

Taxpayers would also get the opportunity to share in the future profits of companies that participate, because the government would receive stock warrants in return for the help, according to the report.

In an effort to help homeowners facing foreclosure, the plan also would require the government to try to rework bad mortgages it acquires so as to lower borrowers’ monthly payments, the report added.

The current crisis, which has its roots in the risky mortgages that were liberally issued earlier this decade and the housing boom that they fueled, has shaken the financial system to its foundations. It has claimed storied investment banks Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. This week it forced the government to shut down Washington Mutual(WM Quote – Cramer on WM – Stock Picks) and sell its deposits and assets to JPMorgan Chase (JPM Quote – Cramer on JPM – Stock Picks). Also this week, former investment banks Goldman Sachs (GS Quote – Cramer on GS – Stock Picks) and Morgan Stanley (MS Quote – Cramer on MS – Stock Picks) asked to be made into traditional bank holding companies in order to stave off a market attack on their shares.

The success of the rescue of the U.S. financial system probably depends as much on the central banks of China and the Middle East as on Congress and the Federal Reserve, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The U.S. is turning to foreign governments and other overseas investors to buy a good chunk of the $700 billion in Treasury debt expected to finance the bailout. Foreign investors also are needed to shore up the depleted capital of the nation’s financial institutions, the Journal reports.


If Drivers Can Fill Up, They Get Sticker Shock

By Steven Mufson
Washington Post Staff Writer

Gasoline shortages hit towns across the southeastern United States this week, sparking panic buying, long lines and high prices at stations from the small towns of northeast Alabama to Charlotte in the wake of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

In Atlanta, half of the gasoline stations were closed, according to AAA, which said the supply disruptions had taken place along two major petroleum product pipelines that have operated well below capacity since the hurricanes knocked offshore oil production and several refineries out of service along the Gulf of Mexico.

Drivers in Charlotte reported lines with as many as 60 cars waiting to fill up late Wednesday night, and a community college in Asheville, N.C., where most of the 25,000 students commute, canceled classes and closed down Wednesday afternoon for the rest of the week. Shortages also hit Nashville, Knoxville and Spartanburg, S.C., AAA said.

Terrance Bragg, a chef in Charlotte, made it to work only because his grandfather drove from a town an hour away with a 5-gallon plastic container of fuel for him. Three of his co-workers called and said they couldn’t make it.

“I drove past nine or ten gasoline stations that were out of gas,” Bragg said. “I had my GPS up looking for any gas in the area, from the mom-and-pop places to the corporate gas stations. Nothing. They were all taped off.”

Liz Clasen-Kelly, associate director of a homeless assistance center in Charlotte, took the bus to work yesterday. On Wednesday night, she and her husband checked five stations that had no gas, passed a long line backed up onto the interstate highway and chose not to wait at an open gas station with 50 to 60 cars still lined up after 11 p.m.

“If we had waited in that line, our car wouldn’t have made it,” she said, adding that the gauge was pointing to empty. The bus yesterday took her 45 minutes longer than usual. “It makes you realize how addicted you are to convenience,” she said.

In Atlanta, Jonathan Tyson, a Douglasville, Ga., resident who works for a company that does training for auto and RV franchise dealerships, ran out of fuel while waiting an hour in a line about 60 cars long to fill up his Land Rover. A man from the car behind helped push Tyson’s vehicle down the road.

“It was crazy,” Tyson said. “People were standing on side of road with gas cans saying they’d pay the person to run a [credit] card through just to get gas so they didn’t run out before they got up to the pump themselves.”

The city government, which uses 10,000 gallons a day, barred the public from two stations to make sure it could keep municipal vehicles running. On Wednesday night with his fuel gauge at empty, Al T. Nottage, a senior communications specialist in the Atlanta mayor’s office, looked for fuel at six stations, all closed, then called AAA and said he had run out of gasoline. It brought him two gallons, enough to get to work yesterday.

AAA spokesman John Townsend said that Colonial Pipeline, a leading supplier in the region, and the smaller Plantation Pipeline, which belongs to Kinder Morgan, were functioning below capacity because of lingering refinery problems along the Gulf coast. A spokesman for Colonial, whose Web site displays a news release from Sept. 10 before Hurricane Ike hit, did not return calls for comment.

