Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Call Center Workers Protest about McCain


Dozens Of Call Center Workers Walk Off Job In Protest Rather Than Read McCain Script Attacking Obama

By Greg Sargent - October 27, 2008, 5:18PM

Some three dozen workers at a telemarketing call center in Indiana walked off the job rather than read an incendiary McCain campaign script attacking Barack Obama, according to two workers at the center and one of their parents.

Nina Williams, a stay-at-home mom in Lake County, Indiana, tells us that her daughter recently called her from her job at the center, upset that she had been asked to read a script attacking Obama for being "dangerously weak on crime," "coddling criminals," and for voting against "protecting children from danger."

Williams' daughter told her that up to 40 of her co-workers had refused to read the script, and had left the call center after supervisors told them that they would have to either read the call or leave, Williams says. The call center is called Americall, and it's located in Hobart, IN.

"They walked out," Williams says of her daughter and her co-workers, adding that they weren't fired but willingly sacrificed pay rather than read the lines. "They were told [by supervisors], `If you all leave, you're not gonna get paid for the rest of the day."

The daughter, who wanted her name withheld fearing retribution from her employer, confirmed the story to us. "It was like at least 40 people," the daughter said. "People thought the script was nasty and they didn't wanna read it."

A second worker at the call center confirmed the episode, saying that "at least 30" workers had walked out after refusing to read the script.

"We were asked to read something saying [Obama and Democrats] were against protecting children from danger," this worker said. "I wouldn't do it. A lot of people left. They thought it was disgusting."

This worker, too, confirmed sacrificing pay to walk out, saying her supervisor told her: "If you don't wanna phone it you can just go home for the day."

The script coincided with this robo-slime call running in other states, but because robocalling is illegal in Indiana it was being read by call center workers.

Representatives at Americall in Indiana, and at the company's corporate headquarters in Naperville, Illinois, didn't return calls for comment.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mixed Race

Just what do you call a mix between an donkey and a zebra?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Message to America from Queen Elizabeth II

Message from the Queen

To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and th us to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas , which she does not fancy).

Your new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.
Congress and the Senate will be disbanded*.

*A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
(You may need to look up 'revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary. Also look up aluminum, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at j us t how wrongly you have been pronouncing it).

1. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'colour', 'favour', 'labour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix '-ize' will be replaced by the suffix '-ise'. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up 'vocabulary').

2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as 'like' and 'you know' is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adj us ted to take into account the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of -ize.

3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without us ing guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be us ed for shooting gro us e. If you can't sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not ready to shoot gro us e.

5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangero us than a vegetable peeler, although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables.

7. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

8. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get us ed to it.

9. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

10. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting Nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of British Commonwealth - see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further conf us ion.

11. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.

12. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies). Don't try Rugby - the South Africans and Kiwis will thrash you, like they regularly thrash us .

13. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America . Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.

14. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.

15. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).

16. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 pm with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits ( not referred to as cookies) and cakes; pl us strawberries (with cream) when in season.

God Save the Queen!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008



Africa Kabisa! is a weekly African music radio program that broadcasts SUNDAYS 4-6:00pm EST on WMBR 88.1 FM. We also stream live on the Web and have digital archives at http://www.wmbr.org .

Since 1992, we have been sharing the vibrant sounds of contemporary and classic African music with the Boston area and beyond. Africa Kabisa is hosted and produced by DJ Julia Goldrosen.

We endeavor to present an array of the best in music from Sub-Saharan Africa and the Afro-Caribbean world with the sounds of rumba, soukous, ndombolo, makossa, couper decaler, son montuno, mbalax, kompa, zouk, kwaito, mbaqanga, paranda, benga, salsa, highlife, afrobeat and more. We also feature a weekly calendar of African cultural events.

Our weekly playlists are located in the Database link. African events for the Boston area are in the Calendar section. (This website is established through Yahoo Groups so you have to click on "join this group" (top right) to access some of the information.) Join the Africa Kabisa group and discover more about African music!

Please send CDs for airplay consideration or local event information to:

WMBR 88.1 FM
Att: Africa Kabisa
3 Ames Street
Cambridge, MA 02142 (USA)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Lizombe Traditional Dance

This is the famous Lizombe Tradional Dance done in the Southern Region on Tanzania. You have to be in great shape to do it. It involves a lot of Butt shaking and waist movements. I used to do this one when I was in the Masange JKT National Service Dance Group in Tanzania back in the 80's. (photo from Lukwangule Blog)

Tanzanian Groom

photo from Michuzi Blog

Why spend money on an expensive limosine ride when you can get their more cheaply via Tricycle. This Tanzanian groom (with Arab headdress) decided he'd rather spend his money on his wife than on fancy frills.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Swahili song for Obama

You can listen to a Swahili Song, "Obama Be Blessed" here:


It is by famous East African musician Samba Mapangala na his band Orchestra Virunga.


Umekisikia kibao cha Samba Mapangala (Orchestra Virunga) kwa jina "Obama Ubarikiwe"? 'That one'.... "my frienchs....." sikiliza: http://nukta77.com/matangazo.aspx

- Subi

Tanzanian Editorial Cartoon

How Tanzanian Editorial Cartoonist, Gado, sees the 2008 Election Campain.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Jeffrey Brace Memorial - Former Slave

Shawn Henry, left, and Prof. John Nassivera hold a historical marker at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vt., Thursday, Oct. 2, 2008. On Oct. 12, the historical marker will be placed in Poultney to honor the life of Jeffrey Brace, a former slave, who won his freedom by fighting in the Revolutionary War and later settled in Vermont, the first state to abolish slavery. Henry, president of the African American Club at Green Mountain College and Nassivera, a professor and adviser to the group, helped to get the marker made. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

I am proud to say that my son, Elechi Kadete, was part of the student effort to get, the marker placed in Poultney, Vermont.


Vermont town honors slave's life

POULTNEY, Vt. (AP) -- A former slave whose memoir is among the only ones known to describe abduction from Africa is about to get a historical marker in the small Vermont town where he ended up settling.

Descendants of Jeffrey Brace -- who fought in the Revolutionary War eventually earning his freedom -- will gather Oct. 12 for the erection of the memorial on a town green.

"The importance of Brace's story is not just that he's a remarkable individual but it's part of Vermont's history and American history that had disappeared," said Kari Winter, who edited the memoir "The Blind African Slave; Or, Memoirs of Boyrereau Brinch, Nicknamed Jeffrey Brace."

The book and now the roadside marker will ensure that Brace's story will never be forgotten.
His memoir traces his abduction in 1758 at age 16 and the wretched trans-Atlantic voyage that ensued, in which he was starved, shackled and whipped and watched others die of starvation and beatings.

"Over the course of about 350 years, something on the order of 12 million people were shipped across the Atlantic and yet we could count on our hands the number of surviving first-person written accounts of people who made that journey," said James Campbell, a Stanford University history professor.

"So to have an account like this be discovered and made available to students describing the experience of capture in Africa, the experience of the middle passage and a life in slavery right up until the early 19th-century New England, that's an extraordinary find," said Campbell, who specializes in slavery history.

Brace ended up in Connecticut after being enslaved on an English trade ship in Barbados that engaged in skirmishes during the Seven Years' War. He was sold to a New England ship captain, and then auctioned off several other times, the final time to widow Mary Stiles in Woodbury, Conn., who sent him to school and taught him to read.

He later enlisted in the Revolutionary War with her sons and fought for five years, eventually earning his freedom in 1783 and moving to Vermont.
"Hearing flattering accounts of the new state of Vermont; I left Woodbury. ... I enjoyed the pleasures of a freeman; my food was sweet, my labor pleasure: and one bright gleam of life seemed to shine upon me."

He worked for a tavern keeper in Dorset, where he met his wife, Susannah Dublin, a widow and former slave. But their life in Vermont was a constant challenge, Winter said.

They lived in Manchester for a time, but the town indentured his wife's two children to work in different households. It was a common practice for poor people who could not support their children, but in this case: "The complaint amounted to this: that I was a black man," Brace said.
The family returned to land Brace had bought in Poultney.

He cleared fields and grew crops but endured constant confrontations with a neighbor over land, crops and livestock. Fearing his children could be indentured again, he moved the family to Sheldon and then to Georgia, Vt., where he bought 60 acres with his son-in-law.

Brace became blind in his old age but says he felt it was his duty to publish his memoirs
-- "that all may see how poor Africans have been and perhaps now are abused by a christian and enlightened people."

He was helped by a white abolitionist lawyer, Benjamin Prentiss, who wrote down his story, adding his own research and interpretations.

Winter, a professor at the University of Buffalo, found one of the original copies published in 1810 in the special collections library at the University of Vermont, where she used to teach.
In Poultney, John Nassivera, a Green Mountain College professor took a special interest in Brace after Winter gave a talk on him.

He wrote a play based on the book and urged the school's African-American Club to take up the cause. They worked with the Poultney Historical Society and Vermont Division of Historic Preservation to have a marker made honoring Brace's life.

For Brace's descendants, who didn't know of their ancestor until the memoir was published or they were contacted by Winter, their heritage is something to be proud of.

James Brace, who's white and lives in St. Albans, calls his ancestor a hero.

Rhonda Brace, whose grandfather and an uncle are named Jeffrey, realizes they're one of few African-American families who can trace their ancestry to a particular slave.

It gives new meaning to being African-American, she said.

She says she still pinches herself that something of this magnitude -- the memoir -- was found. The interest in it in Vermont has been phenomenal, she said.

"I've always felt that Jeffrey Brace would really come to life when a lot of people would participate in reclaiming his memory," Winter said.


For More information on Jeffrey Brace visit: