Monthly Archives: October 2008


Yea! Good news for Google, authors, publishers and book lovers everywhere. The settlement against Google over copyright infringement on written literary works, ends the legal action that was taken against Google over two years ago, and settles a lawsuit that had been followed closely by the publishing industry in how copyrighted written materials should be handled online, and how online books affected an author’s financial compensation for their books. If approved, by the middle of next year, this agreement between Google, authors and publishers will expand online access of books, and give increased exposure to the millions of books that many people had to scour libraries and bookstores to find. It will also allow authors to keep rights over written material they release to the public, as well as receive monetary payment for their books presented online by Google.
Now that the lawsuit has been settled, Google (and authors and publishers of literary works) can get down to digitizing more books online for readers (both old, and new).
Even out-of-print (OOP) authors can receive a new generation of readers of their books.  Readers will still have to pay to obtain some author’s books (either via, Barnes &, Books-A-Million, to name a few), but, many books can be viewed either in full view (the entire book) or snippets, to whet the appetite to buy the book.
Many full view books are available on Google’s site:
OOP books (author is deceased; the copyright has lapsed):
-“Uncle Tom’s Cabin“, Harriet Beecher Stowe
-“The Souls of Black Folk“, W.E.B. DuBois
Even non-OOP books (author still living, copyright still extant) are available:
-“Black Soldier, White Army: The 24TH Army Infantry Regiment in Korea”, by William T. Bowers
Encyclopedias are also available:
-The Encyclopedia Americana: A Library of Universal Knowledge – Complete in 30 Volumes
to name just one.
Archival magazine articles are also available, as well:
-“The Nation”
The site has info on each book that includes the following:
-about this book;
-add to my library;
-more editions
The books can either be downloaded in PDF, or viewed/read in plain text. The Google site even shows a map of places mentioned in a particular book, as well as mentions books referenced by other books. The Google site also explains the three types of books that appear on its site (in-copyright and in-print books; in-copyright and out-of-print books; and out-of-print books) and how it handles each type of book, due to the lawsuit.
All-in-all, a win-win for everyone.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Search engine giant Google yesterday announced that it had settled a pair of lawsuits that accused the company of copyright infringement, signaling a new chapter in how books could be read and purchased online.


Google said it would pay $125 million to end a fight with the Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild, which had filed lawsuits after Google began scanning millions of works to the Web four years ago.
Part of that amount, $34.5 million, will be spent by Google to establish a “Book Rights Registry” to make sure that authors are compensated for the use of their works. The registry would work like ASCAP and BMI, which oversee payments to songwriters and musicians for the use of their creations. The deal also establishes payments to the authors of works that have already been scanned into Google Book Search.
Tech industry analyst Michael Gartenberg said Google may have learned a lesson from the lawsuit.
Google is “going to need to do this in cooperation with the people who own the copyrights, and cooperation is pretty much going to mean paying for those rights,” said Gartenberg. “Even if you’re Google, you can’t just do what you want whenever you want to do it.”
The search engine had argued that its Google Book Search did not infringe on copyright laws under “fair use” guidelines that allow for the quotation of works. Google said that doctrine applied to its in-the-works project because Web users were not able to read a work from start to finish in the service’s original implementation.
Under the terms of the new agreement, through Google, consumers would be able to buy books that are out of print but retain their copyrights. The company would pay the registry 63 percent of any revenue derived from an author’s works, such as advertising placed next to online book pages.
Google dubbed the settlement “historic.”
“The tremendous wealth of knowledge that lies within the books of the world will now be at their fingertips,” the search engine’s co-founder, Sergey Brin, said in a statement.
The settlement is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The proposal is, however, expected to receive the court’s blessing by the middle of next year.
Publishers said yesterday that the settlement would be a boon to authors and readers, though it is too early to know much about the size of the potential business.
“No one can really know how big this market is going to be,” said Richard Sarnoff, chairman of the Association of American Publishers.
Some authors are hoping that Google’s project will help them reach new audiences.
“If you’re an author with out-of-print books, this is going to give your book new life,” said Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild. “This will allow authors to find new readers in any number of ways.”

