Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Past and Events in our Time

On the day of April 23, 1968, students occupied Columbia University in New York City. It was a very historic time in America plus the world. This event revolved around the student activist movement which desired an end to the war in Vietnam, women's rights, black studies in colleges, the embrace of social equality, and an overall change in society whereby the status quo is gone (and true justice is subsequently made real for the human family). Hamilton Hall in Columbia was occupied first. The reason was that many progressive students wanted to protest against the institution’s ties to a Vietnam War research firm, the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA). Also, the students (made up of people among many backgrounds) wanted to fight against Columbia University's construction of a new gymnasium whose design plan appeared to offer segregated access to black residents of Harlem, which was adjacent to the building’s lower side. This proposed gymnasium was heavily opposed by Harlem residents and many student activists. Five buildings were occupied and one dean was held. It lasted for over one week. It involved hundreds of students. The occupiers demanded the reinstatement of six students suspended for protesting against the IDA, an end to the construction of the gym, amnesty for all students joining in the occupations, and the reversal of an edict by university president Grayson Kirk banning indoor protests. Later, the authorities went too far in suppressing the student revolt. Kirk called the police. He cut the power and water off from the occupied areas. On April 30, 1968, at 2:20 in the morning, some 1,000 police brutally attacked the students. Cops used axes to cut the doors. They or the NYPD assaulted not only students unjustly and viciously. They assaulted journalists and photographers for no reason. Many students were beaten by plains clothes NYPD officers. Some cops destroyed photographic equipment. Within three hours, the occupation was crushed. About 720 students and faculty were arrested, and 136 demonstrators suffered injuries in the police attack. Leaders of the Columbia protests were Black Power activists and SDS members like Mark Rudd. The protests achieved two of their stated goals.

Columbia disaffiliated from the IDA and scrapped the plans for the controversial gym, building a subterranean physical fitness center under the north end of campus instead. More protesting Columbia and Barnard students were arrested and/or injured by New York City police during a second round of protests on May 17–22, 1968, when community residents occupied a Columbia University-owned partially vacant apartment building at 618 West 114 Street to protest Columbia's expansion policies, and later when students re-occupied Hamilton Hall to protest Columbia's suspension of "The IDA Six." Before the night of May 22, 1968 was over, police had arrested another 177 students and beaten 51 students. The legacy of the Columbia protests was that student activism could cause change. All of the freedom that we have today was a result of activists, who in many cases, shed blood in order for us to live on this Earth. We have to always honor the sacrifices of heroes (both men and women including the youth) who desire social and economic justice. The struggle continues and we shall overcome in the end.

When you have even Natalie Portman (who supports Israel's existence) cancelling a trip to Israel because of the atrocities against Palestinians in Gaza, then we have a problem. The corporate media is silent, but we aren't silent. Journalists and ordinary Palestinian people have been abused of their rights not only in Gaza, but throughout the West Bank. Therefore, there is no solution in that region except Palestinian liberation plus where both Jewish and Arabic peoples in that part of the world being respected as equals without occupation. There are millions of sincere Jewish and Arabic people totally disgusted and rightfully opposed to the brutal slaughter going on in Gaza. It is not right. That is why it is no secret that Trump and Netanyahu (who are both right wing nationalist extremists. Both of them have many scandals) are in unison with the status quo. It's taboo to hold my perspective in America, but we won't back down. An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice every where as said by the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Therefore, we have to oppose injustice and defend human rights. You can't have freedom with occupation. You can freedom excluding it.

Also, we can never forget that we live in class struggle too. In this century, we have record economic inequality. It is no secret that the financial oligarchy has the system in place where millions of America work sometimes 2-3 jobs just to get a middle class paycheck in total. Then, you have large homelessness in NYC and in LA. You have social programs being cut massively in Wisconsin and in other locations. Many politicians advocate work requirements on Medicaid and SNAP which harm the most vulnerable economically of our society. Predatory capitalism solves nothing. History has proven that the only solution is social activism and political agitation in getting living wages, collective bargaining, the improvement of farms (as farms in the States contribute heavily to economic growth), the growth of the social safety net, and other investments to grow our infrastructure. Also, it is important to note that Rosa Parks was a Revolutionary. She was involved in the anti-war movement, the anti-apartheid movement, a supporter of Malcolm X including Dr. King, and opposed the prison industrial complex. So, her legacy ought to be honored completely.

