Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Blast From the Past

Seems the US had plans on taking over Middle East Oil back in '79.

Quote:

The United States considered using force to seize oil fields in the Middle East during an oil embargo by Arab states in 1973, according to British government documents just made public.

The papers, released under the 30-year-rule, show that the British government took the threat so seriously that it drew up a detailed assessment of what the Americans might do.

It was thought that US airborne troops would seize the oil installations in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and might even ask the British to do the same in Abu Dhabi.

The episode shows how the security of oil supplies is always at the forefront of governments' plan.

..Other possibilities, such as the replacement of Arab rulers by "more amenable" leaders or a show of force by "gunboat diplomacy", are rejected as unlikely....


Links:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3333995.stm
Kuumba

Today we contemplate Kuumba: Creativity. One thing that is afforded black people is that we are creative when it comes to the arts and sports. It takes creativity to develop the multitude of music genres that we have taken world wide. We have made fashion statements that are equally world domininating. Our street slang has become the definition of cool. But in other areas our creativity has been stunted. I shall let others speak for me on this matter:

" The National middle class which takes over power at the end of the colonial regime is an underdeveloped middle class. It has practically no economic power, and in any case it is no way commensurate with the bourgeoisie of the mother country which it hopes to replace. In its narcissism, the national middle class is easily convinced that it can advantageously replace the middle class of the mother country, But the same independence which literally drives it into a corner wil give rise within its ranks to catastrophic reactions, and will oblige it to send out frenzied appeals for help to the former mother country. The university and merchant class which make up the most enlightened section of the new state are in fact characterised by the smallness of rtheir number and their being concentrated in the capital, and the tupe of activities in which they are engaged: business, agriculture, and the liberal professions, Neither financiers not industrial magnates are to be found within this national middle class. The National bourgeoisie of underdeveloped countries is not engaged in production, nor in invention, not building nor labor; it is completely canalized into activities of the intermediary type. It's innermost vocation seems to be to keep in the running and to be a part of the racket. The psychology of the national bourgeoisie is that of the businessman, not that of a captain of industry...From its point of view, which is inevitably a very limited one, a national economy is an economy based on what may be called local products. Long speeched [or award shows] will be made about the artisan class with a chauvanistic tenderness in keeping with the new awareness of national [racial] dignity, and which moreover will bring them in quite a bit of money...."

Franz Fanon

" history shows then, that as a result of these unusual forces in the education of the Negro he easily learns to follow the line of least resistance rather than battle against odds for what real history has shown to be the right course. A mind remains in the present atmosphere never undergoes sufficient development to experience what is commonly known as thinking...Even the few Negroes who are elected to office are often similarly uninformed and show a lack of vision. They have given little attention to the weighty problems of the nation; and in the legislative bodies to which they are elected, they restrict themselves as a rule to matters of special concern to the Negroes themselves, such as lynching, segregation and disenfranchisement, which they have well learned by experience.

The problem of holding the Negro down, therefore, is easily solved. When you control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his "proper place" and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he wil cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it neccesary.
"

Carter G. Woodson.

Are you thinking creatively or are you acting out a role made for you?

Peace

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Nia

Today we concentrate on Nia translated to: Purpose. Agent Smith, in The Matrix Reloaded tells Neo that once he was unplugged from the Matrix he discovered that he no longer had the singular purpose of the omnipresent Agent. And he realized that life, existence meant nothing without having some purpose, some reason for being. Of course if you understood what Agent Smith was really talking about you would have only neeeded to see Matrix Revolutions to see the special effects. Agent Smith, devoid of any overriding authority made his purpose multiplying and getting Neo. This is highly symbolic. Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, in her book "The Isis Papers" has a chart which she calls "The Etiology" a Dynamic Causation of Black "Teen Pregnancy- Teen Impregnation" and Other Dependency Deprevation Syndromes. In this diagram she outlines the multiple effects of White Supremacy (WS) on blacks in particular. This diagram shows that as a result being "unplugged" from a sustaining culture Blacks; males in particular, generally resort to "studding", "reproducing" and violence" in order to give their lives meaning.

A couple of months ago I saw a documentary on elephants in South Africa, where due to a policy of culling males from herds, a generation of male elephants had grown up with no paternal intervention. As a result these "adolescent" males would try to mate with any and every female they ran across and would commit murder against one another and other animals for basically no good reason. In order to get these males under control the park rangers had to introduce older males to put the young elephants in their place.Iin other words they needed purpose and that purpose came from elders and a social order that promoted specifical life affirming values.

Today we have many black men and women who are devoid of any real purpose in life. They do not see the point of living slow They do not see the value in studying, reading,or in gaining skills. Sadly we have people who do value these things but see no purpose in using these tools and abilities to help other black people. Let us think on how we can provide ourselves and especially our youths with purpose.

Peace

Monday, December 29, 2003

Anything but "Just Black"

As the world turns, proof that anything but "just black" is still in effect.

links:
http://nytimes.com/2003/12/28/fashion/28ETHN.html?8hpib
Ujamaa

Today we contemplate Ujamaa, Cooperative Economics. This principle of Kwanzaa is tightly interwover with Ujimaa. In fact without Ujimaa Ujamaa would be impossible. When black folks were fighting for thier rights in various parts of the world we were given social independence. We were put into government offices and able to send ambassadors here and there. However; we were not in charge of our economics. Amilcar Cabral and Kwame Nkrumah attempted to go full independence but as Nkrmah noted the monopolist trans-national capitalists would neo-colonise Africa and indeed urban ghettos of America. While I was in school a professor put an equation to me that I think would fit very nicely into this day:

+I;S;E;P;M

He called this the sequential equation and it reads as such:

the positive intellectual transformation of society (+I) stands firmly behind the social trasnformation of society (+S). All social problems are economic (+E) and all economic problems are political (+P) and military aims presuppose politial objectives (+M)

What is of note for us today is the links between the social, economic and politcal. When Marcus Garvey was on the scene, the dominant groups vying for black leadership, most notably the NAACP were only concerning themselves with the political. They were pushed by their benefactors to push for political and social change and not to concentrate on the economic. This is evident by their wholesale attack on the Black Star Line and associated businesses. it was Garvey's belief, much like Booker T. Washington, that Blacks needed a self maintained and developed economic base from which political and social change could be gained and maintained. After all in a capitalistic society, ones economic clout determines the policies under which one must operate and how the benefits of politcal power flow to ones group. The damage done to blacks by the destruction of the BSL (with help from Garvey) is incalculable, when one considers that many of the industries of today, such as auto tires, were in their infancy and BSL and other trans national Black corporate entities could have developed and perhaps been on an even footing with todays corporations. The reason for this failure was the lack of cooperative economics and collective work and responsibility. These deficits were not doubt fueled by the lack of Umoja and Kujichagulia. In other words, the failure in the +I, the +S lead to the failure of the +E and has caused us to lack +P and +M.

The sequential equation is a powerful analysis tool. Learn it. Use it.

Peace

links: Fluker's class

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Ujima

Today the word is Ujima, collective work and responsibility. If any principle of Kwanzaa is more relevant for Black people, especially those in the United States it would be this one. The US is a highly independent society. Everyone wants freedom but very few want to take on the responsibility that comes with that freedom. The Black Commentator has an excellent article about a community that is working together to address the issue of nutrition in black communities. My mother used to tell me how she and her kin would feel shamed because they thought that the food they were eating, largely fresh vegetables, fruits and little meat, was poor people food. Now in America they find that the rich and educated eat these foods because they know that they are better for you than the fast food served up by McDonald's, Burger King and the like that dot the landscape of urban areas.

The main lesson here is that we must work together to address our needs. We also need to recognize that it is our responsibility to address our problems rather than complain about them or hope that other people will do for us.

Peace.

Links:
http://www.blackcommentator.com/70/70_food_justice.html

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Of Patriots and Pink Slips

I don't have much time to discuss this but as a follow up to the "chickens coming home..." piece i wrote, you should read this regearding IBM's decision to move certain "high paying" jobs to other countries. If you are in College and a Computer Science major, I would seriously, serously consider a mjor change or a program change. The middle class is about to be rudely disturbed if this type of action continues. This will be even worse for Black people. Black people, due to thier dependence on non-white corporations for employment and having less assets to "burn" during unemployment are in a position to be particularly hard hit by these events. I cannot imagine, paying $xx,000 for an education to have my job shipped overseas before I could even see the benfit after paying off student loans. remember that Capitalism is a pyramid. the further up you go, the less people there are.

Quote:
I understand that this is a lightning rod issue in the industry," an I.B.M. spokesman told me this week. "It's a lightning rod issue to people in our company, I suppose. But I don't think anybody expects us to issue blanket statements to the work force about projections."

"In a recorded conference call reported by The Times last summer, a pair of I.B.M. officials told colleagues around the world that the company needed to accelerate its efforts to move white-collar jobs overseas. They acknowledged the danger of a political backlash, but said it was essential to step up the practice.

"Our competitors are doing it and we have to do it," said Tom Lynch, I.B.M.'s director for global employee relations."
[my emphasis]


I suppose?


After digesting that go over here and see what George Bush did one fine Satuurday morning whilst America was getting it's cartoon on.

Quote:

The Bush Administration and its Congressional allies tucked away these new executive powers in the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004, a legislative behemoth that funds all the intelligence activities of the federal government. The Act included a simple, yet insidious, redefinition of "financial institution," which previously referred to banks, but now includes stockbrokers, car dealerships, casinos, credit card companies, insurance agencies, jewelers, airlines, the U.S. Post Office, and any other business "whose cash transactions have a high degree of usefulness in criminal, tax, or regulatory matters."

Links:
http://www.sacurrent.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=10705756&BRD=2318&PAG=461&dept_id=482778&rfi=

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/26/opinion/26HERB.html?ex=1073106000&en=f84772f6effa20c4&ei=5040&partner=MOREOVER
Kujichagulia

Today, the second day of Kwanzaa is Kujichagulia. Kujichagulia is a swahili word meaning "Self-Determination." One of the historical problems with Black struggle regeardless of location, has been the ability to be who we are. That is we are under constant pressure to fit a mould that is made for us for other peoples convenience. Back in the day there was the stereotype of the allways smiling negro. During th late 60's and 70's much effort was made to get negroes to stop smiling. Indeed a smile was a very essential survival tool in a world where being seen as discontented could very well get one jailed, fired from employment, arrested or even lynched. Unfortunately the embracing of the image of the "scowling black man (tm)" has become the corporate standard bearer for black culture and black music. Today blacks, specifically males, are now expected to be gangstas and ready to kill at will. A far cry from the original black "gangsters" back in the day who were scowling for justice. Now we scowl for ice.

We need to reclaim our images, If for anything for our children. We can no longer let corporate media push MC's and basketball players as hero's (and sometime roll models). We need to expose our children to the Teachers, Programmers, Carpenters, Electricians and plumbers. The Contracter and the Auto Mechanic. My familu comes from Jamaica, the one thing that I have seen that is pevasive among Blacks outside the US is the lack of dependence on "the system" for self sustinence. There's no shame in being an Electrician or Mason because it was honest work. Many could not wait to have a job opening made available, theyh had to make thier job opening and do for self.

In the words of Marcus Garvey:
Do not expect that when jobs are tight for the white man that he will look to give away employment to the black man. He will look out for himself and his family first.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Kwanzaa 2003

Umoja

Today is the first day of Kwanzaa the celebration, I won't say holiday given that holiday is really a reference to "holy" days as in religious observance. What is Kwanzaa? Well there are a lot of misinformation regearding Kwanzaa which has grown as it has become mainstreamed. Kwanzaa was strated by Dr. Ron Karenga previously of the US organization that had famous run-ins with the Black Panther Party care of the FBI's COINTELPRO. Kwanzaa came as an outgrowth of Dr. Karenga's belief in what is refered to as "Cultural Nationalism." This idea puts the reclamation of African culture at the forefront of struggle within' the African community in America and elsewhere. Indeed it follows in line with Amilcar Cabrals own ideology when he was involved in the struggle in Guinea Bissau. From this thought, Karenga wanted to find cultural practices that spanned Africa. One of the things he noted that there was a common practice of celebrations of harvest times. And thus we get the "first fruits of the harvest" portion of Kwanzaa. It would be mistaken for a person to go up to an African on the street and ask them if they celebrate Kwanzaa. No Such specific celbration existed. It would be more proper to ask if in the history of their culture if villages celebrated harvest times. Any African with knowledge of thier particular history would answer in the affirmative. Often this is the excuse that particular groups of blacks with axes to grind or philosophies and beliefs to protect, will use to denegrate this celebration. But to the intelligent and informed these individuals show just how uneducated they are.

One of the things that trips up many people is the fact that Karenga chose to use Ki-Swahili as the language of choice for the celebration. Karenga's reasons for this is that he noted that Kiswahili is the largest African language spoken on the continent (Arabic words notwhithstanding). It was therefore looked at as a non-tribal language. Thus the unifying nature of such a common African language was seen as a positive way to promote cultural unity.

Kwanzaa is centred around 7 principles, called the Nguzu Saba. The first of which is Umoja or unity. This is the unity of family, friends, nation, and people. It means that in purpose we should be united. We should recognize our common acheivements, our common calamities and common goals. It does not call for uniformity of thought and action. Such uniformity stifles creative thought and breeds intolerance. Though we frown upon uniformity we should beware that sometimes the freedom to be different leads others down destructive paths. They seek to be different just to be so and forget the common good.

Many scientist will tell us that there are more differences within racial groups than there is between racial groups. This may be true, but we know a black man or woman when we see one. so regeardless to how different we may be, whether those things are ethnic or geographic, we know us when we see us, those that seek to oppress us know us when they see and hear us, so let us know us and recognize us and unify with us so that all of us can live well.

Peace and Umoja

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Christmas Tree's Origins in Old Europe

As I said before I would deal with the triple issues surrounding Christmas. I do this specifically with Christians who like to talk about how certain people are "pagan," "going to hell" and basically "frontin' on Christ."

I point you here:
http://www.oldandsold.com/articles03/santaclaus4.shtml

which also debunks myth 2, the date of Christ's birth being Dec. 25

Now get clearly into your head one very important fact. Although at the time when Augustine visited England the date of Christmas had. been fixed upon as December 25 there is no biblical reason why this should be so. The gospels say nothing about the season of the year when Christ was born. On the other hand they do tell us that shepherds were then guarding their flocks in the open air. Hence many of the early fathers of the Church considered it most likely that the Nativity took place either in the late summer or the early fall. The point was of no great moment to them, as the early Church made more fuss over the death day of a great or holy person than over his birthday. The birthday is only the day when man is born into mortality, the deathday chronicles his birth into immortality.


And lastly, as per the origins of the Christ myth you should go here:

http://members.aol.com/sondjata/birth.html

So the next time some person tries to get holier than thou regearding Kwanzaa you have much information to throw the ball back in their court and end the discussion.
If Only Clinton Had it This Easy

Apparently Condileeza Rice has a problem with being sworn in for hearings on 9-11. Given that "swearing in" is a formality meant to encourage truth telling, this can only mean that condi has been lying to the public at some point regearding 9-11 and who knows what else.

Quote:


Two government sources tell TIME that National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice is arguing over ground rules for her appearance in part because she does not want to testify under oath or, according to one source, in public.


So basically we should expect Condi and others to lie. So what is the point?

Links:
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,565974,00.html
Out of The Mouths of Idiots

When this blog first went up I had a post regearding commentary from The White House's Faith Based Community Initiatives about how "pagans" don't care for the poor. Today I had the joy of running across this article by a conservative black person, La Shawn Barber.

After running through Ron Karenga's crimes against various women the author goes on this spiel:



Observed from December 26 to January 1, this ''alternative'' to Christmas is based on a mixture of East African harvest rituals called first fruits--according to Karenga--and 1960s radicalism.  This, by the way, is despite the fact that most ancestors of black Americans were from West Africa. Participants acknowledge their African roots and promote seven harmless-sounding principles: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.  While they sound commendable, the guiding principle behind Kwanzaa is based on race, not on faith in the one true living God and Savior--Jesus Christ.

Paganism is a ''religion of nature.''  Those who practice it and other New Age fallacies see the divine in the created--humans, sun, moon, stars, trees--instead of the Creator.  Christians who worship created beings are acting like pagans.  It's that simple.  Karenga and his followers worship the created--their African ancestors--in a ''libation'' ceremony, and believe these dead ancestors to be spiritual intercessors between humans and God.  But Christians know (or should know) that only Christ is the intercessor between man and God.

   Pagans have argued that Christ was not born on December 25. Insignificant.  While no one knows exactly when Christ was born, the fact remains that He was born.  Christmas is a time for Christians to celebrate this joyous fact.  Christ became a man to save men, not to lift up one race or culture in worship.  As with any man-made religion, Kwanzaa is just another attempt to make gods of men.  All Christians must be discerning when faced with these false doctrines.


The problem with that last paragraph is simply that it is not only "Pagans' that assert that "Christ" didn't die on the 25th it's every and any scholar on the subject Christian or not. Furthermore how does this person find the gall to try to out people about spreading false doctrine when he or she will not even own up to their own falacious doctrines. Well stay tuned.. Tomorrow I'll run down the truth regaerding Christ, The Crucifiction and the Christmas tree.

links:
http://www.chronwatch.com/content/contentDisplay.asp?aid=5387

Monday, December 22, 2003

More on Libya

I told you before that Ghaddafi has plans. forget the tallk about how he came to his senses after seeing what happened to Hussien. Ghaddafi saw the writing on the wall long ago. Forbes has presented exactly what has Ghaddafi motivated.

quote:


The U.S. Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) -- passed in 1996
and renewed for another five years in 2001 -- granted the U.S.
president power to punish non-U.S. firms investing more than $20
million a year in energy sectors in Libya or Iran. The act has
never been implemented. Strongly criticised by European
countries, the European Union has said that any U.S. attempt to
penalize Europeans doing business in Libya would prompt a
complaint to the World Trade Organisation.

... Spain's Repsol-YPF operates the El-Sharara field at
170,000 bpd and the NC-186 field A with 40,000 bpd. Its NC-186
field D is ready to start next year and it signed a major new
six-block exploration contract in the Murzuk Basin, worth
investment of about $90 million until 2009.

Italy's ENI (Agip) is lead operator of the Elephant
field which is due to start in 2004 and reach 150,000 bpd by
2006. It also operates the Wafa field....


Links:
http://www.forbes.com/home_europe/newswire/2003/12/22/rtr1189140.html
Saddam victim of one of his victims[updated 12-24-2004]

As is the case of rulers who piss off enough of thier people, It appears that Saddam's capture was more than just a lucky swipe of the ground. Apparently he was "betrayed" by a member of Al Jabour "tribe" as revenge for Odai Hussien's rape of one of thier members.

Quote:


The kidnap plot emerged amid reports that Hussein was captured by US troops only after he had been taken prisoner by Kurdish forces, drugged and abandoned ready for American soldiers to recover him.

Hussein fell into the hands of the Kurdish Patriotic Front after being betrayed to the group by a member of the al-Jabour tribe, whose daughter had been raped by his son, Uday, leading to a blood feud, London's Sunday Express reported, quoting an unnamed senior British military intelligence officer. The newspaper said the full story of events leading up to the ousted Iraqi president's capture last weekend near his home town of Tikrit in northern Iraq, "exposes the version peddled by American spin doctors as incomplete".


Another Jessica Lynch type story shaked and baked for the US public.

links:
http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,8234209%255E401,00.html

[ 12-23-2004: This story seems to be very false and is thereby retracted by the author. It will remain here for historical reference, but should not be considered "truth" until otherwise stated.]
More Big Brother

i won't say anything but look here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/21/automobiles/21SNOOP.html

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Big Brother abounds

I have an old car. previously I had a car that did not have GPS or any of those types of systems. I also do not have easy pass. Why? I don't like being tracked. No I don't do anything illegal nor do I plan to, but i don't like tracking. When GM first announced Onstar I resolved that I would not be a GM customer. Of course now just about every car maker has some type of GPS device on their vehicles.

I do however, have a cell phone. It stays on all the time and is on vibrate because I'm not that important or vain to need to have my phone calls annonced to everyone. Besides I'm a long time believer that phone calls are basically an intrusion on ones personal time and therefore should be regulated with generous amounts of "let it ring."

The NYT has an interesting article about the use of cell phones as monitoring devices. I remember watching an episode of "The Wire" where rather large GPS devices were put onto various vehicles for the purpose of tracking them. With the miniturization of such devices they will no doubt become prevasive (like RFID chips). I agree with the safety aspects of the technology. I would defintely keep a cell phone on while hiking or doing something that would have me away from people. But I'm not sure that tracking your teenage child's whereabouts with a cell phone is a good idea. I don't even think teens with cell phones are a good idea, but thats my opinion. A part of growing up is becoming independent of your parents and yes venturing out and taking risks. it's not whether your child truthfully tells you his or her whereabouts it's whether your child has been raised to take responsibility of themselves. After all if it really was about safety then why not allow the children to track teir parents. Last time I checked parents are victims of crimes, speed and go where they feel like too. This reminds me of my gripe with parents on playgrounds who follow thier children and "help" them with every piece of play equipment. Let the child learn by doing and by failing and sometimes hurting themselves. Let them get into arguments and sometimes fights with other children. Conflict is normal and children need to learn how to navigate these things and sometimes the parents job is to let mistakes happen.

Links:

http://nytimes.com/2003/12/21/technology/21WATC.html
The Rich Stay Rich

Catching up on my reading. I ran across this piece

Quote:



Blattmachr's practice exists because America has two tax systems, separate and unequal. One is for wage earners, and most of us know firsthand that that system works effectively. The other is for the wealthy, who control much of what the I.R.S. knows about their finances and who in recent years have paid a shrinking share of their incomes to sustain the civilization that makes their riches possible. Few of us also know that this means that the 400 Americans who reported the biggest incomes in 2000 paid just 22.3 cents out of each dollar in federal income taxes. That is about the rate paid by a single person making $125,000.

.... Since there is no free lunch and since the bill for government has to be paid, that means Blattmachr's clients simply leave part of their bill on your table.


links:
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/21/magazine/21ENCOUNTER.html

Saturday, December 20, 2003

The Shaping of Iraqi Democracy

Over at counterpunch there is an excellent article that relates very much to my previous posts about the erosion of civil liberties in America. Quote:



All those people shouting, 'Down with America!' and dancing in the street when Americans are attacked? We have to kill them."

"'Any demonstration against the government or coalition forces will be fired upon," said Jaburi, the US-imposed regional governor. 'This is a fair warning.'"

"According to Robin Pomeroy of Reuters, demonstrations are illegal in the province surrounding Tikrit. Demonstrators will be sentenced to a year or more in jail. "They are not allowed to go around kissing pictures of Saddam in this city," Lieutenant Colonel Steven Russell told Pomeroy. "It will not happen... We cannot hand out lollipops, it does not work."


In other words, that which happens in Miami will happen to Iraqis..or is it vice-versa. Not that I think folks who think Saddam is a hero are completely sane, but one of the so called hallmarks of democracy is the freedom of assembly and speech. How does one put someone in jail for exercising their "god given" right to freely express his or her opinion? It is far different to put someone in jail for killing, stealing, etc. but not for free speech. Free speech that is not an immediate threat to anyone. This is the kind of behavior that our boy in Zimbabwe.

So with these two "pillars' of democracy removed you're left with what? Press? Perhaps not. Quote:



Last week Iraq's Health Ministry ordered an abrupt end to the count of civilians killed during the invasion and occupation, according to the Associated Press. "We have stopped the collection of this information because our minister didn't agree with it," said Dr. Nazar Shabandar, the Health Ministry's director of planning. "The CPA doesn't want this to be done."


In other words, there will be no official confirmation of the number of civilians killed by the US, such as those mowed down recently in Ramadi, apparently for nothing more than expressing their support for Saddam Hussein, although the Pentagon would have us believe they were engaged in murder and mayhem or releasing pigeons to signal to comrades.


Is it possible the CPA and the Pentagon don't want you to know the exact number of people killed in Iraq because those numbers are about to escalate dramatically?


Government ministries halting the recording of data? They must have Ward Connerly over there.

Links:
http://www.counterpunch.org/nimmo12202003.html
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-prop54x1oct01,1,6714557.story
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/2956099.stm
First NAFTA now CAFTA

In the 10 year wake of NAFTA, we now have CAFTA (the Central American Free Trade Agreement) which involves El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Is that Ross Perot I hear talking about a sucking sound?

Links:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/elsewhere/journalist/story/0,7792,1110315,00.html
Ghaddafi gives up the nuke plans

I have been in computer upgrade hell the past 36 hours so I've not been able to sit down and digest much news much less finish my second "voting" piece. I looked at BBC online to see that Libya has announced that it will be abandoning it's unconventional arms development programs. I would say that Mr. Ghaddafi has been making many large political moves in the past few years. He has been at the forefront of political and economic Pan-Africanism as it regeards the OAU. His country recently revealed a modern automobile. Libya has also done what it can to put the Pan-Am debacle to rest. Many people are saying that the recent war in Iraq has shown Ghaddafi the light. That opinion is for the short sighted. Ghaddafi, more than most leaders understands the futility of miltiary confrontation with the US. He learned that long before the Gulf Wars. Ghaddafi knows, as China and India knows that the key to independence is economic power and modernization, hopefullly with respect for the enviroment. Let us not forget that Libya was also one of the countries under consideration for Saddam to be exiled to.

Of course this will be made to look like a big win for President Bush, and it will no doubt make him that much harder to beat in the next election. The Dems better get their message together cause there is going to be an uphill batttle to unseat Bush. If he manages to find Osama Bin Ladin before the Nov. elections, fugedaboudit.

links:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3336627.stm

Thursday, December 18, 2003

What Freedom?

Yesterday (Dec 17th) I wrote under the heading "This Ain't Kansas" that for people who were against the status quo have been increasingly victimized by the state. And that inevitably those who don't see any problems aside from those they deem "complainers." would think everything is a-ok. As usual, when I'm onto something I get gifted by Oludumare with a real life example. Over at Salon.com one Rick Fogarty wrote:

"I am not real sympathetic with Salon's article on the Miami demonstrations. The anti-globalization crowd has a well-earned reputation for property destruction and general mayhem wherever they go. Remember Quebec City and Genoa during the G8 summits? These were examples of a lack of police resources and the failure by the police to use overwhelming force. I applaud the Miami police department for its willingness to use force and also for its restraint. The demonstrators achieved their objectives by getting arrested and bragging rights about their injuries. So the show moves on to the next city.