Under the agreement, colleges and universities would pay for full access to the titles in Google’s database, and public libraries would get that access for free; consumers searching from home would get limited excerpts, with the option to buy a complete work.

For more information on Google books, here are official Google websites:
Google Book Search:
Google Book Search Settlement Agreement:


Filed under Uncategorized


It is one thing to make a fool of yourself in front of your family/community/town. To do it before the whole world, well, that’s just priceless:


And the correct term is “Muslim”, not muslin.

Learn the difference:

-Muslim: a follower/adherent of Islam

-muslin:  a plain-woven sheer to coarse cotton fabric

For the umpteenth time. . . .Obama is not a Muslim. He is a Christian.

If you are going to insult a person, spell your words right before you plant signs of your ignorance all over your front yard.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


You often hear about Obama’s maternal white grandmother, Madelyn Dunham.

How often do you hear about his other grandmother? The black Kenyan grandmother?

Then again, if Obama spoke more of his paternal Kenyan grandmother, there would probably be caterwauling from malcontents that he cares more for black Africans in Kenya than he does American citizens.

“Last August, Italian Vanity Fair “discovered” Barack’s half-brother George, who lives in the marginalized outskirts of Nairobi; his plight was sensationalized by international media and in turn exploited by conservatives who suggested that the candidate doesn’t care for his own family.”

So, I guess George was some island sitting in the middle of the ocean that did not know where it was, and therefore, it took Italian Vanity Fair to discover him and tell him where he was. The pompousness is unbelieveable, even in this day and age.

Some people also know of Obama’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng. Now why did not this reporter seek out Obama’s half-brother, George, who lives in Nairobi, and get his take on Obama’s campaign? I would like to have learned more about him as well. (From what little I have found on the internet, George Hussein Onyango Obama, is Obama’s father’s 5th wife’s son, and George and Obama have met at least once. George has been stated as having said that he holds no ill feelings against Obama in any way, that he wishes Obama success to win the election, and that Obama owes him nothing because of Obama’s accomplishments in life in America.)

Here is an article on Obama’s grandmother, Sarah Obama.



