Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Thursday, January 29, 2004

So what is 512 Tonnes of WMD?

Last night Ted Koppel gave a rather kind interview of David Kay. In the lead in they had audio clips of President Bush giving an "accounting" of Iraqi WMD's. In one instance he claimed that there were 512 tonnes of biological and or chemical agents. Recenlty David Kay, among others have back tracked and said that Iraq didn't have these things or the they've been sent to Syria. Remember now that the US had a enforced no fly zone over Iraq for 10 years which meant that there was only a small passage across Iraq in which 512 tonnes of material could be smuggled out of the country. The way Bush and co. made it sound, Iraq had these 512 tonnes of material right up until before the invasion. As I have asked before, how did spy satelies miss the donkeys carrying 512 tonnes of material? Maybe we don't really understand why 512 tonnes is. a small car such as a Toyota Tercell is easily 1 ton (2000 lbs = 1 short ton). If you imaging 512 Toyota Tercelles lined up or stacked up you'd get the picture of what 512 tonnes of chemical agent would be like. This stuff just up and disapeared without a trace? More perspective: Some time after the fall of Bagdhad there was a find of a so called 'Mobile lab." Clearly if this was a mobile lab it could be taken as the average size of Iraq's mobile lab capability. These were small trailers which means 512 of them were supposedly "out there." yet not one was found and what's worse of the one found it didn't even have chemical residue. For a country that was ready to spray American troops with chemicals and cells they were quite able to clean these "labs" to the point of leaving no forensic evidence of there ever being chemicals in use on or around the cart. Now THAT is a feat.

What I'm wondering is why the CIA and whatever other organizations responsible for gathering intelligence is allowing itself to be characterized as basic idiots. They are allowing thier world wide reputation get ripped apart and not even fighting back. That does not sound like the same CIA that some months ago was demanding to know who leaked info about thier operative. Nor does it sound like the CIA that repeatedly told us that certain information being given out by the Bush White House was wrong. Somebody is being protected in a big way.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

David Kay, Fall Guy

The NY Times has an article with more David kay talking about the intelligence on "pre-war" Iraq being wrong.

Quote:

"I had innumerable analysts who came to me in apology that the world that we were finding was not the world that they had thought existed and that they had estimated," he said. "And never, not in a single case, was the explanation, `I was pressured to do this.' "

"Almost in a perverse way," he added, "I wish it had been undue influence, because we know how to correct that. We get rid of the people who in fact were exercising that. The fact that it wasn't tells me that we've got a much more fundamental problem of understanding what went wrong."


This strikes me as odd because there hasn't been a peep about this from the president other than his State of The Union speech. I think Kay is going to be the fall guy for the administration. They can say that the person responsible for misinforming the president has been dealt with. Tony Blair also gets his "get out of jail free" card because all he has to claim, as he has been, is that he believed that the information he got was good. If it isn't then he acted in the best interest based on the info he had. Tony Blair has already gotten a pass on the Dr. Kelly scandal.

Links:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/3434661.stm
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/28/international/middleeast/28CND-WEAP.html?hp
What's Up With That Powel Trip?

The NYTimes ran an article recently about Colin Powel's trip to Russia (He should be in hiding after the lies he told the UN and has been busted in the mainstream media for. of course we knew better before the mainstream had a clue.). It contained the following statement:

More problematic, however, is the American military presence on the southern border of Russia, particularly in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, where the United States has access to Soviet-era bases it refurbished to support the war in Afghanistan. There is also a small American military contingent in Georgia to conduct counterterrorism training, but Mr. Powell promised this week that this limited force would soon depart.

now the significance of this is important to realize. D-sekou pointed me to an article over at Counterpunch that would explain the trip to Russia:

quote:
The establishment of Khanbad, along with other bases in neighboring Kyrgyzstan, enabled the American government to achieve three major strategic goals. In addition to providing a center from which the American military could pursue the Taliban in Afghanistan, the bases more importantly, improved "American access to Kazakh and Turkmen oil and gas," and extended "US influence to a region hitherto dominated by Russia and of constant concern to China (4)." The bases in essence paved the way for America to gain a foothold in a globally strategic region thereby putting it in a better position to compete with Russia and China for the great oil treasures of the Caspian Sea.