The Energy Department said that as of Wednesday 63 percent, or 800,000 barrels a day, of production in the Gulf of Mexico was still shut down as were five refineries with a combined capacity of 1.2 million barrels a day. The refineries produce a half-million barrels of gasoline a day, or about 5 percent of the nation’s total supplies. Other refineries are still working at less than full capacity. Hurricane Gustav landed Sept. 1, and Ike hit Sept. 13.

“The production loss is similar to what was lost after Hurricanes Rita and Katrina,” said Anne Peebles, a Shell Oil spokeswoman. “This time the physical damage [to oil facilities] was not as great, but the down time with the storms hitting back to back is similar.” She said that “more fuel is coming” as facilities gradually ramp up again, but “we do think that production availability will normalize in the next several weeks.”

Townsend said that the Colonial pipeline normally carries 100 million gallons a day, traveling about 2,500 miles from Texas, Louisiana and Alabama to 267 marketing terminals across the East and Southeast. Although nearly 15 percent of the gas stations in Virginia were reporting outages last week, the Washington region has been able to tap into supplies from areas such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, which can more readily obtain supplies from tanker and other pipelines. Earlier supply problems in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Tallahassee also had eased, he said.

Other areas of the country were not so fortunate. An Atlanta Exxon dealer said that his station’s allocation was only 40 percent of normal.

Mike Thornburgh, a spokesperson at QuikTrip, said that half of the gasoline retailer’s 111 Atlanta area stations were open, up from a quarter last weekend. He said that QuikTrip was trying to keep stores open near commuters and schools. He said he didn’t know when things would return to normal.

“I can’t give a concrete answer because I don’t believe anybody knows,” he said.

Public officials appealed for calm as it appeared that panic buying might exacerbate supply problems if motorists try to keep more fuel than usual in their tanks. The Environmental Protection Agency suspended regulations for antipollution additives to help ease the supply situation.

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue provoked some angry comments on the Atlanta Journal Constitution Web site, which quoted him as saying that “there is ample fuel in the city” and that some of the panic was “self-induced.”

“Perdue says we got ample gas supplies,” wrote one reader. “Then why is it that every gas station in my area is out of gas. Some have been out for over 4 days.”

Prices were high in cities hurt by shortages, though not as high as they were immediately after the hurricanes. In Charlotte, price ranged from $3.84 to a high of $4.31 a gallon for regular gasoline. AAA’s Townsend said that travelers to the affected areas should “be prepared for sticker shock, Southern style.”

Staff writer Binyamin Appelbaum and special correspondent Melanie Lasoff Levs in Atlanta contributed to this article.

Now enjoy them days


Do you know the truth about food safety?
By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
WebMD Feature Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Do you know what it takes to keep you and your family from getting food poisoning? Some 82% of Americans say they’re confident they prepare food safely. Yet many do not adhere to simple guidelines for safe food handling, according to a 2008 survey by the International Food Information Council Foundation.

From salmonella to E. coli to listeria, food poisoning is on consumers’ minds after a series of high-profile outbreaks across the country. But how much do we really know about keeping food safe? WebMD consulted food safety experts to dispel common myths and offer advice on avoiding food poisoning.

Food Poisoning Myths

MYTH: Mayonnaise is often the cause of food-borne illness.

REALITY: Mayonnaise does not cause food poisoning, bacteria do. And bacteria grow best on foods that contain protein and are at temperatures between 40-140 degrees F. Commercially prepared mayonnaise is safe to use. At greater risk for developing bacteria are the foods mayonnaise is commonly mixed with for picnics and potlucks, such as pasta, potatoes, eggs, chicken, or tuna. But even these will be safe if you keep your cooler below 40 degrees F.

“Small, cut-up surfaces allow the bacteria to grow in the right environment,” says Mildred Cody, PhD, RD, head of the nutrition division at Georgia State University. “Try taking whole foods like cherry tomatoes that are easy to eat and leave the mixed salads at home unless you can store them properly.”

MYTH: Washing your hands briefly before you start preparing food is enough to keep you safe.

REALITY: Hands need to be washed often and properly, before and after touching food, and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or handling pets.

“Proper hand washing requires warm, soapy water; a clean paper towel; and 20 seconds of scrubbing between fingers, under nails, and up to your wrist,” explains Britt Burton-Freeman, PhD, MS, nutrition director for the National Center for Food Safety and Technology.

MYTH: As long as you cook eggs, they’re safe to eat.

