Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
There is no excuse for urban radio not too present these issues in discussion format when possible too their listening audience. From Frankski on his morning show in Atlanta to Al Sharpton, or Lorraine White to Tom Joiner, there are rarely attempts to deal with politics and the impending economic implosion in an erudite and astute manor. This is even more needed based on the toxic environment in Washington in which Neither President Obama nor the Congress are will to tell us the truth regarding how bad the US economy is and solutions are rare and disfunction is the way of the day.
Explaining to the general public the importance of what is occurring in Europe is essential if the average American citizen, in particular African Americans are to be prepared for what may be on the horizon. Instead, our radio talk show personalities only speak of politics as if they have to protect Obama more than the people he and Republicans are supposed to serve. We should be critical of his effort to send Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to Europe to tell them to deal with the debt situation urgently in a political fashion when he cannot do the same here at home.
The ongoing global financial crisis is serious and something that should discussed openly by all. First, this is more than a crisis. What we are seeing is a “full-fledged, irreversible and unsustainable Global Financial Collapse that, if not properly addressed, may bring down the whole global economy with it.”
It is a function of troubled banking practices ranging from fractional lending, usury compound interest, fraudulent derivatives, and creative accounting practices that prey on the middle and lower class and enrich corporatist who reign free without regulation. These cancers have resulted in the collapses of Bear Stearns, AIG, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and the bailouts of Goldman Sachs and CitiCorp among others.
These are complex issues and cannot be addressed, discussed or explained in a cursory manner. It is imperative that urban radio address these concerns in an objective fashion void of politics so that the consumer and average African American will be empowered to make informed political decisions. Protecting Obama from his detractors or discussion the alleged affairs of Eddie Long or Herman Cain or even the racial undertones of Newt Gingrich do not accomplish anything to serve the needs of a community most impacted by the down turn in the US Economy. WE have to address these issues or else do what we all have the tendency to do historically: be reactive instead of proactive,
Friday, December 09, 2011
Thursday, December 08, 2011
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Thursday, December 01, 2011
The predicament that Germany finds itself in is unique and historically explains why they have taken the position they have. Many western nations including the US and its major European counterparts have been giving Germany the business for not want to bailout nations heavily burden by debt in which their citizens receive big pension pay outs so that they can retire before age 50 and live club-med life styles.
Since the times of Bismarck, Germany has been considered a threat to the rest of Europe. : This both economically and militarily. Ever since Prussia defeated France in the war of 1870-71, this has been the case. Even after the war, Germany did not really rebound economically until 1895. By the time they did, around 20 years later the First World War had started and in-between that time the British government, among others was taking a page from Napoleon and the US Civil War to destroy German economic growth via an extensive counterfeiting operation.
Unlike the European nations who are in dire economic straits and begging for Germany to take on their massive debt burden, they remember how the Allies dictated the harsh terms in the armistice signed at Compiegne, France. The reparations imposed as a function of the Treaty of Versailles led to hyperinflation in 1923 which only got worse when the depression hit the world in 1929 which resulted in massive deflation. The treaty resulted in Germany giving up an eight of its territory which equaled near 7 million people, all of its international investments and it colonies outside of Europe. Leaving the nation with close to 150 billion Marks in debt.
Neither the European Union nor the US has a Dr. Hjalmar Schact to assist them in this present crisis. It was Schact who revived the 1920s Weimar Republic of Germany from post WW 1 hyperinflation. A period before then which saw a currency exchange rate of 1 trillion Marks for 1 US dollar. German as well as the rest of Europe knows this recent fix is short term and is equal to using dental floss to splint a compound fractured leg. Just today banks in Britain still acknowledge that the euro zone crisis was the biggest threat to the UK's banking system. This is why Germany is reluctant to assist in the massive Euro zone bailout in which they would assume most of the exposure. German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle has rejected the notion that the debt deal agreed in Brussels recently could be renegotiated to give Greece more generous terms while he was speaking in Istanbul.
This is why the World’s central banks (led by the US Federal Reserve) reduced rates to prop up the broken legged Euro zone economy once again. “The Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank (ECB), the United States Federal Reserve and the Swiss National Bank on Wednesday announced a coordinated attempt to provide liquidity support to the global financial system to avert further global financial distress.”
The Federal Reserve, in a morning press release, said that it will take measures to provide easier access for European banks that hold dollar-denominated currencies for dollar loans to U.S. currency. This translates simple into Washington politicians from Obama to the Congress made easy millions by buying stocks knowing they were to bail out some countries in Europe.
The bottomline truth about today's Federal Reserve-led coordinated effort by developed worlds' central banks to ease the liquidity problems of European banks is this: It doesn't change anything. European leaders still have the same tough decision to make. Either impose even stricter austerity measures on Europe's struggling nations or force Germany and other stronger European nations to come forward with an even bigger bailout, or, of course, kiss the Euro good-bye. Germany keeps all of this in perspective and in the back of their collective unconscious, they have to remember the Treaty of WW 1 and the hardships of hyper-inflation suffered them and after WW 2. Thus it is no wonder they are hesitant to help the very nations who destroyed their economy. The parliament remembers because they suggest that German participation in bailout process violates limits of acceptable integration within the EU, interfering in sovereign affairs of other member states. This even if Angela Merkel and the German courts do not. The reality is that no matter the German court ruling, its decision has little to do with saving the euro in the long term. The state of Europe will eventually show it’s jaundiced and gangrene infected economic limbs and do as all bacterial infected cells do, and Germany will survive waiting in the wind while the rest of Europe remains helpless.
If I can recall of this history, surely the Germans can and the rest of Europe. But as to the Us Federal Reserve and President Obama, I doubt it and this really scares me about the economic prospect for Americans long-term future, one in which we are trying to create with short-term and temporary fixes.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
To support her claim, she notes that Obama’s “legislative record for his first two years outpaces Clinton’s first two years” and offers several other comparisons. However she seems to avoid several factors and even fails to lack a more substantial comparison with one President Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush, who in policy are more akin to the President than Clinton. Notwithstanding, the impact of a political climate in which people are equally disappointed in all politicians inside the beltway regardless of party affiliation.
Now not being white, or a political “scientist” (emphasis on the word scientist) or as astute on the matters as Professor white, my sciolism may be lucid for all to see. However being an academic as well, with a focus on behavioral epidemiology and a specialty in statistics, it is difficult for me to discern how she can come to such a conclusion as a reasonable answer for his drop in support among white liberals. First, incumbents serving in severe economic times always have lower approval and popularity ratings. Add to this, incessant high unemployment which has remained very high, military involvement in an increasing number of countries, and political paralysis in Washington. There is plenty of reason to question Obama's effectiveness.
Obama is more of a conservative than a liberal truth be told. This is evident from his consistent promotion of conservative corporate policies that serve the wealth more than the poor and middle class. But this is not important in Dr. Harris-Perry’s analysis. As an Obama apologist, she only can compare and list his accomplishments, unfortunately his record is clear. He serves Wall St and K street first and foremost and has demonstrated himself to be “more neo-conservative than any neo-conservative and seems to use “regime change” just as much as George W. Bush and his inner circle. “Just looking at the reckless manner in which we disrespect and lessen the value of lives there via the US policy of using drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to kill civilians in the hundreds daily is evidence of this alone.
The Obama administration put into place a legal standard albeit it untested, that allows for the singular approval from the Executive branch of the federal government, without proof to allow the federal government to target individual American citizens for assassination.
He has ignored his campaign promise to protect government whistleblowers, and instead has persecuted and prosecuted more government whistleblowers than ever in US History.
Last and more important, one can simply examine how he works with his economic team to objectively examine his skill set in terms of management ergo concluding something is lacking. I can use the dysfunction of Obama's retinue of economic advisors to demonstrate why I have this opinion and come to the aforementioned conclusion. To start off with, Larry Summers (former Director of National Economic Council), Paul Volcker (former Federal Reserve Chairman), Christina Romer (former Economic Advisor), Elizabeth Warren (former Special Advisor to the Treasury Secretary), Peter Orszag (former Budget Director), and Tim Geithner (Secretary of the Treasury) alone provide me with more than enough substance to make this argument. Just looking at documented occurrences covering the Volcker rule, issues regarding Citibank, the bailout and the first stimulus, gives one an additional layer for discussion.
For example, the Obama administration’s $500 billion plus proposal was only beneficial to the banks and big dollar investors at the expense of the US tax payer.
All I can say is that for Dr. Harris Perry to blame his failing numbers on racism is feculent and ignores the aforementioned. Not to mention that she does not separate support falling between liberals versus independents in her statement that it has fall among “whites.” And I know she will get on me since for me to openly criticize the economic approach of President Obama is tantamount to being an uncle tom, racist or something even worse. Albeit it has nothing to do with the person, his race and/or political affiliation, and more a dissonance with Keynesian economic philosophy, because I am an African American my position is untenable and unreasonable.
Even if I state what I agree with and approve of that the President has implemented thus far, I am still considered against the President just because I am in disagreement with a single policy. I was supportive of the administration’s efforts to implement tougher regulations that would have reduced the amount of federal financial aid flowing to for-profit colleges that prey on mainly low income African Americans. However, I eventually became disappointed when his administration caved to the industry’s lobbyists and their campaign against the Obama administration. I was able to applaud the first bill he signed into law on approving legislation that expands workers' rights to sue over discrimination and the fact that so far he is setting records for the number of women and minorities nominated to lifetime appointments at the level of the Federal Courts. Nearly half of the 73 candidates he has tapped for the bench have been women. In all, 25% have been African Americans, 10% Hispanics and 11% Asian Americans. He is the first president who hasn't selected a majority of white males for lifetime judgeships, far exceeding the percentages in the two-term administrations of Bill Clinton (48.1 percent) and George W. Bush (32.9 percent).
I was also supportive of President Obama’s $1.15 billion measure to fund a settlement for African American farmers reached more than a decade ago via the 1997 Pigford v. Glickman case against the U.S. Agriculture Department over claims of discrimination. This made it possible for approximately 70,000 African American farmers to receive cash payments and debt relief from the federal government. However when I question the decision to pander to #ocupywallstreet protesters and the same night attend an upper East Side DNC $35,800 a plate fundraiser resulting in $2.4 million added to his re-election campaign from Wall Street financiers and call it hypocrisy, my position was vilified. When I spoke out against the President’s policy decision to ask Congress to make it easier for private debt collectors to call the cell phones of consumers delinquent on student loans and other debt owed the federal government using robo calls I was condemned.
If I speak out and say I disagree with the Obama’s administration decision to waive legally mandated penalties for countries that use child soldiers and provide those countries U.S. military assistance, just like he did last year I am a hatter. The White House will issue a series of waivers for the Child Soldiers Protection Act, a 2008 law that is meant to stop the United States from giving military aid to countries that recruit soldiers under the age of 15 and use them to fight wars, for Yemen, South Sudan, Chad, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Last year, the White House didn't even tell Congress when it ended the Child Soldiers Prevention Act penalties. Their rational was suspect at best.
Dr. Harris-Perry would like to reduce Obama’s lack of support among whites and maybe even other racial/ethnic groups on racism but doing so in my purview misses the point. As such it places here in the class of other Jerry Springer-esque political pundits like Rush Limbaugh, Eric Dyson and Sean Hannity. As scientist we must base causation on facts and not emotions. For it seems it has never crossed her mind that Obama may not being a good job and this standard as such has nothing to do with race. I guess Obama’ is her Santa Claus. Meaning it is ok to tell kids that he brings toys, rides on a sleigh pulled by reindeer and slides down the chimney to bring kids toys, even when the house doesn’t have a chimney.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Take for example our politicians. All I can say is “shame on you.” You cannot do the work of the people and tend to only do what is best for your wealthy associates regardless of party affiliation for the simple truth in policy, action, and money there is no distinction between any politicians in Washington. Last I heard Obama was just as bellicose as Dick Cheney and has dropped more bombs from drones than Donald Rumsfeld ever did.