In addition to being the world's largest lake, the Caspian sea is believed to hold vast oil reserves comparable to those of the Middle East. Yet, unlike the Middle East, transport of the extracted black gold from the landlocked lake to the open sea is a major hurdle. Therefore, the primary issue guiding the politics of the region revolve around not ownership of oil, rather control of the proposed pipelines by which the oil is transported5. It is within this context that Uzbekistan has emerged as "the key strategic state in the area (5)."


Uzbekistan's cooperation with Washington has not gone unrewarded. In March 2002, Messrs Bush and Karimov formally met for 45 minutes in the White House. The meeting produced a five point strategic partnership between the two countries. Among other things, in exchange for continued use of Khanbad, the agreement granted Uzbekistan $500 million in aid and credit guarantees (6), $25 million for military assistance, $18 million for "border security assistance", and $1 million in policing assistance (7). These concessions were made to one of America's "foremost partners in the fight against terrorism (8)" despite the State Department's own declaration that, "Uzbekistan is an authoritarian state with a very poor human rights record (9)."


for the Geographically challenged look at this map and this map and see where Uzbekistan and Georgia are in relation to the Caspian Sea and Afghanistan.

If you take all of this information you see that the point of war in Afghanistan is NOT to get Osama, but to maintain control of that area along with the Gergia and Uzbekistan. Pakistan is also useful which is why it hasn't recieved the Iraq treatement even though it is known that so called terrorists are in fact in the country and being protected by sympathisers.

Now if you check this piece
you'll find the following:

quote:

Citing low oil prices, concerns over Osama bin Laden, and pressure from women's groups, Unocal withdraws from Afghan pipeline consortium. Unocal also announces a 40 percent drop in capital spending for 1999 because of low oil prices.

1999

January
Turkmenistan's foreign minister visits Pakistan; says pipeline project still alive.

February
Carlos Bulgheroni, co-chairman of Bridas, visits Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Russia for talks with leaders.

March
Turkmenistan's Foreign Minister Sheikh Muradov meets with Mullah Omar in Kandahar to discuss pipeline.

April
Pakistan, Turkmenistan, and Taliban sign agreement to revive pipeline project.

May
Taliban delegation signs agreements with Turkmenistan to buy gas and electricity.



Fast forward and read on CNN that Mullah Omar is being hunted down by the US

Why I guess that Mullah Omar has more than Bin-Ladin that the US wants. It would seem that the Taliban had the legal documents needed to move oil from the Caspian to the Indian Ocean across Afghanistan.

As Angie Stone put it:
What you dyin for?

Links:
http://nytimes.com/2004/01/28/international/europe/28POWE.html
http://www.counterpunch.org/kassim01172004.html
http://www.maps.com/reference/phypol/atlas/political/asia.html
http://www.maps.com/reference/phypol/atlas/political/europe.htm
http://www.worldpress.org/specials/pp/pipeline_timeline.htm
http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/asiapcf/central/03/12/eye.on.three/
More Sharpton Analysis

MSNBC has exit polls from the NH caucuses. I perused the stats and found some interesting notes:

1) Though there were no exit pollers, male or female that indicated that they voted for Sharpton, when gender and race were deconstructed 2 non-white males claimed to have voted for Sharpton. So this means that these two people either lied or the pollsters never accounted for the 2 votes.

2)When broken up by age groups, no age group admitted to voting for Sharpton. So again we either have liars or the pollsters simply "goofed."

3) Now even though 2 "non-white" males claimed to vote for Sharpton, when asked thier self designated "race" Sharpton recieved no votes from any category which included "black."

4) These phantom voters also claimed to have earned under $15,000 and $100,000+ in total family income.