What are my views of Kanye West and Candice Owens supporting Donald Trump? My views are the same. Both people are deciding to support a male who uses vicious language against women, minorities, and fighters against racial injustice. They voluntarily agree with a male who wants peaceful protesters in the NFL to be fired and has advocated for violence against dissenters in his rallies. They have aligned with a person who made the racist comment that one's ethnicity determines whether he or she is biased in judging a case. Nothing is new under the sun. People like Jim Brown, Ray Lewis, and Omarosa Onee Manigault-Newman (who later disagrees with Trump after she was fired from the White House recently) have supported Trump when he is the antithesis of progressive liberation. Therefore, we shouldn't disrespect Kanye West or Candice Owens in an unfair fashion. They are still black people in pain and in ideological confusion because of the circumstances of society. Likewise, we don't have to agree with their pro-Trump rhetoric at all. We do have the right to disagree with them. Candice is wrong to equate Democrats to a plantation. That trivializes and mocks the experiences of black people in slavery. She or Candice is wrong to say that Trump is the savior of the world. Trump a'int no savior of mine. God is my Savior. She is wrong to assume that people like me (I'm a black person) should vote for Republicans when the GOP leadership has been complicit in the war on drugs, austerity, and other evil policies. I'm a progressive on economic issues, so I can't vote for a Republican whose many leaders agree with bigotry instead of tolerance and in radically reactionary positions on issues. Social justice, government intervention to help unions, a strong social safety net, workers' rights, and environmental protections are always sacrosanct values that we all support. She and Kanye omits that black people are oppressed by an evil system and wishing it away isn't going to solve this problem. Solving this problem revolves around unity, programs, action, and preparation for resistance against racism/discrimination. People have the right to believe in what they want. I have the right to disagree with both Kanye and Candice Owens in a rational fashion.

By Timothy

Reflections on The Pan-Afro-Asiatic Civilizational Complex

“Cruise Missile Left” Complicit in American Escalation Toward World War III

Monday, April 23, 2018

The economics of their waste


Tennis Culture.

Tennis has much accessible equipment. The 2 main types of equipment in tennis are rackets and tennis balls. A tennis racket has a handle and a grip connected to a neck. All of these things are held up with a matrix of tightly pulled strings. Modern rackets have existed for over 100 years. Some are made up of wood. Laminated wood construction has given more strength to rackets. Other rackets are made up of metal and carbon graphite, ceramics, other light metals like titanium. These materials give rackets more power. The frame of them can be about 29 inches. Rackets are constructed by companies like Wilson, Head, and Babolat. Tennis balls are made up of originally of cloth strips stitched together with thread and stuffed with feathers. Some were white. Today, most are yellow by the latter part of the 20th century to the present. It was used for increased visibility. The International Tennis Federation or the ITF do make tennis balls to confirm to specific criteria for size, weight, deformation and bounce. The ITF defines the official diameter of tennis balls in the following terms: the official diameter as 65.41–68.58 mm (2.575–2.700 in). Balls must weigh between 56.0 and 59.4 g (1.98 and 2.10 oz.). Tennis balls are traditionally manufactured in America and Europe. More manufacturing takes place in Asia. There are materials in the region that people desire to make tennis balls. Advanced players use other accouterments to improve their performance. One is about vibration dampeners may be interlaced in the proximal part of the string array for improved feel. Racket handles may be customized with absorbent or rubber-like materials to improve the players' grip. Players often use sweat bands on their wrists to keep their hands dry and head bands or bandannas to keep the sweat out of their eyes as well. Finally, although the game can be played in a variety of shoes, specialized tennis shoes have wide, flat soles for stability and a built-up front structure to avoid excess wear.

The game of tennis is played by players whether they consist of 2 or 4 people. There is an officiating head judge or umpire who sits in a raised chair to one side of the court. The umpire makes determinations on points with help from judges if necessary. There is also a net judge that determines whether the ball has touched the net during service. The umpire has the right to overrule a line judge or a net judge. If the umpire is sure that a clear mistake has been made is when an umpire can do this. In some tournaments, line judges who would be calling the serve were assisted by electronic sensors that beeped to indicate the serve was out. This system was called "Cyclops.” Cyclops has since largely been replaced by the Hawk-Eye system. In professional tournaments using this system, players are allowed three unsuccessful appeals per set, plus one additional appeal in the tie-break to challenge close line calls by means of an electronic review. The US Open, Miami Masters, US Open Series, and World Team Tennis started using this challenge system in 2006 and the Australian Open and Wimbledon introduced the system in 2007. In clay-court matches, such as at the French Open, a call may be questioned by reference to the mark left by the ball's impact on the court surface. Final decisions in a tennis game are determined by the referee. He or she is usually located off the court. The referee can overrule the umpire’s decision if rules were violated. Many children can retrieve tennis balls. Junior tennis rules are for those under 18 years old.

