Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wish I'd Said That

"But Obama is not 'failing'; he is doing exactly what he set out to do: be the president. That's it. That's all he wanted to do. And he's doing it. The panic now emanating from the White House is not that of a man watching a chance to realize his deeply held ideals for a better world slipping away from him; it's just the flopsweat of a guy trying to stay perched on top of the greasy pole for another term."

Chris Floyd

Rest In Peace Howard Zinn

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"No Donation Without Agitation"

Should you give to Haiti relief? To whom? How much? Don't text or write a check until you read my Black Agenda Report column.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Worthless Democrats

I have been dealing with a family health emergency, so I have not been able to post this week. I would have loved posting on the Scott Brown victory in Massachusetts, but I have not had time. I did comment briefly to Paul Street on Facebook, who quoted me on Znet, so I will just quote myself.

"Coakley loses. Ha ha ha ha ha. Don't be fooled by this 60 vote super majority crap. Dems did nothing with it. Loss of a seat is no loss to the citizens of this country whose interests are never represented no matter who is in charge. If 60 was so wonderful, why is the health care bill so worthless?"

Indeed, Obama's reaction to this setback is typical of him. He is now vowing to balance the budget and he prevented democrats from passing his health care bill when he had the chance to do so before Scott Brown was seated.

Brown in 2012? Don't bet against him, he is the hottest political commodity in the country. If the democrats react to defeat the way Clinton did in 1994, we are in for more right wingery and more democrats slavishly devoted to doing just that.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Michael Eric Dyson Please Shut Up

Two years ago Dyson debated Black Agenda Report's Glen Ford on Democracy Now. Their debate took place after Obama won the Iowa caucuses and finished a close second in New Hampshire. Dyson's comments were useless and just plain dumb.

"To limit the scope of African American intelligence, interest or political concern to the fact that a president is being put forth who happens to be a black man versus the interests of African American people, I would not be so naive as to assume that the presidency of a Barack Obama would in any way mitigate against or militate against the vast region of problems that black people face. "

So said Dyson in 2008. What is he saying in 2010?

"I think that we should push the president. This president runs from race like a black man runs from a cop. What we have to do is ask Mr. Obama to stand up and use his bully pulpit to help us. He is loathe to speak about race."

Of course he is Dyson. You and the rest of the Love Barack or Die crowd eplicitly gave him permission to do just that. Unlike the foolish Dyson, Glen Ford made the right point two years ago. ". . . he has accomplished the central mission of his entire campaign, which is to prove that a black man can be embraced by masses of white people. The problem is, he has done that at the expense of black people, by constantly, relentlessly sending out signals to white people that a vote for Barack Obama, an Obama presidency, would signal the beginning of the end of black-specific agitation, that it would take race discourse off of the table. And he’s gone to extraordinary lengths to accomplish that."

So Dyson, just STFU already. It is too late for you and your friends to act as though you didn't say what we remember you saying. Sadly for you, we don't have amnesia.
Earthquake in New York

Am I the only one who remembers an earthquake taking place near New York City in the early morning hours of Saturday, October 19, 1985? The quake epicenter was located in Ardsley, about 20 miles north of New York City in Westchester County. It sticks in my mind because it literally shook me out of bed. There have been other earthquakes in the New York City area in recent years.

At any rate, I thought about it while watching the coverage of Haiti's post earthquake tragedy. I also thought about the government reaction or rather non-reaction to hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast. We would probably be no better off than the Haitians if we were to suffer the same fate of natural disaster.

Dr. MLK Jr.: Struggling Not To Lose Him

As Glen says, King made a very public break from Lyndon Johnson, the most powerful man on earth. Remember that when you honor King.

Friday, January 15, 2010

US set Haiti up for disaster

Glen keeps it real. Thanks Glen.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Uganda, Fundamentalists and Money

"While it is largely U.S. evangelical money displacing mainline funds supporting African churches, renewal movements within mainline U.S. churches reap the rewards by securing the alliance of Africans in fighting their battles over gay ordination and other issues at home and in international venues." - Rev. Kapya Kaomo

The New York Times finally caught up with everyone else in the world. Yesterday the Times got around to reporting what Freedom Rider, Black Agenda Report, Rev. Kapya Kaoma and many others had written about one month ago.

White, right wing American Christians are behind the proposed Ugandan legislation which calls for the execution of gay people. When I first sat down to right about this issue, I was going to expound on neocolonialism, racism, fundamentalist conservative politics and so on. But the more I thought about it, I realized that money had to be behind this story.

The Times reported that a group of anti-gay activists visited Uganda and railed against the evils of gay people. That is true, but it is only a small part of the story. As Kaoma points out, there is a much larger effort to buy African support on a variety of issues that helps fundamentalists make their case around the world.

"U.S. evangelical money is attractive because it does not come with the demands for strict accountability made by mainline churches.[19] Bishops can spend it as they like. Ironically, U.S. conservatives have always campaigned against "unrestricted" giving in U.S. mainline churches. But in Africa, they prefer unrestricted giving as another way of undermining progressives."

The only reason this story has "legs" so to speak, is that the legislation was so awful, it could not escape world wide attention. That is a good thing, but the efforts of the right wing to buy support, and the willingness of corrupt Africans to accept should not be forgotten either.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Thanks to Znet and to The World Can't Wait

I always appreciate a shout out from a good publication. Znet and World Can't Wait both printed my Black Agenda Report column Guantanamo, Illinois. Thanks to both.

'Obama is new words, but old tricks as US acts like empire'

Yours truly on Russia Today. Big thanks to host Marina Portnaya.