As far as the loss of political freedoms in this country: That is left-wing hype and agitprop. I'll stand up and complain about the loss of civil liberties if Michelle Goldberg and others like her can no longer publish their ideas or views on what happened in Miami and similarly I can no longer respond accordingly.
"

I guess Corporations or countries do not cause physical damage to property or the environment. or that just isn't important to him. I won't get into the value of property or whether police protect property or people argument here as there is a more pressing issue. What is it that people consider Civil Liberties? It seems that this person believes that so long as one can write or publish then you are "free." So I would surmise that this individual feels that when one is arrested because one "fit's the description' but has done nothing illegal, that this is not a violation of civil liberties. Or when you are, for no reason you have your property searched, destroyed or otherwise damaged that your civil liberties have not been violated. Or perhaps that arrests on false charges is an OK thing to do. If that is the case I think that these "conservatives" have a very dim view of what civil liberties are. It would seem to me that had the Colonial Americans though along the lines of people like Rick, then John Locke

would no doubt not be seen as a 'blathering liberal" for stating:

That subjects or foreigners attempting by force on the properties of any people may be resisted with force is agreed on all hands; but that magistrates doing the same thing may be resisted, hath of late been denied; as if those who had the greatest privileges and advantages by the law had thereby a power to break those laws by which alone they were set in a better place than their brethren; whereas their offence is thereby the greater, both as being ungrateful for the greater share they have by the law, and breaking also that trust which is put into their hands by their brethren.

§ 232. Whosoever uses force without right - as every one does in society who does it without law -puts himself into a state of war with those against whom he so uses it, and in that state all former ties are cancelled, all other rights cease, and every one has a right to defend himself, and to resist the aggressor.


And the US would be another British colony.

Links:
http://www.salon.com/opinion/letters/2003/12/18/miami_halliburton/index.html
http://www.lonang.com/exlibris/locke/loc-219.htm
What Nonsense is This?

My writing has it's problems. Grammar, Spelling, Punctuation. But the one thing I do not do is wrote about things i don't know about or cannot back up, or ar just plain wrong. Thomas Sowel, on the other hand has serious fact issues. His latest farce is a prime example of the serious mental problems that many so-called "black conservatives" have. I guess my first clue as to what i was getting into should have been the 'Contribute: Take A Stand For Conservatism" link. Or maybe the "Take 3 Conservative books for $1 each" should have prepared me. Besides that buck would be about the right value for those books. Back to Mr. Sowell.

In his article, "Twisted history", Mr. Sowel starts by saying the following:



One of the reasons our children do not measure up academically to children in other countries is that so much time is spent in American classrooms twisting our history for ideological purposes.


Well I'll agree with that, though not for the reasons that Sowell thinks. for my reasons you could check my post about charter schools.

Mr. Sowell continues:


One of the things we take for granted today is that it is wrong to take other people's land by force. Neither American Indians nor the European invaders believed that.


I'm not entirely sure where Mr. Sowell obtained this information but on the part of the European, with the concept of land as private property came laws against trespass and the concept of Title to prove ones ownership of land. The problem when Europeans came into contact with the American Nations was that they did not have a concept of land as private property of an individual. Rather land was a gift from all. Some land was more sacred than others but without the concept of land as private property there could be no theft of land Native Americans did practice other types of theft but given their ideology on land it just was not possible to leverage "land theft" on them. This makes a lie of this comment:



Both took other people's land by force -- as did Asians, Africans and others. The Indians no doubt regretted losing so many battles. But that is wholly different from saying that they thought battles were the wrong way to settle ownership of land.


I can't speak on Asians since I have not studied them to any extent. But I do know that many Africans held the same philosophy as the Ameican Nations regearding land as private property. So Mr. Sowell ought to have been more specific in his claim or should have refrained from making it at all.

Mr. Sowell continues with:



Nor is understanding history the purpose of such questions. The purpose is to score points against Western society. In short, propaganda has replaced education as the goal of too many "educators."[my emphasis]


Has replaced exactly what world does this man live in. All education outside of the hard sciences (Math, Chemistry, Physics) is propaganda. Most institutions call it socialization but it's propaganda none the less.

But Mr. Sowell has more for us:



Everyone hated the idea of being a slave but few had any qualms about enslaving others. Slavery was just not an issue, not even among intellectuals, much less among political leaders, until the 18th century -- and then only in Western civilization.


Among those who turned against slavery in the 18th century were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and other American leaders. You could research all of 18th century Africa or Asia or the Middle East without finding any comparable rejection of slavery there.


Mr. Sowell is right on the mark with his note that most people who were enslaved has issues with it. But he becomes down right disingeniuos with his suggestion that you cannot find comparable regection of slavery by Africans. One must realize a couple of things regearding Africa. Much of Africa at that time was either pre-literate or had means of writing that were not decipherable by Europeans. therefore you would definitely not find any literature that recorded the objections of leadership or 'intellectuals' to slavery. Furthermore, most people in Africa that objected to slavery found themselves in the Middle Passage. Also, for the people who had direct contact with africans, those involved in colonisation and slave trading, did not have an incentive to record the objections of leadership to slave trading since it would play directly into the hands of those in England and elsewhere who objected to the trade and wanted it stopped.

Mr. Sowell may have been tempted by the presence of "domestic" slavery in Africa. But that too would damage his argument. For that "slavery' is no different than what the US constitution allows to happen to people who are imprisoned for crimes. They are put to work for the state or various corporations or if the law of the land provides, be put to death or be deported if they are not "legal" members of society. I do hope that if Mr. Sowell is put off by domestic slavery in Africa during the 18th century that he would be equally against the prison system as is practiced in the 21st.

Mr. Sowell's article is an example of what happens when the wrong people get their claws into the black mind. It is sad that these negroes allow themselves to be prostituted by conservatives and liberals alike to keep us confused.

Links:
http://www.townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/ts20031217.shtml
Video Games as Recruitment

This is old news to me, as I realized the connection between video games and military recruitment since the Atari 2600 came out and the game tank command or whatever it was called was out. Now of course we get Tom Clancey's "Splinter Cell" and other games. I believe it is the advert for "Splinter Cell" in which the tag line " Freedom comes at a cost." is displayed. My friends this is VERY true. If you had been paying attention, the Military-Entertainment-Complex basically told you point blank that covert ops are done all over the world in order to "protect" your freedom. Now most people in the US would give a big yawn to this idea. Though they were not yawning when the planes hit the Twin Towers.

Anyway, here's the link: Navy Goes Virtual As Military-Industrial Complex Tightens Its Grip




“Chris Chambers, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, a former Army major and the deputy director of development for ‘America’s Army’ admits that the game is a recruiting tool,” Turse wrote. “However, in response to criticisms that its scenarios of blood, violence, and killing are excessive, he says, ‘The game is about achieving objectives with the least loss of life’.”

And Turse reported that the Navy-produced “America’s Army” is only the tip of the military’s video iceberg. Amongst other things, the Army played a significant role in development of “Full Spectrum Warrior” (FSW) — a videogame for the recently unveiled Microsoft Xbox system that will be released to the public early in 2004. The game teaches the fundamentals of Army strategy, tactics, and weaponry. Moreover he notes the Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT), a $US45 million joint Army/USC venture begun in 1999, is involved in a “full spectrum” of other military projects from “Advanced Leadership Training Simulation”, a partnership between ICT and entertainment giant Paramount Pictures designed for training soldiers in crisis management and leadership skills, to ‘Think Like a Commander…,’ a collaboration between the US Army, the Hollywood filmmaking community, and USC researchers designed to ‘support leadership development for US Army soldiers’ through software applications.


Links:
http://www.cio.com.au/index.php?id=1347572129&fp=4&fpid=21
More "Desegregation" blather from a white liberal

Over at Sunspot.net website. Dan Rodricks lays out his liberal credentials by dreaming of a future in Baltimore where whites and blacks live side by side in perfect harmony. Of course with Dr. King's birthday around the corner we should be seeing more articles about peoples dreams and why folks live where they live. Now this is no way negates the very real problem of housing and lending discrimination that has been well documented, but this perenial beating of the desegregation horse is annoying. Dan is of the opinion that the cost of housing will cause whites to buy property in black neighborhoods. Good for Dan. If Dan were to look at Harlem he would note that when whites move into largely black neighborhoods, Rents increase and prior residents are eventually pushed out. And since, by and large Blacks make on average $10,000 less income than whites and have next to nothing in intergenerational wealth, the rates of ownership in places once economically viable for blacks will shrink. But that's really not the point of Dan's piece. His real gripe is how he feels that whites wrongly move once a critical mass of blacks move into an area. Ok, while i may not agree with the motive, I'm not a member of the thought police. If a particular person does not want to live around some ofther people, then that's there right. They can up and go as their wallet allows. What they should NOT be able to do is prevent people from finding housing in that area or harrass them once they are there.

