Tag Archives: USA

Koji Steven: The United States Vs. Takaichi Sakai: Crimes, Part 1 of 5

He burned sensitive files while working for a foreign government. He said that he was not willing to fight for the United States and would not give up his allegiance to a foreign power during a time of war. He renounced his American citizenship. Who was this enemy of the United States?

He was my grandfather on my dad’s side. Having died before I was born, he was and has always been an enigma to me. My Aunt doesn’t remember her father being anti-American. To her, he was a true patriot. Any suggestion otherwise doesn’t fit in with how she chooses to remember him.

Based on his actions though, most would call him a traitor. I want to believe, like my Aunt, that he was a “good” American and that he was forced to make decisions that only made him look disloyal.

Over the last six years, I have been doing research on my grandfather. Recently, a wonderful National Archives researcher helped me “find” his FBI file. In the documents, my grandfather finally had a chance to tell me what happened and why he made the decisions that he did. In this five-part series, I will use primary documents and my grandfather’s words as much as possible. Where needed, I will add historical context to help understand the story. In the end, I believe my Grandfather’s World War II experience is the All-American story of what happens when you “look” like the enemy.

My grandfather’s name was Takaichi Sakai. He was born on August 10, 1903 in Pahala, Hawaii. His father had immigrated from Japan during the late 1880s, making him a Nisei, or second generation Japanese American. He worked as a clerk for the Japanese consulate’s office until December 6, 1941.

The FBI Intelligence report I found in the National Archives in my grandmother’s file (Sato Sakai) laid out the case against my grandfather: more…

Death Penalty in 2010: Executing countries left isolated after decade of progress


Countries which continue to use the death penalty are being left increasingly isolated following a decade of progress towards abolition, Amnesty International has said today in its new report Death Sentences and Executions in 2010.

A total of 31 countries abolished the death penalty in law or in practice during the last 10 years but China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the USA and Yemen remain amongst the most frequent executioners, some in direct contradiction of international human rights law.

The total number of executions officially recorded by Amnesty International in 2010 went down from at least 714 people in 2009 to at least 527 in 2010, excluding China.

China is believed to have executed thousands in 2010 but continues to maintain its secrecy over its use of the death penalty.

“The minority of states that continue to systematically use the death penalty were responsible for thousands of executions in 2010, defying the global anti-death penalty trend,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

“While executions may be on the decline, a number of countries continue to pass death sentences for drug-related offences, economic crimes, sexual relations between consenting adults and blasphemy, violating international human rights law forbidding the use of the death penalty except for the most serious crimes,” said Salil Shetty. Continue reading Death Penalty in 2010: Executing countries left isolated after decade of progress

Unlimited Justice; should US teachers be allowed to hit students? (via Mike Shinoda’s Blog)


This is pretty disturbing so watch the video!

In all 50 states it is illegal to hit a prisoner In all 50 states it is illegal to hit someone in the military In all 50 states it is illegal to hit an animal But in 20 states in America, it is still legal for educators to hit or paddle students in schools.  What do you think about this?  Visit http://unlimitedjustice.com/ for more info.   … Read More

via Mike Shinoda's Blog

Meet the rising stars of UK hip-hop

K Koke
K Koke

UK hip-hop was once the stomping ground of champions such as Roots Manuva, London Posse and Skinnyman. But nearly a decade on, after grime’s ever-expanding success a new wave of rappers is emerging. They don’t have press shots. Most still have other jobs or play out their rhymes in their daily hustle. But they’re united in redefining UK hip-hop as we know it.

“I see this as the first wave – the music that’s been made before wasn’t for me. You have to respect the forefathers. But no one can deny the difference it made when Giggs got signed,” says Marga, an east London rapper building up a buzz on Twitter. “He opened the door for us. And Malik from Birmingham; he’s been doing this before anyone, he’s like a father to us.”

Charlie Sloth, whose BBC Radio 1Xtra show is to UKhip-hop what Kiss 100’s Logan Sama is to grime, agrees. “I know you can’t reinvent the wheel, but it’s like the UK scene has definitely put alloys on it.”

“Artists now are talking about issues that the young people can relate to. They have no time for US rappers and would much rather hear homegrown talent,” says Sloth. “The new wave of rap artists over here has finally realised that not only is it selling a sound but it is selling a lifestyle.”

While they might not have as much time for US rappers any more, followers of American hip-hop will have seen a Stateside parallel to the UK scene, with names such as Wiz Khalifa, Yelawolf, Nipsey Hussle, J Cole and Wacka Flocka Flame (who Giggs recently teamed up with on free download Gangster Hop) becoming popular among downloaders.

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Why Your State Sucks: The Great American Map of Fail


Let’s face it, we totally judge people based on where they’re from. Here’s your handy cheat sheet to each state’s worst quality.

There’s no shortage of derogatory comments about some states, such as New Jersey or Florida, but have you gotten tongue-tied when meeting someone from North Dakota? Well, this map is your key to a proper comeback – and according to a Daily Beast poll, the Peace Garden State has the ugliest people. It’s a little known, yet “scientifically proven” zinger that’s might make a few North Dakotan enemies.

Each of the nifty fifty ranks last in something, though some milestones certainly outweigh the others. Some accolades are tame and actually quite bland. Ohio is the nerdiest state, and Iowa has the oldest residents – words that would cause nary a reaction when thrown out in a verbal spar.

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