Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wish I'd Said That

"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

A Beautiful Thought from George Carlin

"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

Regina Thomas for Congress

She needs your support. Obama is backing her opponent, the conservative incumbent.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Told You So

"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

What Obama Has Wrought

According to this Oliphant cartoon, black men are all lazy and irresponsible (with incredibly large feet and lips too). Oh, and they don't vote either.
The saddest thing of all is that most black people ate up Obama's Fathers Day speech. We do vote, and 99.99% of us will vote for this man who conjures up the most awful images about us. It is now acceptable to confirm and spread stereotypes, thanks to Obama and his hate speech.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Obama Lies

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

No Good, Shiftless, Lazy, Baby Making Black Men

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

Arthur Silber

"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

Wish I'd Said That Part II

"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.'

Repeat endlessly.

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.

Wish I'd Said That

"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.

Kucinich Presents Articles of Impeachment

Thank goodness for Dennis Kucinich. He is still standing firm and demanding that Bush and Cheney be impeached.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wish I'd Said That

"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
Can Rebecca Walker Please Shut Up

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

Thanks Electronic Intifada

Electronic Intifada is one of my favorite websites. I am very proud that they posted my most recent Black Agenda Report column, Slow Death in Gaza.

Thanks EI.
Rogue Nation Threatens Nuclear Terror

"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.