What it means to be an Obama in Africa


KOGELO, Kenya—Last Sunday morning, while Barack Obama stumped in Colorado, his paternal grandmother, 86-year-old “Mama Sarah” Obama, stood before a microphone and a crowd of several hundred villagers on a plot of land in Kogelo. Beside her was Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, whose helicopter had descended unexpectedly onto her tin-roofed homestead moments earlier. Streams of excited villagers ran across the surrounding corn and cassava fields and from a soccer game at Senator Barack Obama Secondary School.
Odinga addressed the crowd and the Kenyan TV cameras that followed him in Luo, the local tongue: “Today we have gathered here to say hello to Mama Sarah. The boy from here, he’s gone to compete. We are praying for him so that he succeeds. Are you happy with Obama?”
“We are happy!” the crowd responded.
“Are you happy with him?”
“We are!”
Though I may have been the only person for miles around who actually has a vote in the U.S. presidential election, the occasion seemed oddly like a campaign rally. In a sense, it was. For Prime Minister Odinga, who, like the Obamas, belongs to the Luo tribe, and whose loss in a tainted presidential election last December touched off devastating ethnic violence, the appearance with Sarah Obama was not only an expression of solidarity, but also unambiguous political groundwork for what he might one day claim as a direct channel to the White House. For Obama’s grandmother, the arrival of the Kenyan prime minister was another indication of how the phenomenal rise of an Obama child has changed the lives of the other Obama family half a world away.
“At the beginning, I thought it was something that would be short-lived, but it’s been getting bigger every day,” Obama’s uncle Said had told me earlier that day on the drive from the provincial city in Kisumu for what I expected would be a quiet interview with the family matriarch. “It will continue to be a major preoccupation—or maybe my employment.” Said wasn’t referring only to his changed daily routine, which now involves rising at 4 a.m. to track the latest U.S. campaign news on Anderson Cooper 360—”people will ask me to comment on a development, and I don’t want to be caught unawares”—before a full workday as a technician for a spirits company, followed by night school for his business management degree. Said was also referring to what it has meant, and what it may mean for at least the next four years, to be an Obama in Kenya: the frequent visits from people asking for money or help getting a U.S. visa; the requests to help sponsor scholarships for study in the United States; and the random pale faces, African dignitaries, and international journalists that have been arriving at Mama Sarah’s home on a daily basis for the last year, paying respects and seeking favors and quotes.
“You can’t fail to see there’s a perception that we are in a better place economically,” Said said. “People know that if you are in a senior position, you become rich. Leaders here steal. But our lives go on. We are a hardworking family. We should not just stand idly and think Barack is going to fix everything for us.”
A 36-year-old cousin of Barack’s, a hairdresser in Nairobi who has returned to Kogelo to support Mama Sarah during the final weeks of the campaign, told me that he tries to maintain a low profile. “I won’t be able to walk freely,” he said, asking that his name not be publicized out of concern for both unwanted attention and personal safety. His girlfriend, he added, doesn’t even know about his family ties to the U.S. senator. “She might think I’ve been hiding money from her. She’ll expect a lot.” Last August, Italian Vanity Fair “discovered” Barack’s half-brother George, who lives in the marginalized outskirts of Nairobi; his plight was sensationalized by international media and in turn exploited by conservatives who suggested that the candidate doesn’t care for his own family. Because of the widely brachiated nature of the Kenyan Obama family tree, as for many traditional African families, notions of family are very complicated. Certainly, the Obamas that Barack seems closest with appear loved, financially secure, and not at all resentful.
A perception of family wealth was likely the motive of an attempted burglary of Mama Sarah’s home in September. When I arrived at the homestead, I was met by armed Kenyan police officers posted behind a newly erected 8-foot fence. I was asked to sign a visitors log. Hundreds of names from all over the world had filled the book since the first entry on Sept. 16. The guards were securing what may be the world’s most modest gated compound: With the exception of a small solar panel on the corrugated tin roof of Mama Sarah’s two-room home, the most obvious signs of affluence appeared to be a pair of cows, which mooed as I walked in.
