Monday, December 08, 2008
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
"Any individual who rises to the national political level is, of necessity and by definition, committed to the authoritarian-corporatist state. The current system will not allow anyone to be elected from either of the two major parties who is determined to dismantle even one part of that system."
The next time you wonder why Obama is keeping Bush's Defense Secretary or why the evil Lawrence Summers is still around, just remember Silber's words. They will keep you from asking silly questions like, "Isn't Obama a progressive?"
Friday, November 28, 2008
"He was bum-rushed by 200 people. They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too...I literally had to fight people off my back."
No, that is not a headline ripped from a Saturday Night Live routine. A human being was killed by frenzied shoppers at a Wal-Mart located in Valley Stream, New York. Photos of the mad rush can be seen here.
Too bad shoppers didn't know that today is Buy Nothing Day. The day after Thanksgiving is an opportunity to digest the previous day's meal. It is a day to contemplate and reflect on the amount of credit card debt you already have. It is a day to stay as far away from stores as possible.
The reasons for boycotting post Thanksgiving shopping are numerous. When you celebrate Buy Nothing Day you are simultaneously giving consumerism the finger, saving money, and decreasing consumption of worthless crap that destroys the environment. Now it turns out you may be saving your life too.
Join up with Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping and get yourself some salvation. Then say a prayer for the poor man who not only had the misfortune of working at Wal-Mart, but dying there too.
I am concerned that reaction to this awful tragedy will be racist. All of the shoppers in the photos I saw were black. I certainly hope that we are not singled out for condemnation. Consumerism is a sickness maintained by propaganda fed to us all on a constant basis. Here in New York City ads can be seen on top of taxis, inside subway cars, outside of subway cars and on giant screens at bus stops and subway entrances. There is literally no way to escape them.
The behavior of people who ignored risks to their own safety in pursuit of cheap crap made in China should be put in its proper context. We have been turned into drones who work and buy and don't stop to think about anything other than working or buying. I hope that a needed discussion of the overt and covert messages we get to keep spending will not turn into a story of so-called pathologies unique only to black people.
Wal-Mart should not escape blame either. There was clearly no security at the store and employees and shoppers alike were in danger. But then again, Wal-Mart never spends more than it has to. Better think twice about rushing to the store next year. Don't fall for Black Friday propaganda. Observe Buy Nothing Day instead.
Monday, November 10, 2008
"Just between you and me, shouldn't the World Bank be encouraging MORE migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs [Less Developed Countries]?"
"I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that."
"I've always though that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly UNDER-polluted . . . "
Lawrence Summers, Clinton and possible Obama administration Treasury Secretary
Friday, November 07, 2008
Dr. Benjamin Emanuel, terrorist
As I pointed out yesterday, Rahm Emanuel's devotion to neo-con, pro-war foreign policy nearly cost Democrats the majority in the November 2006 elections. I should have also pointed out that his father, Dr. Benjamin Emanuel, was a terrorist. The president's chief of staff is the child of a terrorist.
Emanuel senior was a member of the Irgun, the group that blew up the King David hotel in Jerusalem and murdered Swedish diplomat Count Folke Bernadotte in 1948. Dad is very proud of his son and proud that he will be helping out Israel in his new position.
" 'Obviously he will influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn't he be? What is he, an Arab? He's not going to clean the floors of the White House.' The Ma'ariv article also quoted Dr. Emanuel as saying that his son spends most summers visiting in Tel Aviv, and that he speaks Hebrew, but not fluently."
Should Jews worry about an Obama presidency? I guess not, although the rest of us ought to.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
That was fast. Less than 24 hours after Barack Obama won the presidential election, he proved his detractors right. Change is an empty slogan for Obama, a marketing ploy used to make fatigued and grateful Democrats disbelieve their own eyes, ears and memories. While an official announcement has yet to be made, it appears that Congressman Rahm Emanuel will be named White House chief of staff.
Emanuel is Chair of the democrats Congressional Campaign Committee and has been credited with engineering the 2006 return to the majority. Yet the Democrats won control of the House of Representatives in spite of Emanuel's strategy, not because of it. John Walsh (scroll down for story) explained it all in Counterpunch back in November 2006.
"Long ago Rahm chose 22 key races, open or Republican seats, where Dems might win. By any reasonable criteria, all the candidates chosen by Rahm, save perhaps for one, were pro-war as is Emanuel himself. In two cases Rahm had to put in considerable dollars and effort in the primaries to drive out antiwar candidates. He drove out Cegelis in Illinois's 6th CD, at the cost of one million dollars, in favor of Tammy ("Stay the course") Duckworth who lost in the general election. In California's 11th CD primary, Emanuel backed the prowar Steven Filson who lost to the antiwar candidate, Jerry McNerney, who went on to win in the general election."
Looking at all 22 candidates hand-picked by Rahm, we find that 13 were defeated, and only 8 won! (3) (One is still undecided.) [Note: 9 eventually won] And remember that this was the year of the Democratic tsunami and that Rahm's favorites were handsomely financed by the DCCC. Tammy Duckworth, for example, was infused with $3 million and was backed in the primary by HRC, Barack Obama, John Kerry, etc. The Dems have picked up 28 seats so far, maybe more. So out of that 28, Rahm's choices accounted for 8 [Note: 9]! Since the Dems only needed 15 seats to win the House, Rahm's efforts were completely unnecessary. Had the campaign rested on Rahm's choices, there would have been only 8 or 9 new seats, and the Dems would have lost. In fact, Rahm's efforts were probably counterproductive for the Dems since the great majority of voters were antiwar and they were voting primarily on the issue of the war (60% according to CNN). But Rahm's candidates were not antiwar. So Rahm Emanuel nearly seized defeat from the jaws of victory."
At Black Agenda Report we have been saying all year long that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were "political twins." Now that Obama has won, it looks like Clinton administration retreads will be his top advisers and cabinet members. Lawrence Summers may be headed to the Treasury department and Emanuel will be Obama's second in command.
I'm sorry to burst the bubbles of those of you who wept in ecstasy just two days ago, but the truth is still the truth. Obama's chief of staff is a pro-war democrat who couldn't figure out how to beat republicans when the voters had turned against them. His appointment is a signal not only that endless war will remain on the table, but that the choice of Obama over Clinton was a meaningless one. Obama is smarter and savier than Hillary Clinton and he used those skills to be favored by more big money people than she was. That is why he is the president elect.
Face it. There will still be a Clinton in the White House. The people at the top of the establishment pyramid will always be friends. Nothing changes among the power elite. They are the biggest cynics on earth and they don't believe most of what they tell us. Obama and Bill Clinton will be thick as thieves and triangulation will still be the order of the day. If it weren't, Emanuel's name would not be atop the adviser rumor mill.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
When I went to my polling place here in Harlem I witnessed something I had never seen before. There was a line stretching out the door, down the block and around the corner. Fortunately the poll workers did an excellent job of managing the crowd and it took me no longer to vote than it did in any other presidential election year.
It was a strange day for the Obama non-fan. We were definitely left out of a very big party. It was quite moving to see people who were obviously first time voters. They were excited and engaged about the political process, some for the first time in their lives. It is good to know that it is still possible for people to be newly energized. Hopefully they can be energized to do something truly useful in the future. I don't know how they would explain their feelings, but it is certain that by voting for Obama they were upholding war and theft on a grand scale.
I know that Green party candidate Cynthia McKinney got at least one vote in New York City yesterday. I used to say that living in a solid blue state made my third and fourth and fifth party votes justifiable. Now I say that I will only vote for peace candidates. If I lived in Ohio, the swing state where I was born, I still would have voted for her. I will never again cast a vote for a war criminal. That conviction means I am disenfranchised. My vote will never count and I can only play the role of spoiler. I no longer care. I can't pretend that America's aggression around the world can be dismissed if it is carried out by the lesser of two evils.
So what do we have to look forward to? Read Black Agenda Report and find out.
"We have learned that this generation will have to learn from damn near scratch what a real social movement looks like - which will be doubly hard, since they have been misled to believe that this year's frenzied electioneering was actually a "movement." Now it is over, and one Black man is moving - into the White House, having never promised his Black supporters a single thing of significance. But of course, hardly anyone Black made any demands of Obama."
Sad but true. I fear that the situation will continue. Obama can get away with anything, and that makes him a truly dangerous man. Black America lives vicariously through him, asking and getting nothing in return. White progressives are likewise silent.
"I'll give Obama this much -- his campaign has been one of the most brilliantly conceived and cynically executed appeals I've ever seen. His propaganda team has ably exploited people's desire for HOPE and CHANGE, offering them empty platitudes which they can fill with any fantasy they choose. Even when Obama baldly states whose interests he actually serves, his followers either don't care or pretend not to hear. Besides, they bleat when pushed, Obama will be pressured to do the right thing should he stray too far from liberal concerns. The fact that he already has done this shows that claim to be as empty as Obama's speeches. The idea that libs are going to shift from genuflection to lighting fires under Obama's feet is preposterous, but fully in line with the general fantasia."
Dennis Perrin is absolutely correct. Progressives aren't interested in saying anything. I know because I used to be just like them. When Bill Clinton was president I was overjoyed to see a democrat in the White House. I excused almost everything he did because I thought that support was the only way to keep republicans at bay.
It takes one to know one. Obamites will say nothing if he bails out thieving banks or starts new wars. It will be a sad day when black Americans , ordinarily the group who opposed the empire, fall in line and make excuses. It will be a day to grieve when people who took to the streets to opposed the occupation of Iraq excuse Obama's continuation of that violation of international law and human rights.
Much of the joy comes from relief that the republicans are gone. Ding dong the witch is dead. The Bush years have been a nightmare and we are waking up from the terror.
Now we have a man in the White House who can hide his criminality with intellect and good marketing. Because he is the big money candidate the press will protect him as much as they protected Bush. McCain got the shaft because his party had fallen out of favor. Their brand is dead right now. Otherwise he would have gotten the kid glove treatment like Bush did for so long.
Stay tuned. So much is changing in the world right now. The economic meltdown has not hit bottom and new wars are in the planning stages. We will see what supposedly good people are made of.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
"I'm well aware of the role I played [in the Iraq war]. My role has been very, very straightforward. I wanted to avoid a war. The president agreed with me. We tried to do that. We couldn't get it through the U.N. and when the president made the decision, I supported that decision. And I've never blinked from that. I've never said I didn't support a decision to go to war."
Liar, liar pants on fire. Chris Floyd explains.
"This is murderous bullshit of the highest order. Before the invasion, Bush and Powell claimed they were being forced to consider war because of Iraq's alleged non-compliance with past UN demands to destroy its WMD arsenal and programs. In late 2002, the UN duly authorized -- and Iraq accepted -- a vigorous program of inspections to verify compliance -- or discover non-compliance. This process was going on, successfully, with cooperation from the Iraqis, when George W. Bush ordered the UN inspectors out of the country, before they finished their work, so that he could launch a military invasion -- which was now unnecessary by the very criteria that he and Powell had set out publicly."
Tell me again, why do "progressives" love Obama and Powell? Because they aren't any better, that is why. Americans from almost every point on the political spectrum applaud their government's use of force. There are very few people who really believe that it is wrong for the American government to invade Iraq or any other country for that matter. Some think the war was "mismanaged" while others just disliked George W. Bush. Most progressives supported Bill Clinton's bombing of Bosnia and the deaths of thousands, I have to admit that I didn't think about it at the time. I was democrat, he was a democrat. I didn't question his decision and I supported him whenever he was attacked by republicans.
Were it not for the influence of wonderful people like my friends Glen Ford and Fr. Simon Harak I would probably be in the thrall of Obama too. It took thought and education for me to think differently from most other people.
So it isn't surprising that Powell is not seen as the no good lying murding dog that he is.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Will this shoe drop before election day? The New York Times asked Obama, Biden, McCain and Palin for their medical records. Obama and Biden said yes, but McCain and Palin said no. McCain's reasons are obvious. If his melanoma has not recorred already it is likely to do so in the future. He released some records to the press but reporters were not allowed to make copies of them.
As for Palin, what reason could she possibly have not to turn over her records? If she does they will show that she has given birth to four kids, not five. Trig is her daughter Bristol's child. You heard it here first.
“Colin Powell is the most powerful and damaging black to rise to influence in the world in my lifetime.”
Robinson spoke too quickly. In 2004 who knew that Barack Obama would be on the verge of being elected president. Powell now has competition for Robinson's condemnation.
Robinson was speaking of Colin Powell's dirty work in the Bush administration to overthrow Jean Bertrand Aristide, the elected president of Haiti. Powell lied to members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who were forced to bumb rush the White House and get an audience with Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Bush. All three lied in their faces. They promised not to undermine Aristide but two days later they orchestrated a coup and a kidnapping against him.
Powell has a lot of blood on his hands. The year before he helped destroy Haiti, he led the charge for the U.S. to invade and occupy Iraq. Chris Floyd describes Powell's perfidy.
"In fact, it is not too much of a stretch to say that Colin Powell is more responsible for the mass murder spree in Iraq than any other person except George W. Bush, who gave the actual order for the hit. For it was Powell who "made the sale" for the Bush Faction's deceitful warmongering campaign, with his infamous February 2003 presentation to the UN, laying out the false evidence about Iraq's non-existent weapons of mass destruction. After that farrago of artfully delivered lies, the American Establishment -- urged on by the fawning, bloodthirsty commentariat -- lined up solidly behind the war. After all, if Colin Powell -- so "reasonable," so "honorable," so "honest" and "bipartisan" -- stood foursquare behind the Bush case for war, then it must be ironclad."
Colin Powell is the ultimate careerist. If he had resigned from the Bush administration before lying like a cheap dirty rug at the U.N. he would be on the verge of the presidency now instead of Obama. But that isn't his thing. He is a courtier. He attempted to cover up the My Lai massacre and he and his boss Caspar Weinberger engineered the Iran Contra arms for hostages deals. Powell has been behind American government wrong doing for the past four decades.
It is little wonder that today Powell announced his endorsement of Obama. They are a perfect pair. One works behind the scenes, the other wants the top job.
The progressives who have fawned over Obama are still fawning tonight. A Powell endorsement ought to be the kiss of death, but liberals have silently colluded with Obama all year long. Why should they stop now? So what if the architect of death and destruction in Iraq has endorsed their beloved leader.? They just want to win. They want their guy to be at the top of the killing food chain. Any pretense of progressive politics is just that.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
"The two often relax in separate places: Mr. McCain prefers the family’s ranch in the Arizona desert, while Mrs. McCain’s refuge is a high-rise condominium on the Pacific. "
New York Times
So the McCains are separated, not hard to do when you have eight homes. I don't really care, but the media have no problem picking and choosing whom they will scrutinize and whom they will not. The New York Times wrote a truly tawdry, unseemly article on Bill and Hillary Clinton last year, claiming that the public were interested in their private lives, a specious argument at best.
"Four other senators were implicated, and one Senate spouse: Mrs. McCain. She and her father had invested in a shopping center with Mr. Keating, and while Mr. McCain insisted that he had reimbursed Mr. Keating for vacations their families had taken together in the Bahamas, he said his wife, the family bookkeeper, could not find the receipts."
Remember the Keating scandal? It was yesteryear's financial crisis, with the taxpayers bailing out the savings and loan industry. McCain used his influence to help one crook in particular, Charles Keating. I had never read before that Cindy McCain and her family had a personal interest in this scandal, so the Times was correct in pointing it out.
Glenn Greenwald, who alternates between good investigative journalism and useless namby pamby liberalism, takes the Times to task for the story. I disagree strongly. Candidates for public office give up their privacy, and someone who has half-siblings yet describes herself as an only child ought to be called on her lie. The Times pointed out that the McCains lie about their private life when they claim to be a married couple and that his wife profited from the savings and loan thievery. Cindy McCain has also injected herself into the campaign, it was she who first posited that Alaska's proximity to Russia gave Sarah Palin foreign policy credentials.
Greenwald and his ilk are a huge problem. He did great reporting on Obama's FISA treachery, but then rejected the notion that progressives ought to withhold support from him because of it. We should just accept the loss of our constitutional rights, hold our noses, and vote for the "lesser" of two evils. Although if democratic presidential candidates think we have no fourth amendment rights, their evil isn't any less.
At any rate, I'm glad the times exposed the Cindy McCain fraud.
"Cindy McCain was new to Washington and not yet 30 when she arrived at a luncheon for Congressional spouses to discover a problem with her name tag.
It read “Carol McCain.” That was the well-liked wife John McCain had left to marry Cindy, to the disapproval of many in Washington."
Married woman don't like home wreckers. Thank goodness.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
"To me, Obama's friendship with Ayers and Dohrn means that once he rubbed shoulders with amateur bombers, but now pines for the Real Fucking Deal. As president, Obama will have access to weapons that ancient radicals could only imagine while tripping. Better, he's free to use them, hell, expected to use them, and I have complete confidence that Obama will do just that. Instead of mailing cryptic messages to the media, he'll announce his murderous intentions on international television and all over the Web. So Obama palled around with people who blew up parts of empty buildings. If you desire to be the imperial manager, you gotta start somewhere."
Friday, October 10, 2008
John McCain never looked well. Lately he has looked very ill indeed. This two week old video from Crooks and Liars clearly shows that his left eye seemed to be drooping, which can be a symptom of stroke, among other conditions.
Counterpunch has received reports that McCain's melanoma has recurred, and that he may be receiving radiation treatments.
"An official in the National Institutes of Health, well known to our reader, has confided to her that in an informal conversation with a doctor in a California hospital the NIH official had learned that there had been a metastasis of McCain’s melanoma, and that this had come to light in a checkup in the past few weeks."
John McCain has not released his medical records to the press, but this is nothing new. In 2004 Bush skipped his August physical until after election day and when Reagan ran for re-election in 1984 he already knew that he had colon cancer but kept that fact from the public.
If the corporate media did their job, they would demand that presidential candidates release all medical records. Of course, many things would be different if they lived up to the title journalist, but I digress. McCain is sick, and it should have come to light sooner.
He is behind in every poll, and if reports of illness become more wide spread it is safe to say that he will lose. Of course, the thought of President Palin is taking a toll on his poll numbers too. If he should pass away in the near future, there ought to be a public outcry about the story that should have been. Oh wait, I'm sorry. No one cries out anymore. I forgot myself.
Friday, September 26, 2008
"The situation may get urgent, but it's not urgent right now. Right now it's a financial sector problem.''
That is what 150 economists say about the proposed $700 billion bailout/giveaway to Wall Street. They outlined their concerns in a letter to Congressional leaders and warned them not to be stampeded into doing further harm to the economy.
In this week's Black Agenda Report I expressed my fears that the give away is the first step in stealing from the national treasury. We will be told that social security, the only safety net Americans have, must be privatized or that spending on non-defense related programs has to go.
One of the signatories of the letter, David K. Levine of Washington University, had a more disturbing observation about recent market activity or rather inactivity. "I suspect that part of what we're seeing in the freezing up of lending markets is strategic behavior on the part of big financial players who stand to benefit from the bailout."
Hat tip goes to Arthur Silber, who as always makes the point that the ruling class are doing what they always do. They are ruling the rest of us. Just assume the position, like politicians tell you to do. Barack Obama says that ". . . issues like bankruptcy reform, which are very important to Democrats, is probably something that we shouldn't try to do in this piece of legislation." Of course not, that would mean answering to working people instead of the corporate masters who control both political parties.
Michael Hudson points out that the only way for the give away plot to work is for another bubble to be created. It isn't possible to make money for Wall Street while also helping Americans facing foreclosure. "In order for the existing junk mortgages to be “made good,” real estate prices must be raised further above the ability to pay for this year’s five million homeowners in arrears and facing default."
That is really not very shocking. It is just the ruling class doing what they always do. Nothing to see here. Move along.
I used to sneer at Larry King. He is king of the puff piece interview, whether his subject is a presidential candidate or a celebrity promoting a tell all memoir.
You can imagine my surprise when I turned on the tube last Tuesday and saw King interviewing Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the full hour of his program.
King wasn't much better than he usually is, but so what. Ahmadinejad was allowed to speak for himself and tell the American people what they ought to know but don't.
"Now for eight years, Saddam was supported against us. He bombarded Iranian cities and towns. He used chemical weapons against us. And in the meantime, the American government was giving support to Saddam. And then the U.S. government went and overthrew Saddam. Well, perhaps in the first instance, we might have been happy. But when we realized that the U.S. government is more interested in staying in Iraq and to dominate, through its presence in Iraq, the region, we -- I ask you, would you have been happy if you were in our shoes watching this?"
"The largest number of inspections in the history of the IAEA has been done with the country of Iran. We have offered the IAEA the largest number of documents in its history. No country in the world has cooperated with the agency as much as Iran has done. And that's verified. But I'd like to ask you, at the same, that there are countries who have nuclear weapons arsenals and are actually developing a new age nuclear warfare. Should they not be inspected, as well? Don't you think that their activities should be brought to an end, as well? Who exactly is the threat?"
"Perhaps as a journalist who has years of experience,(ouch!) you must be aware of what goes on in the Middle East, the extent of the calamity, in other words. For over 60 years, more than five million Palestinian have been displaced -- people who were forced out of their homes.And those who have stayed are being bombarded every day militarily. They are being killed in their homes at times. Women and children at times are besieged. And medicine, water and food does not always reach them sufficiently. Children lose their lives, as do women, as a result, at times. Sometimes women die giving birth. Palestinian figures are assassinated and it goes to such extent that it's actually announced beforehand.Three big wars started by the Zionist regime, the last of which was in 2006, when they attacked Lebanon.S o when will this calamity -- this catastrophe end?"
"I think that every government that comes to power in the United States must address two sort of agenda items. The first is that it must limit the circle of the interventions of the United States abroad because these interventions and interferences bring about heavy cost to the American people, both materially and both in terms of the level of dignity of a people. The dignity of the American people around the world has been hard when you -- other people, other nations do not have a good image of American people anymore. And materially, you can tell for yourself what it has done to the American economy. I heard this recently, that 700 billion dollars are to be infused to the financial institutions. Where is it being paid from? The pocket of American people."
We depend on stand up comedians like David Letterman and John Stewart to give us the news and now we depend on Larry King to give access to an important world leader when supposedly superior news people won't. Viva Larry!
The interview is on Youtube in six parts. Once again there is a problem posting Youtube on to blogger so I can only give the link.
Monday, September 01, 2008
Alaska governor Sarah Palin didn't deny the rumors that her infant son is actually her daughter's child. She did announce that her 17 year old daughter is pregnant now and will be getting married. Okey dokey.
I'm still unconvinced. Just look at this, the Sarah Palin's Pregnancy Decision Map. Maybe it just proves that she is dumb, but I like my scandal and I'm ging to stick with it.
I am also going to stick with saying that this is a relevant campaign issue. Governor Abstinence Only has a pregnant teenager. Every study has shown that abstinence only is a failure and there is no reason to dance around the issue. Also, Palin could have chosen to save her pregnant daughter this scrutiny, but like other narcissists, i.e. politicians, she chose to grab the spotlight.
I think more shoes are going to drop on Palin and it is too late for McCain to choose someone else. They must be nominated this week. He is stuck with her and if he wins, we will be too. We are just so screwed.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
If the story is true, Sarah Palin is eight months pregnant in this video. Can women about to deliver cross their legs and sit forward? Hmmm. Mommies please tell me. She also says nothing about being on the verge of having a new baby. The plot thickens.
"But I can't help being a little bit fascinated by the speculation that Governor Palin's "surprise pregnancy" was actually a ploy to cover the pregnancy of her 17-year-old daugher, Bristol. Most of the speculation seems to rest on the fact that while Governor Palin never seemed to show any signs of being pregnant until she dropped her surprise announcement - followed almost immediately by an 'early' delivery following an eight-hour flight from Texas. On the other hand, her daughter Bristol was apparently away from school for months with 'mono.' "
Talking Points Memo
I didn't write in the month of August and now that Labor Day approaches I am finding myself very far behind indeed. I haven't written much about John McCain's choice of little known Alaskan governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. I'm not sure what to think about whether or not she helps him. She can help by giving an out to the racists who won't admit that they still have "questions" about Obama because he is black. They can now claim righteousness by voting for a woman. On the other hand, the pro-Hillary white women who were drawn to her by feminist aspiration will be insulted. Why would they vote for an anti-abortion creationist who doesn't believe global warming is a problem?
All of these questions are now dwarfed by a now viral internet rumor. The governor has a four month old baby with Downs syndrome. She said that she and her husband new the baby had that disability but that they brought the pregnancy to term because of their pro-life beliefs.
I thought it kind of odd that someone with four kids ranging in age from 19 to 7 would have a new child, but we all know an "oops" baby or two.
According to this fast moving rumor, the baby isn't hers at all. The baby belongs to her daughter, Bristol, who is now 17. Consider the facts. The governor didn't announce being pregnant until she was seven months along, stunning the public and her own staff. At the same time, her daughter missed several months of school. The governor says because of mononucleosis.
The most mysterious part of the story, is the birth itself. The governor was in Texas where she says her water broke. Did she go to a hospital there? No, she got on a plane for the eight hour ride back to Alaska.
Will the corporate media take on this story or will they leave it to the National Enquirer? It shouldn't be too hard to get the facts. There has to be a birth certificate. There has to be a physician listed as delivering the baby.
If true, the story is worth covering because it reveals the rank hypocrisy of the Republicans and the Christian right. It would be hard to publicly acknowledge a teenager's pregnancy, but that is what pro-family types ought to do. She would have been better off saying that the baby would be welcomed into the family instead of creating a bizarre tale.
One thing is certain. McCain was desperate and didn't vet Palin. He only met with her once. And why would she say yes with this enormous skeleton in her closet? I guess for the same reason that John Edwards campaigned for president while simultaneously praying that the Riuelle Hunter shoe wouldn't drop. Politicians are very sick people.
"We have two Israeli cabinet ministers, one deals with war [Defense Minister David Kezerashvili], and the other with negotiations [State Minister for Territorial Integration Temur Yakobashvili], and that is the Israeli involvement here: Both war and peace are in the hands of Israeli Jews."
If you say so Mikhail Saakashvili. I guess it is OK to blame Israel in this instance without being accused of anti-Semitism. Well, I can dream anyway.
The president of Georgia told the world what critics of Israel already know. Israel is America's evil minion, at the bottom of nearly every instance of Uncle Sam's aggression. Israeli defense contractors are Colombia's number one arms supplier and work hand in hand to destabilize Hugo Chavez in neighboring Venezuela. They are now directly involved in America's effort to use Georgia to start a shooting war against Russia.
Check out Black Agenda Report on Wednesday. My first post-vacation column will be about the Bush team's effort to blow us all to kingdom come before January.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.... I mean, that's a storybook, man." Remember that quote? The headlines ought to read, "Racist senator chosen as Obama's running mate."
Sorry I'm not writing much now, I planned to take all of August off from writing but the world intrudes. Biden is just God awful, a war mongering gaffe prone, loose cannon who chooses to claim slavery among his political bona fides.
Black people are in for the worst butt whooping since Jim Crow, but this week most will celebrate themselves silly as Obama hang glides into Mile High stadium with the horrible Biden by his side.
I'll have more to say later this week.
While eulogizing Strom Thurmond in 2003 Biden referred to himself as a "northeast liberal." In a 1996 Fox news interview he said, "My state is anything from [sic] a northeast liberal state," and bragged that Delaware was a slave state.
Way to go Obama.
Friday, August 15, 2008
I posted this back on July 8th, thought you might like to see for yourself. Obama was a world class suck up from day one. Of course, he sucked up to the right people, the rich and powerful ones and he did it well. If he becomes president that will be the reason why.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
What About the Black Community, Obama? On Friday, August 1st I led a contingent of the Uhuru Movement into Barack Obama’s town hall meeting in St. Petersburg, Florida to raise the question, “what about the black community, Obama?” Without the benefit of a big media budget, our organization attempted to bring the serious issues experienced by African working class people across this country into the national political debate.
These issues include the targeting of African and Latino communities with predatory “sub-prime” mortgages – a scheme that has made millions for people like Obama’s chief financial advisor Penny Pritzker, while stripping black families of billions of dollars, the greatest loss of wealth our community has suffered since being brought in chains to this country. We also challenged Obama to take a stand against the police shootings of unarmed African people, and explain why he has publicly defended the judge’s acquittal of the NYC police who murdered Sean Bell.
He has said that he cannot speak out on behalf of those who have been historically oppressed for fear of offending other people. Yet in Miami, he promised the Jewish community, which considers itself a historically oppressed community, that he supports turning all of Jerusalem over to Israeli control, despite the internationally enforced sharing of that city with the Palestinians. When Obama speaks to black audiences, he attacks us, attributing our community’s poverty, not to systemic oppression, but to bad culture and lack of work ethic.
Barack Obama has criticized African fathers for abandoning our children, although a recent study showed that black fathers stay more involved with their children after a split from the mother than white fathers. And Obama says nothing of the unjust imprisonment of 1 in 9 black men of child-bearing age, the overwhelming majority of whom are locked up on minor drug or other non-violent economic violations stemming from conditions of desperate poverty. He has failed to achieve any meaningful program of economic development for the African community. In speaking to a group of black legislators, Obama said “a good economic development plan for our community would be if we make sure folks weren’t throwing their garbage out of their cars.”
