Eartha Kitt, quoted in Norman Solomon’s “The Penn Paradox” over at Common Dreams.

[…] “If you walk through life needing everybody to love you, you will never do anything.” […]

There has to be something, an agency or collective or collaborative effort to replace the Voter News Service if it should go under. The absence of information about population segments comes too close to an anti-initiative, an inadvertent privacy, a blindness that risks serving the status quo. I mean, I like these black voter turnout projections; don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to be entirely dependent on mainstream media. I want as much information about these things as possible.

Oh, dear.

New York Times, Gwen Kinkead, “To Study Disease, Britain Plans a Genetic Census”

[…] If the $120 million project, called U.K. Biobank, goes forward, and enough people volunteer for pilot studies, 1.2 million healthy Britons from 45 to 69 will give blood samples to the Biobank. From their blood, DNA will be purified and frozen. Ninety percent of the donors will be white. The rest will roughly reflect Britain’s demographics.

From these, 500,000 will be chosen for the project by 2008.

When they sign up, volunteers will get brief health examinations and will answer 10-page questionnaires about their socioeconomic and psychological status, reproductive history, exercise, cellphone use and beverage preferences. They will note their diets for a week.

For 10 years, they will be followed through their national health care records, which will be copied into the Biobank. The data will be anonymous, but not completely, to allow for updates by doctors or new questionnaires. By 2014, 40,175 are expected to fall ill with diabetes, heart disease, stroke or cancer. Another 6,200 are expected to have Parkinson’s, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis or hip fractures.

The DNA of these people will be read and compared, and any normal gene variants, the one-nucleotide differences in DNA that make one person’s biology different from another’s, will be tagged for study.

“Then you will be able to see patterns: X number have this sort of genetic makeup and this kind of lifestyle, and Y has that, and you can start analyzing, if you like, the nature-nurture, environment-genes secret,” said Sir George Radda, the molecular cardiologist who heads the Medical Research Council, a sponsor of the Biobank. […]

New York Times, Larry Rohter, “A Government Gig for Brazilian Pop Star”

[…] “We have to free ourselves a bit from the idea that the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture is to produce culture […] I don’t think so. I think the role of the ministry is to create the conditions in which culture can be made and improved and to act as a bridge between those who make culture and those who consume it.”

He’s a Green Party member. His hair’s starting to lock. The country’s left has more issues with him than the country’s right. What’s not to love about Gilberto Gil? We’ve got “Quanta” in our CD collection. I may have to dust it off and, uh, inspect it for public-policy ideas. Through headphones. Think the neighbors will mind if I sing along? At top volume?

You know, you could be reading Michael Bowen or Ejovi Nuwere.

Oh, Michael? He doesn’t know what he’s started. Poor fellow. He actually got me thinking about micropayments again. They’re a figment of bloggers’ imaginations. His Web pages were some of the first noncommercial content I ever read online.

Y’all are getting your Kwanzaa on, right? Today’s Nguzo Saba principle is ujamaa, or cooperative economics. To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together. One year, I bought an ad off Oliver. (I mean, really. Better him than Robert Johnson.)

This year, it’s been more along the lines of gift economies: exchanges of attention and expertise and thoughtful consideration. Adrienne knows what I mean. So does (e)L. D.J. So do Gwen and Tyler and Cecily. And Donald, too, bless his heart and several vital organs to be named later.

Filling a much-needed void has its cloaking shields up. Hanne’s fans, her cliquish claque of clicksters, dab hands all, have already begun drawing a blank. I draw no conclusions between mention of Hanne, and anyone who may or may not have forwarded Adam Clymer’s “U.S. Revises Sex Information, and a Fight Goes On”

The National Cancer Institute, which used to say on its Web site that the best studies showed “no association between abortion and breast cancer,” now says the evidence is inconclusive.

A Web page of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used to say studies showed that education about condom use did not lead to earlier or increased sexual activity. That statement, which contradicts the view of “abstinence only” advocates, is omitted from a revised version of the page.