Mama Sarah’s living room had obviously been configured to accommodate visiting delegations. Several wood couches and chairs were neatly arranged arm-to-arm around the perimeter of the cement floor, their cushions covered by plain white cloths with embroidered fringes. A television draped in a decorative cloth sat atop a table in one corner, and a life-size photo cutout of a smiling Barack presided over the room from another. Other Barack memorabilia and family portraiture hung from the walls: a framed black-and-white image of Barack Obama Sr., an image of Sasha and Malia Obama watering a seedling in front of a Masai tribesman while Barack snapped a picture, and an autographed poster from Barack’s Illinois state Senate campaign, signed, “Mama Sarah: Habari! And Love.”
“Barack is a good listener,” Mama Sarah told me. “He is somebody who pays attention to the plight of people. With those kinds of attributes, I think he will be in a better position to sort out the problems that are bedeviling the world. I think he’s got all it takes to be a world leader.” Clearly reining in her normally spontaneous personality, Mama Sarah was proud and on-message: “We are leaving everything to God. We know it’s been a long wait, and, God willing, we hope that everything is going to be OK.”
The day before, in Kisumu, I was talking about Obama to a boatman on Lake Victoria when a nearby car radio blared the following judgment: “God has already chosen Obama on Nov. 4! Who are you to say no?” Nowhere in Kenya—perhaps nowhere in the world outside of blue-state America—is there more optimism about an Obama victory as in Kisumu, a predominantly Luo city on Kenya ‘s western border with Uganda, which still bears the scars of last winter’s election violence. Indeed, the widely held fear that vote-rigging on Nov. 4 could snatch the election from Obama reflects the lingering sentiment among Luos here that Kenya’s tainted presidential election—in which Odinga officially lost to Mwai Kibaki—was stolen from them. I’ve been asked several times, “Do you think John McCain can steal the votes?”
Obama’s likeness appears on watch faces, key chains, posters, T-shirts, calendars, and women’s shoes. Hawkers offer CDs of Obama-inspired reggae and Luo songs in the open-air bus depot. Mockups of $1,000 bills with Obama’s portrait filling the oval are plastered on public minivans. (“I just asked the designer to pimp the van, and it came back like this,” the driver told me.) A generation of newborns named “Obama” are entering the world. A schoolteacher in a local village says her students sing Obama songs: “He is a genius/ He is a hero/ He comes all the way from Africa/ To go compete in the land of the whites/ He makes us proud/ For at least he’s made Africa known to the world.” The campaign 8,000 miles away has been closely observed. When I arrived in town, my tuk-tuk driver offered punditry of the third debate: “For the first 20 minutes, it was competitive and McCain was good, but then Obama was much smarter.”
Daniel Otieno, the local bureau chief of Kenya’s the Nation newspaper, believes the fierce partisanship is a legacy of the area’s early bullfighting days, when Luo clans rallied behind their favored bull. “Barack Obama is their bull,” he says, adding that “a victory on Nov. 4 will be felt as a consolation for the Kenyan election.” Bundled with that pride is an exaggerated expectation that Obama will support Kenya, and especially the Kisumu area, currently crippled by the country’s highest incidence of HIV/AIDS. Unemployment here is rampant, and many of the young and jobless I spoke with believe an Obama presidency will directly improve their lives—a belief that I hope does not turn into resentment if and when they are disappointed.
While the TV cameras rolled in front of Mama Sarah’s home, Prime Minister Odinga attempted to temper these expectations. “Kenyans know that Barack will be first and foremost the president of the United States of America, not a Kenyan president in the United States.” He added, “Under an Obama presidency, trade and investment between Kenya and the United States will increase. Kenyans hope that there will be more scope for cooperation. We also think that Africa will get more attention than it has received in the past.”
With that, Odinga and Mama Sarah walked toward the car that would drive the prime minister to his helicopter. He was a step ahead of her, and just as it seemed he was about to get into the car, a reporter reminded him that Mama Sarah was behind him, anticipating a goodbye. Odinga turned, offered a warm and genuine embrace, and then drove out of the compound.
The villagers dissipated, the reporters disassembled their tripods and climbed into SUVs, and Mama Sarah headed toward the house. Said called out, “Intercept her!” Then he led her by the arm to a waiting chair in the shade of an avocado tree, where a Canadian TV crew was setting up for an interview.
Obama merchandise for sale in Kisumu. Click image to expand.
Obama merchandise for sale in Kisumu