Barack Obama wants to increase military spending and praised Clinton for abolishing AFDC and welfare. He has reversed his position opposing the death penalty and speaks out against reparations. He wants to escalate the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and has threatened Venezuela and Iran with military aggression. He has upheld the FISA, supporting wire-tapping and government spying on citizens. He receives unprecedented financial backing from Wall Street. His close advisors and potential cabinet members include war criminal Richard Clarke, Tri-lateral commission founder Zbigniev Brzezinski, Madeleine ‘it’s worth the price of 1 million dead Iraqi children’ Albright, and Free Trade advocates Jason Furman and Austan Goolsbee.
Some argue that we must support Obama or else we are supporting McCain. We in the Uhuru Movement don’t believe our community should restrict our political options to a choice between one white ruling class party or another. In fact, the black community’s most recent experiences in the U.S. electoral arena have resulted not only in the Republican Party’s theft of our votes, but prior to that we suffered some of the worst attacks on our community at the hands of the Democratic Party administration of William Jefferson Clinton, who put 100,000 more police on our streets to murder our people, privatized the prisons to exploit our unpaid labor, and discontinued the public subsidies for impoverished children and families that had been won by African people as a concession to our movement of the 1960s.
African people’s experiences with these last several elections and the desperate conditions facing our community have created a willingness by our people to seek independent political alternatives. In response to this crisis, the white rulers put forward Barack Obama – a pied piper taking African people back into clutches of the Democratic Party. If anyone looks seriously at the positions, programs and advisors of Barack Obama, they will see that he does not stand for any kind of real change, but for the defense of the same old status quo, with a new face. America is in an economic crisis and the white ruling class hopes to save itself by deepening the exploitation of African people in the U.S. and on the continent of Africa, where the world’s biggest reserves of oil and precious minerals lie. How better to do it than with an African face at the head of state?
Our success as a people requires that we achieve our own independent political agenda. African people’s votes should be contingent on the willingness of a candidate to support and fight for that agenda. The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement has invited Barack Obama, John McCain and Cynthia McKinney to attend our annual convention on September 27-28 in St. Petersburg, Florida to clarify their position on the question, “what about the black community?’ Based on their response, we will consider endorsement of a U.S. presidential candidate.
Diop Olugbala is the International Organizer for the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement
Saturday, August 02, 2008
"What about the black community?" That simple question from a Florida protester gave the sainted one a case of the jitters. It is high time he had some.
Never heard of Olugbala or his group, but they gave Obama the only true smack down he has gotten this year. All hail Olugbala and the Uhuru Movement! I have never seen Obama stutter and stammer the way he did when confronted by protest. Be still my heart. I'm going to post the You Tube videos, hopefully. I have been having problems with that lately.
Olugbala's words are simple, but speak volumes about Obama and his decision to ignore black people because he knows that he can.
"So my question is, in the face of the numerous attacks that are made against the African community or the black community by the same U.S. government that you aspire to lead, we are talking about attacks like the subprime mortgage that you spoke of that wasn't just a general or ambiguous kind of phenomenon but a phenomenon that targeted the African community and Latino Community.
Attacks like the killing of Sean Bell by the New York police department and Jevon Dawson right here in St. Petersburg by the St. Pete police and the Jena Six and Hurricane Katrina. The list goes on.
In the face of all these attacks that are clearly being made on the African community why is it that you have not had the ability to not one time, speak to the interest and even speak on behalf of the oppressed and exploited African community or the black community in this country?"
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
The last issue of Black Agenda Report featured a KPFA interview with Dr. Michael Hudson on the subject of the fictitious economy. If you want to understand junk bonds, endangered pension funds, Chicago School corrupt politics, why Democrats are as bad as Republicans or how CEOs pay themselves, you must listen to this eye opening interview. Hudson drops quite a few incredible quotes. He is an economics professor and a former advisor to former presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. It figures. Smart birds of a feather do flock together. Here are some of the Hudson statements that made me sit up and take notice and created a series of " a ha" moments.
"Classical economics defined a free market as one that is free of overhead charges, free of unnecessary charges of production, free of watered stock. Today a free market means that predators are free to extort any price from the public, they are free to deregulate, free to lie to consumers, free to exploit, free to load any company they want down with debt, and basically lead (us) to a world of debt peonage... So the whole concept of freedom has been turned upside down by the Chicago school and by the Bush administration."
"Because hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to mislead people and to endow business schools and universities to stop teaching the history of economic thought, to stop teaching the classical economists, and essentially to brainwash students, so that those with a sense of realism simply drop out of the field of economics and go into some other field."
"Now the companies were in such financial stress, having to pay the bondholders so much money that they were facing bankruptcy. So they went to their workers, as General Motors did a year ago, and as one company after another has gone to their labor force and said, 'Look, we're gonna go bankrupt, and if we go bankrupt that's gonna wipe out your entire pension fund,' because the law says you're at the end of the line, as far as collecting from us. The basic rule in America is that the rich get paid first and normal people get paid last... the richer you are, you're at the head of the line, the poorer you are you're at the back of the line. We owe so much money to our bondholders and bankers who lent us the money that there's not enough money to pay them and to to pay you workers.
The labor unions said wait a minute, we agreed to lower our current wages (in years past) so you could pay these pensions later. The bosses replied 'Well, we don't care about that, the law is on our side, we've bought the congress, we've bought the courts, our lobbyists give congressmen and the lawmakers a lot more money than yours do, so you lose.' "
"Foreign countries essential will have to isolate the United States and go their own way. There is no sign of that happening yet. When countries do go their own way, such Iran, Iraq and Venezuela, the United States threatens to go to war with them."
"There is a naive view that somehow everything will be different if the Democrats get back into power. The last time the Democrats were in power they were to the right of the Republicans. Clinton basically was a right wing Republican and did more antilabor, prowealth policies than essentially the Republicans could have done.That is basically what the Democratic party is for. The Republicans are viewed as the anti labor party, so if you are going to double cross labor, if you are going to really hurt the economy it has to be a Democratic that does it, not a Republican. And so it looks to me like Wall Street is all for the Democrats coming in, hoping that Oboma will turn out to be another Clinton. . ."
"The crisis we're going into may be so severe that people will be willing to back new politicians. It may be that the Democratic party will finally be split and most of the Democratic politicians will join the Republicans where they belong and a new party will essentially come out. I don't see much of a recovery until that occurs because the two parties are so similar right now." (We can hope).
"[depression] Certainly inevitable for the U.S., not inevitable world wide. All the other countries have to do is cut themselves lose from the dollar. In this country America has no way of paying for its trade deficit and no way of paying for its military spending abroad. So if something has to give America would prefer to impose a very deep depression than give up one penny of military spending. So I expect a very sharp increase in unemployment, people are talking that real prices have another 30% to fall at least and that is only as far as the eye can see, and large scale foreclosures, bankruptcies while military spending will increase."
I could go on and on. Just listen to the entire interview. Hudson answers questions you haven't even asked yet.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
How do I feel about the New Yorker cartoon depicting Barack and Michelle Obama as machine gun toting followers of bin Laden who wear big afros and burn flags and use fist bumping terror signals? I have just a few words of advice for the New Yorker. Leave satire to the Onion, they do it better.
I get that it was supposed to be a parody of the email smear campaigns and the Fox News endless lies spread by the racist, right wing dead enders. Yet if the intent was to parody those people, the cartoon should have depicted them and their delusional hate. It should not have depicted the Obamas at all.
America is a nation full of very stupid people who don't have the capability to think seriously about anything, much less understand satire. Add endemic racism to the mix, and snarkier than thou satire ends up being nothing but stereotyping a still despised group of people.
But it must be pointed out that defending Barack Obama from racist attacks is not so simple. Part of Obama's appeal to many white people is his own denunciation of black demands for justice, or even the memory of past injustice. Ask Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Obama denounced him and officially left his church because Wright had the gall to state the truth of America's history of white supremacy, wars of empire and glorification of manifest destiny and the mass murder that goes along with it. My friend and fellow blogger Arthur Silber hit the nail on the head when he dissected the Wright episode and racism directed at Obama.
"This places Obama's would-be defenders in an unusual predicament: they want to defend Obama on an issue about which Obama refuses to defend himself. Obama has told us there is nothing of any significance he needs to defend himself against. In this way, Obama has removed the weapon from his defenders' hands. He has told them -- as he has told Wright -- to shut up and keep quiet about it. Obama doesn't want Wright to discuss it, and he doesn't want you to discuss it.
This is a monumental problem. Because Obama seeks the highest elective office in a society which is based on and still revolves around the myth of American exceptionalism in numerous and often complex ways, it is probably the case that he has to deny the truth. That does not change what the truth is. If you choose to defend him against viciously discriminatory attacks, and if you go so far as to suggest that those attacks are systemic and widespread, you call into question certain of the critical premises underlying Obama's campaign (that he is the "post-racial" candidate and similar claims).
He doesn't want you to defend him too strenuously on this issue, if at all."
Obama still continues his campaign of denouncing all black people and making us the fall guys and girls for all of the country's ills. At the NAACP convention yesterday he had this to say.
"So yes, we have to demand more responsibility from Washington. And yes we have to demand more responsibility from Wall Street. But we also have to demand more from ourselves. Now, I know some say I've been too tough on folks about this responsibility stuff. But I'm not going to stop talking about it." (Aren't we lucky.)
"It starts with teaching our daughters to never allow images on television to tell them what they are worth; and teaching our sons to treat women with respect, and to realize that responsibility does not end at conception; that what makes them men is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise one."
Good advice to be sure, but does any of it ever apply to white people? Are white girls victimized by negative media imagery? Do all white boys respect women? Are all white men good fathers? Will white people ever get the responsibility speech? No, they won't. There is no political advantage in pointing out white people's flaws, so they are safe from Obama's finger pointing. The New Yorker spread negative stereotypes about the Obamas and about all black people, but Barack Obama has made a career out of doing the very same thing.
So don't cry for him too much. His campaign is a thing of marketing beauty and will overcome any and all attacks. He will be president and black people will have more denunciation to look forward to.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
"What is most striking is that when the Congress was controlled by the GOP -- when the Senate was run by Bill Frist and the House by Denny Hastert -- the Bush administration attempted to have a bill passed very similar to the one that just passed today. But they were unable to do so. The administration had to wait until Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats took over Congress before being able to put a corrupt end to the scandal that began when, in December of 2005, the New York Times revealed that the President had been breaking the law for years by spying on Americans without the warrants required by law."
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is in the mainstream. Who said that? Was it Karl Rove? Perhaps it was Dick Cheney. No, it was Barack Obama. He didn't turn into Mr. Two-faced Democrat in Name Only overnight. He has obviously been planning a presidential run for a long time and never passed up a chance to suck up to the powerful people who could get him into the White House.
Way back in 2001 when Bush was announcing his cabinet choices, state senator Obama said that Rumsfeld and the rest of the Bush gang were just A-OK with him. Read it here and listen to the Rumsfeld statement here.
" 'The proof in the pudding is looking at the treatment of the other Bush nominees,' Obama said. 'I mean for the most part, I for example do not agree with a missile defense system, but I dont think that soon-to-be-Secretary Rumsfeld is in any way out of the mainstream of American political life. And I would argue that the same would be true for the vast majority of the Bush nominees, and I give him credit for that.'
'So I don’t want to be pegged as being far left simply because I find certain aspects in John Ashcroft’s record to be divisive or offensive,' Obama continued. 'I think it’s legitimate for me to raise that. As I said before, if he brought before us a nominee who didn’t agree with me on affirmative action and yet said that, you know, I do think that and showed a history for showing regard and concern for racial justice, if he came before us and said I oppose a woman’s right to choose, or I oppose abortion, I find it religiously offensive, and yet I do respect, for example, the notion that we shouldn’t be solving these things with violence, historically, if that had been what was said, then I don’t think I would object. And I think that’s a fair position to take.' "
What on earth is he saying? I have yet to see an opponent of affirmative action have a "concern for racial justice." What is the bar for this concern? Is it not being overtly racist? Is it being pleasant to black people? What is Obama's standard for these good hearted people who can oppose justice but still get his support? Supporting affirmative action does further justice, and justice comes only with a struggle and a willingness on the part of a president to join in those fights. Oh wait, I forgot. Obama will put an end to partisan bickering. Damn. I guess we're just screwed.
His comment on abortion opponents is similarly troubling. Apparently he won't fight for abortion rights as long as religious belief is the reason for opposition and those opponents don't burn down clinics. We can say good-bye to abortion rights in an Obama administration.
Progressives who don't pay attention to what Obama says are responsible for this mess we now find ourselves in. From FISA to Iraq to Moveon to Wesley Clark, Obama has thumbed his nose at people who supported his campaign. Naomi Klein and Jeremy Scahill said it best, progressives should have been players and not cheerleaders during the nomination battle. They weren't. They had no guts for a fight and now we are stuck with Senator Testy who gets hot under the collar when anyone dares to ask him what it means to "refine" his Iraq policy.
If your little political heart is now broken, don't complain. You just weren't paying attention. As Obama would say, "So long suckers."
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
I will go into more detail later, but here is a letter I wrote to Salon in response to Glenn Greenwald's latest on Obama and FISA.
Greenwald is half right and half wrong
Glenn is doing great work, truly righteous work about Obama's FISA flip flop. But he is wrong about Obama's chances for victory. Obama is the corporate favorite and there is near universal revulsion against the Republicans and the obviously psycho McCain. The combination of Republican unpopularity and Obama's creepy appeal will propel him to victory and he will be as bad as Bush if not worse.
His campaign shows how he will govern. He has unnecessarily tossed Wesley Clark and Moveon under the back wheels of a Greyhound. The Moveon Petraeus story was so last year. His disparagement of the group that cooked their own books to endorse him was gratuitously mean spirited.
Glenn must start focusing on the nightmare of an Obama presidency and stop saying that we can't compare him to Bush and McCain. We can. He didn't just say he would keep the faith based initiative, he said he would expand it.
How does Obama differ with the Republicans? He won't end the Iraq occupation, he is willing to kill thousands of Iranians, and he will maintain illegal, warrantless surveillance.
It is only July. What will Obama say in October? I can barely stand to think about it.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
"It’s obvious by now that Barack Obama is treating black Americans like one treats a demented uncle, brought out from his room to be ridiculed and scolded before company from time to time, the old Clinton Sistah Souljah strategy borrowed from Clinton’s first presidential campaign when he traveled the country criticizing the personal morality of blacks and wooing white voters by objecting to what he considered anti -white lyrics sung by rapper Sistah Souljah."
