Saturday, October 04, 2014

Fall 2014 Part 2

Popular Culture Part Part 14

Many people are right that these mainstream artists have to end making records that degrade their own PEOPLE in a vicious fashion. Those records are part of the action of self-hatred since a person who truly loves their own being would never show records that degrade the human dignity of black people. Certainly enough is enough. Police brutality is evil and too many Brothers and Sisters (who are unarmed) being murdered unjustly is unjustifiable. We should CONTINUE to be active in standing up against racism, police brutality, and other injustices prodigiously. Also, many multinational corporations and some artists promoting the glorifying of violence and other evils are wrong too. Yet, I will never blame all black people collectively for all ills of the world. Solomon Comissiong wrote great literature on this issue. Many independent artists even in our generation are SHOWING the truth. Many musicians are doing what is right. Not every artist is the same, but we have to live in reality not in fantasy. Structures have to change and mainstream music should be better in reflecting the needs of the people to have revolutionary change in the world. Our human rights should be protected and we should always reject white supremacist propaganda. In other words, we have to care about each other in a humanitarian, cooperative way (in establishing collective power). True love is not about condoning evil or glamorizing selfish individualism (which is linked to the evil lust of materialism). Even back in the day, some have exposed how some in the mainstream media have been used to promote nefarious agendas. One journalist admitted the following:

"...The business of a journalist now is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, fall at the feet of Mammon and sell himself for his daily bread. We are TOOLS, vessels of rich men behind the scenes, we are jumping jacks. They pull the strings; we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are the properties of these men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”
—John Swinton, contributor to The New York Times, 1880

True love is about standing up against evil and fighting for real social change that can positively impact the masses of the people.

Symbolism and the entertainment industry go hand in hand. There is the one eye sign that is common for artists to use in the entertainment industry. It is found in fashion as well as the music industry. The fashion industry (in the mainstream level) is ruled by the same oligarchs. There is the October issue of the Interview magazine. It show the controversial photo-shoot called “Pretty Washed.” It showed models lying in filth and completely passed out drunk or worse. We know the message. One model is pictured with her eyes half opened as if she was dead. The photo-shoot is very disturbing. Wasted is a slang term for someone who is drunk, unconscious, or dead. The models appear soulless, drugged, incapacitated, helpless, etc. The images show beer cans and other things. We should reject the debasement of human life and we should reject evil mind control too. The message is how the fashion world (and the entertainment world in general) uses models and others to glamorize dehumanization, self-destruction, and death. The truth is the humanity has beauty and the human spirit should be aligned with the will of the Creator (not aligned with human degradation). There is the October issue of Vogue Italia. It shows a photo-shoot where models are shown again as lifeless, soulless mannequins, etc. Each shot looks similar to images akin to MKULTRA, MK slaves, etc. There are fake heads on the grounds (relating to alter personas). The photo-shoot is named “In a Silent Way.” Dismembered mannequins exist. The images are sophisticated, so the people who created the photo-shoot know about art, abstract images, and things of that nature. The cover of Cheryl Cole’s new album “Only Human” shows one strip that is a feline print crosses her right eye. A young person named Charli XCX is on the cover of the Billboard magazine with the one eye salute. One rose in next to her right eye. Many celebrities like Chloe Jasmine either cover their eyes (like Gwen Stefani in her comeback album) or use the OK sign next to their eyes in pictures, photo shoots, etc. The logo of Kesha’s jewelry collection called “Evil Eye” was released months ago. It shows occult symbolism like sacred geometry with the eye on the center of it. Kesha now claims that she is an industry pawn who got abused and manipulated. It is no secret that many in the music industry were exploited and abused by the industry executives, etc. Rita Ora was spotted with Mickey Mouse ears hate and her shirt says “Enfant riches deprimes” which means “Depressed rich kids” in French. That describes many in the industry. As we can see, the industry uses PROGRAMMING, deception, dehumanization, lies, deception, and aid from the military industrial complex as a means for them to fund their agenda. Elders and our ancestors told us the truth about these matters. It is our jobs to constructively and positively help people, fight evil, and to stand up for justice in the world.