Critics say those changes, far below the political radar screen, illustrate how the Bush administration can satisfy conservative constituents with relatively little exposure to the kind of attack that a legislative proposal or a White House statement would invite. […]

I like to say that donkeys have four legs, and that calling a donkey’s tail a leg doesn’t mean donkeys have five legs. I like to say it, but sometimes the things I read make me want to bellow it. Atonally. Over and over. At the top of my lungs. But then I remember that I have a Web site, nu?

I will not set my watch for sometime between the early evening of Saturday, February 1st, 2003 — six days after the upcoming Super Bowl, immediately after a new moon (just like on January 15, 1991) with Mercury retrograde safely past, lowering the odds of any black-cat glitches in the Matrix — and the early morning of February 2nd (“Groundhog Day,” anyone? Anyone?).

For future reference, add 6 hours to Universal Time to get Baghdad time.

I will direct my Stonefishspine-requested W.I.O.I.Y.W.I., W.I.O.N. vibes there and send my leftovers here.

Westword, “The Message”
Latino Vote: Weblog of U.S. Latino Political News
Associated Press, “Filipinos Fight to Save Calif. Enclaves”, Lisa Yeung, “Rice is her Vice”

[…] “I still live in the same neighbourhood and I still get the ‘china’ (the Spanish word for Chinese woman — she’s Filipino) call on my way home,” she says. “And — what is that — (she sing-songs:) “Ching-chong-ching”? I don’t know what the hell they’re doing. But I still get that. And it’s amazing…what, it’s 2002? And there are still people who do that.” […]

PBS Online NewsHour, “Assessing the significance of the Lott controversy”

[…] SUAREZ: You might say they have nowhere to go but up. A poll taken Sunday by the Gallup organization says six percent of blacks in the United States say the Republican Party best reflects their views. But a lot of Republicans, Professor Berlin, are trying — say they’re trying to get American politics to a post-race, issue-based footing. Is that possible now?

IRA BERLIN: That’s interesting. Issue-based — what exactly is that going to mean? My feeling is that voters, both white and black, generally read their understanding of politics is fairly shrewd and fairly correct. That is there’s a reason only six percent of black people consider themselves Republican. What exactly are the issues that are involved here? We know in some ways we are a more segregated society than we were in 1956. We know that changes in terms of the distribution of wealth have not changed greatly; that a disproportionate number of people of African descent are at the bottom, that affirmative action is a policy, in its various forms, that is something that black people are very interested in.

There are a whole variety of other issues that also draw black people to the Democratic Party, even with all of the baggage that the Democratic Party itself, you know, itself carries. Now it seems to me, if you want to move black people out of the Democratic Party, you’ve got to address those issues. Is the Republican Party prepared to do that? […]

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mae Gentry, “Mall at Stonecrest offers black and white Santas”

Santa at Stonecrest has an identity crisis.

Sometimes he’s white; sometimes he’s black. And mall managers aren’t sure what to call him.

Last year, when the newly opened Mall at Stonecrest celebrated its first Christmas, a white- bearded, rosy-cheeked Santa greeted shoppers and their children.

But metro Atlanta’s newest mall, on the border between DeKalb County and Rockdale County, draws customers from both areas — heavily black south DeKalb and predominantly white Rockdale.

“We had a lot of requests from the community to fulfill both markets that we have here at Stonecrest,” said marketing coordinator Kimberly Handberry.

So mall managers hired a local African-American actor, Charles Black, to work weekends and dubbed him “Cultural Santa,” leaving the daily duty to what they called “Traditional Santa.” When word of the two Santas broke out, irate people contacted Stonecrest’s marketing director, Donald Bieler. […]

Guardian 2002 bumper news quiz

You scored 33 out of a possible 50

More alert than most. Check the answers page to see which areas you need to work on for next year but otherwise give yourself a pat on the back.