Ishmael Reed, former Obama supporter
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
"There are two ways to think about this existence we have. One of them is that it's Wednesday and it's three fifteen and we're talking here in my home, and at four o'clock I have to leave for another meeting. Now, that's a reality. But there's another reality. We're in the solar system of a second-rate star, three quarters of the way out on a spiral arm of an average galaxy in a thing called the Local Group. And ours is only one of billions of galaxies, each of which has billions of stars. Some star systems are binary, and there could be a planet that revolves around a center of gravity between two binary stars. So you'd have two sunrises and two sunsets every day. One could be a red giant, the other a white dwarf; two different-sized, -shaped, and -colored suns in the sky. And there might be other planets and comets. In other words, fuck Wednesday, fuck three fifteen, fuck four o'clock, fuck the United States, fuck the earth. It's all temporal bullshit. I like thinking about being out there and not thinking about the corporate structure, not worrying about freedom, and not worrying about guns. I chose a life of ideas. That entertains me. That nourishes me."
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
"Does it make sense to want a black president? Will we feel better seeing a black president even if he can't find the right time to leave Iraq, institute single payer health care, end mass incarceration, or fight for affirmative action? In the future, we will again see a black presidential candidate claiming that there is no black America. If we adhere to the belief that a black face in a high place is always good, that throwaway line in a speech might just take on a more ominous meaning."
Sorry if quoting myself is considered bad manners, but the above words of wisdom come from yours truly. I said that in my Black Agenda Report column in May of 2007 and was I ever right.
On Sunday Barack Obama insulted black people by spewing hate speech against black men and by the end of the week he announced that he would support the FISA bill cooked up by Pelosi and Hoyer that would give immunity to telecoms who spied on us illegally. When he was in the throes of a knock down drag out fight with Hillary Clinton, he was pressured to do the right thing.
“To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies.”
No Hillary, no pressure. Now he says he supports the compromise.
As they used to say on late night television commercials, "But wait, there's more." Not only did the double talking bastard find a way to justify criminality perpetrated on the American people, but he endorsed a white conservative Congressman, John Barrow, in his primary fight against a black progressive state legislator, Regina Thomas.
"Barrow cynically waited until after Obama's sweeping primary victory in Georgia to endorse him. He did so only once he saw that Obama would likely be the nominee and obviously with the hope of having Obama encourage Barrow's sizable African-American constituency to support him. And now Obama turns around and intervenes in a Democratic primary on behalf of one of the worst Bush enablers in Congress -- not in order to help Barrow defeat an even-worse Republican, but to defeat a far better and plainly credible Democratic challenger."
You can contribute to Thomas' campaign here through Act Blue, but I digress. We all know what will happen to Thomas now. Black voters will go with Massa Obama. They will do what he says and his stab in the back to Thomas will be explained away or ignored outright. No one cares except me and ten other people, and I know them all by name.
This is a sad time for black people and for democracy, the little that is left of it.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I have to thank Arthur Silber for linking to this Earl Ofari Hutchinson piece on the myths about black fathers. It seems that Mr. Brilliant Speech Writer and Law Professor can't research simple facts that were presented in Newsweek magazine.
"A month before Obama made this stereotypical and plainly false assertion, Boston University professor Rebekah Levine Coley, in a comprehensive study on the black family, found that black fathers who aren’t in the home are much more likely to sustain regular contact with their children than absentee white fathers, or for that matter, fathers of any other ethnic group. The study is not an obscure study buried in the thick pages of a musty academic journal. It was widely cited in a feature article on black fathers in the May 19, 2008 issue of Newsweek. There was no excuse then to spout this myth. The facts are totally contrary to Obama’s knock."
Who needs facts where black people are concerned. Glen Ford said as much in today's issue of Black Agenda Report.
"But there are large regions of the white body politic in which it is not only acceptable, but damn near required, that politicians demonstrate their impatience with the alleged moral shortcomings of Black people. Barack Obama trolls for votes in those foul waters, at the cost of Black people's dignity."
That statement isn'treally surprising. Glen's most important points are about the the sick relationship between Obama and black voters.
"African Americans are expected to circle the wagons at the merest hint of racist threats to the candidate. Any slight to Obama, real or imagined, must be met with massive Black response, while Obama's disregard of Black priorities and sensibilities is endlessly forgivable. At the commonsensical level, the entire Obama-Black folks relationship is so bizarre as to seem insane. The candidate has been imposed on the African American polity by corporate forces in the Democratic Party, of which he is a loyal, Harvard-vetted operative. He constantly swears fealty to the white American civic religions of American Exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny, both rooted in race supremacy. He has proven his devotion to this ghastly Euro-American mythology and worldview, through public denunciation of liberation theology and ritual separation from one of its major institutions. He bows to imperial power and its endless expansion, fully aware that, as Dr. Martin Luther King phrased it 40 years ago, the military will 'draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube, draining all hope for creation of a just society.' "
Seem insane? Glen is being too kind. It is insane. Black people applauded Obama's speech far outside the walls of that church. Most of us just don't care what he says or does. We will support him as he leads us to war or to jail or the unemployment line or the poor house or to the gates of hell itself.
There is nothing but more pathology to come between now and November. I can barely stand to think about it.
Monday, June 16, 2008
According to Barack Obama, that is the sum total of the black fatherhood experience. He never mentions black men specifically without bringing all of them down to the lowest, most mean spirited stereotypes. Beating up on black men is the low hanging fruit of politics. As the New York Times put it, his speech yesterday was meant to ". . . resonate among white social conservatives in a race where these voters may be up for grabs."
Hopefully the Senator will get around to acknowledging the black men who fulfill their responsibilities, only to have states take their hard earned money away from their kids. As reported in this New York Times (sometimes they get things right) last year "Mothers Scrimp as States Take Child Support".
"The collection of child support from absent fathers is failing to help many of the poorest families, in part because the government uses fathers’ payments largely to recoup welfare costs rather than passing on the money to mothers and children.
Close to half the states pass along none of collected child support to families on welfare, while most others pay only $50 a month to a custodial parent, usually the mother, even though the father may be paying hundreds of dollars each month."
Obama did mention obliquely that money shouldn't go to bureaucrats, but that was buried well into the speech, after he referred to black adult males as "boys acting like men."
Is it possible for Obama to talk about men who are doing well, to highlight their successes in spite of struggle, or is he just going to make jokes that black men are happy with 8th grade educations and steal lines from Chris Rock? Perhaps Mr. Smart Politician can find a group of black men to praise publicly. Dream on. That doesn't make for the cheap applause line.
As for black people, what can I say? We have lost all self respect. We express unending devotion to a politician who calls black men boys. We cheer him when he brags that he will have a foreign policy like Ronald Reagan, a president few of us liked. We defend him when he states that he will continue America's violence around the world and kill people in Gaza or Iran or wherever the pro-Israeli lobby and the military industrial complex say that someone must die at the hands of Uncle Sam.
He will get applause every where he goes, from white people who will be reassured that he won't represent the needs of black people, and from black people who will be happy to see him sworn into office, no matter what he says about them. As I said in Black Agenda Report, Obama's victory will mean the end of truth telling in the black community. "It turns out that Obama's hand on the bible next January will be historic in more ways than one. Almost all of black America will have decided to sell their souls in order to witness this scene. That will certainly be a change, but it isn't anything we should believe in."