Sarah Onyango Obama in her living room in Kogelo, as her grandson's likeness stands in the corner. Click image to expand.
Sarah Onyango Obama in her living room in Kogelo, as her grandson’s likeness stands in the corner


Sarah Onyango Obama reading Kenyan press coverage of the U.S. campaign at her rural homestead in Kogelo. Click image to expand.
Sarah Onyango Obama reading Kenyan press coverage of the U.S. campaign at her rural homestead in Kogelo


Filed under Uncategorized


. . . .and she tells it like it is.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


The ReThuglican Party has done it again, as this article from The Huffington Post points out.







OCTOBER 19, 2008


No one can criticize the GOP for failing to produce sophisticated propaganda that successfully exploits the hopes and fears of white middle Americans. But can the right-wing distraction factory woo minorities with the same techniques? Check out the following transcript of a new Republican ad targeting black voters in 10 battleground states this year and you be the judge:

BLACK MAN #1: “If you make a little mistake with one of your ‘hos,’ you’ll want to dispose of that problem tout suite, no questions asked.”
BLACK MAN #2: “That’s too cold. I don’t snuff my own seed.”
BLACK MAN #1: “Maybe you do have a reason to vote Republican.”
This ad was financed by J. Patrick Rooney, a white billionaire notorious for funding several misleading anti-Kerry ads that ran on urban radio stations in 2004. The money for Rooney’s newest ad flowed through a little-known group called America’s PAC, which was founded by Richard Nadler, a veteran Republican consultant who pushed Intelligent Design in Kansas public schools, declaring, “Darwin is bunk.”


Nadler has an apparently dim view of the minorities he hopes to court. In 2000, he produced an ad in 2000 for school vouchers in which a white parent declared that his child’s public school “was a bit more diversity than he could handle.” The Republican National Committee flatly denounced that ad as “racist.”


But about Rooney and Nadler’s latest creation, which portrays black men as promiscuous misogynists and black women as submissive “ho’s,” the RNC is silent.


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized


Many’s the time I’ve been mistaken
And many times confused
Yes, and I’ve often felt forsaken
And certainly misused
Oh, but I’m all right, I’m all right
I’m just weary to my bones
Still, you don’t expect to be
Bright and bon vivant
So far away from home, so far away from home

And I don’t know a soul who’s not been battered
I don’t have a friend who feels at ease
I don’t know a dream that’s not been shattered
or driven to its knees
but it’s all right, it’s all right
for we lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the
road we’re traveling on
I wonder what’s gone wrong
I can’t help it, I wonder what’s gone wrong

And I dreamed I was dying
I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me
Smiled reassuringly
And I dreamed I was flying
And high up above my eyes could clearly see
The Statue of Liberty
Sailing away to sea
And I dreamed I was flying

We come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the age’s most uncertain hours
and sing an American tune
Oh, and it’s alright, it’s all right, it’s all right
You can’t be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow’s going to be another working day
And I’m trying to get some rest
That’s all I’m trying to get some rest.


AMERICAN TUNE, by Paul Simon, from his album, “There Goes Rhymin’ Simon”, May, 1973.


Lady Liberty at Sunset, New York, NY by Grufnik

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


Very sad news for the beautiful actress Ms. Jennifer Hudson. Her little nephew, Julian King, has been found—-dead. Ms. Hudson also lost her mother and brother who were found shot to death in the home she shared with them.




Sharita Dickey, center, gets support from Laneka Manson, left, ...

Mon Oct 27, 1:15 PM ET

28 of 78

Sharita Dickey, center, gets support from Laneka Manson, left, and Monell Manson, right, as she cries out with a prayer for Darnell Donerson and Jason Hudson, the mother and brother of Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson outside the Donerson home in Chicago, Monday, Oct. 27, 2008. Hudson appealed on Sunday for the public’s help in finding her 7-year-old nephew, missing since the shooting deaths of her mother and brother.

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)AP 


CHICAGO – Chicago police say singer and actress Jennifer Hudson has identified the body of her 7-year-old nephew, who was found dead Monday morning in an SUV.
Julian King had been missing since Hudson’s mother and brother were found shot to death in the home they shared Friday. Police spokeswoman Monique Bond says the boy also had been shot.
Julian had been the subject of a frantic search since the killings, which police have characterized as “domestic related.”
Police say Hudson was among seven family members and close friends who identified the body from a video image at the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office Monday.
No one has been charged in the slayings. Authorities have been questioning the estranged husband of Hudson’s sister.



Let us all pray for Ms. Hudson, her family, and especially the family of little Julian.  May God grant them strength and solace in their hour of grief.

Rest in peace, little angel. May you find eternal safety in the harms of your loving saviour, Jesus Christ.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized