Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
In the mid-1930s, Sinclair Lewis once stated that “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” I do not think that he was aware that his words would aptly describe many in the conservative party today from the halls of congress to the GOP presidential candidates.
A while back Willard Romney labeled himself "severely conservative." During the same period, both Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have been presenting moral-social concerns and tossing out their records to attempt to show who can be considered as being an “authentic conservative” like tennis players stroke that little yellow ball across the net.
Between their imbriferous vagueness of language and finger wagging, all I can say is that to consider the mass of republicans today as conservatives is derisory and misses the point. First, what is a severe conservative? Personally, the use of severe is more appropriate as an adjective for Gout, a limp, hernia or thunder storm more so than conservative. However it does lend itself to the sclerotic, Lilly white polity of the GOP.
For the good of me I cannot place these individuals who claim to be conservative as such just because they are in the GOP. They have no resemblance in conviction, surety or belief or are any were close to the likes of Edmund Burke, John Quincy Adams, Robert Taft, Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King, Jr. Unlike these individuals, today’s conservative is just a republican who use ideology as a basis for policy formulation and sound bites. Both of which are idiotic and disastrous since in order to be effective one must take into consideration and account the fact that our world is not static and ever changing – thus people (especially politicians) must be flexible, elastic and pragmatic.
Today’s conservative as a result do not believe in what they say they stand for. They hate the middle class, support big government handouts to corporations, destroy small business and farms for the benefit of the large corporations and even hate the constitution (although they wrap themselves up in the same treasured document). In essence they stand for the systemization of the predatory process and are more akin to “amero-facist” in the image of a Jonah Jacob Goldberg or Glen Beck than a harry Truman.
They do not practice what they preach. Earlier this year Maryland Republican Rep. Andy Harris, of the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee had the director of the Oscar-nominated, environmentalist documentary “Gasland,” Josh Fox arrested for filming a hearing on fracking, So much for first amendment and the constitution. At a campaign event in this Detroit suburb on Saturday, Rick Santorum called President Obama a “snob” for wanting all Americans to go to college. But on an archived page of Rick Santorum’s 2006 Senate campaign website, he said he was “committed to ensuring the every Pennsylvanian has access to higher education.”
Gingrich, Romney and Rick Santorum are continuing to pressure President Obama on issues of religious freedom in an attempt to describe the current debate on contraception. But they are quick to forget a similar tone regarding the Catholic Church on divorce (will they say they will not insure divorced women) or pedophilia. Nor will they discuss such on consistent terms regarding Islam or the so-called ground zero mosque, instead promulgating a monolithic view of all Muslims as enemies of the state. Not to mention, one would think that by speaking firmly on religious freedom that Romney would open himself up to polygamy, seeing it is a Mormon belief but he has never espoused religious freedom regarding church and state on this.
They also tend to think that "capitalism" and "America" are synonymous and that anything that serves the interests of the nation over the individual is made to being against capitalism, The despise what they call "crony capitalism” yet often forget In their deluded way of thinking that it is the government-connected like a Romney or a Gingrich Instead of blue-collar workers or farmers being the exploited, who implement and put the C in crony. They are similar in stature to the “catholic corporatist” described by Ludwig von Mise and Trotsky and lecture the world as if we were in Asia Minor in 325 ace.
Ideology as a basis for policy is both idiotic and delusional. In the real world, politics and politicians must be flexible, elastic and pragmatic to deal with the ever changing dynamics and environment of the world around us. It as if these news conservatives (Amerofacist) seem to have forgotten what being a conservative once was. Now it is just Republican when it wasn’t that way. True, I am no conservative but I have studied history. But what do I know; I’m just a behavioral scientist who teaches statistics. True, I am no Henry James, but I can say tersely that severe conservatism as evinced by today’s republicans especially Gingrich, Romney and Santorum mimic more of fascism that what I learned from the writings of William Buckley Jr or Martin Luther King Jr. Too bad most folks don’t notice this, or else they would be in a better position to combat attitudes that are more destructive to our great nation than constructive.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
I have been taking my time writing on this because I want to see how all the chips fall. Just last month Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner attempted to get Chinese policy makers to join an American-led campaign to reduce oil exports from Iran because of its nuclear program. However like Russia, they have rejected to participate in the US/European sanctions or the oil embargo directed toward the Persian nation. This will be problematic since it is the Treasury Departments responsibility to enforce sanction laws since the new legislation would prevent access by nations who do not support sanctions on Iran to the American financial system. Although loop holes in the law allow for selected exemptions, in all honestly, I do not think that the President, just as presidents past, is ready for what may exist on the horizon in an election year or to our economy. The Chinese trade surplus with the United States widened even more to 24.2 percent to $17.4 billion this past December.
China exports $1.5 trillion of its production and ships 20% of its exports to the U.S., which created a $252 billion trade deficit in 2010.Not to mention that as of last year China owned $1.16 trillion in U.S. debt in the form of Treasury bills, notes and bonds - 26% of the total of $4.5 trillion held by the public. For all practical terms this makes China America's largest banker, giving it leverage over the US as evident when China threatens to sell part of its holdings whenever the U.S. pressures it to raise the value of the yuan. It is no wonder that the U.S. trade deficit with China in 2010 was 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.
Another concern is that some fear Russia fears Israel is pushing America to war on Iran “which could retaliate by blocking” Persian Gulf oil shipments. It is clear that Russia will do what it perceives as necessary to protect its strategically important Tartus, Syria base, its only Mediterranean one (there is as we speak a Russian aircraft carrier battle group is positioned nearby). Then we have 15,000 combat troops in Kuwait, inclusive of two Army infantry brigades and a helicopter unit along with two aircraft carrier battle groups remains in the region – so the President has to be careful from a geopolitical purview.
As it stands, the Obama policy is another political divertissement of imperious old men who have never been to war and like to say they have a right to prevent other nations from self determination, especially when it comes to developing nuclear power. Even it is in the form of weapons, history shows that the only folk who have used nuclear weapons have been the United States. So important is this that we will assist in the assignation of scientist – an act that if implemented by the Taliban or Iranians we would call terroristic. Now we have even indicated to them that any effort to control their own geopolitical borders via the Strait of Hormuz would evoke a swift response from the US military. Again strange since we say one reason we are hard on Iran is because they are a vehicle for state sponsored terrorism.
To keep Israel happy Obama will likely find some excuse to save face, and maybe even attack Iran. As we speak, he is trying to gain support from Middle East allies in preparation for an impending US-Iranian confrontation. This is hard to understand for two reasons. First, we just got out of Iraq and are trying to get out of Afghanistan, why do we want another war so soon with a country of 75 million in which historically, sanctions have never worked. Moreover we as a nation cannot distance our self from targeted assassinations and other subversion in Iran.
He may as well give up on any support from China and when they and Russia do not go along, he will have do-do on his face because he will be powerless to do anything against them: Russia could damage our economy by artificially raising the price of crude oil and China by stop purchasing our debt and/or selling US papers in bulk causing more devaluation of the dollar. I hope the Obama administration thinks this out, for every indication suggest that Washington, Israel and NATO allies cannot wait to bump heads with Iran and Syria. This even when the fact remains that no evidence whatever suggests an Iranian nuclear weapons program, according to the latest March 2011 US intelligence assessment.
Why is the White House plotting against Tehran when the living standards of the American working class continue to fall? According to Reuters, 23.7 million American workers are either unemployed or underemployed right now. I can figure out why spending billions on another military effort (war) is more important than spending that money here at home where it is needed.
What we do know is that Israel is believed to be the only nuclear-armed state in the Middle East and that although Iran states it has missiles capable of reaching Israel, it is questionable if could hit long-range targets accurately. Sure two years ago Iran said it would build 10 new uranium enrichment sites, the only thing the Obama Administration really has to hang its hat on is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu desire for harsh action against the nation – not for nuclear weapons but rather for its civilian nuclear program, saying such technological advances serve as a threat to the entire world.
I am dumfounded that countries without oil, like France and Italy via French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini are demanding “immediate” actions against the Iranian government when any preemptive strike or military campaign against Iran will become a large weight on the global economy. Some have speculated that the price of oil may grow to $300 per barrel if military strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities occur. State Department spokesman Joseph Cirincione believes that a military operation against Iran will lead to a large-scale war and will only encourage Iran to develop nuclear weapons.
Thus any Israeli strikes against Iran will send shock waves across the region. Global markets fluctuate just on reports involving Iran. He cannot allow Israel to persuade the US and Britain to start a war against Iran in order to prevent it from producing nuclear weapons because if oil prices increase in multiples, the most vulnerable economies (US and Europe) will just suffer greatly. The same is true if the US continues to impose more sanctions on Iran and Obama cannot afford such with gas prices at home rising more and more each day. As I write, oil hovers above $106 as Iran tensions mount meaning any conflict could lead to global crude supply disruptions. The announcement that Iran will stop selling oil to Britain and France in retaliation for a planned European oil embargo this summer shows they aren’t playing.
The fact is that, no evidence whatever suggests an Iranian nuclear weapons program, according to the latest March 2011 US intelligence assessment. Ross knows it and so do some political and media heads, yet they suppress truth and promote confrontation and war. But the real outcome will be that a “Stronger-than-expected demand against limited inventory and scarce excess production capacity leaves the market extremely vulnerable to price spikes in the near-to-medium term," Goldman Sachs said in a report. "It is important to emphasize that a spike in oil prices would most likely inflict damage on the economic recovery."
Targeting Iran’s nuclear program is a red herring and the real aim of the west is regime change and controlling strategic geopolitical regional resources. Israel doesn’t have the best interest of the US populous in mind and really don’t care about us at all. They are hypocrites saying the desire a two state solution when never has been the case even since the Oslo accords. I mean how can you want a Jewish state without wanting an Islamic state? Not to mention, the arguments being made by Iran and their nuclear ambitions are similar as those presented by Israel pertain to the nuclear reactor at Dimona. As indicated earlier, Israel is in fact a nuclear power - the only nuclear power in the world that insists on behaving as if it were not one. They don’t let UN inspectors in so how can they ask us to do their dirty work? Again, Obama and any future President need to see through this and get away from standing buy Israel at all cost. Would you stand by your friend if he was an admitted rapist or murderer? If we don’t, we will find out who the real rogue state is and dragged down in what may turn out to be world war III.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
This case can be made singularly by presenting the current Obama administration policies regarding Iran, Israel, Libya, and even tertiary nations like Nigeria, Somalia and the Congo, IT IS NOT FAR FETCHED TO draw the aforementioned parallel within a historical context. As a nation the foreign policy approach of the Obama administration to be fair, remains in the tradition of the fallacy of the first crusades which resulted in the capture of Jerusalem from the Seljuk Turks in 1099. This remains to be the premise of what we see between the west (US and Europe) and the East (Arabs, Persians and Asians).
What do I mean you may ask? Well today as then, the US is a representation of the crusader state – meaning that our goals through foreign policy are to promote a universal culture of values “that must be spread throughout the world in the righteous cause of peace.” This is the basic tenant of Wilsonian idealism the way I have understood political history and put in action by both Obama and Bush. Neoconservative appears to be conservative yet support and favor big government, interventionism, and hostility to religion in politics and government.
Neoconservatives played a small role in the Ronald Reagan Administration, but came out the closet during the George W. Bush Administration after 2001. In comparison, the same can be said of Obama whose primary foreign policy goal demonstrates zeal to expand world peace and preserve American exceptionalism at any cost.
As I recall, Obama campaigned against President Bush’s policies, yet he continues most of these policies today. Like Bush, he has increased funding for U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and has quadrupled overseas deployments. In Somalia for example, the Obama administration “has put in place policies to limit food aid to the region, using food as a weapon of war and killing hundreds of civilians weekly via its use of US drone strikes. Recently he has sent US troops to oil rich Uganda (Uganda has yet to produce a single barrel of oil) to intervene militarily to help Uganda fight the rebels of the LRA who are currently in the Central African Republic. Recently, more information has surfaced asserting that the U.S. Army has been making “preparations for possible direct military intervention in Nigeria.”
All I am saying is that the manner in which many pundits attacked neoconservative foreign policy was appropriate and the same amount of scrutiny needs to be directed at this new neoliberal foreign policy of Obama. The only difference between the two is not idealism but rather methodological. Bush proffered a less technological approach than Obama currently employs.
Although the present administration is providing the appearance of getting of Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama continues to stay the of Bush neoconservative policy in the Middle East pushing out longtime rulers, as was the case in Libya and as he is attempting to do in Syria. Albeit his first act as President was signing an executive order to close the facility holding terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay within a year, he still maintains the policy of the former administration as well as has continued a version of the Bush practice of renditions. I wonder how essential it was to hold and water boarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a secret prison in Eastern Europe to help get info to identify Osama bin Laden’s couriers?
Also, Obama in concert with Eric Holder continue the practice of indefinite detentions and continue to trample the civil liberties of US citizens just as Bush did with the Patriot Act and the FBI’s ability to obtain certain phone records without warrants. The Obama’s Justice Department has given legal authority for the continuation of these policies.
Now I did not get a chance to speak on the example of Ira and Israel, but I will and soon, just not here. The only point I wanted to try and make that the neoconservative philosophy many conservatives applaud today has not been removed from the current Whitehouse. In fact it has changed and mutated into a more vile policy perspective, that has taken us even further back to the times of the crusades, one which says to the world it is our way or the high way. My only concern is that other nations don’t forget the pangs of neocolonial practices they see make nations like the US richer, while they barely have food to eat and water to drink.
Monday, February 20, 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012
Recently, the Detroit News published a call to add contraceptives to the water supply, in an effort to limit the number of Africa Americans born based on the assumption that they will only become poor as well as a burden to society. In essence a state mandate to decide who should live and who should die.
The Editorial page editor Nolan Finley writes: “Since the national attention is on birth control, here’s my idea: If we want to fight poverty, reduce violent crime and bring down our embarrassing drop-out rate, we should swap contraceptives for fluoride in Michigan’s drinking water.“
This is the belief and practice of so-called scientist that promoted the concept of Eugenics. Eugenics was the racist and moral method by which all human beings deemed "unfit," preserving only those who conformed to a Nordic stereotype could be eliminated. Elements of the philosophy have served as national policy by forced sterilization and segregation laws in America, as well as have its genocidal roots in the crimes of Nazism.
In America in addition to California, North Carolina and Georgia: The two U.S. states that sanctioned eugenics the longest, an estimated 7,600 women were sterilized by the government in North Carolina alone, and as late as 1974. Through a eugenics authority which operated from 1933 to 1977, the goal was to serve as a legitimate way to keep welfare rolls small, stop poverty and improve the gene pool.
Although North Carolina officially apologized in 2002 and legislators have started to compensate victims the question remains why is it that this new found interest in the mass sterilization of blacks and the poor manifested?
Finley suggestion (drugging the water supply) is merely another class warfare arguments offered by elitist. He is not presenting anything new seeing that proposals to add sterilants to the water have always been the desire of white supremist worldwide, especially in America.