We all remember looking at the Cosby Show when we were young. I was in elementary school during the last season of the Cosby show. It not only presented grace, black culture, and the strength of family in general on television. The show certainly inspired people irrespective of race or class. Black people are diverse. The classic show showed great music, and it had universal appeal. In the final ANALYSIS, to be black is to be human and the Cosby show represented the greatness of the human experience. Phylicia Rashad has been a class act for decades. She is a great Sister, a role model, and a legend. :) The Cosby Show set such a standard that no future family sitcom show will be like the Cosby Show. The Cosby Show is very special since the family danced to music, Bill Cosby ran track on the show, and their relatives had fun. The show showed the wide spectrum of human emotions from humor, joy, sadness, anger, and to happiness. It touched not only on middle class issues, but on apartheid, music, peer pressure, and other themes that people go through universally. There is only one Clair Huxtable and Heathcliff Huxtable. That is a great list about excellent TV moms and dads Sister. Esther Role and John Amos have incredible talent too. The Cosby Show and Good Times show different sides to the black experience (based on class, etc.), but they were unified in the love of family, the love of humanity, and the resiliency of the black family experience in general. We are a resilient people. We survived centuries of the Maafa, slavery, Jim Crow, etc. So, we will survive. Bill Cosby ironically was raised poor, but grew up into a wealthier life. So, he knew about the struggles of people. He knew how the poor lived, how the middle class lived, etc. Therefore, he created the Cosby Show as a means for people to break down the faulty biases that some had of black family life. Many people of numerous colors saw how a black family has the same issues, strengths, problems, and joy as any other family. Bill Cosby is a genius in how to tap into human social interactions as a means to make his show very valuable and very insightful. Esther Role and John Amos reminded people of strong fathers and strong mothers in poorer communities nationwide too. Goodtimes documented the truth that just because someone is poor, doesn’t mean that they are criminal, deceptive, or abrasive. Decent people exist across classes. I am also glad that both shows presented to the world how strong and important the FAMILY UNIT is. The Cosby Show did not show every aspect of black life, but it did accurately depict a certain segment of black life. The Cosby Show is very popular. There are many of its episodes shown on Centric.

Now, I disagree with Bill Cosby on some issues. You know the issues. I don't agree with him on the pound cake comment, his views on the poor, etc. I can disagree with him on some issues, but I will not disrespect him though.

“The Get On Up: The James Brown story” is filled with an interesting, strong story. I saw the movie in a theater. The story doesn’t sugarcoat the life of James Brown, but it does capture of the immense talent of James Brown in amazing detail. The movie SHOWED the ambition and energy of the late American musical legend. The movie was directed by Tate Taylor and the screenplay was made by Jez and John-Henry Butterworth. James Brown lived from 1933 to 2006. He was one of the architects of soul music and he pioneered the passage from early rhythm and blues to funk. He played in over 300 shows a years that showed his many hits. His performance was energetic, dynamic, and powerful. He has been called “The Godfather of Soul,” “The Hardest Working Man in Show BUSINESS ” and “Mr. Dynamite.” Mick Jagger co-produced the film as well. The movie begins in 1988. This was when James Brown carried a shotgun in one of his buildings. He talks to a group of his insurance agents. Later, he goes into a high speed chase across Georgia and South Carolina. His life was filled with ups and down. His childhood was hard and tumultuous. James Brown was born in rural Barnwell, South Carolina during the Great Depression. He suffered extreme poverty. At an early age, Brown’s mother Susie (Viola Davis) is forced against her will to abandon her son. After that, his Aunt Honey (Octavia Spencer), who runs a brothel, raises him in Augusta, Georgia, where his abusive father Joe (Lennie James) had moved to work local turpentine camps. Joe is later drafted during World War II. The young James is expected to help raise money to keep Aunt Honey’s establishment going by working with soldiers.

Later, he is influenced by evangelism and Pentecostal gospel music. Much of his style and influences come from gospel music. There are so many musicians that have been influenced by religious music. He is arrested at 16 for stealing a suit. He is sentenced to 3 to 15 years in prison. In a 2003 documentary film entitled Soul Survivor: The James Brown Story, Brown says, “I stole from the rich to give to the poor and me.” In prison, Brown meets Bobby Byrd, who is an R&B singer and pianist. They have a lifelong friendship and musical partnership. The movie has Little Richard (played by Brandon Smith) inspiring James Brown to make a demo record. He works in his band called the “Famous Flames.” He earns a contract with Federal Records. When “Please, Please, Please” is released as a single in 1956, the group’s name is changed from the “Famous Flames” to “James Brown and His Famous Flames,” which does not go down well with the other band members. He becomes a soloist by being told by the corporate executives to do so. His fame grew. He toured overseas. Also, there were conflicts with other musicians (in dealing with economic issues) and he did the wrong thing in committing domestic violence against women. In the 1960’s, he supported the civil rights movement. In the documentary, Brown states, “My music was keeping pace with the changes in society. We were demanding our RIGHTS now, civil rights and human rights.” He was famous for his performances in the Apollo and in Paris too. He had tons of hits in the 1960’s with records like “Papa's Got a Brand New Bag", "I Got You" and "It's a Man's Man's Man's World.” During the Vietnam War, he performed for the American troops. The movie showed him performing in the Boston Garden concert during the aftermath of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in April of 1968. His performance in Boston was filled with police throwing people off stage and other tensions. James Brown uses his voice to calm the crowd down and to continue on with his music. He even invites people to dance with him on stage. The movie shows him meeting his mother after long years and finally reconciling. That scene with his mother was very emotional.

The movie showed his political side with his song, “Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud.” That song showed a great, legitimate message of promoting black personhood, black pride, and love for black people in general. His political views were eclectic. He supported Hubert Humphrey in 1968, but he supported Nixon in 1969 and in 1972, because he embraced the slogan of “black capitalism.” He always believed in education for the youth, so the young people can have a better future. I have no problem with that. I disagree with "black capitalism." James Brown believed in an intense individualism (or the philosophy of someone working hard to be successful with your own individual power). The movie ends with him performing in a crowd (and Bobby Byrd and his wife are in the audience). The movie is very honest, interesting, and exciting. James Brown was one of the greatest artists in history.

The two members of the popular K-POP band Ladies’ Code lost their lives tragically in a car crash on September 3rd. Like always, we send prayers and condolences to their families and friends. Their last video depicted them flirting with death. The K-POP industry of course has blatant symbolism and mind control references as these things are found throughout the mainstream entertainment industry. K-POP is based in South Korea. Their VIDEO CALLED “Hate You” had mind control references and other disturbing imagery. The video shows the singers as puppets with strings controlled by unseen handlers. In the video there are dolls all around. Some interpret this as multiple personalities. There are markings on the wall in the video. This refers to forced confinement. A butterfly flashed for a split second. This image is similar to the Monarch Programming. Two members of the group died in a violent car crash. They were returning to the South Korean capital after filming a TV appearance in the southeastern city of Daegu. The camera inside of the van (where the musicians were in before they crashed) had been sent to the National Forensic Service. Singer EunB lost her life at the crash site while RiSe passed away a few days later, after hours of intensive surgery. Shortly after the car crash, a few strange facts surfaced, causing some observers to believe that the van used by Ladies’ Code was sabotaged. First, the van was not the group’s usual vehicle but a rental that was “used for the first time”. Second, the airbags did not deploy. Finally, a wheel completely flew off from the vehicle. This is a rare occurrence, especially with recent vehicles. One of the wheels completely flew off the vehicle. The lyrics of the song Kiss Kiss overtly talks about kissing. That video begins with members of Ladies’ Code visiting a dead man lying inside of a casket. The girls oddly act as if they are attracted to him. Later in the video, each member visits the dead guy and attempt to kiss him (why?). When EunB (one of the two singers who died in the car crash) visits the man, he gets up and kisses her. In another scene, EunB is shown sitting in front of a target while arrows are shot at her. She covers up one eye in the scene too. The scene is inspired by Guilaume Tell and she seems to not appreciate the event like she was forced into it. Death is represented by the use of a poison. The other scenes deal with images of a Pentagram looking similar to the Seal of Solomon, pulling the plug, and other disturbing images. So, we should know the truth and the truth is that symbolism and messages are found in numerous music videos. One source gives excellent information on the subject of mind control:

“The dumbing down …occurs in the brain when we watch television. Activity in the higher brain regions (such as the neo-cortex) is diminished, while activity in the lower brain regions (such as the limbic system) increases. The latter, commonly referred to as the reptile brain, is associated with more primitive mental functions, such as the “fight or flight” response. The reptile brain is unable to distinguish between reality and the simulated reality of television. To the reptile brain, if it looks real, it is real. Thus, though we know on a conscious level it is “only a film,” on a conscious level we do not―the heart beats faster, for instance, while we watch a suspenseful scene. Similarly, we know the commercial is trying to manipulate us, but on an unconscious level the commercial nonetheless succeeds in, say, making us feel inadequate until we buy whatever thing is being advertised―and the effect is all the more powerful because it is unconscious, operating on the deepest level of human response. The reptile brain makes it possible for us to survive as biological beings, but it also leaves us vulnerable to the manipulations of television programmers. This is where the manipulators use our own emotions as strings to control us. The distortions and directions we are being moved to are taking place in the subconscious, often undetected.”

―Alex Ansary, Mass Mind Control Through Network Television

We should use discernment, strength, and courage to stand up for real wisdom.

The 2014 Video Music Awards has been filled with music, a moment of silence, and of course controversy. Throughout human history, many forms of art and many forms of music have been filled with debate and controversy. The show combined many celebrities talking and new artists showing their talents in the stage. The hosts were Sway and Lucy Hale. The presenters consisted of many celebrities not just musicians, but TV hosts, comedians, actors, actresses, etc. There are a lot of debates, subjects, and discussions about the awards show. There were numerous performances from Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea, and others. The awards showed many performers dancing. Some people love the performances and others view some of the performances as being oversexed. This debate is an important one. The answer leads into balance. Any performer should not be totally restricted in the freedom of expression. The freedom to never be ashamed of dancing is fine and we should not be nihilists either. Therefore, reasonable boundaries are fine to adhere to in performances and things of that nature. Nicki Minaj performed her music too. One of the new people in the VMAs was Ariana Grande. She was a child TV star and now she is more famous today. She was once on a Nickelodeon show called “Sam and Cat,” which was popular among children under 12.

Now, Ariana Grande has her VIDEO CALLED “Break Free.” In the video, it showed the Kabbalistic Tree of Life being used to launch the spaceship. So, symbolism are common not only in music performances, but in music videos all of the time. In one image, she shows a yellow star covering up her right eye. Common issued a moment of silence about the death of Michael Brown and the situation in Ferguson. I have no issue with this. Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda song samples Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” song. The lyrics in both songs are very vulgar. Jesse J and other have shown their performances too. Jay Z and Beyoncé in the awards show acted as the royal family of the awards. I will say that it was touching to see both of them show love to their child Blue Ivy. That was a great moment of the awards show. Jay Z and Beyoncé truly care about Blue Ivy. She gave a performance. She quoted a famous African writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in promoting the idea of feminism. I know Bell Hooks don’t agree with her on this issue. I understand where Bell Hooks and Beyoncé are coming from on the issue of feminism. The truth is that there is nothing wrong with feminism when it calls for the social, economic, and political equality among men and women. Feminism is fine with me. The problem is that mainstream Western society claims to follow feminism, but its policies, movies, and actions readily degrade, malign, disrespect, exploit, and harm women and females in general all of the time. Hollywood and the entertainment industry claim to be progressive, but their movies and propaganda are far from progressive (that is why Hollywood readily supports the military industrial complex). That is the point. The youth need legitimate boundaries. Sex and sexuality are wonderful, but they should not be exploited to degrade people or to send the wrong messages in the world. We can have our freedom and follow real ethics at the same time.

The 2014 film “Noah” is very controversial. It is both historically and biblical inaccurate. Also, scholars have found other messages in the film which promotes nefarious political agendas as well. The movie presents the message of the establishment. That message is that humanity is a cancer and most humans must be cleansed or killed to make the world better. That message is obviously deplorable. The Georgia Guidestones monuments promote a world population of only 500 million human beings. That can never happen unless billions of people die. The movie calls God, “the Creator.” The actors and actresses wear modern day clothing. The movie Noah has symbols, plots, images, etc. that have nothing to do with the biblical story as well. The movie portrays Noah as a narcissistic, murderous dictator who wants to fulfill his mission at all costs (even using immoral actions to do so). The truth is that human life is not some cancer. Humans like animals have value. The film shows only a small group of people surviving the Flood as a means to CONTINUE with their select bloodline. Noah in the film stabs a man in the leg for hunting an animal when carnivorous animals eat other animals all of the time. That is part of Nature. The movie distorts the story of the giants. The Bible calls the giants Nephilim and the giants’ corruption have to do with God sending down the flood. Also, the giants are rock monsters in the movie when the Bible says that the Giants are just humans with a lot of geo-political power. The movie presents the giants as almost like the “good guys.” Tubal-Cain is involved in metal working and he is portrayed as a sympathetic figure in the film. Freemasonry has tons of literature praising Tubal-Cain (or from the family of Cain). Noah allows an innocent young girl to die by being trampled by people. Tubal-Cain in the movie is seen as the counter voice to Noah. There is the Gnostic archetype in the movie too. Noah in the film kills many people and was about to stab his own granddaughter in the face. The film shows Ham killing Tubal-Cain (which is not found in the Bible). Ham by the end of the movie goes his own way. The movie outlines greatly extra biblical content. It also gives the false message is that sense humanity is collectively evil, then humanity deserves to be slaughtered even when Genesis says that God will never flood the Earth again. Ironically, it is the global elite that have been heavily responsible for war, environmental degradation, and economic exploitation for a long time. Humanity shouldn’t be slaughtered. Humans have the right to work with Nature positively and work to solve problems constructively.

The “Kill the Messenger” movie discusses about an inconvenient truth for many. The film is about the reporting of the brave Gary Webb. Gary Webb found out that the Contras were smuggling cocaine in America with the assistance of the CIA. Gary Webb was the journalist of San Joe Mercury. He covered this information in his groundbreaking three part series entitled, “Dark Alliance.” The series discovered a networked that helped the CIA-backed Nicaraguan Contra forces with profits form the cocaine trade in California. The Nicaraguan supplier was a man named Norwin Meneses, who associated with top level Contra leader Adolfo Calero. Meneses’ agent or Danilo Blandon distributed cocaine in Los Angeles to the former high school tennis player named Ricky Ross. The Blandon/Meneses version of cocaine was high grade, but cheap. This is what made Ross a millionaire. He was nicknamed “Freeway Rick,” because he made so much money selling drugs that he purchased properties along the Harbor Freeway including motels and theaters. Webb said that the CIA knew about it and turned a blind eye, because the CIA wanted to overthrow the leftist Sandinista government of Nicaragua. Also, the CIA has been involved in election rigging, assassinations, coups against even democratically elected government, spying, and other evils for years and decades. The CIA allowed its clients and associates to import large amounts of cocaine into California including throughout the rest of America. In fact, under oath, Blandon testified that Contra military leader Enrique Bermudez used precisely that phrase, “the ends justify the means.” Webb’s series ran from August 18-20, 1996. It was spread in the Internet, cable TV, and talk radio. The Internet was just in its formative stages. The Mercury News made a website that linked to scores of documents and hundreds of pages of supplemental materials. The corporate media back then wanted to ruin his reputation in an inappropriate fashion. The Contra-cocaine link was shown back in 1985. Robert Perry and Brian Barger reported on it in the Associated Press. During the Iran/Contra hearings in 1987, a protester disrupted the testimony by ex-White House aide Oliver North by yelling, “ask about the cocaine,” but no one did (at least not in open session). Even John Kerry investigated the situation and found that many Contras were involved in drug trafficking and the U.S. intelligence community have knowledge of this for years. Ronald Reagan was a hypocrite by saying Just Say No, but he aided the drug smuggling Contras. If the mainstream media reported on this story strongly back then, lives could have been saved, communities could have grown, families could be strengthened, and society can improve. The mainstream media have links to the CIA, so it is normal to see how they have slandered Gary Webb for years. Other voices have told the same thing that Gary Webb has said. For example, former DEA agent Celerino Castillo, former CIA agent Bradley Ayers and former Los Angeles police officer Mike Ruppert all began to speak out about CIA-sanctioned drug running. Even investigations by of the Contra cocaine scandal by the government (by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Bromwich and CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz) confirmed Webb’s words. The CIA allowed the drug trafficking by the Contras to take place. After Webb’s death, Sen. John Kerry wrote the Sacramento News and Review that “Because of Webb’s work the CIA launched an Inspector General investigation that named dozens of troubling connections to drug runners. That wouldn’t have happened if Gary Webb hadn’t been willing to stand up and risk it all.” (LA Weekly, May 30, 2013). Webb suffered a great deal and died. He was only 49 years old. So, we remember Gary Webb and we ought to be inspired even more to combat government corruption and any injustice in the world.

The PBS documentary series entitled, “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History” chronicles the lives of Theodore Roosevelt, his niece Eleanor, and her husband and distant cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The truth is known about Theodore Roosevelt. Many people call him a progressive (because of his stances on economic issues), but he was not progressive in terms of foreign policy or on racial matters at all. He said that nine out of ten Native Americans must be good when they are dead. Real American history must be discussed. Part of real American history is about how the descendants of the Mayflower were involved in the genocide of indigenous peoples of North Americans. Many of the earliest American Presidents like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison earned their wealth via slaveholding. Other Presidents submitted to slave holding interests or protected them. The Roosevelt family had a long history. Theodore Roosevelt’s mother was pro-confederate. Her father sold slaves in order to pay for her wedding to Theodore Roosevelt Sr. She actively campaigned against her husband’s plan to enlist in the Union army while smuggling aid to confederate soldiers’ relatives. We see that Theodore Roosevelt was involved in the Span-American war, which was an effort to end the Spanish Empire in Cuba, but it caused Cuba to be once a vassal of the United States. Also, the U.S. forced the Philippines and Puerto Rico to be American territories. In fact, from 1901 to 1911, the United States killed more than 250,000 people in the Philippines. The Philippines became independent by a huge amount of resistance to Western occupation. Where I live at (in Hampton Roads, Virginia), there is a strong Filipino American population. I know many Filipinos in real life who honorable, nice, and progressive people. Panama was a Colombian territory until President Roosevelt encouraged a revolt. Later, Panama became a new, independent nation and the construction of the Panama Canal came about more swiftly. First as Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1898 and then as vice president and president, Roosevelt made clear that he lusted for death on a mass scale. “I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one,” Roosevelt opined. He said that war stimulated “spiritual renewal” and [emphasis mine] “the clear instinct for racial selfishness.” He defended the imperial project in the Philippines by declaring Filipinos “Chinese half-b___s” and surmised that the bloodshed was “the most glorious war in our nation’s history.” Theodore Roosevelt also said that he wanted white people to make more babies, so that they could conquer the people of color in the world. We know how George Washington took teeth form other human beings (or black slaves, who suffered excruciating experiences). We don’t need hero worship of white supremacists, slave traders, and imperialists at all.