What if any, additional evidence do we need to see that our political system is completely broken? These super committee fools couldn’t even come up with at least $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts over the next decade in a two month period. Meanwhile back at the ranch, the U.S. national debt has passed the $15 trillion dollar mark and we are facing trillion dollar deficits – can you say national financial disaster. Now we are going to have automatically triggered budget cuts of $1.2 trillion in starting in 2013. And we will have to wait and see because mathematically, we may not have even this many in cuts since they include almost $170 million in savings projected to occur as a function of reduced interest cost on our national debt.
Yep folks, shame on them, they are too weak, ductile and fleecy to roll up their sleeves and do some actual work. They are not brave enough to do what needs to be done and should be ashamed since our men and women fighting over seas in wars they did not ask for are the epitome of bravery.
But what can we expect, my America is a nation that gives a single mother more time in federal prison for lying on her food stamp application than anyone involved in the Wall Street mortgage fraud, sub-prime lending or complex paper schemes that help produce Americas and the worlds debt based conundrums. Last week, U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate sentenced Anita McLemore, 47, the mother of two teenage children, to three years in prison. The mother of two pleaded guilty in July to one count of submitting a false claim to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Temporary Assistance and Food Stamps program.
Ms. McLemore, received $4,367 in benefits. This in comparison to six defendants in two related mortgage fraud cases involving fraudulent loans totaling about $5.8 million received sentences ranging from house arrest to 30 months in prison. In addition to the three-year sentence, Wingate fined McLemore $250 and placed her on supervised release for three years after serving her sentence.
These fools obviously do not get it, from Obama to the Congress, they do not have a clue; they cannot see that as a nation, there is a very good chance that we will suffer another major credit downgrade on U.S. debt. And if this happens, a large proportion of the financial transactions that occur worldwide would not be able to happen if that takes place. No one with the exception of Ron Paul (this is a must see video of Dr. Paul in 11/19/11). He would end the Federal Reserve and starts issuing debt-free money, and move to cut our budget deficits. All these folks on TV want to do is fix a broken system, without out acknowledging that it became broke in 1913, prior to the passage of the Federal Reserve Act, the national debt was only about $2.9 billion.
We are in the last days of the Euro and the Union possibly and we are no better as a nation. According to U.S. Representative Betty Sutton, America has lost an average of 15 manufacturing facilities a day over the last 10 years and last year alone, as a nation we lost an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day . Data reported by the Economic Policy Institute, notes that our economy loses more than 9000 jobs for every $1 billion of goods that are imported from overseas.
And what do we have to show for it? A dysfunctional Supper Committee, a dysfunctional Congress and a dysfunction White House Administration. I am sorry but shame on all of you Washington, DC politicians. We are suffering, we see the problems, but you don’t and will not listen to us. But why should they? The average net worth for a member of Congress is now approximately 3.8 million dollars and more than 50 percent of the members of the U.S. Congress are millionaires.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
As a people we do not have the intellectual capacity to put things in perspective. I know molesting kids is wrong but it would still be just as heinous if it was done by a teacher at a local school and doesn’t warrant being on TV as the first story, equally to the Dr. Murray and Cain mess as if it is really important on the problems we are confronting as a nation today. Even worse is that we do not have the foresight to even question why such is on each day and worse, question ourselves why we don’t.
It is almost magical, just a few days after the brutal execution and solemnization of Col. Mumar Gaddafi, there has been little word about the nation. Likewise, there has also been a reduction of the coverage regarding the atrocities of what is occurring daily in Syria. Why this is is my query and as such I have a few suggestions I would like to offer in support of my observations. I may even throw in a little Israel into the mix for good measure.
Seems like it was clear from the start, Obama and US higher ups (corporations) had a desire to see Gaddifi out of the picture. So much so that the same higher ups had Obama do their bidding by asking the UN war with Libya, Barack Obama's administration is breaking new ground. Obtaining a U.N. Security Council resolution has legitimated U.S. bombing raids under international law. But the U.N. Charter is not a substitute for the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress, not the president, the power "to declare war."
My question is what make Libya different from Syria, and why has the Present administration said nothing about either? I mean constitutionality we had no authority for our Libyan intervention, since Libya did not attack our "armed forces." Why not do the same for Syria? It is obvious the President doesn’t need the support of congress to do such since, in the Libyan case; the president had plenty of time to get congressional support.
Maybe the reason we no longer mention Libya in media outlets is because of the results. We already see horrifying reprisals from the US-backed rebels against their political opponents given their incessant killing of each other as well as supporters of the previous regime. Not to mention that the civilian toll from NATO bombs grew albeit they were supposed to be protecting a civilian population. Obama stated that his actions in Libya were “in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive."
True, Obama has called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is an ally of Iran, foe of Israel and sponsor of the armed militant group Hezbollah, to leave office but that is about it. Although Assad and his ruling circle are members of the minority Alawite sect, which makes up about 12 percent of Syria's population, Obama has not even asked the UN or NATO to intervene to protect civilians there. I mean there were no massacres taking place in Libya before the NATO attack but they are occurring in Syria.
All I can say is that the President has shown himself to be more neo-conservative than any neo-conservative and seems to use “regime change” just as much as George W. Bush and his inner circle. Now he has extended this purview by ending US funding of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) after they held a vote to approve the Palestinian Authority’s full membership in the agency.
And all of this for what? Is it to appease Israel; is it to show he is in charge prior to 2012? I cannot say but I will assert that it is more of the political same – WAGGING THE DOG. By this I mean “When something of secondary importance improperly takes on the role of something of primary importance.”
Truth is that Obama tends to foreign policy because he is lost in what to don domestically. I cannot figure out why it is important for him to make it easier for foreign corporations to invest in American than American corporations to invest here at home. While abroad we see what has happened in Europe and know that the head of China's biggest ratings agency, Dagong Global Credit Rating, is warning that it may downgrade the US's sovereign debt rating again because of Washington's failure to tackle the federal budget deficit.Why can’t he do our business in the same manner he does for his wealthy donors?
Over the last year, the Obama administration aggressively pushed a $433-million plan to buy an experimental smallpox drug, although we do not need such or don’t even know if the drug will work. What we do know is that the no-bid contract went to New York-based Siga Technologies Inc.; a company who’s a major share holder is billionaire and a longtime Democratic Party donor. Ronald O. Perelman.
I just do not get it. Our national debt is almost 15 trillion dollars, if you include interest it's almost 55 trillion dollars, making my of this debt is just under $175,000. And if you didn’t know Mr. President, my personal value and net worth is shrinking while you’re folk on Capital hill’s is growing. The collective net worth of all of the members of Congress increased by 25 percent between 2008 and 2010.
Just help me understand and I will have your back, otherwise I will call it like I see it, that from the White House to the congress there is sciolism on both sides of the aisle and in the hood too, since most folks too dumb to think or look for themselves and would prefer to attend to who Herman Cain tried to get give him fellatio allegedly, or how many little boys a perverted coach has molested.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
When we mention Hip-hop music is if difficult to get through any conversation without bring up the name of Sean “Jay-Z” Carter. He is a great lyricist, a business man and married arguably, to one of the most attractive women in America. Now he is getting involved with the Occupy movement that has sprouted in nearly every community across the nation. However, his actions maybe are more self serving than for the benefit of the masses.
It has been reported that Jay-Z will be releasing a new line of T-shirts in support of the occupy Wall Street movement (#OWS) via his Rocawear clothing label. Unfortunately he and his company will not be sharing any of the profits with the protesters according to his spokesman. According to a representative of his clothing company Rocawear, there is not an "official commitment to monetarily support the movement," which is taking a stand against corporate greed and corruption.
The rapper/mogul was even recently seen wearing one of the shirts, which tweaks the phrase "Occupy Wall Street" by crossing out the "W" and adding an "S" to make it read "Occupy All Streets."
I guess it should only be expected that another rapper is interested in avarice as equally as the big Wall Street banks. Neither gives back but only takes from those who cannot afford to live as they do to only become richer. In simple terms, this represents another concern with hip hop culture other than its strong focus of materialism, going for self and producing songs with lyrics that border of instructional psychpathy – I is more important that the we or community.
The spokesperson went on to add "The 'Occupy All Streets' T-shirt was created in support of the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement. Rocawear strongly encourages all forms of constructive expression, whether it be artistic, political or social. 'Occupy All Streets' is our way of reminding people that there is change to be made everywhere, not just on Wall Street. At this time we have not made an official commitment to monetarily support the movement."
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Monday, November 07, 2011
Thursday, November 03, 2011
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Ask the average black person about Greece, they may something about the debt crisis, but for certain than can speak astutely on its salads and yogurt more than the former. Comparatively speaking, ask them about anything related to Ms. Kim and some self-absorbed rapper, they can speak with the prowess of a Neil Bohr on particle physics. This is what I find problematic: occupation with mundane idiocy that has nothing to do with our lives than those issues that do.We question why African American youth perform poorly academically in schools, or why we don’t attend or graduate from college, yet we never examine our own practices and behaviors that contribute to this. For the way I see it, it would be more reasonable to attend to the high unemployment and dropout rates in our community than what one Kardashian does.
This is not funny. Now I know folks say I am piling up on my folk, but really I am not. It reminds me of the student I may have in my class who is failing who ask for extra credit at the last moment just to pass, when they did not attend class regularly, did not do their homework and didn’t take notes when they did attend.This is equally comparable to our inattention to the Greek and European sovereign debt crisis.
For the record, the European sovereign debt crisis has more of an impact on our daily lives and is way more import than any Kardashian or Jay-Z and Kanye West Concert will ever have. Sadly I want to believe people know this, but more sadly is the possibility that they do and still don’t care to inform themselves on the topic as much as they do the Kardashian or the concert.
To put is plainly. Countries like Greek and Ireland and Spain and Italy have borrowed lots of money from other European nations and now they cannot pay it back. America in turn does business, a lot of business with Europe so it will hit us making us suffer just as bad also. Why because the global market is based on the massive buying, selling and trading of bonds and complex papers that bundle risk that folks buy in hopes of making a profit.
As it stands, short term Greek Bonds are still trading at 50% or less of face value. With the new Plan announced last Thursday the Bonds should be trading close to, or at par but they won’t since the Greek Prime Minister just announced that he will place acceptance of the Eurozone bailout up for a popular vote. A vote many Greek citizens equal to blackmail.
If they refuse, it means Greece and Germany will not agree to the conditions of the new Plan and that Greece won’t get an 8 billion-euro payment in mid-November that would most likely run out during January that would leave the government with no funds to function. This is not a good look for American citizens. And seeing that more than 60 percent of Greek citizens do not desire a bailout, and that G20 leaders are trying to get China to drop some loot to help folk out if all goes to ####.
Greek Prime Minister Papandreou, whose PASOK party has pushed sweeping austerity measures through parliament while protesters rally in the streets, has asked for major budget cuts. Now Italy Bonds are trading at the largest spread between Germany bonds in history because of the exposure contained by the major banks of Europe. Shares in France's Society General tumbled 17 percent and Credit Agricole was down almost 12.5 percent.
We can see the impact right here just by looking at MF Global Holdings Ltd. Like other major US banks, the folks who run these massive pension and hedge funds have provided most of the wealth of banks via negative rates of interest that guarantee their liabilities, and that in effect bailed them out unconditionally with our invested money. This means as Greece goes so do all of the other debtor nations, like the US. The more we ignore the importance of these events in Europe, our large indebted and over leveraged economy accomplished by our propensity for investing in financial instrument widely used by speculators to discredit government bonds, and undermine the country's weakening creditworthiness like credit default swap (CDS)., the more danger we are in.
The end result may be a freeze in the credit markets, similar to what we saw after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Consequently, it will also result in a net-negative impact on the job creation reducing the ability of U.S. manufacturers to sell their goods in Europe. This will give European manufacturers a significant pricing advantage over US manufactures because of the decline in the exchange rate. Thus a weaker European economy means reduce demand for U.S. exports, because with no disposable income, European consumers will not be able to buy autos, appliances and other goods.