The notion that the poor, who are mainly Africa Americans in Detroit or elsewhere, should be intentionally poisoned to reduce birth rates is sociopathic and morbid. It asserts that the “targets” of population reduction should be the most needy and abject in our community, oh and did I say African Americans. Finley is just a closet Nazi and White supremist who is would rather blame other for problems than to take personal responsibility to solve them.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
The topical political locution of writers of such publications often is directed singularly on talking points that decussate between the protection of President Obama and the democratic party or intemperate attacks of all in opposition to the President or the democratic party, while ignoring addressing liberty and justice and intellectual empowerment for the collective masses rooted in objectivity and truth - which should be our singular goal.
For example, I would speculate that if you go across any mainstream, popular African American content dominated news site we at the moment would see an inordinate number of articles on Whitney Houston, Barack Obama, Jeremy Lin, Bobby Brown, something on the democratic party, Republicans in Congress, the Tea party or some Rapper – most likely Drake, Jay-Z, kanye West, Niki Minaj or Lil Wayne. Maybe even a little Beyonce baby or a little on Black history month.
No where will the content discuss the implications of what is going on in Syria, the impact of the European sovereign debt crisis, or how globalism impacts us directly. As stated prior, we do talk of government and democracy but only insofar as it regards our blind allegiance to the democratic party and shield President Obama. Rarely will we dispassionately, examine the historical neglect that the democratic party, since 1964 from Mondale and Lyndon Johnson to Hubert Humphrey and John F. Kennedy has incessantly displayed toward us collectively. It is convenient for us for example to applaud what Lyndon Johns Did in 1965 while forgetting that he allowed the Dixiecrats to override the Mississippi Democratic Freedom Party and said that he would not protect African Americans while exercising their right to register to vote. We venerate the democrats yet forget that no democrat voted for the 14th amendment and that then Senator John F. Kennedy – with an eye on the Democrat presidential nomination for 1960 – voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
In my purview, our actions or inaction is equal too and just as dangerous as the actions of an E.H Hurst (look him up) and we too are producing Herbert Lee’s each and every day by not engendering the desire for critical thinking and problem solving for the collective betterment of our people. I have no problems with people being supercritical of what I write for I agree with Malcolm X, “If you have no critics you'll likely have no success.”
We have no idea of our place in the world or that our struggle is really in its infancy. I really do wish those under me could have experienced just one day of being born in segregated America, just one day of seeing national Guards on your street in front of your house with machine guns on jeeps telling you not to play in your own front yard the day Dr. King was murdered, or the day my mother and her sisters and brother went downtown in Memphis to vote, coming back home smiling with my uncle saying he was only spit upon one time. I wish they could now what it feels like to have grandparents with no formal education stress the importance of education and describing reading and knowledge itself as a revolutionary act: reminding us of what it had taken just to get to where we were then.
Our writer and presupposed quasi-scholars under those of my generation that many in the world who rule both the political and corporate spectrums prefer for the masses, especially African Americans and minorities live as we do: materialistic, wasteful and without a desire to hold education as the greatest good and equalizer of all. They abide by what was written by Michel Crozier , Samuel P. Huntington , and Joji Watanuki in 1975, sanctioned by the Trilateral Commission in their book “The Crisis of Democracy” the belief that American democracy is sick with “democratic distemperment” because of too much participation in democracy by groups like African Americans, women and other minorities.
What we have now is not democracy but rather the participation of the elite and in government. Real democracy includes all, the poor, the downtrodden, the share cropper and the lame. In America, this is not the reality although those with black kin and white mask would argue otherwise, just because a man of African descent is in the Whitehouse. And dont talk about Obama, or draw a picture of him like an ape, or fire Roland Martin, or any thing of this nature - us black folks will come after you like you beat our momma. But never will we be as vehement about the fact that just 41% of Black men graduate from high school in the United States or that 69% of Black children in America cannot read at grade level by the 4th grade, or that only 11 percent of African American students are identified as proficient in math by high school compared to other groups, or that the net worth of Black families is $5677 compared to $113,149 for White families – all things which we can control. But dont talk about our president and please let us see Michael Jackson's and Whitney Houston;s funeral and a picture of Blue Ivy.
Yes our writers, intellectuals, scholars and leaders have failed us, they do not represent us, for they for the most part are disconnected with our history and have no knowledge of liberty, for as it was once written, “Ipsa scientia potestas est….Knowledge itself is power.” A truism that we obviously have forgotten along the way seeing that we will write on end about the death of a Whitney Houston but mention not one word of the death of a Patricia Stephens Due that happened the same week. As Martin Luther King spoke so eloquently, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Yes, we as a people are Free, but in name only.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the veto a “travesty” and Washington’s U.N. ambassador Susan Rice said she was “disgusted” by Russia and China’s vetoes adding that “any further bloodshed that flows will be on their hands.” President Barack Obama's asked for the U.N. Security Council to hold firm against the Syrian regime's "relentless brutality" and has indicated that the ongoing conflict in Syria should be resolved without foreign military interference, suggesting that a solution for Syria can be proffered via negotiations.