5) One of the phantom voters had done some postgraduate study

6) One of these cats, Presumably the one with 15,000 or less income ( my assumption) has served in the military

7) One of these individuals attends Church Weekly. One is Catholic and the other Protestant

8) One believes that the Bush Tax cuts should be repealed across the board

9) One indicated a strong approval for the war. No doubt the person who is in the military. Here's the odd thing. If they agree with the war, and supposably the reasons for the war, then Sharpton is not their man. Why did they even vote for him.

10) One of the people claimed that Taxes was their most important issue.

I contest that this was a phantom voters. or voters who said something in order to throw off pollsters.

Links:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/Default.aspx?id=3762821&p1=0
Sharpton And South Carolina

As regulars know. I don't do the vote thing. If you do the vote thing and live in South Carolina then you need to listen up. In the South Blacks make up near majority voting populations in various states. If there were a depressed white vote among republicans (unlikely) Blacks could provide a majority vote. In SC the black population can send a strong message to Democratice party of what kind of issues they expect to be dealt with. It will simultaneously send a message to republicans that courting the black vote will mean more than "faces in places." In order to do this the blacks of South Carolina must vote for Sharpton. This is not a vote to mean you believe Sharpton can win, it is a vote to affirm that Sharpton's message had better be heeded by whomever the Democrats run in the general election. It will also be a test of liberal whites. If they have black interests at heart they too would vote Sharpton. They want to vote Dean or Kerry, because they are caught up in electibility ( or something else). But true anti-war, anti-imperialism and "anti-racist" whites have to see that sending that message is better sent by a vote for Sharpton than for any of the other candidates. It gives Sharpton the ability to broker votes and possible concessions from the Democratic establishment.

On the other hand. I haven't heard any of Sharpton's speeches but i wish that he would lay out concrete and specific plans ( as is possible) for what the president of the US should do in the situations that face the US. Since Sharpton won't win regeardless of his policy statements, he should put them out there in order to get the populance thinking of what alternative plans there are. I don't think it's going to be enough to be Anti- this and Anti that. I believe you don't win by saying what you won't do but what you will do. I think a part of the bush aura and indeed the reason why conservatives are doing so well in American politics (besides money) is that they are willing to take affirmative stands on an issue. For instance if you believe in taking the troops out of Iraq, then what happens next? explain that to the voters. What about North Korea and the Axis of Evil quagmire that the US has gotten itself into? What alternative plan for the Palestinian issue is there? Put it out there and make the other candidates follow the lead. Sharpton should not let the fact that he is the black candidate allow him to be pigeonholed into talking about "black" issues. We know he can speak on black issues with authority. He needs to show the rest of America that he can talk the big issues , the wider issues like any other candidate. Remember that Garvey wasn't just talking black social issues he was talking about and acting on global issues of government and economics.

The secret here is to be both the Black presidential candidate as well as the presidential candidate that "happens to be black." hard rope to walk but possible and neccessary to get around the latent racism in even liberal whites.

{edited 9:13 PM}

Over at Slate they say the same thing I have been saying about black voting power:

quote:

What about African-Americans, a key Democratic constituency? Even after the Great Migration northward, the South continues to harbor a majority of the nation's blacks. Unfortunately for Democrats, though, they're outnumbered by a white majority that prefers Republicans. Ironically, Schaller notes, this problem is compounded by the Voting Rights Act because the creation of overwhelmingly black congressional districts gives less-politically committed black voters little incentive to maintain the habit of going to the polls. (It would be different if black incumbents faced a serious risk of being unseated by white challengers.) "Low turnout may not threaten the election of black legislators," Schaller observes, "but it severely damages the chances of Democrats running for statewide offices and for president." Democrats do much better seeking black votes in places like Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, where they can be combined with the votes of white and Latino Democrats. [my emphasis]

i"m reminded of the old cereal comercial where two kids decide to let "mikey" test out the cereal because he is reputed to eat anything placed in front of him. I figure the reason Mikey would eat anything is that they usually didn't feed him so he was so hungrey that anything looked good enough to eat.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Revenge Of The Justices...maybe
I just read in the NY Times about a part of the Patriot Act being ruled unconstitutional. This particular piece references a portion of the Patriot Act that forbade "expert advice or assistance" to groups designated by the US government as terrorists or a terrorist organization. I suspect, however flawed my basis may be, that the recent judical oversite pushed by congress, which pissed off much of the judiciary, is coming now to bite the Bush administration in the arse. What better way to get back at Bush than to legally pick apart his pet legislation? Either way, the ruling is correct and I hope to see more of the Patriot Act tossed out. This should make for some interesting debates now that Dean can probably hit Kerry for voting for something (if he did) that was found to be unconsitutional and was said to be so before it was pushed through congress.