So the significance of the Greek sovereign debt crisis has a large impact on the average American citizen.Yet still, it seems that what happens to Kim Kardashian is more important to most African Americans than the aforementioned. I do not know why but I would like to call this the Kim Kardashian syndrome – the reason why black folk attend and care more about things that do not impact them than things that do.
Friday, October 28, 2011
To the first point, I am amazed. It seems as if we as a culture, albeit not monolithic, purport ourselves in a monolithic disposition. Taking the support for our current President alone and his political party, it has been estimated that regardless of affect or effect, African Americans support both at an astonishing 95 percent clip. More astonishing is that the section of our community that used to engage in the politics of what was best for the people as opposed what was best for political accomplishment is no longer in existence. Instead they have returned back to the day prior to Dr. King and are more akin to the black ministers who engaged him to stop his protest and accept the status quo as opposed to stand on the side of right, liberty and justice.
Now I know that the average African American only functions at a 6th grade math level, but what is it hard to understand about the top 1 percent controlling more than 40 percent of this nation’s wealth or that their rate of income has increased 275 percent over the past decade compared to under 30 for the rest of the nation? Why is it so difficult to understand the impact of fractional banking and the production of complex financial instruments and papers, worth nothing, that make this populous rich on the burdens of the poor and middle class? How can it not be visible that the rates of unemployment and incarceration and disease are disproportionately impactful on the poor, middle class and minority communities? I just do not get it. Even worse, how we as a segment of the population turn the other cheek, look away and dare not hold the current presidential administration to the same standard we held the prior?
We are quick to jump on Herman Cain for his inconsistencies, flip flopping and other miscues – and rightly so, but we seem to intentionally avoid acknowledging the same for Obama. I believe as Malcolm X, in 1964 while addressing a church in Cleveland when he stated:
“It was the black man's vote that put the present administration in Washington, D.C. Your vote, your dumb vote, your ignorant vote, your wasted vote put in an administration in Washington, D.C., that has seen fit to pass every kind of legislation imaginable, saving you until last, then filibustering on top of that. And you’re and my leaders have the audacity to run around clapping their hands and talk about how much progress we're making. And what a good president we have.”
Malcolm was not even speaking of our current administration but his words ring just as true today. He was speaking of our leadership and more importantly, to us to ignore facts for no purpose at all. For example I have spoken with people about my concerns with the health care bill. We talk and when I point out that premiums increase and that dental and eye care is not included, they ask where I heard that. I ask them if they read the bill and in each case they say no. How can we talk to someone who supports from only what others have told them and never even having read something for themselves? The same is true with many of the other issues proposed by Obama.
The Jobs bill for example, listening to black talk radio from Dr. Lorraine White to the Rev. Al Sharpton, it is as if they want this implemented regardless, and that it will actually do what it is said to do – create jobs. Now I am all for trying, but after reading it, it seemed to be just another $450 billion for the top 1 percent. I said the same with the first stimulus that resulted in 2.5 million lost jobs. Reading it on the surface the Jobs Bill sounds good, but when you examine it, it really on serves the wealth. For example, there is a proposal to give tax incentives to business that hire folks who have been out of work for 6 months or longer. This may sound good, but thinking as I do; there is nothing in there to stop them from hiring these folks, firing folks they already have and pocketing the loot. How many jobs would actually be created if you hire 20 and fire 20?
Then there is the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. This 27-member council — made up mostly of corporate executives and academics, wants to get rid of Sarbanes-Oxley, the antifraud law passed in 2002 in response to Enron, WorldCom and the dot-com bust. Based on a recent report , almost all of this body want Congress to remove the accounting and auditing safeguards put in place to keep Enron and recent Wall street level fraud from occurring - a goal of corporate America since its establishment.
Even his recent flip-flop on his own administration’s commitment to clean air (by deciding not to raise Federal ozone standards for air pollution) when he said he would seems that the President is more a friend on big corporations more than the common man. Reminiscent of the late Ronald Reagan, who also overruled the EPA. Obama did this unilaterally against the unanimous opinion of its independent panel of scientific advisers, and directed administrator Lisa Jackson.
None of our community gate keepers, especially from the clergy ever say anything about this. Instead they continue to make excuse for practices as inconsistent as Michelle Bachmann’s or Rick Perry’s understanding of history.
In the past religion mainly in the form of our Christian churches served a purpose, but no longer. The old time religion many once asked for in song has mutated into corrupted hard drives formatted for mass marketing success in the form of profit at the expense of its congregations. Preachers nowadays have chauffer driven limousines while many of their flock subsist on MARTA tokens and catch the bus. In our past religion as well as the church were purposeful. Not only where they spiritual in essence and focus, they were also social institutions that put the community from which they originated first and foremost even before the word of God.
In the past from Fred Shuttlesworth to Martin Luther King Jr., to Adam Clayton Powell to Joseph Lowery, ministers, preachers and the pulpits they orchestrated did more than spread the divine word, they also if not more so engaged in taking part and in most cases advancing the social and political injustices confronted by African Americans regardless of demonization or social class. Their faith was on the surface first but secondary in action with respect to their incessant fight for civil rights and social injustice. Running Sunday schools was as equally (if not less) important than the bus boycotts and sit-ins they organized. They were not only preachers on Sunday but every other the day during the weeks for teaching people about their rights and local laws that empowered their congregations to reinforcing the importance of education.
Now in the political year approaching (2012) even with a presupposed African American President, our churches no longer see the utility of serving to assist in the fight against oppression, economic inequality, social injustice or exploitation exalted toward the mass majority of people of color in our nation. Where ever we are, we will be inundated with politicians begging us for our vote selling the snake oil dreams and promises that they know they will not keep. All, even Obama, will ask and send us to wars in places like Iraq and Afghanistan to fight for reason we do not have any connection too yet we fight with courage but don’t have the courage to fight for what is ours here at home.