REALITY: You can safely enjoy your eggs over easy, but not sunny-side up. “Cook the eggs by flipping once so that the egg white is completely cooked and the egg yolk is starting to gel to ensure a safe egg,” says Egg Nutrition Center nutrition director Marcia Greenblum, MS, RD.

MYTH: Using the same utensils, cutting boards, and plates for foods eaten at the same meal is safe as long as they start out clean.

REALITY: Raw meat and other foods contain bacteria that can cross-contaminate other foods if not kept separate. Use separate utensils, cutting boards, and serving plates for meats and produce, or carefully wash them between tasks. Put cooked meat on a clean platter, not the same one that held the meat before it was cooked. Make sure sponges and counters are disinfected and kept clean to avoid contaminating food.

Food Poisoning Myths continued…

“Dirty hands, dish towels, sponges, and countertops can also transfer bacteria or cross- contaminate, so be sure everything is clean before you start food preparation,” says Burton-Freeman.

MYTH: If food is kept in a cooler, it will be maintained at the proper temperature.

REALITY: “Bacteria grow in the danger zone, which is anywhere from 40-140 degrees F, and when the weather is warm and you are eating outdoors, it is a challenge to keep food at or below 40 degrees F unless you take precautions,” says food safety expert Cody. The only way to know for sure if your cooler or refrigerator is at the proper temperature is with a thermometer.

Cody advises packing raw meat in a separate cooler from other foods to avoid any potential cross-contamination from spilled juices. Pack your coolers tight with ice, store in a cool spot, and keep them closed until it is time to cook or serve the food. Keep drinks in their own cooler so you can open and shut it frequently without having to worry about lowering the temperature of the food.

MYTH: You can tell when meat is properly cooked by looking at it and pressing on it.

REALITY: Even the most talented chefs can’t tell the exact temperature just by looking and touching. “The only way to know if a food is cooked properly to kill the bacteria is with a meat thermometer,” says Cody. She warns against cooking meats partially ahead of time, then finishing them the grill on location because this promotes bacterial growth. Burgers should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

MYTH: Food can be left at room or outdoor temperature for more than two hours.

REALITY: Because bacteria grow rapidly in the “danger zone” between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F, food left at room temperature for more than two hours should be discarded. When the temperature outside is 90 degrees F or hotter, food should be discarded after just one hour.

MYTH: You can tell when food is spoiled because it looks or smells bad.

REALITY: Most of the time, you can tell if a food is spoiled — but not always. Bacteria are invisible and you can’t always tell if they are present. When in doubt, throw it out, food safety experts say.

MYTH: Misting at the grocery store adequately washes produce.

REALITY: Misting produce keeps it looking fresh, but don’t mistake that for a proper cleaning. “Wash produce using cold streaming water (no soap or bleach) and where possible, use a soft scrub brush or in the case of greens, submerge it in a water bath to properly clean and reduce residuals and potential bacteria,” says Burton-Freeman.

Produce with a thick peel, like bananas, may not need to be washed unless you are cutting into them with a knife. “Bacteria on the peel can be transferred to the interior with a knife, so melons and other thick-skinned fruits should be thoroughly washed,” she advises. Bags of prewashed produce are considered safe, but consumers are advised to carefully inspect the vegetables before eating.


By M.J. STEPHEY

A fellow at New York City’s Weill Cornell Medical Center, Dr. Sam Parnia is one of the world’s leading experts on the scientific study of death. Last week Parnia and his colleagues at the Human Consciousness Project announced their first major undertaking: a 3-year exploration of the biology behind “out-of-body” experiences. The study, known as AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation), involves the collaboration of 25 major medical centers through Europe, Canada and the U.S. and will examine some 1,500 survivors of cardiac arrest. TIME spoke with Parnia about the project’s origins, its skeptics and the difference between the mind and the brain.

What sort of methods will this project use to try and verify people’s claims of “near-death” experience?

When your heart stops beating, there is no blood getting to your brain. And so what happens is that within about 10 sec., brain activity ceases – as you would imagine. Yet paradoxically, 10% or 20% of people who are then brought back to life from that period, which may be a few minutes or over an hour, will report having consciousness. So the key thing here is, Are these real, or is it some sort of illusion? So the only way to tell is to have pictures only visible from the ceiling and nowhere else, because they claim they can see everything from the ceiling. So if we then get a series of 200 or 300 people who all were clinically dead, and yet they’re able to come back and tell us what we were doing and were able see those pictures, that confirms consciousness really was continuing even though the brain wasn’t functioning.