The problem for the President is twofold. First the position and inconsistencies his policy has manifest throughout the democratic uprisings in the region from Egypt to Libya and the appearance that his cabinet officials could send a strong message of accountability and/or his perceived lack of desire to hold his senior appointees responsible for their performance.
The entire situation in the Middle East is untenable in its present state. From the current inaction and war of words, it is almost as if the Obama administration sees the real targets of the Syria regime-change goal as Russia and China, since both see the U.S. as seeking to establish absolute control over the strategic oil supplies in the Persian Gulf. Not to mention that human rights advocates view the UN’s resolution’s failure and U.S. inaction might encourage the Assad government to intensify its violent crackdown on anti-government protesters, as evident from increased attacks in areas in protest against the Assad regime.
Obama is in a serious quandary. The Syrian army has continued to launch mortar and rocket attacks in the city of Homs, Syria's third-largest city, and the leading focus of unrest in the 11-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's rule. On the record Obama has openly stated that "Assad has no right to lead Syria, and has lost all legitimacy with his people and the international community." But in the eyes of the world he gives the locution of being selecting favorite as well as ignoring the same democratic principles he outlined for supporting a no-fly zone in Libya. Also, and more troubling, his assertion that not every situation allows for the type of military action taken in Libya when his global middle –east policy purports otherwise.
Obama’s actions are also affiliated with election year politics, since it may be seen that taking military options off the table is a political ploy to demonstrate his conviction to his campaigning on reducing US military intervention around the globe prior to election. Whatever the case, the US needs define their purpose and outcome in Syria as it pertains to the entire region. Thus the administrations proclamation that outside military involvement in Syria by the US as being more difficult and risky than the mission in Libya appears disingenuous, especially to those nations in the Middle East whom we claim we desire to see democratic change.
The President in my estimation should not be dragged into another military exercise, in particular give his campaign promises of 2008 and his seemingly anxiousness to do all in his power to show how grand of a friend he is too the state of Israel. Truth is told this is nothing new to Syria. In February 1982, when Reagan was in the Whitehouse former Syrian President Hafez al-Assad initiated a brutal crackdown in the western Syrian city of Hama in order to quell an emergent uprising and a Sunni rebellion. The assault lasted for three weeks and Hama was effectively demolished. With the number of casualties estimated to be between 20,000 and 40,000 civilians, including women and children.
The Hama Massacre was the bloodiest event in Syrian history. President Hafez al-Assad was the father of the current president Bashar al-Assad. It should be remembered (and I hope President Obama does) that it occurred during a period during the aftermath of Israel's attack on Syrian forces in Lebanon in 1982. The administration of Ronald Reagan had to choose to support one of the two nations and landed on the side of Syria.
For the GOP to forget this history is strange. Maybe because it was a time when Donald Rumsfeld met with Saddam, to speak about regional issues of mutual interest, mainly their shared enmity toward Iran and Syria. No one asked Reagan to intervene in Syria in 1982, but everyone is asking Obama to do so. My query is, what makes 2012 any different than 1982? A question no pundit or Republican will ever ask.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Over this past week we lost a great and wonderful woman, who contributed and gave her life for our community, and it was not Whitney Houston, it was Patricia Stephens Due.
I’m am certain that many may have never heard of Patricia Stephens Due, and as such, may reflect the behavior of attending to things that are not as important as we realize in a tangible sense. Or even worse, reflects what Marcus Garvey meant when he stated “The ends you serve that are selfish will take you no further than yourself but the ends you serve that are for all, in common, will take you into eternity.”
Patricia Stephens Due died last Tuesday as a consequence of thyroid cancer in Smyrna, Georgia at the age of 72. Born on Dec. 9, 1939, in Quincy, Fla. as Patricia Gloria Stephens, as high school students, she and her older sister started a petition to have the principal removed. She was one of the rare occurrences during the early days of the fight for justice and equality during the initial period of the struggle for civil rights – young Black women out in front organizing protest.
She started early in her life. At 13, Patricia Stephens challenged Jim Crow laws and the culture of segregation in the south by trying to use the "whites only" window at a Dairy Queen. As a college student, she led demonstrations to integrate lunch counters, theaters, and swimming pools and was repeatedly arrested. She became world renown after she and 10 other students were arrested for sitting at the “whites only” lunch counter at a Woolworth’s store in Tallahassee, Fla., on Feb. 20, 1960. It was 19 days after four black students in Greensboro, N.C., had made civil rights history by doing the same thing. She along with seven others refused to pay $300 fines for violating laws and served the full 49-day sentence.
She marched with and met John D. Due Jr., a civil rights lawyer, whom she eventually married in 1963. For their honeymoon, they rode the Freedom Train to Washington to hear the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. give his "I Have a Dream" speech.
Now I am not suggesting that we should not celebrate the life of Whitney Houston. What I am saying is that her life was great and may have not manifested if it were not for women like Mrs. Stephens Due. Without her, Whitney may have not won a Grammy or been allowed to kiss a white man on the big screen. How quickly we forget about what allow us to be in the position were in.