But the other most glaring problem with Mr. Rodrick's article is the focus on black living spaces. I don't see him discussing whites moving into largely Indian or Chinese enclaves. I don't see him discussing Catholics moving into largely Jewish communities or vice versa. Of course not, because in the American discourse, blacks are people to be manipulated. We need to have our children bussed here or there. We need to be "integrated." we just can't be left to our own devices. Why do people continue to have a problem with that?

Links:
http://www.sunspot.net/news/local/bal-md.rodricks18dec18,0,1438445.column?coll=bal-home-columnists

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Meanwhile over in the old Soviet Union...

It would be odd to think that a country that had the decency to name a University after Partrice Lumumba would now have such serious racial problems. only holds true that when it comes down to it, Communist or Capitlist eventually you're just a another mud person.


Links:
http://nytimes.com/2003/12/18/international/europe/18MOSC.html
This Ain't Kansas

Any one who has been paying attention will note that in any country, those that attempt to go against the status quo are victimized while those who go along with the program claim there is nothing wrong except for those trouble makers.

Salon.com has an excellent read on the FTAA protests that occured recently in Miami Florida. Peep the details, especially how the police were prepped. One thing that "shocked" one person was how the police were trained to see the protesters as the enemy and were basically told how they were protecting 86,000 jobs that could come to Miami. The listener seemed to have been under the impression that the police, in general, are supposed to be neutral protectors of liberty and law. He was shocked that they, in general, are there to protect specific, often property and monetary, interests. Perhaps a refresher on Black history USA would lower the shock value of these events.

Is this America? Watch the ad.

links:
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2003/12/16/miami_police/index.html
Trial Evidence

While we await news on when Saddam Hussien will be put to trial, I suggest a good reading of this. This piece contains a nice run down of events surrounding the Iran-Iraq war. Significant here is the Iran-Contra affair of 1986. Some items of good note:

November, 1983. A National Security Directive states that the U.S would do "whatever was necessary and legal" to prevent Iraq from losing its war with Iran. [1] & [15]

November, 1983. Banca Nazionale del Lavoro of Italy and its Branch in Atlanta begin to funnel $5 billion in unreported loans to Iraq. Iraq, with the blessing and official approval of the US government, purchased computer controlled machine tools, computers, scientific instruments, special alloy steel and aluminum, chemicals, and other industrial goods for Iraq's missile, chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs. [14]

October, 1983. The Reagan Administration begins secretly allowing Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Egypt to transfer United States weapons, including Howitzers, Huey helicopters, and bombs to Iraq. These shipments violated the Arms Export Control Act. [16]

November 1983. George Schultz, the Secretary of State, is given intelligence reports showing that Iraqi troops are daily using chemical weapons against the Iranians. [1]

Rummy on the left.

December 20, 1983. Donald Rumsfeld , then a civilian and now Defense Secretary, meets with Saddam Hussein to assure him of US friendship and materials support. [1] & [15]


July, 1984. CIA begins giving Iraq intelligence necessary to calibrate its mustard gas attacks on Iranian troops. [19]

March, 1986. The United States with Great Britain block all Security Council resolutions condemning Iraq's use of chemical weapons, and on March 21 the US becomes the only country refusing to sign a Security Council statement condemning Iraq's use of these weapons. [10]


May, 1986. US Department of Commerce approves shipment of weapons grade botulin poison to Iraq. [7]


September, 1988. US Department of Commerce approves shipment of weapons grade anthrax and botulinum to Iraq. [7]

September, 1988. Richard Murphy, Assistant Secretary of State: "The US-Iraqi relationship is... important to our long-term political and economic objectives." [15]

December, 1988. Dow chemical sells $1.5 million in pesticides to Iraq despite knowledge that these would be used in chemical weapons. [1]

July, 1991 The Financial Times of London reveals that a Florida chemical company had produced and shipped cyanide to Iraq during the 80's using a special CIA courier. Cyanide was used extensively against the Iranians. [11]



and my favorite:

July 25, 1990. US Ambassador to Baghdad meets with Hussein to assure him that President Bush "wanted better and deeper relations". Many believe this visit was a trap set for Hussein. A month later Hussein invaded Kuwait thinking the US would not respond. [12]


Now that last bit would not be admissable in court and defintely would not prove anything, But the rest of the material is verifiable and should, provided councel is adequate, end up as evidence in any trial.

References:

1) Washingtonpost.com. December 30, 2002
3) Kurt Nimno. AlterNet. September 23, 2002
7) Riegle Report: Dual Use Exports. Senate Committee on Banking. May 25, 1994
10) Glen Rangwala. Labor Left Briefing, 16 September, 2002
11) Financial Times of London. July 3, 1991
12) Elson E. Boles. Counter Punch. October 10, 2002
14) Columbia Journalism Review. March/April 1993. Iraqgate
15) Tim Reid. Times Online. December 31, 2002. How U.S. Helped Iraq Build Deadly Arsenal
16) Bush's Secret Mission. The New Yorker Magazine. November 2, 1992

Note that links were not supplied for articles that require subscription services such as academic databases.

Links:
http://www.iranchamber.com/history/articles/arming_iraq.php
Stereotypes affect on Intellectual Test Performance

The October 9, 2003 issue of Black Issues in Higher Education reported on an issue that has caught my eye every now and then.


Yale researchers have found that the existance of negatove stereotypes about abilities such as intelligence actually enhances the performance of those who do not bear the stereotype..." Our evidence suggests tat 'stereotype lift' improves the performance of White men on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) by, on average, 50 points.."

...Walton and his co-author, Dr. Geoffrey Cohen, a psychological professor at Yale, said only when negative stereotypes were explicitly rendered irrelevant to the test did the lift effect disappear. 'Otherwise people automatically assume the stereotypes are relevant and their performance benefits."

Meanwhile, the August 2003 issue had an article, "Charter Schools Produce Higher Test Scores, But Segregated Environment" In which it was shown that Black students in charter schools performed 7 percentile points higher in Math and 8 percentile points higher in reading. If one took into account that the highest score possible on either section of the SAT is 800 and 1 percent of that is 8 points. Then a 7 percentile increase would be a 56 point increase in math and 64 point increase in reading scores for these students. Overall that would be a whopping 120 increase in SAT scores. Now the thrust of the article was that 70% of black charter school students were in segregated environments vs. 34 percent. This makes a great lie of the 1954 Brown Vs. Board of Education claim that it would be damaging to black students to be educated away from white students.
So what could it be in that mostly/all black environment that helps with academic performance. Perhaps being out of an enviroment where blacks are seen and expected to be entertainment, the "sterotype effect" helps them out.

Black folks need to wake up and send a clear message to so called black leadership: Segregation is not the issue. our attitudes are.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Gathering the Evidence

While I prepare part two of my non-voting theory here's a brief rundown of evidence that should be presented at Saddam Hussein's trial:

Alternet

links:

http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=17389

Monday, December 15, 2003

Strom Got Jungle Fever

True to his southern roots, Strom Thurmond "split wood" by raping his 16 year old black maid and siring Essie Mae Washington-Williams and did the usual thing of sending her mony and occasionally making a visit to her on the college campus she attended. All of this was kept very much under wraps while Mr. Thurmond ran on a segregationist ticket. Ms. Williams-Washington also kept up her side of the "southern agreement" by saying nothing until the passing of her daddy. I do hope that the Thurmond estate is made to split any and all fortunes with Ms. Washington-Williams or whoever she deems worthy of. And to think that while Mr. Thurmond was prattling on about us Negroes, poor Emmit Till caught hell for supposedly whistling at a white woman.

links:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3321483.stm
Iran Asks the Right Questions

Yesterday in my commentary on the literal "uncovering" of Saddam Hussein, I noted that the real fireworks are yet to come. Today the BBC has reported that Iran is preparing a dossier of charges to be brought against Saddam relating to the war between the two countries that occured back in the 1980's. Of more interest, to me anyway, is this:





Mr Ramazanzadeh said the Iranian foreign ministry "is doing the necessary work and has already gathered documents, and we hope that in the right place we could exercise our right".

He said an international court "should determine who equipped this dictator to disrupt our region" - a reference to the support Saddam Hussein once enjoyed from Western countries, mainly the United States.

Right-wing Iranian newspapers have emphasised the US role in backing Saddam Hussein during the war.

One carries the headline "Saddam returns to the arms of America", while another argues that if Saddam Hussein is put on trial, the Americans should also be in the dock with him as accomplices in his war crimes."