The Malcolm speech I cited was called “the Ballot or the Bullet. In that speech he also stated, “, I am one who doesn't believe in deluding myself. I'm not going to sit at your table and watch you eat, with nothing on my plate, and call myself a diner. Sitting at the table doesn't make you a diner, unless you eat some of what's on that plate.” Continuing he said about the ballot or the bullet, “you're afraid to use an expression like that, you should get on out of the country; you should get back in the cotton patch; you should get back in the alley. They get all the Negro vote, and after they get it, the Negro gets nothing in return. All they did when they got to Washington was give a few big Negroes big jobs. Those big Negroes didn't need big jobs, they already had jobs. That's camouflage, that's trickery, that's treachery, window-dressing.”
Like him, I am neither republican nor democrat, and as such have the clearest vision of the treachery crooks of both of the political cloth demonstrate. And as for as the inaction in my community, all I can say is that we have too many “Sunday Only Preacher,” and we need a lot more of the everyday kind who are willing not only to be honest with their community, but themselves as well.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Mohammed Siad Barre came to power via a military coup in October 1969 scientific socialism as Somali state policy - Somali nationalism with the goal of uniting all Somali people under one flag. Once (1970s), the United State provided military and economic assistance to Somalia, and the U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu became one of the biggest American diplomatic missions in Africa. After being criticized by the world for providing military support to the Siad Barre regime, efforts in Congress to cut off military assistance to Somali finally succeeded in 1989.
Although we know that the present food and refugee emergency in Somalia is considered to be the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, placing millions at immediate risk via disease, drought and massive starvation, the Obama administration sent a U.S. Marine task force to the region instead of focusing on humanitarian aid and has escalated drone attacks in Somalia that contribute even more to the starvation and death of additional millions of Africans. For it is the administrations belief that the al-Shabab resistance is mostly responsible for the drought emergency.
Strange since the Obama administration has put in place policies to limit food aid to the region in an effort to starve out those who might be supporting the Shabab. Yes food as a weapon of war in Somalia. What we forget is that the problems of today can be connected to our action four yeas ago when we got the Ethiopian government to invade Somalia in an effort to overthrow an Islamist government that had established peace by ended street battles between warlords and militias via islamic fundamentalist law..
But what is more problematic for me as an African American who has lived in the region (Ethiopia in 1999) and visited Somalia, is the reckless manner in which we disrespect and lessen the value of lives there via the US policy of using drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to kill civilians in the hundreds daily. In addition, this is not even mentioned on the news nor is discussed openly by President Obama almost Bush-like. Maybe this is why the President is seeking to ban the access of international news agencies the likes of Press TV who reports such daily.
When I lived in Africa, Press TV, BBC, Der Welt Television (Germany) and Al-Jazerra were watched more than any American News outlet and to me are equal to ITN and PBS in their coverage of world news. Since I do not have cable television, I am left to reading the web sites of these respected news agencies. Case in point, the information I have found on the aforementioned in the past two weeks alone is startling and unbeknownst to most US citizens.
On Oct 14, 2001, an attack by a US UAV resulted in the killing of at least 78 people and injured 64 others in southern Somalia. The attack, which occurred near Qooqani town located in southern Somalia happened the same day another US drone attack killed 11 civilians and wounded 34 more in Hoosingow district in the south of the country. Oct 21, 2001 another attack by a US unmanned aerial vehicle killed at least 44 civilians and injured 63 others in southern Somalia near Ras Kamboni town in the Badhaadhe district of Lower Juba region near the border with Kenya. Several hours latter, a US done attack killed 22 in Kudhaa Island in southern Somalia near the border with Kenya.
Somali military officials reported an attack on Oct 22, 2011 near the town of Bilis Qooqani, an unmanned US drone strike killed at least 49 people in famine-stricken in southern Somalia, while injuring at least 68 others. The next day, Oct 23, 2011, US drones carried out attacks near the Bilis Qooqani districts in southern Somalia, leaving 9 dead and 14 others wounded.
The following day, On Oct 24, 2011, an attack took place in the Somali island of Kudhaa near the country's border with Kenya according to Somali army officer Colonel Aden Dheere in which killed at least 36 Somali people. Latter that day, another 59 people were killed and dozens more injured during French military attacks on Kudhaa.
In each case Washington claims the airstrikes target militants, though most such attacks have resulted in civilian casualties in Somalia. More recently representatives of the Obama administration have denied any “US involved or supported airstrikes in Somalia: a claim friends and associates of mine from my days living in the region contradict.
Whatever the case, the facts remain the same. First, Somalia strategic location in the horn of Africa and its vast natural resources cannot be questioned. Second, It is not implausible that the US would do anything to keep China, India and Russia out of the region. Third, the nation is a geopolitical prize that has brought about the United States via the Obama administration to use neocolonial approaches to develop a foothold in the nation as well as offers a reason to employ resources of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), to achieve any clandestine objectives, especially in the context of the Trans-Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP). Supported by the U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) and the Special Operations Command (SOCAFRICA). Not to mention they are involved with assisting the brother of President Yoweri Museveni in training troops for military efforts both in Somalia and Uganda. Strange since the Obama administration as recently as yesterday denied any involvement in arial strikes in Somalia. Like I said, very Bush-like.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
If you didn’t know Uganda is sitting on tons of oil. Oil exploration began in Uganda’s northwestern Lake Albert basin nearly a decade ago and according to estimates by the Energy Ministry, the African nation has over two billion barrels of oil. The British firm Tullow Oil operates three oil blocks in the region, and had sold off part of its stake to Total and China's CNOOC. But the sale was halted following the allegations of bribery. Specifically that Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has been accused of receiving funds to lobby for oil production rights on behalf of the Italian oil firm ENI, which eventually lost its bid for exploration rights to British firm Tullow Oil. In addition, Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa and Internal Affairs Minister Hilary Onek have also been accused of taking bribes from Tullow Oil worth over US$23 million and $8 million respectively.