Links:
http://nytimes.com/aponline/national/AP-Patriot-Act.html?hp
Stay Focused

Needing to maintain some semblance of credibility, the Telegraph of England quotes Kay saying:

Quote:
"But we know from some of the interrogations of former Iraqi officials that a lot of material went to Syria before the war, including some components of Saddam's WMD programme. Precisely what went to Syria, and what has happened to it, is a major issue that needs to be resolved"

of course that would seem significant had that statement not be preceeded by:

quote:

We are not talking about a large stockpile of weapons,"

So there was some mad rush to take WMD's to Syria but that it wasn't that much. And these "small amounts" of weapons of MASS destruction were carted off to syria (pulled by innocent looking donkeys no less), between the time the UN inspectors were removed and the US came into Iraq. After all if it happened before then, why didn't all those spy planes not note the train [of highly disguised donkeys] headed towards Syria? And if these WMD? were IN Iraq prior to the ousting of the UN inspection team why could they not find them. Perhaps the secret service donkeys were sitting on them.

And please do notice how the discussion has turned from actual WMD to WMD programmes. Catch that? Now Kay, Powell and Bush want us to fret about some computer logs and scientist notebooks. Before, the suspected production of WMD's was enough to invoke an invasion. How long until simply having some textbooks on how it's done can be enough to have a regime pack up it's donkeys? nonsense you say? Ask anybody with the misfortune to have borrowed the wrong book from the library if such a thing is possible.

{edited 9:09 PM}

A regular commentor D-sekou: posted the following in the comments. I felt it should be on front street so I'm putting up here. Not that his other stuff isn't worthy.

Quote:

But Condoleeza said last week that it is unlikely that any wmd went to Syria...

and to that , add this :

"Kay's comments echoed those of dozens of Iraqi scientists who, in recent interviews with The Associated Press, claimed they had not seen or worked on weapons of mass destruction in years. {/b]

Only a handful of Iraqi scientists who worked in former bioweapons and missile programs remained in custody by the time Kay left Iraq in December. Some of the detained scientists have been held since April and Kay's conclusions were likely to raise their hopes for release.

Kay said he resigned Friday because the Pentagon began peeling away his staff of weapons-searchers as the military struggled to put down the Iraqi insurgency last fall. "

( AP, Jan 26 )
{/edit}

Links:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/01/25/wirq25.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/01/25/ixnewstop.html
Sources

Over a ZNet I found This article dealing with the World Social Forum.
What struck me about this article was how it paralells my discussion of the situation in Haiti that I commented on back on Tuesday, January 13, 2004. There I stated:

Maybe Aristide has become out of touch with the ordinary Haitian. Maybe Aristide, having been thrust on the international stage and learning that running a country is not like running a church has had to deal with issues that the average Haitian has no clue about. The man is in his second year of his five-year term. The parliament is supposedly now defunct and he is ruling by decree. a dictatorship? Probably, but given that Haiti's problems started long before he was put into office and before this defunct parliament, how much different was the "democracy" before it?


The ZNet article seems to have the same view. It states:

quote:
Extraordinary, charismatic men, giants in Opposition, when they seize power and become Heads of State, they become powerless on the global stage. I'm thinking here of President Lula of Brazil. Lula was the hero of the World Social Forum last year. This year he's busy implementing IMF guidelines, reducing pension benefits and purging radicals from the Workers' Party. I'm thinking also of ex-President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. Within two years of taking office in 1994, his government genuflected with hardly a caveat to the Market God. It instituted a massive programme of privatisation and structural adjustment, which has left millions of people homeless, jobless and without water and electricity.