Anyone want to take wagers on how much material related to this will be clasified for purposes of "National Security?" And since the US is not beholden to the International Court, fat chance that anyone involved (Iran-Contra peoples) will be seeing their day in court.

To the winners goes the immunity.

On an aside, Why are the Iranians who point out Saddams connections with "The West" considered "Right Wing" After all over here in the US, Such talk is halmark of the supposed "Left Wing." So much for political labels. Conservative and Liberal are merely relativistic terms that have no real use outside of polarising ideological thought. I like being a Pan-Africanist. no need to fall into the "left-right" trap. Just call a spade a spade a move along.

Links:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3320717.stm
Were You Asked to Vote on This?

as if to underscore my point earlier in my essay on not voting, the Center for American Progress has posted a nice article entitled "Stonewalling A Controversy" Excerpt:




The White House yesterday categorically refused to answer questions about why President Bush's longtime business associate was allowed to "craft" key portions of the Medicare bill which could send millions to his own company. The Boston Globe�reports a Texas company owned by David Halbert "a campaign contributor and former business associate of President Bush" could profit from portions of the Medicare bill. The Globe notes the story was first reported in yesterday's Progress Report�and points out that Halbert specifically helped "craft the portion of the Medicare bill that allows seniors to buy discount drug cards." Bush had been an investor in a Halbert-owned predecessor company to AdvancePCS, which, "is one of the nation's largest pharmacy benefit management companies and would be well-positioned to compete for Medicare's endorsement to issue the discount cards." Of course, the discount card guarantees no discount � only that companies like AdvancePCS (of which President Bush was an original investor) would gain millions of new customers. Sen. Edward Kennedy said, "Only in this administration would the words `discount card' mean seniors get the card while corporations get the discounts.'' When asked about the controversy, the White House invoked a line similar to its previous stonewalling about which oil industry CEOs wrote its energy bill. Said White House spokesman Trent Duffy, ''I'm not going to be able to say anything about specific conversations the White House had in crafting this legislation.''



You can read the rest by following the link below But it goes to show that those in positions of power and have enough influence (money) can influence decision making regeardless as to who is in office (remember that it was the Democrat Clinton that ended medicare as we know it).

Now I'm not going to get into the ethics of the whole thing. It is a clear case of "conflict of interest." However, the question that should be in your mind is this: Do I wait until these folks fix their system, or do i learn the system and use it to our advantage. Of course if one is of the opinion that the system is inherently evil and cannot be made to provide for our needs, then I guess there isn't much left to do then roll over and die.


links:
http://www.americanprogress.org/site/pp.asp?c=biJRJ8OVF&b=14528

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Saddam is Caught: Will the Truth Come Out?

Only those living under a rock, do not know that Saddam Hussein has been captured by "coalition" forces. People. Some people were surprised that he came without a shot. Why? How soon we forget that there had been secretly trying to negotiate a surrender in the days before the official invasion of Iraq. That should have made clear the intent of Saddam to survive. Why would he want to survive? To talk. I have long said that it would be in the best political interest of the US that Saddam be found deceased. This is because if Saddam went to trial and could mount a defence, a lot of underhanded facts would be made public. What are these facts?

First we should learn how in fact Saddam Hussien got into power. After his failed coup, Hussein went to Egypt where it is known that he recieved help from people we will call "non-Egyptians." Later he returns and suceeds in his coup. Question is: What kind of material and intelligence help did he get to make this coup (think Venezuela)? Once in power Saddam went after Iran. It is known that President Reagan helped Saddam to fight Iran. Would this court be willing to try Reagan for accessory to any crimes against Iran? The next big issue would be the use of chemical agents against the Kurds. It is already known that Saddam gained such weapons via the US. So again, will there be prosecution of individuals who serve as accessory to whatever crimes Hussein is charges with. Then we have the invasion of Kuwait. There is footage of President Bush I, sitting with Saddam prior to this invasion, We won't even get into the involvement of Mr. Rumsfeld. What kind of bombshell could be dropped on that issue. Was Saddam lead to believe that he could take Kuwait without opposition? Was he set up to be taken out after the Kurd incident?

Of course, the last issue and indeed the reason that was originally given to remove Saddam, Weapons of Mass distruction. Many many claims have been made. Of late, some unseen and "high ranking" Iraqi, attempted to validate the claim that appeared in the infamous "dosier" in which it was claimed that Iraqis could fire a biological or chemical weapon within' 45 min. His claim is that the soldiers wouldn't comply. That is a plausible explanation. History has shown that rebels often do not use every means at thier disposal to get at an occupier. The question I have and which will need to be answered is where are these weapons now. They caught Saddam by means of snitch, I cannot imagine that there isn't some kind of incentive for informing on the whereabouts of the WMD's. If these "insurgents" are in fact holding onto these items, then it may be that they will give up where they are since it really is a waste of time moving them around to not be caught if they are not to be used.

Regeardless though, given the short shelf life of such biological and chemical weapons, especially without proper storage, i doubt any such things will ever be found. There definitely isn't any Nuclear weapons program to speak of. We know this because we watched what happened with Iran. If a satelite could pinpoint the tell tale signs of nuclear products in that country, It should have picked up material a long time ago in Iraq. And let's not forget that as modernity goes, Iraq is by no means as capable as the US or even India at hiding the neccessary emissions and land formations.

Expect, the trial to be about human rights violations. It is the only real issue that can be leveraged against Hussein without much embarrasment coming to the US. Then again, it's not like any of the world countries would hold the US for it's actions.

Links:
http://nytimes.com/2003/12/14/international/middleeast/14WIRE-HUSSEIN.html?hp

Saturday, December 13, 2003

To Vote or Not to Vote: Using the Other Tool

Today I read an article by Farai Chideya over at Alternet in which she lamented about a girlfriend that she says is guilty of not voting. To Ms. Chideya's credit she avoided the usual skreed that many blacks make about how so-and-so died so you could vote. She gave poor Kiesha, the changed name of the "guilty" party, one line of self defense. Kiesha votes with her dollar. Ms. Chideya claimed that Kiesha was falling victim to consumerism. Let me state the case for those of use who have the "vote with money" attitudes.

I lost interest in voting when Jessie Jackson failed to secure the vice presidential spot. I recall being on the bus going to school one morning and passing J. Jackson shooting a commercial by a church off Sutphin Blvd. As I grew older and wiser I noted that Black people as a group voted democratic as a block. Every election I noted that they would talk about how 98% of Blacks (now African Americans) would turn out and while so and so democrat took NYC (where most blacks in NY State live) so and so republican took the state. I quickly understood the idea of what I call Vote Nullification. In national elections, the electoral college system could erase the votes of millions of people. For those unfamiliar with the system I'll briefly explain. On Nov 8 people vote. The state counts the votes and finds out who got the most votes Then the electoral college meets and the states electoral representative will 'give" his entire states votes to the person that got the most votes. The representative does not have to vote as the state majority did, but they do. As a result it is possible, as happened in 2000, for a candidate in national elections to have the most popular votes and still lose an election. Welcome to indirect elections. I then came into the realization that though most of the people I lived with were black, black people in the US are a relatively small population (13% and falling as people "opt out" of being identified as black). So Nationally, unless we were a huge majority population in any given state, our votes could simply be nullified by the dominant group (whites and soon up-and coming-Hispanics). As a result, I refused to participate. It's called and informed decision.

Now I will agree that many non-voters simply don't vote and that is their lone statement against "the system." However some of us have been studying how "the system" works and have decided to use other means to make our points. Mind you, the non-voting option is not necessary the best option or even a useful option in some cases but it does have it's place for certain types of situations. The first thing we should note is how many non-voting people have influence on the US and it's policies. Being a Garveyite I would immediately offer Marcus Garvey as an example of how a non-citizen, who cannot vote could be a force for huge change. Mr. Garvey managed to organize one of the largest black run organization of it's time. He was at times able to, through his organization, hire people, provide medical care and exert political influence on both local and national policies in the US as well as other countries. How did he do this? He provided organization and an organizing ideology.

What other people influence US policy who cannot vote? Ariel Sharron, Tony Blair and a host of other heads of state. Who else? Remember the flack with Clinton and the Chinese business man that gave his campaign money. He can't vote, yet he had a direct connection to the White House that most American citizens could only dream about. All over the globe Multinational corporations often have more input into national policy than the sum total of the citizenry. All of these facts seem to escape those people that blindly prattle about how one "needs" to vote. Heck, even in the great Congress and Senate of the US, representative routinely abstain from voting. For a more egregious example, we could even note that the War in Iraq is a direct result of representatives of the people, giving up their votes en mass to a single person. I'm sure many of these same representatives will put the guilt trip on their constituents when it's time for re-election. So it is clear that voting is only one tool that is used to decide how things get done and who the money goes to.