Mrs. Due paid a price for this devotion. She wore large, dark glasses day and night because her eyes were damaged when a hissing tear gas canister hit her in the face. She took a decade to graduate from Florida A&M University because of suspensions for her activism.
She ammased an F.B.I. file of more than 400 pages and was kicked and threatened with dogs, including a German shepherd whose police handlers gave it a racial slur for a name.
In 1959, she formed a local chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality. In 2003, Mrs. Due and her daughter wrote about the ambivalence and hesitancy of black people’s regarding the civil rights struggle in the movement’s early days in “Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights.”
It is sad to loose a talent like a Whitney Houston, but what is even sadder and pathetic, is the incessant adoration and infatuation we have with idols and celebrity when compared to people who actually did something to benefit toe world of African Americans than singing like Patricia Stephens Due: unfortunately a person the average individual of African descent in America has never heard of or taken the time to find out about. I guess this is what the Great Indian philosopher teacher Chanakya meant when he wrote: "There is no disease (so destructive) as lust; no enemy like infatuation."
Thursday, February 09, 2012
And without the aid of any screed, I will like to use this to present the premise that regardless of what we call ourselves, African descendants in the united States are even more of slaves now than they were prior to the emancipation proclamation and display more disdain and rancor for who we are than ever in any time prior. To validate this apriorism., will use three recent examples: the newfangled excursus pertain to the description of whether we are African American or Black, the cruel and demoniac, beating on 20-year-old Brandon White and Roland Martin for his perceived homophobic tweets during the Super Bowl.
The first is part of the problem, whether or not people should call them Black or African American. In a nut shell it suggest that conformity has no boundaries and even worse – that African descendants in these United States have successfully been imbued with the outcomes desired by colonialism since we continue to select to define and see ourselves through the spectacles of white European culture. This may be why we tend to be more responsive than proactive. As such, no wonder that African Americans spent $507 bill (out of our total estimated buying power of $836 billion) in 2009 on hair care & personal grooming items. Or that we spend more on self mutilating products (perms, fake nails, and fake hair) than any other ethnic group. As a people in general, we spend almost $50 billion on vehicles alone while less than 50% of African Americans owned their homes as opposed to whites (70%).
The reasons for those that deny any connection to Africa reflect more of a bland and opaque sciolism than actual reality. “Africa was a long time ago” or “It denotes something else to me than who I am.” To even have such a discussion in evidence of a people without any direction and we all know that in order to have direction, as in math and science there must be a starting point. Why is that of all the humans in the world, we are the only people who are afraid to own our connection with our history without apology? Although other ethnic groups from India, Iran, China or wherever, although they came via means other than slavery, when their kids grow up her, they still remain connected to their ethnic heritage. Why, because they accept who they are. If we cannot believe in ourselves and do not accept who and what we are via our colonial indoctrination, we will never succeed as a people.
One has to wonder, why is that we adopt such positions. One is that we do not own our connection with our history and even worse consequently do not accept such with any apology or reservation. This is what is so problematic with what happened to Martin – a man who should have known better, just one day after the beating of Brandon White.
The actuality is that we spend time on speaking about such, which really are not important, than the root causes of our self-destruction, taking responsibility and things that do mater. We would be more likely to stand and Support the irresponsible and ignorant actions of Roland Martin than take the side of righteousness – even suggesting that what he tweeted was no directed toward gays. “If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him! #superbowl” Martin tweeted,
No secret about it, it was. We all know what a “real Bruh” means, “pink” and that any one that looks or is attracted to another man’s crotch are key words. And don’t forget slapping the “ish” out of someone is equal to knocking someone out violently. Yes Martin should have known better but it may be his lack of connection to our community, all of our components regardless of beliefs and practices led him to this outcome. Yes, he can be seen by a reasonable person as cheerleading for violence against men who are excited to see the crotch of another man - gays. Yes like many of us, he was a pawn in the game, defeated by his own self inflicted wounds as many of us, through the main tool of mentacide today – the television.
For example, remembering the television show the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air can provide a vivid example of this. Will Smith’s character was the one most folks attended to. He was book dumb but street smart, he could dance and could get all the girls while Carlton was the one to be hated, an educated black man who could not dance. Even in our schools, the popular kids do poorly academically and cause havoc while the straight A students are looked down upon. About 69% of Black children in America cannot read at grade level in the 4th grade, compared with 29% among White childrenThere is a reason why black folks will break in your home, trash the place and take everything except books. Chances are book shelves are never trashed in robberies.
All of the aforementioned, the discussion of whether we are African American or Black, the beating on 20-year-old Brandon White and Roland Martin for his irresponsible and ill-informed tweets during the Super Bowl are as Dr. Na'im Akbar stated, "We are ignorant of who we are and what we can do.” It means what Dr. Carter G. Woodson wrote in "The Miseducation of the Negro," "When you control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his "proper place" and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary."
What we do and say is important and an intelligent person who does stupid things is still stupid (Roland Martin) and people stuck on stupid and fixed on foolishness are ugly (The Attackers of White). Not valuing who and what we are and where we come from contributes to such idiocy and unfortunately makes me think that Brown versus Board of Education means nothing now, because most of us don’t value education, care to accept our origins are in Africa and don’t care about learning. “Just because a cat has kittens in an oven doesn’t make them biscuits.”