As a result of these activities occurring over the past few weeks, it is ironic the Obama has decided to intervene with the rebels he claims are wrecking havoc in the region and fostering social unrest. Obama notified House Speaker John Boehner, of deploying the mostly Special Operations Forces, to central Africa with the first troops reportedly arriving in Uganda on last Wednesday.
Truth is that the rebels are representative of the people just as those he sent NATO forces to protect in Libya. It was hoped that the discovery of oil would improve the economic conditions of the masses of which 51 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. The Uganda economy is suffering from a 20-year high double-digit inflation now at 28.3 percent.
Oil exploration began in Uganda’s northwestern Lake Albert basin nearly a decade ago, with initial strikes being made in 2006 and is scheduled to begin oil refining in 2014 . The 2.5 billion barrels of crude along Uganda's western border with Congo will be extracted upon the development of a refinery in a phased manner, starting with capacity of around 40,000-60,000 barrels a day before peaking at 150,000 barrels a day by 2016.
Many are unaware that Africa's exports of oil to the United States, largely from Nigeria and the dictator state of Equatorial Guinea, at rates almost equal to those of the Middle East. But again why now? I have outlined several factors including the suggestion of US intervention by, the International Crisis Group, which is the principal author of “Responsibility to Protect,” the military doctrine used by Obama to justify the U.S. led NATO campaign in Libya. Even more coincidental is that billionaire George Soros is a member of its executive board and personally, just recently recommended the U.S. deploy a special advisory military team to Uganda.
Soros, via his Open Society Institute is one of only three nongovernmental funders of the Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect, as well as other Institute advisors including Samantha Power, the National Security Council special adviser to Obama on human rights, who also aided in the establishment of the International Criminal Court. Soros himself maintains close ties to oil interests in Uganda. As early as April of 2010, Soros’ International Crisis Group, or ICG, released a report sent to the White House and other lawmakers advising the U.S. military to run special operations in Uganda to seek Kony’s capture. It makes sense seeing that in 2008 a National Oil and Gas Policy, proposed with aid from a Soros-funded group, was supposed to be a general road map for the handling and use of the oil.
Like in Libya, the U.S. mission will be to advise forces seeking to kill or capture Joseph Kony, the leader of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). In the past, the Obama administration has stated it would only deploy US troops in the Middle East, Africa or Central Asia to target terrorist groups and rogue states that threaten the U.S. Unfortunately this is not an apt description of the Lord’s Resistance Army
So why is it that all of a sudden we are sending troops to another African nation? Not any nation but one rich in oil? We know the region, which includes South Sudan - which became an independent state in July after a two-decade civil war with the government in Khartoum, is also one of the emerging oil-rich states producing 500,000 barrels per day. This account for 80 percent of the country’s untapped oil deposits: meaning our presence may provide for increased penetration by Western-based oil firms in the United States and Europe. We know that the U.S. was a major proponent of splitting off South Sudan from the central government, as well as supporting the secessionist rebel movements in the western region of Darfur.
South Sudan became an independent state in July after a two-decade civil war with the government in Khartoum. Sudan is one of the emerging oil-rich states producing 500,000 barrels per day. The oil concessions in Sudan were largely in partnership with the People’s Republic of China and other Asian and Middle Eastern states.
Uganda has yet to produce a single barrel of oil, but it is obvious that its presence has played a key role in the Obama’s administration via the influence of George Soros to intervene militarily to help Uganda fight the rebels of the LRA who are currently in the Central African Republic.
I find this puzzling since we had these opportunities before oil was found and neglected to get involved. Now we are and the only fact that has changed is that the country is now rich in oil and we want to get out hands on it. To do such, we will most likely kill another person in another nation who has the support to the people more than the elected government does.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
To be honest, I could care a rat’s azz about the death of anyone who formulates murder against any US citizen, in particular if it is one Anwar al-Awlaki. But I have reservations concerning the logic that would proffer such an outcome as being accepted in the annals of legal jurisprudence.
The Obama administration put into place a legal standard albeit it untested, that allows for the singular approval from the Executive branch of the federal government, without proof to allow the federal government to target individual American citizens for assassination. Did I say the executive branch singularly and without proof? All one has to do is be seen as being an enemy combatant or organizer against the US government. I wanted to write about this last week but I did not, hoping, maybe even anticipating that the Obama Administration would release, make available to the public the presupposed legal guidance his team of legal advisors developed to approve such targeted assignations. I expected such because after all, it was he who stated his administration would be the most transparent ever. However the Obama Administration has refused to release or make public its finding for this action that makes it ok and constitutionally legal to assassinate American citizens of speculation and allegation alone without due process.
This too means that the President, if he decides can make the decision to kill anyone, even me, without due process if they perceive my words as action as being as being a threat to US (their executive branch) interest. Meaning if they perceive my words to be an enemy to what they propose from a policy perspective, they can send a drone to my little residence in the world, without the authority of congress or a judicial body and kill me and my family with no questions asked.
Due process is the basic concept that laws and legal proceedings must be fair. Our constitution guarantees that the government cannot take away a person's basic rights to 'life, liberty or property, without due process of law. It originates in the Fifth Amendment and says to the federal government that no one shall be "deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law." It is even mentioned again in the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868.The Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the deprivation of liberty or property without due process of law. A claim that is cognizable only if there is a recognized liberty or property interest at stake.
I didn’t support the Bush Administration’s position on this subject nor do the Obama administration acknowledged continuance of this Bush-era policy authorizing the killing of US citizens abroad. Also I find it difficult for either administration as they saw it, to define the entire world as being a battlefield. My fear and questions pertains to the designation of either picking up arms against this country or being described as “hostile” and/or displaying “hostilities” to the US government mean?
>The reason we have the second amendment is for average folk to be able to organize and fight against the rise of a tyrant or coterie of tyrants who may happen to rise into a power of leadership in our government. Moreover, there is no definition of what hostile is with respect to the abrogation of one’s constitutional rights. Could one be hostile for writing a vehement opinion against the government, elected official? Could a radio caller or host be held to the same standard?