The Russian tennis chief is racist and a sexist. The Russian is being punished for his reckless, stupid statements. For a long time, the beauty, the intelligence, and the dignity of black women have been slandered by ignorant people who have no clue about black people or the resiliency of the black experience in general. Serena Williams responded to the ignorant comments made by that male with eloquence, power, inspiration, and clarity. Serena Williams is a great athlete and I wish more blessings for her and for her family. The beauty of the black African phenotype is undeniable. Dark skinned black women and all black women in general should always be respected as human beings. There are many black men who respect black women. There are many black women who respect black men too. We will always condemn racism, colorism, sexism, and any invalid, retrograde ideology completely. At the end of the day, many people are jealous of Serena and Venus Williams’ beauty, success, talent, and love that they have for their family. As a Brother and as a conscious human being, I wish the Williams Sisters (who are two beautiful and strong Black Women) the best. It is as simple as that. Serena Williams’ new commercial with the headphones is very inspiring too. There is nothing wrong with our natural hair as black people at all. There is nothing wrong with our BEAUTIFUL SKIN at all. We are all black and beautiful. Black women do workout. When I have gone to the gym, I see black women working out all of the time straight up. I know plenty of black female co-workers who work out too. Therefore, the myth that black women don’t work out ought to be repudiated and dismissed as a misogynistic, racist lie. Also, exercise should be used to build people up and not as a way to demonize a person because of their weight or physical appearance. At the end of the day, we all share one planet, we all care for our families, and we are all mortal. We are interdependent with each other as human beings and we should continue on that journey to improve our own lives. I wish the absolute best for CEO of Black Women do Workout Sister Crystal Adell. The video made the excellent point that the First Lady Michelle Obama exercising has inspired people, especially black women. Exercise can save lives literally. The First Lady is right to advocate HEALTHY EATING in society. Even cardio can improve brain power (as in intellectual power, memory, cognition, and problem solving), enhance your mood, and decrease the chances of people having heart disease considerately.

Middle Eastern History Part 2

The history of the Middle East is a very long one. It is filled with controversy, joy, wars, and the development of some of the most well-known monotheistic religions in world history. The lands of the Middle East stretch from the Arabian Peninsula to the Iranian Plateau. The first humans existed from Africa. Human beings from Africa migrated globally, which definitely includes the Middle East. In ca. 10,000 B.C., there was the development of intensive flock MANAGEMENT in the Zagros Mountains. Back in the 8th millennium B.C, Emmer wheat was domesticated and cultivated in southeast Turkey. Turkey experienced many settlements during the Neolithic age like in Nevali Cori in ca. 8,000 B.C. and in Cathalhoyuk in southern Anatolia. In Turkey and throughout the Middle East crops grew and soon the domestication of the cow came in the Middle East by the 7th millennium B.C.

Irrigation existed in Mesopotamia by ca. 5,400 B.C. The wheel and plough was created in ancient Mesopotamia in the 5,000’s B.C. too including temples being founded. Early civilizations were developed during the 4,000’s B.C. like the Civilization of Susa and Kish (in Mesopotamia) by ca. 4,500 B.C. The Merimde culture developed on the Nile from 4,570 B.C. to 4,250 B.C. The famous Badari culture was in Egypt on the Nile from 4,400 B.C. to 4,000 B.C. The Sumerian civilization developed in this time period as well. They are known for created writing in Mesopotamia. The Sumerian civilization was a network of city states in the region of Sumer (or southern Iraq). These city states had agricultural, irrigation canals, markets and a concentrated population. The two centers were Eridu and Uruk, which are their earliest cities. Although the earliest forms of writing in the region do not go back much further than c. 3500 BCE, modern historians have suggested that Sumer was first permanently settled between c. 5500 and 4000 BCE by a non-Semitic people who may or may not have spoken the Sumerian language (pointing to the names of cities, rivers, basic occupations, etc. as evidence). They had priest kings, councils, polytheistic religions, and other forms of advanced civilizations. By ca. 2,400 B.C., the Semitic speaking kinds of the Akkadian Empire conquered them. Native Sumerians re-emerged to rule for about a century in the third dynasty of Ur of the 21st to 20th century. There were mountain peoples who were farmers and herders. The Anatolian peoples were farmers too. Many Semitic human beings were sheep herders and farmers as well. From 3,500 to 2,500 B.C., the civilizations of Mesopotamia grew. The peoples of the Middle East traded with Africa, India, and with the Indo-Europeans peoples of Asia as well. The period of 2,500 B.C. to 1,500 B.C. described the growth of civilizations, empires, and new states.