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
I guess some folks can talk a mean game, especially when they just talk out the side of their necks. It was just less than two years ago on November 22, 2010 when the House Republicans Vote to End Earmarks. It was supposed to be an important first step toward fundamentally changing the way taxpayer dollars are spent in Washington” since a large corpus of US citizens see earmarks as wasteful spending and another form of corruption. At the time, Doug Lamborn (CO-05) wrote on his webpage, “The new House Republican Majority is firmly committed to cutting spending, reining in government, and listening to the people who sent us here. We have an enormous task ahead to get America’s fiscal house in order. Today’s vote to end earmarks is proof that Republicans are serious about ending wasteful spending.” He added, “I call on my Democrat colleagues in the House and Senate to get equally serious about reforming Washington and pass their own earmark bans. The task before us requires a bipartisan commitment to reform.”
Earmarking is the longtime Washington practice in which lawmakers insert money for home-state projects. Although it was said they this practice would end if Cut-happy Republicans were elected to office, it has not and the practice of embedding legislation with billions of dollars in pet projects and federal contracts is still alive and well on Capitol Hill.
Personally, only a fool would have believed that earmarks would be obviated completely in Washington, in particular for the GOP clowns who vowed to end them and even got elected for having such position. But their effort to permanently ban earmarks has split Republicans with a majority wanting to go back to earmarking, even placing them in contradiction with GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney, who according to A spokeswoman for the former Massachusetts governor is in favor of a permanent earmark ban.
Even in 2010, just days after the Senate GOP caucus imposed a voluntary moratorium on earmarking, Sen. Jon Kyl, the No. 2 Senate Republican, dropped $200 million to settle an Arizona Indian tribe’s water rights claim against the government for his home state via a spending bill right before final passage. There is Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, won an additional $20 million for "mixed conventional load capability for Air Force bombers." Hartzler's district is home to Whiteman Air Force Base, keeper of the nation's B-2 bombers, and Fort Leonard Wood.
In fact, during the 111th Congress, six sitting Republican senators voted against considering a three-year earmark moratorium: Sens. Thad Cochran (Miss.), Susan Collins (Maine), James Inhofe (Okla.), Dick Lugar (Ind.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Richard Shelby (Ala.).
But this is not all. Republicans wolf tickets were all about stopping excessive government and bring an end to earmarks reflect another reality of the GOP that is rarely talked about – their two-facedness (if such is a word.)
Even last summer, when the $553 billion bill providing a budget for the Pentagon was passed, it contained millions of dollars that President Barack Obama didn't request for other projects in places from Illinois to Mississippi represented by House GOP freshmen. Including $2.5 million for weapons and munitions advanced technology, money for the Quad City Manufacturing Lab at the Rock Island Arsenal in freshman Rep. Bobby Schilling's Illinois district. Ironic since during his 2010 campaign, the tea party-backed, pizza-business owner Schilling ran against Democratic Rep. Phil Hare’s penchant for earmarking. Then there is also Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who bought Vista Medical Center and requested $2 million to expand the road in front of his “long-term investment,” in 2008 but only received $245,000 from the government. Eventually receiving an additional $570,000 he personally earmarked to widen the road, add bus stops, improve the sewer system, and other utility work to benefit his business investment.
Now the sad story line is that for many in the GOP, these are not considered as Earmarks. Now they have a new name for these which is described by the New York Times as “special funds in spending and authorization bills that allow them to direct money to projects in their states.”
U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill recently released a report finding that members of the U.S. House of Representatives attempted to side step their own self-imposed ban on earmarks, via methods designed by the House Armed Services Committee’s Chairman, Howard McKeon (R-Cali.). It was effective since of the 225 amendments to the legislation that were approved by the House Armed Services Committee, McCaskill proved that 115 of the amendments added had previously been earmarks$834 million in proposed federal spending. More damaging was that of the earmarks secretly inserted into the legislation, 20 were from freshman House GOP members who at one time or another campaigned to end earmarks. Sad truth is that earmarks do not account for no more than 1 percent of the entire federal budget.
I do not know if things will ever change inside the beltway.I do know it is getting more difficult each day to find a politician, democrat or republican that is working on behalf of the people moreso that doing work because of the feeling of owing favors to those that may have greased their palms. It is as Mark Twain said, “It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.”
Monday, February 06, 2012
Now the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the government want to make a ridiculous claim suggesting they own your stem cells because they are drugs. This has come about as a consequence of the FDA’s latest claim in its dispute with a Colorado clinic over its Regenexx-SD™ procedure, a non-surgical treatment for people suffering from moderate to severe joint or bone pain using adult stem cells. The Food and Drug Administration has filed an injunction to stop the clinic from using a person's own stem cells to alleviate pain.