How does this project relate to society’s perception of death?

People commonly perceive death as being a moment – you’re either dead or you’re alive. And that’s a social definition we have. But the clinical definition we use is when the heart stops beating, the lungs stop working, and as a consequence the brain itself stops working. When doctors shine a light into someone’s pupil, it’s to demonstrate that there is no reflex present. The eye reflex is mediated by the brain stem, and that’s the area that keeps us alive; if that doesn’t work, then that means that the brain itself isn’t working. At that point, I’ll call a nurse into the room so I can certify that this patient is dead. Fifty years ago, people couldn’t survive after that.

How is technology challenging the perception that death is a moment?

Nowadays, we have technology that’s improved so that we can bring people back to life. In fact, there are drugs being developed right now – who knows if they’ll ever make it to the market – that may actually slow down the process of brain-cell injury and death. Imagine you fast-forward to 10 years down the line; and you’ve given a patient, whose heart has just stopped, this amazing drug; and actually what it does is, it slows everything down so that the things that would’ve happened over an hour, now happen over two days. As medicine progresses, we will end up with lots and lots of ethical questions.

But what is happening to the individual at that time? What’s really going on? Because there is a lack of blood flow, the cells go into a kind of a frenzy to keep themselves alive. And within about 5 min. or so they start to damage or change. After an hour or so the damage is so great that even if we restart the heart again and pump blood, the person can no longer be viable, because the cells have just been changed too much. And then the cells continue to change so that within a couple of days the body actually decomposes. So it’s not a moment; it’s a process that actually begins when the heart stops and culminates in the complete loss of the body, the decompositions of all the cells. However, ultimately what matters is, What’s going on to a person’s mind? What happens to the human mind and consciousness during death? Does that cease immediately as soon as the heart stops? Does it cease activity within the first 2 sec., the first 2 min.? Because we know that cells are continuously changing at that time. Does it stop after 10 min., after half an hour, after an hour? And at this point we don’t know.

What was your first interview like with someone who had reported an out-of-body experience?

Eye-opening and very humbling. Because what you see is that, first of all, they are completely genuine people who are not looking for any kind of fame or attention. In many cases they haven’t even told anybody else about it because they’re afraid of what people will think of them. I have about 500 or so cases of people that I’ve interviewed since I first started out more than 10 years ago. It’s the consistency of the experiences, the reality of what they were describing. I managed to speak to doctors and nurses who had been present who said these patients had told them exactly what had happened, and they couldn’t explain it. I actually documented a few of those in my book What Happens When We Die because I wanted people to get both angles – not just the patients’ side but also the doctors’ side – and see how it feels for the doctors to have a patient come back and tell them what was going on. There was a cardiologist that I spoke with who said he hasn’t told anyone else about it because he has no explanation for how this patient could have been able to describe in detail what he had said and done. He was so freaked out by it that he just decided not to think about it anymore.

Why do you think there is such resistance to studies like yours?

Because we’re pushing through the boundaries of science, working against assumptions and perceptions that have been fixed. A lot of people hold this idea that, well, when you die, you die; that’s it. Death is a moment – you know you’re either dead or alive. All these things are not scientifically valid, but they’re social perceptions. If you look back at the end of the 19th century, physicists at that time had been working with Newtonian laws of motion, and they really felt they had all the answers to everything that was out there in the universe. When we look at the world around us, Newtonian physics is perfectly sufficient. It explains most things that we deal with. But then it was discovered that actually when you look at motion at really small levels – beyond the level of the atoms – Newton’s laws no longer apply. A new physics was needed, hence, we eventually ended up with quantum physics. It caused a lot of controversy – even Einstein himself didn’t believe in it.

Now, if you look at the mind, consciousness, and the brain, the assumption that the mind and brain are the same thing is fine for most circumstances, because in 99% of circumstances we can’t separate the mind and brain; they work at the exactly the same time. But then there are certain extreme examples, like when the brain shuts down, that we see that this assumption may no longer seem to hold true. So a new science is needed in the same way that we had to have a new quantum physics. The CERN particle accelerator may take us back to our roots. It may take us back to the first moments after the Big Bang, the very beginning. With our study, for the first time, we have the technology and the means to be able to investigate this. To see what happens at the end for us. Does something continue?

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