So what exactly is "Voting with your money?" In short it is practicing in a personal level the fact that in America, those with money and property are catered to and protected and those without either of these are used. Furthermore, America, the corporate entity, protects and defends those that make money and used those who spend it. The problem with Black people in America, and indeed the world over is that they lack money and property. Those few of us who do have money, and I mean large sums of it, do not build "race first" institutions that empower the race. Rather we either try to join the white elite (usually liberal but sometimes conservative) and act just as they do, or we go on spending sprees in which we can show off how many Bentley's and multi-million Dollar mansions we have. We do we do this? Because as Oprah Winfrey found out in the early 90's when she boldly and courageously attempted to use her show to tackle White Supremacy, White folks run shyt. ratings plummeted and so called friends talked bad about her. She stopped and went generic empowerment. I believe Arsenio Hall got the same Hollywood treatment for speaking favourably of Louis Farrakahn of NOI fame. Back to the point though.

A few years ago when gas prices went through the roof for the first time in my driving lifetime, I figured I needed to send a message to the oil industry. I encouraged everyone I knew that they should boycott Exxon. I picked Exxon because they were one of the largest and well known companies and as I had noticed they had some of the highest prices for gas. The premise was simple and based on the techniques used by the bus boycott in Montgomery Alabama. If consumers stopped purchasing gasoline from one competitor until prices dropped, they would be sending a very potent message to the producers and retailers. Many people simply laughed me off. I told them that the plan of these companies was to push US prices for gasoline to $2.00 as soon as possible. What these companies would do in the meantime is get the population used to higher prices. If there is one thing Americans do it is they forget very quickly. I reminded people that right before the spike in gas prices it was widely reported that Exxon/Mobil was shipping oil to Asia and back in order to boost prices. Sounds to dumb to be true but it is. Also, even though Iraqi oil had been off the market for over 10 years, there was not a shortage of oil and to not believe the hype about how the recent refinery fires was boosting prices. I got my gas from Citgo, a Venezuelan oil company, who's prices were the cheapest anywhere, yet they too, succumbed to market greed and started to price themselves close to the gouging prices of BP-Amoco, Shell and Exxon-Mobil. I preferred to hand my cash to Venezuela since I was not happy with the US support of the attempted military coup against democratically elected Hugo Chavez. In the past two years, aside from emergencies, US oil corporations have not gotten a dime out of me for gasoline including BP-Amoco and Shell who landed on my shyt-list for their activities in Nigeria (I convinced by mother to rid herself of her Shell credit card too). Imagine if Black Americans, who spend 90% of their income on mostly white owned corporations, followed the same thinking? It is not impossible. I remember the "black jellybean" incident at Texaco, where at the behest of Civil-Rights leaders caused that company's stock to drop and a few retailers to change to other competing gasoline distributors due to lost business. Again, In South Carolina, when the issue of the confederate flag came up and businesses stopped using facilities in the state, it was the power of the lost black and "coalition" dollars that caused the leaders of that state to make a change. This was not voting, every election they got votes and never acted on the flag until the bottom line was threatened. I wrote in an earlier post that profit, in America, is not king but G-O-D.

So what I ask the voter to consider is this: If you put so-and so-into office, are you able to capitalize on the presence of that person? Does having a Charles Rangel in office keep Gentrification of Harlem from occurring? Does it prevent white corporations from gaining sweetheart deals in the rebuilding Harlem? If it doesn't then what is the point?


So in principle this is the "vote with my dollars" ideology. It is basically using the "other" lesser known and harder to wield tool of American Democracy. it is a difficult tool to master, and requires organization in order to work, but when it does, it can trump just about any ballot box. Anywhere on the planet.


Links:
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=17345

Friday, December 12, 2003

Chickens Coming Home to Roost

Last week I read a three part series on Wal-Mart’s business practices. In a nutshell, they get their products as cheaply as possible to sell it to their customers as cheaply as possible. The argument being that cheaper goods allows the customer, in this case the American consumer to purchase more with their shrinking income.

Checking the financials as reported by the Los Angeles Times we would note that:





”It posted $245 billion in sales in its most recent fiscal year — nearly twice as much as General Electric Co. and almost eight times as much as Microsoft Corp. It is the nation's largest seller of toys, furniture, jewelry, dog food and scores of other consumer products. It is the largest grocer in the United States.”



Clearly Wal-Mart is not going broke. Now the question is how does Wal-Mart make these kinds of profits? The LA times continues:





”By squeezing suppliers to cut wholesale costs, the company has hastened the flight of U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas. By scouring the globe for the cheapest goods, it has driven factory jobs from one poor nation to another.

Wal-Mart's penny-pinching extends to its own 1.2 million U.S. employees, none of them unionized. By the company's own admission, a full-time worker might not be able to support a family on a Wal-Mart paycheck.”
(my emphasis).


Now this is a far cry from the understanding that Henry Ford had that the worker must be paid enough to afford the goods that he produced. In other words a well-paid labor force is able to consume higher end goods ensuring the profits of various businesses in a given community. In the case of Wal-Mart we have a negative effect on prevailing wages.





”Gray earned $14.68 an hour with a pension and family health insurance. Wal-Mart grocery workers typically make less than $9 an hour.”


Now why did I say that chickens are coming home to roost? Well quite simply this is how America has worked for hundreds of years. The thing that escaped the LA Times is the history of “employment” vis- a-vis black folks. American companies have always liked cheap labor. They enslaved Africans and used them as cheap labor to sow and reap cotton and tobacco. Those of us with “skills” were hired out to others to perform work on the cheap for other people with a portion of our labor given to our “masters” and “mistresses.” All this while upper crust landed white folks could sit on their arses and sip tea and plot on how to get between the legs of the next black woman. Don’t hate me for sayin’ it check it out here

In order to maintain some semblance of racial organization and hierarchy poor white people were given marginally better treatment than enslaved Africans. Knowing that since they were white they could possibly gain entry to the upper crust. By and large this intense desire to maintain racial loyalty and white privilege allowed poor white Americans to allow landed, privileged white Americans to exploit other people for “everyone’s benefit.” Thus when after the Civil War and mass migrations of blacks to the new industrial centers whites who wanted these jobs called upon these same landed whites to give them jobs previously to low for white hands and protect these jobs for white hands. And in a stroke of what could be called “stupidity” but was really just WS at work, white union leaders also barred blacks from their Unions and in some cases had riots to have blacks removed from workplaces. The resulting ideology was simple. You can exploit the non-white for the benefit of the white. Of course in the greater, global scheme of WS, exploitation of the non-white for the benefit of the white was nothing new. It was going on in Africa, India and soon elsewhere.

Marcus Garvey, Like Martin Delany before him recognized that if black folks and other non-whites allowed themselves to continue to be used and disorganized, whites would attempt to control the world economic environment by monopolizing the raw materials and the places of purchase. They would use their economic and military power to dictate to weak nations “when and where they enter.” To this end Garvey upon establishing the UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association) also established the ill-fated Black Star Line and associated incorporated bodies. The stated purposes of these entities was to bring economic independence to black people everywhere by creating a global link of commerce and governance that would put Africans in a position whereby they could compete on an equal footing with any and all nations of the world and not be subject to the whims of white global conglomerates like a Wal-Mart.

History teaches us that the BSL eventual failed due to both mismanagement and well documented government conspiracy. Not to mention a good helping by the competing organization of the day, the NAACP. But not to get off subject. History also teaches us that once many countries gained independence, they were economically dependent on their former mother country. So what was previously slave labor became cheap labor for the businesses operating in said countries. Thus setting the stage for neo-colonialism as warned of by Nkrumah.

Remember that all the while these things were happening on a global scale, Americans were experiencing huge wage increases (depression aside) and workplace changes that would lead to health insurance, paid vacation, and an enforced 40 hour work week. Of course these things drove up the costs of goods and services, but it was understood that people had to make a living and that was how things were. But lost on many people, but should have never been lost on the black population, is that business is about the bottom line. America had no problem buying, beating, shipping and dehumanizing a group of people for profit. Profit is not king it is GOD. And this god accepts human sacrifices. I remember when TV’s stopped being made in the US because it was cheaper to produce in other countries. Throughout the late 70’s into the 90’s goods became ridiculously cheap and few people noticed that it was because these goods were not being made in the US. I remember when the US auto industry threw a fit over Japanese imports and got money from the Federal Government to bail them out. The rationale being that American high wage jobs were at risk and therefore so were the economy. Remember that for later.
Eventually businesses realized that the cost of semi-skilled labor, that is, non-clerical, non-managerial, was eating into their profits. It was cheaper to contract out to some third world country where labor laws were lax or non-existent. Where environmental laws were equally lax or non-existent and most importantly the government is weak enough and desperate enough to accept jobs paying $1.50 a day. So eventually these jobs went away, via NAFTA or other means. Now where in American history have people been paid next to nothing? Oh, that’s right, the Negro!!! Now back to Wal-Mart. The company
makes its money by brow beating its suppliers into providing them goods at ever lower prices. How are many of these suppliers doing it? For the ones that were based in America they do it by shutting up shop and opening up somewhere where “cullud folks” happen to live. So Wal-Mart basically can run into a country and turn it into a modern day manufacturing plantation with the government of the country playing overseer. For example:





Wal-Mart is the most powerful corporate citizen in Bangladesh, even though it doesn't operate a single store in the country.