Sunday, June 15, 2008
"Margaret Kimberley is one of only a handful of bloggers entirely exempt from the condemnation that follows. Not only is she, together with Chris Floyd, exempt: if I had the power to bestow medals of honor that genuinely recognized what the word "honor" is intended to convey, she and Floyd would be the first two recipients."
I admire Arthur tremendously, and he seems admire me too. The mutual admiration society will definitely continue. And I love being lumped in with Chris Floyd too.
Arthur gets all starry eyed because I try to tell the truth about the way our system really works. I recently came across this great quote, which if I may be so bold, is a central theme of Silber's writing too.
"The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it." - Edward Dowling
I don't know who Edward Dowling was, but he certainly hit the nail on the head. I saw this quote in an article about Barack Obama and his support for the American empire. No, there will not be change coming from him. As always change will come from us, or not at all. Actually I take that back. Good change will come from us. There is going to be change, the only question is whose and who will it benefit.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
"This is the way it always works - before the presidential election, they say: 'well, we can't risk losing the presidential election. It's too important. We have to wait until after the election.'
Then, if Obama wins, we'll hear: 'We can't risk losing our Congressional majority in the 2010 midterms. Bill Clinton overreached in his first two years and it led to Newt Gingrich. We can't risk that. So we have to wait until after the midterm election.'
Then, after the 2010 midterm elections, we'll hear: 'well, we can't risk losing Obama's re-election in 2012. It's too important. We have to wait until after the election.'
The only thing that can break that cycle is if a person gets into power who is transformative rather than a status quo caretaker devoted to the perpetuation of his own power. People have different views, of course, about whether Obama is such a figure. I don't think people who claim he is -- including Obama himself -- really know."
I have to disagree with Greenwald here. Anyone paying attention knows that Obama is "a status quo caretaker devoted to the perpetuation of his own power." As Greenwald said, repeat endlessly.
"I ask this literally, not rhetorically: can someone identify even one meaningful event from the past 18 months that would have been different had the GOP retained control of both houses of Congress? Just one." - Glenn Greenwald
I can't. I dare anyone else to try. Greenwald is venting his spleen about the great FISA treason committed by Pelosi, Hoyer and Silvestre. They are planning to give Bush everything he wants, i.e. warrantless surveillance and retroactive immunity for telecoms who broke the law.
Here is the really sad part. Greenwald and anyone else who is paying attention will be asking the same question about President Obama. Trust me. Change is not coming, not anytime soon.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
"Listen up, Obama, you cheap, lying fraud: the United States government launched a criminal war of aggression against a nation that never threatened us. It continues a bloody, murdering occupation which does nothing but worsen the agony of the Iraqi people. We have no right to be in Iraq at all. We never did. The actions of the United States government have led to a genocide of world historical proportions.
Genocidal murderers and those who support and enable them -- as you do, Obama, since you vote to fund this continuing crime -- do not get to "ask" one single goddamned fucking thing of their victims. Not. One. Single. Goddamned. Fucking. Thing.
Get it, you pathetic little asshole?" - Arthur Silber
Rebecca Walker is really mad at her mother, writer Alice Walker. She is so mad that she has made an entire career out of her anger. The younger Ms. Walker doesn't really have much to say, but what the hell. If she wasn't Alice Walker's daughter she would never have been able to make a living as a writer in the first place. Why not use mom's name to make money and then use resentment at her to keep making a good living?
Several years ago I read, or rather tried to read, Black, White and Jewish, her autobiography. I couldn't finish it because Ms. Walker really had very little to say, except that she was mad at her parents. It is interesting that she doesn't use her father's last name, Leventhal, instead of her mother's. Like I said, you don't get a book deal from being Mel Leventhal's daughter.
Mother and daughter are estranged and that fact is unlikely to change. The younger Walker penned a piece for Britain's right wing Daily Mail, How My Mother's Fanatical Views Tore Us Apart, in which she lambasts her mother and all feminists for her difficult childhood.
I won't argue with Rebecca Walker if she says her mother did a bad job. I will take her word for it. But she has become quite tiresome and needs to discuss her issues with a good therapist so she can stop using her mother's fame to punish the rest of us. You see we have to keep hearing about her bad her mother was, and then Salon and other media outlets picks up on it and now her personal family dysfunction becomes fodder for useless talk about a mediocre talent.
Right now endless screeds about Alice Walker are boring and make Rebecca Walker look bad. Trust me. No one is wondering about Alice Walker's parenting. They wonder why her daughter can't find something else to say.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
"Undoubtedly, nuclear weapons in the hands of an irresponsible regime with a long record of war crimes and crimes against humanity poses the most immediate and serious threat that the world and the region are facing."
What is the country in question? If you said North Korea you are wrong. If Pakistan came to mind you are still wrong. Israel? Bingo!
The above quote comes from Mohammad Khazaee, Iran's representative to the United Nations. He made this statement in response to Israeli cabinet minister Shaul Mofaz's assertion that an attack on Iran was "unavoidable." Khazaee got straight to the point about the threat that Israel poses to the world.
"Such a dangerous threat against a sovereign State and a member of the United Nations constitutes a manifest violation of international law and contravenes the most fundamental principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and, thus, requires a resolute and clear response on the part of the United Nations, particularly the Security Council."
Lots of luck Khazaee. Even if the Security Council took action, the United States would use its veto power and once again let Israel off the hook. Israel is free to attack Lebanon, Syria, or Gaza and exact collective punishment on civilian populations, all because it is Uncle Sam's client state.
John McCain and Barack Obama have both pledged to continue America's subservience to Israel, so Iran will always have its sovereignty and its very existence threatened. So much for change.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
The government of Israel has had its revenge on Norman Finkelstein. The former college professor is a courageous critic of the Israeli government. That is how he came to be a former professor. Alan Dershowitz and other pro-Israel propagandists waged a successful scorched earth campaign to deny him tenure at DePaul university last year.
Finkelstein is Jewish and an American citizen and as such should have had no problem entering Israel. Not only was he denied entry into Israel last week, but he was banned from entering for another ten years. If Israel doesn't like being compared to apartheid era South Africa, it shouldn't act like it.
Israel's Law of Return gives Jews the right not just to visit Israel, but to show up at any moment and get citizenship. I guess the law doesn't apply to critics of that government.
It does however apply to cold blooded thrill killers. In 1997 Samuel Sheinbein told friends he wanted to rape or murder someone. When Alfredo Tello got into a fight with his friend Aaron Needles, Tello became the object of his violent fantasy. Sheinbein and Needles murdered Tello and dismembered and burned his body.
To make a long story short, Sheinbein got away with murder. Sheinbein's father was an Israeli citizen and Israeli courts saw fit to bestow the same right on the fugitive son too. At the time Israel did not permit its citizens to be extradited to any nation on earth, not even to the United States, their patron and partner in crime.
Sheinbein now walks freely in Israel, without fear of ever being brought to justice. If Sheinbein is acceptable and Finkelstein isn't, Israel has reached a new low.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
"Of course, the guy is an Obama supporter, which apparently gives him the freedom to question the motivations of blacks who complain just a bit too much about racism. Stop whining and assimilate!, he more or less told them through me. White people are sick and tired of listening to your crap! It was an astonishing moment, as I had not until that instant guessed that this guy harbored such feelings. But it further underlines my belief that Obama is the perfect candidate for race-challenged liberals, since Obama makes them comfortable in their grayish-pink skins, and does not pester them with tales of racism and oppression. This will become more evident now that Obama has nailed down the nomination."
Dennis Perrin, A Red State Son