A president should not be able singularly to order a targeted “hit” on any US citizen regardless of location. I also think that his legal advisors and the Attorney General should explain the basis in law for such a policy that violates individual constitutional rights. After all it was President Obama who stated on his campaign website: “Too often bills are rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them. As president, Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days.” Instead he has dramatically increased governmental secrecy.
All I can say is watch your back because it is evident that the present administration is no different from the last and will invoked unconstitutional executive secrecy to do whatever it desires. He has ignored his campaign promise to protect government whistleblowers, and instead has persecuted and prosecuted more government whistleblowers than ever in US History. I just hope the government doesn’t consider me hostile and target me if they see fit one day while I am teaching class or driving down the street with my family.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Now I am no Obama cognoscenti nor is this to state that he cannot manage, sure he can however much remains to be said of management skills regarding economics. Sure he is a competent jurist and astute in constitutional law, but one can simply examine how he works with his economic team to objectively examine his skill set in terms of management ergo concluding something is lacking. For the record before I proceed, I want to say I stated before and now that Tim Geithner was the wrong man for the job of Treasury secretary and I still stand by this. First I still maintain distrust for former Republicans that turn democrat in particular if they once worked for Kissinger and Associates. Second he is and foremost a banker and will always be as opposed to those of us on main street. I also had a problem when Geithner was living with Daniel Zelikow, as a top JP Morgan Chase executive, while he was overseeing the bailout of several huge Wall Street banks, including JPMorgan, which received $25 billion in federal rescue funds from the TARP program.
I can use the dysfunction of Obama's retinue of economic advisors to demonstrate why I have this opinion and come to the aforementioned conclusion. To start off with, Larry Summers (former Director of National Economic Council), Paul Volcker (former Federal Reserve Chairman), Christina Romer (former Economic Advisor), Elizabeth Warren (former Special Advisor to the Treasury Secretary), Peter Orszag (former Budget Director), and Tim Geithner (Secretary of the Treasury) alone provide me with more than enough substance to make this argument. Just looking at documented occurrences covering the Volcker rule, issues regarding Citibank, the bailout and the first stimulus, gives one an additional layer for discussion.
With respect to Larry Summers, it could be implied that the reason he resigned as director of the National Economic Council was his incessant economic blunders and what some could assert criminal actions. As an economist at Harvard and at the World Bank, Summers argued for privatization and deregulation in several areas, including finance. Prior to this under Clinton, he Summers oversaw passage of both the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which repealed Glass-Steagall and Commodity Futures Modernization Act (which banned all regulation of derivatives, including exempting them from state antigambling laws) as well as permitted the previously illegal merger that created Citigroup. Not to mention, Summers, in concert with Greenspan, and Rubin and dismissed all warnings regarding the impending economic turmoil that we currently experience.
It was a major mistake to place Summers in an advisory role as a man who one did not perceive America’s economic crisis as a serious threat and two, as a man that developed many of the rules in which began this crisis.But this was more the fault of Obama obviously not having studied his past thoroughly and accepting on face value recommendations from his fat cat Wall Street donors.
In concert with Geithner, Summers cost us regular taxpaying citizens up to a trillion dollars or more. How because Obama puts on a front in front of the regular citizen hammering out loud at the banking industry and its faults, yet employs the very same men who rigged this game on behalf of the banking industry. Thus it is hard to say you are hard on banks and want them to get their acts together when behind closed doors you give them everything they ask for and more. Even with respect to Elizabeth Warren, the woman Obama wanted to head his Consumer Protection Agency, Geithner worked against the President wishes, for he insured the Banking industry and Wall Street she would not be approved for nomination, against the wishes of the President.
For example, the Obama administration’s $500 billion plus proposal was only beneficial to the banks and big dollar investors at the expense of the US tax payer. Why? Because we gave money to bailout make believe a false alarm problem contrived by bankers singularly. If one consider a toxic asset held by Citibank with a face value of $1 million, but with zero probability of any payout and therefore with a zero market value, most investors would not purchase such an asset. However, if Citibank itself sets up a Citibank Public-Private Investment Fund (under the Geithner-Summers plan), this allowed the bank to bid the full face value of $1 million for the worthless asset because it can borrow $850K from the FDIC, and get $75K from the Treasury (BAILOUT) to make the purchase - meaning the bank will only have to come $75K out of pocket. This means the bank (Citibank in this instance) would get $1 million for the worthless asset, while the fund in its name ends up with a pile of worthless assets against $850K in debt to the FDIC – allowing the fund to declare bankruptcy and make an easy $1 million. This is the best hustle since buying Newports in the South and selling up North.
I know I said I would present a discussion on the Volcker rule, but I do not want to bore you any further. In summary, regardless of being a President, Mayor, or Governor, Obama does not seem to have or display the management skills required to understand the creative use or utility of power at his hands. Unlike Maynard Jackson, Coleman Young, Richard Nixon, Willie Brown or even a Hank Parker, Obama appears to lack in terms of economic prowess and maybe even social acumen, the apperception that he is in a distinctive place in which the suitable exercising of influence can gather immense efficacy. Unlike the other African Americans mentioned above, although not serving as the President, Obama, has not shown he knows how to use power creatively and find the balance to take chances to correct existing inequities regardless of the political risk.
Like I said Obama is smart, but his management skills lack something: what I cannot say. The turnaround of the members of his economic top advisors suggest this alone. It is one thing to have high turnover, but if any other business or organization showed similar levels of turnover, they would go out of business or become inoperable. Moreover, it is clear that no other parts of his top advisors in other areas (state department, or Justice for example) have displayed similar high rates of attrition. No wonder the economy is in shambles.
I agree the prior presidents from Reagan to Bush 43 got us in this mess, but I also acknowledge that trying to suppurate consensus is not the same as making a decision. Selecting the wrong people (smart folks who do not get along or see eye to eye) is not helpful either and doesn’t equals being able to make a decision. Obama may be too smart for his own good, thinking that coming to a consensus is more important than making a decision. Sometimes a president or a governor or mayor must manage situations accordingly and decide on one policy over another. Can Obama do this has yet to be determined pertaining to his economic policy.