When the company complained to Bangladesh's Export Promotion Bureau this spring about delays in moving cargo, the response was swift.

Officials in the southern port of Chittagong are speeding up efforts to reduce paperwork and modernize facilities. Over the objections of labor leaders, port officials also are building a five-berth container terminal that will be privately managed. Already, giant cranes have helped shorten a ship's turnaround time from six days to fewer than four.

It's no wonder Wal-Mart wields such clout in this country, where nearly half the population lives in poverty. The company bought 14% of the $1.9 billion in apparel that Bangladesh shipped to the U.S. last year.


Now how are the chickens coming home to roost? With the market crash, many companies were forced to be more efficient with their work forces. As a result, in the high tech industry many programming jobs have been shipped to countries were programming talent comes cheap. I even have seen an example in the movie industry where graphic jobs such as compositing are being shipped to countries like Belgium. Accompanying this is the wholesale assault on the Middle Class. America is rapidly forming a huge gulf between the rich and poor. The middle class is being squeezed in such a way that if the trends continue, they will be the upper crust of the poor. Perhaps this is what Wal-Mart is banking on. Only 25% of Americans between the ages of 20-27 have a college degree. This means that most people in America do not have a degree. If they don’t have a degree then their choices for high income are self-employment, Nursing or computer support jobs. If these are not options then these persons compete with high schoolers for “menial” service jobs. And even among the previously mentioned jobs there are only so many managers needed so chances for “advancement” are slim indeed.

So indeed Wal-Mart has brought international exploitation home to America. And to be fair they are not the only ones. White America, by allowing their government and businesses to exploit other people are about to reap that practice as the wages for the majority of middle and low income Americans are depressed in order to “compete” with the rest of the world. But the countries that are being exploited have a hand in this as well. By allowing a corporation to basically dictate the economy of a country is just bad. It locks the country into low –wage work that barely lifts the workers out of poverty, if it even does that much. And worse, these global predators will move onto the next manufacturing ‘ho’ as soon as her price drops. When that happens, what happens to the plants and shipyards? The best bet for these countries is to unify themselves and form a uniform economic policy for dealing with outside corporations. Under no circumstances should a country allow its workers to be exploited in such a manner. I doubt the managerial class at Wal-Mart would accept $1.50 a day. But that’s not their problem is it? But these managers have nice houses, health insurance, drive nice cars and can work from “can see to can see.” While the people in Mexico and Honduras work from “can’t see to can’t see” sleep in slave quart—oops, I meant dormitories.

Links:
http://www.blackcommentator.com/68/68_guest_paramour.html
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-walmart-sg,1,1534896.storygallery

Thursday, December 11, 2003

South Carolina Employs Old Tricks on New Negroes

Denmark Vesey must be rolling in his grave. For those of you not familiar with the event you can read this over at the NYTimes (free reg req.) what happened here is a clear example of the demonization of black youth ( with some help of other black people). The police decided to stage a raid at the particular time that most, or at least many, of the black students arrived, by bus, to school. On the principal's command, they jumped out of varied rooms and closets with dogs and searched for "drugs."

For many residents of Goose Creek, a pleasant bedroom community north of Charleston, it was particularly disturbing that though blacks make up less than a quarter of the 2,700 students at the high school, two-thirds of the 107 students caught up in the sweep were black.

As usual the racial profilers got it wrong. As we know from research done on profiling in New Jersey and Maryland, Black motorists make up a small proportion of those using the highways, they do however, account for a disproportionatly large percentage of those people stopped and searched on the highway. They also are found to have drugs on them in lesser proportion than whites that are stopped. The hard truth is that as a population white persons use and sell more drugs than blacks. Any drug dealer in any urban area will tell you this. As PE said: "don't believe the hype!"

One question that could be asked is had the "raid" occured when all students were present what would the proportions have been? The second question I have is what happened to "innocent until proven guilty" and probable cause You must have probable cause to arrest, handcuff or otherwise detain a person for a crime. When warrants are given out by judges, as far as i know these warrants are given for specific locations and persons. What judge ok'd the warrant to walk in and indescriminately pick on constitutionally innocent persons? What was the probable cause? Is going to school on a bus probable cause? exactly how would they explain to the trial judge how the evidence was obtained? Illegal search anyone?

The principal of the school is obviously defending the tactics employed here. I do wonder if this principal's child attends this school or if he would be sanguine about the situation had his child been put on the floor, handcuffed and had a dog put on him or her. Not to be simply a complainer, what t his principal should have done if he suspected drug activity in his school was to inform the police that he suspected so and so and had an undercover officer come in and make contact with the suspected individual. The suspected student, if in fact a drug dealer would have tipped thier hand eventually. A similar situation would apply for drug use.

Anyway, I think that the principal should be fired immediately as well as any of the police department that was involved in the approval of this plan. They should be sued till they are homeless.

links:
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/09/national/09RAID.html?ex=1071550800&en=b6659f3887b8462e&ei=5062&partner=GOOGLE
First Obligatory Iraq Post:

Over at the NYT I read on yestedays decision by the all mighty Pentagon to keep "non-coalition" countries out of the bidding process. you can read it here. Now Canada and others are pissy about this. First off, this isn't really the problem. The question that needs to be asked is why the US is shelling out contracts to rebuild Iraq and not an Iraqi government. Of course the answer is the Iraq is America's newest meal-I mean colony. What do companies bestowed the cash of the US taxpayer?
well a look see over here reveals the high quality hand work:

"In almost every case, the paint jobs were done in a hurry, causing more damage to the appearance of the school than in terms of providing a finish that will protect the structure," a recent Army investigation into Bechtel's work found. "In one case, the paint job actually damaged critical lab equipment, making it unusable."

Bechtel is one of the biggest corporate winners of U.S. contracts to rebuild Iraq. Before the war ended, it received a $680 million contract to fix Iraq's electrical grids, water ports and more than 1,200 schools. In October, it won an additional $350 million contract to continue the electrical work.


Grab the cash and run. This is, of course, how the real profits are made. Of course Coalition Partners will make the cash. Looking at the list of coalition countries it should be clear that the main beneficiaries will be US and British companies, in that order. And they won't be employing any US people for these jobs. Not many anyway. why ship over expensive US workers when you can exploit some Ugandans, Kenyans and Iraqis? Speaking of exploitation of workers. let me get off this here and get that Walmart commentary going.

links:
http://nytimes.com/2003/12/11/international/middleeast/11PREX.html?hp
http://www.knoxstudio.com/shns/story.cfm?pk=IRAQ-BECHTEL-12-08-03&cat=II
Pagans Don't Care Like Christians?

While over at the Bush wars I stumbled across this piece of work . Apparently the director of Faith-Based and Community Inititiatives at the White House, H. James Towey, made the following statement during an online chat:

"I haven't run into a pagan faith-based group yet, much less a pagan group that cares for the poor! ...Once you make it clear to any applicant that public money must go to public purposes and can't be used to promote ideology, the fringe groups lose interest. Helping the poor is tough work, and only those with loving hearts seem drawn to it." "

The article went on to discuss how various "pagan" groups such as Wikkans do in fact do work with the poor. Now why do I have an interest in this? Well it's because I am a follower of Ifa. Ifa is the traditional religion of the Yoruba of what is now called Nigeria. Our religion made the middle passage trip to the Americas in the hearts and minds of Africans enslaved by Europeans and betrayed by their kin. One of the things about Ifa, and indeed most "non-Western" religions (which is really a misnomer but that's another post) is that we do not proselytize. You will not find an Omo-Orisa on the street with an Awake pamphlet. Nor will one come to your door asking if you believe. What is also of note is that our culture, prior to European conquest had a social order that had no need for food kitchens and outreach programs. Our societies were structured around extended kinship relations in which family and groups were responsible for the welfare of all thier neighbors. So really who's more civilized? who was really providing for the poor? We had been doing this but were deemed uncivilized and in need of the Bible and private property. Many of todays adherents of Ifa and its various offshoots such as Santeria are "in the closet." Many are nominal Catholics and Protestants. Within' these groups they participate in many types of outreach. The reason you don't hear about them is that we believe that your relationship with Olodumare (God) is your business and not something that you use to show off with.

Anyway, I'm not surprised at this kind of statement. In fact it is common practice among both Christians and Muslims to deride people who are not of thier faiths. It is extremely common to see things called "voodoo" this and "voodoo" that. Personally I think some folks ought to be knocked in the mouth the next time they say something ignorant like that in front of a practicioner. But I'm not up for petty assault charges. ;-)

links:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A43967-2003Dec7.html
http://babelogue.citypages.com:8080/sperry/