Tennis is played on a rectangular court by either 2 players or four players (called doubles). Players stand on the opposite sides of a net and use a stringed racket to hit a ball back and forth to each other. Each player has a maximum of one bounce after it has been hit by their opponent to return the ball over the net and within the boundaries of the court. Once a players fails to do any of these actions, his or her opponent wins a point. The aim in any tennis game is to win enough points to win a game and enough games to win a set and enough sets to win a match. The first person to win six games wins a set. Matches are usually the best of three or the best of five sets. Sometimes, a coin toss determines which player serves first. If the ball hits the net and falls within the service court, this is called a “net serve”, the server will be entitled to re-serve the ball into the service court. For example, if a “net serve” is made on the server’s first serve, the server will be entitled to re-serve his first serve. There are no limits to the number of “net serves” a player can commit. In dealing with points, no points are scored is called Love. 1 point scored is 15 points. 2 points scored is 30 points, 3 points scored is 40 points, and 4 points earned is set point (or set over). A tennis player must win at least a two point lead to win a game. If the score is tied at 40 to 40 (what is called as a “Deuce”), a player must earn two consecutive points (an “Advantage” point and “Point”) to win the game. If the player who has an “Advantage” point loses the next point, the score will be “Deuce” once again. Tennis is played on a rectangular, flat surface. The court is 78 feet (23.77 m) long, and 27 feet (8.2 m) wide for singles matches and 36 ft. (11 m) for doubles matches. One set is a sequence of games played with service alternating between games. A break point occurs if the receiver, not the server, has a chance to win the game with the next point.

The modern age of tennis is dominated by international organizations, technology, Internet, and other funding by various entities. Video games readily show tennis as well. There are games like Mario Tennis, the TopSpin series, Wii Sports, and Grand Slam Tennis. Tournaments are readily organized by sex like there are men’s singles, women’s singles, and doubles. They can be divided by age groups and there are senior players too. Those with disabilities are in tennis with tournaments for those in wheelchair tennis and deaf tennis. The four Grand Slam tournaments are found in the Australian Open (January-February), the French Open (May-June), Wimbledon (June-July), and the U.S. Open (August-September). They are the most famous events involving professional tennis. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are great tennis players. Serena Williams, Venus Williams, and other women tennis players have increased the popularity of tennis globally. Many tennis stars are millionaires, but many women have economic inequality. The Venus sisters have rightfully talked about these issues and publicly promote pay equality involving any tennis player regardless of sex. Many players travel the world to play in many tournaments and they get to witness the diverse cultures of the world. One very important message about this age is that regardless of what year that we live in, the game of tennis should always motivate excellence, great character, and happiness in the lives of humanity.

Yesterday was Earth Day. It was created during the early 1970's (in 1970), but its roots existed long before that time. Back in the day (during the 1960's and before like the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California that killed over 10,000 seabirds, dolphins, seals, and sea lions), many events of smog (like the November 24, 1966 smog disaster in NYC killing at least 169 people), other forms of air pollution, water oil spills, and DDT poisoning were all over America. Scholars like Rachel Carson and others wanted Americans to have more awareness about environmental issues. Ironically, the Great Society from LBJ has shown a large amount of pro-environmental laws that helped people including animals to this very day. For example, LBJ signed more than 300 conservation laws during his time of office. The Water Quality Act of 1965 improved our water supplies. The Air Quality Acts of 1966 and 1967 improved our air. Today, we have climate change and other important environmental issues. That is why Earth Day is important. It is about improving our world, so our future generations can live in a better environment. Rallies exist globally on this day to advocate stridently for environmental protection. People are readily doing great work too in our time. Some have used efforts to clean up parks and other locations. In real life, I have participated in those efforts to clean up areas around my location. Others have used science to discover new ways to solve flooding issues. Some people have courageously stood up against corporate pollution and environmental oppression. It is about a day where social activism can advance more recycling, more improvements of habitats, fights against animal extinction, and the realization that when we care for the Earth, the Earth in term will bless us. Therefore, we are committed to environmental justice 100 percent.

By Timothy