But the moment they cross the floor from the Opposition into Government they become hostage to a spectrum of threats - most malevolent among them the threat of capital flight, which can destroy any government overnight. To imagine that a leader's personal charisma and a c.v. of struggle will dent the Corporate Cartel is to have no understanding of how Capitalism works, or for that matter, how power works. Radical change will not be negotiated by governments; it can only be enforced by people.


Exactly my point. Some people tell me that I've mellowed out in my older age. I tell them that I merely have a view that was not available to me in my earlier days. It's a view that broke Garvey's heart as Liberia capitulated to Firestone Corp. There are some other potent ideas in that article, go read it.

Links:
http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=15&ItemID=4873

Sunday, January 25, 2004

More Bush Lies Fallout

Well now that the Bush administration is backpedaling on the WMD "intelligence" we find the Prime Minister Tony Blair is feeling more heat over his position.

See the BBC for details

Links:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3427151.stm

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Oops, My Bad

How foolish Secretary of State Colin Powel must feel. After sitting in front of the UN holding up "show and tell" pictures for the world to see how dangerous Saddam Hussein is, he now has to own up to there not really being any WMD in Iraq. Says the BBC:

Quote:
US Secretary of State Colin Powell has conceded that Iraq may not have possessed any stocks of weapons of mass destruction before the war last year.

His comments came after the former head of the US weapons inspection team, David Kay, said he did not believe there were any weapons stockpiles.

Mr Powell was speaking on his way to the former Soviet republic of Georgia


This is sharp contrast to Dick Cheney who still insists that there were/are weapons in Iraq. Clearly somebody is telling a fib on the obvious level as " I did not have sexual relations with that woman."
Except this time 500+ US troops are paying with thier lives for this lie. Where oh where are the "independent" prosecutors when you need them.

Links:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3426703.stm

Friday, January 23, 2004

Frontline

Frontline has a special on the "Chase for WMD." I haven't had a chance to read it all but a few quotes:

Jane Corbin has been reporting on the issue of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction for 14 years. In 1990, in FRONTLINE's "The Arming of Iraq," she broke the story of how western companies and governments had armed Saddam throughout the 1980s. In 2003, Corbin was granted exclusive access to follow the Iraq Survey Group -- a U.S.-led coalition group numbering more than 1,000 military and intelligence specialists -- as it scoured post-war Iraq for WMD. In this interview, conducted on Jan. 14, 2004, Corbin talks about the ISG's frustrating and difficult work, how long it will take, what's been found to date, and what's at stake in getting to the bottom of what Saddam had -- or didn't have

And this from Hans Blix:

The first occasions when I became more skeptical about intelligence was in January 2003, because we had sent the inspectors to a number of sites we'd got intelligence; and in none of those cases did we find any weapons of mass destruction. In one case, we found a dump of conventional ammunition. In another case, we found material for rockets which had been illegally imported, but they were not related to weapons of mass destruction per se. In a third case, we found a stash of nuclear documents, which was a surprise. It was interesting and important; but weapons of mass destruction, no. So we said to ourselves, as I think I said at the time, "If these tips are the best -- what is the rest?"
Hans Blix

I'll answer that last question. Recall that for the past decade the US had been cheey picking the Iraqi defenses. I believe that these inspectors were sent in in order to determine if the US had missed anything prior to GW II.

Go check it out.

Links:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/wmd/
Blunder?

Over at the New York Times, I found the following:

Quote:
"We will continue to work with you on homeland security," Mr. Bush told the city executives. "My 2005 budget has got $30 billion in there for homeland security. That's three times the amount spent prior to Sept. 11." -President Bush

Well OK. There was no homeland security department or plan ( that I know of) prior to Sept 11, 2001. Or was there? Perhaps he meant the National Guard.

How about this one?

Quote:
Do you realize, prior to Sept. 11, 2001, the C.I.A. could not pass information to the F.B.I. or vice versa?"