The FDA argues that the clinic is violating federal standards by injecting patients with their cultured stem cells. The clinic's doctors remove cells from the patient and grow them in an outside lab before injecting the cells into painful joints. The backwards logic proffered by the FDA in court documents suggesting it has the right to regulate the clinic is twofold. First they state that “Stem cells are drugs and therefore fall within their jurisdiction.” Last, that the Colorado clinic “is engaging in interstate commerce and is therefore subject to FDA regulation because any part of the machine or procedure that originates outside Colorado becomes interstate commerce once it enters the state.”
The FDA in its own legal briefs and documents state that the agency wants to protect the market for FDA-approved drugs more than all else. If upheld in the courts, the implication of the FDA’s interpretation of the law, is that al cells produced by the human body are the property of the FDA and any use of these cells, even by the person that produces them would be against the law, even if it is to treat their own body. Because according to the FDA, “Stem cells, like other medical products that are intended to treat, cure, or prevent disease, generally require FDA approval before they can be marketed. At this time, there are no licensed stem cell treatments.”
This is just another example of how the FDA is concerned more with serving the interest of large drug and pharmaceutical companies over the people they supposedly are in existence to protect. They are quick to approve questionable medications like the chemical aspartame when it has been shown to cause cancer in rats.
Similar outcomes have occurred with Yaz (birth control), which the FDA first approved in 2001, with Yasmin to follow in 2006, but since then he two studies by Boston University School of Medicine and published in the British Medical Journal had shown that the risk for blood clots, or venous thromboembolism (VTE), was 2-3 times higher for those women who were taking pills that had drospirenone.
Still the query remains, how far can the FDA go into our private lives and are they actually concerned with protecting the public or making drug companies wealthier?
Thursday, February 02, 2012
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
It is obvious that the Federal Government do not have the gonads to tackle corruption and white collar crime objectively. Just last week, an action reminiscent of Elliot Ness pouring beer into a river occurred when the FBI and Justice Department seized the website Mega Upload accusing the owner of causing $500 million in copyright infringements. My query is why is doing the work of the motion picture and recording industries more vital than the work of the people?
Either Congress or the President is so brazen or so cretinous, that they cannot envisage what they are doing me their efforts to censor the website Mega upload. Maybe a little bit of bot now that I think about it. Brazen because it is pronounced their actions are mainly taken on the bequest of the motion picture and recording industry lobbies. Stupid because most politicians prefer to brag on their ignorance on internet technologies and their low level use of such resources that attempting to learn more about the – a myopia more prescient of Washington politicians dysfunction than seeing the desires and needs of the common, non-super Pac affiliated US denizen.
The Obama administrations seizure of the site and the owner’s assets is more an attestation and forewarning of America’s fascist future of protecting US oligarchs than the penchant of protecting liberty. I mean really, going after a site and using the FBI and department of Justice Resources for what is basically a cloud-based repository for data storage, is like the examples I cited in the beginning of this essay.
No bank or Delivery company or website can track all of the user lot, packages or uploaded data which it hosts. To assume that one could, is silly. Meaning - to arrest the site’s founders under the assumption that they knowingly participated in copyright infringement, is moronic if we’re blaming site owners for user uploaded content now, we’d better start arresting people affiliated with all industries from YouTube to Bank of America (THEY HAVE MORE THAN $1 BILLION IN TOXIC ASSETS).
Now I know inside the belt way folks don’t understand. As an artist, mega upload allows me to get 90% on all the music I write, make and produce without the need of a record company gatekeeper who wants to Romanesquly decide for the public if they should hear or have the right to purchase my music. Not to mention this 90% on every dollar made allows them to get my music for free.
Maybe it is about the loot. Former Democratic senator and current head of the Motion Picture Association of America Chris Dodd have given tons of loot to the campaign of President Barack Obama. DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg raised at least $500,000 for the campaign and the Democratic National Committee and contributed $2 million to a super PAC backing the president was his biggest donor. Not to mention the zillion times the President has held fund raisers held by Hollywood big wigs the likes of Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein and Sony Pictures .
I also think that we have ignorant folks making laws and talking about things they have no honest understanding about. I’m sure there are large numbers of individuals inside the beltway like Senator Ted Stevens describing said internets as “a series of tubes,” or Rep. Mel Watt who proudly asserts that declares proudly that he doesn't understand internet/computer technology.
The truth is that a host of variables and factors are involved with the recent and present this financial crisis including everyone from the rating agencies, the bankers and the brokers, and that there is strong evidence for criminal culpability. However, no Wall Street banker wreaking havoc via their exotic derivatives has been charge criminally. What Madoff did to individual investors is what the mortgage & banking industries and Wall Street did to the US taxpayer and the US economy. No one from Goldman Sachs, Lehman’s, Countrywide, Citi, AIG, Bea Sterns or Wachovia just to name a few have been charged criminally or prosecuted by the Obama Administration. Why because we do not count and although the majority of Americans would see greater value in using the FBI and department of Justice Resources by going after criminals that looted $100s of millions and even billions of dollars, congress and Obama do not have the gonads to do such and wag the dog by going after mega uploads $42 million.
Wall Street controls D.C. As long as the financial companies can donate as many dollars as they have been to both sides of the aisle, you will see little in the way of reform of the financial sector and even less in the way of prosecution of wrong-doers. Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild was correct when he said, "Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes its laws”