During this time, Mesopotamia saw the rise of Babylonia into the next level. The Mitanni Empire existed in Northern Iraq (which was influenced by Semites and Indo-Europeans). Syria and Canaan grew. The Hittite Empire flourished and they traded with ancient Egypt as well. Elam developed and Elam is found in modern day Iran. During this time period, centralized states became more sophisticated. A complex commercial life, bureaucracies, and well organized armed existed (as a means to maintain the strength of Empires). People used the chariot as a means for warfare or travel. There were massive upheavals and power structures for influence in the Middle East. Ancient Egypt was the most powerful empire in the region during that time period. The Middle East from 1500 B.C. to 1000 B.C. experienced a lot of changes. From the beginning of this era, invaders like the Hyksos (or Semitic peoples) and others have attacked ancient Egypt, the Hittites, Assyria, and Babylon. New peoples started to develop. Also, in this period, the Iron Age started to flourish. Iron was used in a widespread fashion and it probably started in Asia Minor. Semitic peoples started to develop their own powerbase in Israel and the Phoenicians. Arabian Kingdoms developed in ancient Saudi Arabia too. In Iran, we see the rise of the Medes, the Persians, and the Parthians. Uratu is a culture near Mount Ararat. In Asia Minor, the Hittite empire fall and the Phrygians and the Lydians control many areas of Turkey. Assyria was a major Mesopotamian Semitic Kingdom. It is found in Northern Iraq. It came about from 2,500 B.C. to 605 B.C. Smaller states existed during its existence too. Its capital was the city of Ashur. The Assyrian Empire had chariots, temples, religious infrastructures, and other parts of a strong civilization. The Phoenicians traveled all over the Mediterranean Sea into North Africa, Spain, and they traded as far as the UK. The Phoenicians invented the alphabet system in the modern age. The camel has been domesticated in this period and new trade routes across the Arabian Desert came into existence. The Israelites formed their own Kingdom. The first record of the name Israel (as ysrỉꜣr) occurs in the Merneptah stele, ERECTED for Egyptian Pharaoh Merneptah c. 1209 BCE, "Israel is laid waste and his seed is not." William Dever sees this "Israel" in the central highlands as a cultural and probably political entity, more an ethnic group rather than an organized state. The ancestors of the Israelites are different to the Canaanites. The ancestors of the Israelites were Semites. Villages in Israel have up to 300 or 400 people. They used farming, herding, and they were largely self-sufficient. The Tel Dan Stele and the Mesha Stele described the occurrences in Israel by name.

During the era of Jesus Christ was one of the most controversial eras of the Middle East. The Parthian and Roman Empires governed Mesopotamia, Iran, etc. The Arabian Kingdoms grew in size plus power and they traded with the black African peoples of Nubia and the Kingdom of Axum. The Jewish people were not only found in Judaea (or Israel today), but they existed in Africa, Asia, and Europe by the time of Augustus. Yeshua was a revolutionary rabbi who taught love, peace, and that the Kingdom of God was at hand. To Christians, he is the Messiah (the Son of God). To Muslims, he was a great prophet. To those who followed Judaism, he was a leader, but not the Messiah. Yet, Yeshua was a person who will be very famous and debated long after 33 A.D. I believe that Yeshua is the Messiah and the Son of God. Rebellions existed in Israel when Jewish people rebelled against Roman Empire tyranny.

The Middle East from 200 B.C. to 200 A.D. was dominated by the Roman Empire, the Scythian Empire, the Arabian Kingdom, Armenia, and other areas which traded with each other in a high level. Asia Minor was heavily divided into various client states of the Roman Empire. Greco-Roman influences are found throughout the region. Syria, Lycia, Judaea, Thrace, and other areas were having their own cultures as well. By 200 A.D., the Parthian Empire was strengthened and it controlled a large part of Mesopotamia. The Roman and Parthian Empire had a hostile and competitive relationship with each other. The Kingdom of Armenia acted as a buffer between both empires. The growth of Christianity continued in the Middle East. It soon became larger in members than Judaism and other religions. In the Middle East during this time, Jewish revolts for liberation were crushed by Roman imperialist armies. Near 500 A.D., the Roman Empire is divided in East and West. The Eastern part of the Roman Empire encompasses certain parts of the Middle East. The Parthian Empire is replaced with another Persian empire. The Sassanid dynasty of Persia is powerful too. The Sassanid dynasty was very aggressive as well. 

The Eastern Roman Empire evolved into the Byzantine Empire with some of its own unique architecture, culture, and government. By the 7th century, Arabic tribes united under the banner of Islam. Islam was created by Muhammad. Islam spread quickly in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, etc. Its armies were powerful. French armies repelled the Muslim military advances. Islam has similarities and differences to Christianity and Judaism. All of the three religions are monotheistic. The Persian Empire is gone by the 7th century. The new Islamic Caliphate or empire rules the Middle East politically and economically. Caliphate comes from the word “caliph” meaning “successor.” Damascus, Syria was one capital of the caliphate and then it was moved into Baghdad, Iraq. The Islamic world shifted eastward after ca. 750 A.D. Islam spread into Spain, North Africa, Egypt, Syria, western India, and other parts of Asia. Caliphs have huge political powers. During this time, technological and scientific developments came from China like paper, from India like the decimal system, etc. Arabic scholars developed contributions as it relates to philosophy, medicine, philosophy, optics, algebra, etc. This information was passed onto Europeans. There was the Fatimid Caliphate in Egypt. There was the Kingdom of Armenia, the Emirate of Azerbaijan, the Buyid Emirate of Iran, the Saminid Emirate of Central Asia, etc. Oman and Yemen developed.

Even in the 900’s A.D., Nubia and Ethiopia existed. By 979 A.D., we see the rise and fall of the Seljuq Empire. This empire was made up of Muslim Turks from Central Asia who came into Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. The Turkish sultans became the sultanate of Rum. The Ayyubid sultanate grew in size. The Ayyubids were Turkish people. The Seljuq conquests even spread into the Arabian Peninsula. There was the Kingdom of Georgia and the Empire of Khwarazm Shah in Iran. Oman and Yemen existed too. The Seljuq placed strict conditions on Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem. Later, European Christians lead a number of “Crusades” to not only fight Muslims, but to conquer the Middle East in an imperialist fashion. The Europeans temporarily set up a number of Christian states in Syria. This influenced the modern day Christian populations in Syria and Lebanon. The Khwarazm Shah was made up of Turks too. These Turks came from Central Asia. They migrated via invasions for the next two centuries. In the 1230’s, the Mongols ruled much of the Middle East. The Mongols conquered Iran and Iraq. By 1258 A.D, they captured Baghdad and killed the last of the Caliphs. They were only stopped by the slave soldiers of the Mamluq Turks. These Turks controlled Egypt, Syria, and western Arabia. They ousted the last Crusades strongholds on the Syrian coast. The Mongols introduced firearms in the region and the Mamluq armies used them. Genghis Khan created the Mongol empire and his descendants ruled it too. Il-Khans were Mongols who converted to Islam. The Black Death struck the region in the 1340’s. Timur ruled much of the Middle East too. His empire shrank back to Iran. The Black Sheep Turks ruled Iran too. The Ottoman Empire grew and by 1453, the Ottoman captured the Byzantine capital of Constantinople. The Ottoman Empire lasted for centuries. They brought some peace and stability in the region. Still, it used its armies to conquer Syria in 1516, Egypt in 1517 and western Arabia (like Hejaz and Yemen). They ruled Iraq in 1534. Architecture, cultural growth, economic growth developed in the prime of the Ottoman Empire. The Safavid Empire was in Iran. During the 1700’s, the Ottoman Empire maintained its power. Arabic people formed emirates and the Saudi Kingdom. Western interests are more involved in the region too. Nations like Yemen, Oman, and Persia existed by the 1700’s. By the 1800’s, the Ottoman Empire declined. Egypt became independent of the Ottomans. Syria and Iraq once were independent and then became under the control of the Ottomans. Bahrain, Kuwait, and other areas of the Middle East developed. Persia has grown. By the 1900’s, Egypt is under British economic control. The Ottoman Empire is crushed by WWI. Britain, France, and other European powers split up the Middle East in their own images without considerations of the aspirations of the people. Soon, Iraq, Ian, Lebanon, and other nations become independent after WWII. In 1948, Britain left Palestine. The British played both the Jewish and Arabic peoples against each other. This caused tensions. Jewish and Arabic peoples CONTINUEto fight to this very day. Both sides claim each side is unfair. Israel declared independence in 1948 and conflicts existed. Both sides have made errors and mistakes. The oil industry in the Middle East has grown considerately. In the 21st century, the Middle East has been dominated with the issues of terrorism, oil, Israel/Palestinian matters, wars, trade, and other geopolitical affairs. These issues have been very complex with not only Israeli and Palestinian divisions. There are Sunni and Shia divisions (there are Kurds in the region as well) too.

In conclusion, the Middle East is made up of an interesting, long history. Its history involves joy, happiness, pain, turmoil, and obviously controversies. Its residents are diverse with various ethnicities, agendas, creeds, and ideologies. Yet, they share one region and all of the people in the Middle East have diversity and human value. Certainly, we do want the Jewish and Arabic peoples to live there in peace, harmony, and equality including justice.

By Timothy

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