Yes I do. And the legal reason for that was to protect US citizens from the espionage arm of the government. But, as usual only if you are the victim of such actions would you know these things. If you are a go with the flow Joe, these things would probably be new to you. Though this may have shocked President Bush, the real man running the show, Cheney, knew this already, as well as Daddy Bush. It is a sad case where the President of the United States says such a thing as if it is new news.

The rest of the article recounts Bush's claim that the war on Terror is not over and that the enemy still lurks. Their must be a bunch of suckers holding US passports 'cause there is always danger lurking. But perpetual war is good business...for business.

Links:
http://nytimes.com/2004/01/23/politics/23CND-BUSH.html

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Brand Name Hip Hop

I'll probably be brief today. Not that I don't have a lot to say. I just haven't had the opportunity to flesh much of anything out. Anyway, over at Black Electorate there was a link to an article about name dropping in Hip Hop. Of particular interest to me was the following line:

Quote:

Kanye West, on a track from his eagerly anticipated debut, College Dropout, goes a step further than Jay-Z's admission.


"The prettiest people do the ugliest things, for the road to riches and diamond rings," he raps over a Lauryn Hill sample. "We shine because they hate us, floss [flaunt] cos they degrade us. We trying to buy back our 40 acres. And for that paper look how low we stoop. Even if you in a Benz, you still a nigga in a coup ...


"We buy our way outta jail, but we can't buy freedom. We buy a lot of clothes, but we don't really need them. Things we buy to cover up what's inside. Cos they make us hate ourselves, and love their wealth."


which was a response to:

That idea of social status, as it pertains to hip-hop and branding, is a complicated one that may speak primarily to a deep insecurity, something Jay-Z shed light on in an exit interview (his recent release, The Black Album, is said to be his last) with The Village Voice.


"I've noticed that when people have had money for a long time, they never talk about it, they don't show it," he told Elizabeth Mendez Berry. "But I'm the same kid from that neighbourhood with that insecurity, who feels like if I get the car I'll feel better about myself because it's been too long feeling bad about myself. Lyor Cohen wears New Balances 80 days. If I wear Reeboks two times, I gotta get rid of 'em.


"I'll get there one day."


At present, Jay-Z is a one-man corporation. He no longer needs to name-drop Mercedes or Gucci, he can name-drop his own clothing line, Roca-Wear, his own shoes, Reebok's S. Carter Collection, and even his own vodka, Armadale. And, with his indisputable fame and riches, he has little to prove -- there's no need to overcompensate.


No doubt. Now how many shorties need to be deprogrammed because some artists need to validate himself? how many grown folks have crap credit because they wanted to look like those in the videos?

Links:
http://www.canada.com/entertainment/story.asp?id=918B7E4E-8132-4303-A418-00EF4D7ACFB6

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Black Power Part II

Yesterday I noted an article that spoke on the mischaracterization of "Black Power" by the dominant media. Today I stumbled across an article on ZNET that was a MLK report on the state of Black America. The report only supports the contention that the high profile given to certain black big wigs is but a distraction from the real situation of the masses of Black people in the United States. In terms of asset ownership and economics the data was as follows:

Quote:
Black Americans have also made little progress compared to whites in terms of income. According to the report, for every dollar of white income, African Americans had 55 cents in 1968. Thirty-three years later, in 2001, the gap had only closed by two cents. The report notes that, at this pace, it would take 581 years to achieve income parity.

According to the report, the average black college graduate will earn $500,000 less in his or her lifetime than an average white college graduate. Black high school graduates working full-time from age 25 to 64, will earn $300,000 less on average.
[my emphasis]


That 581 years number is a very interesting number given that it has been approximately that length of time since the Europeans have been meddling in African affairs in the relatively modern era.

quote:
Avis Jones-DeWeever, study director for poverty and welfare issues at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, a private research organization that has studied the racial disparities of welfare reform, found the wealth disparities -- measured by net worth, including income and assets, minus debts -- even more troubling. "[Blacks] might not be cash poor, but they might be wealth poor," she said.

The report indicates that many black Americans are indeed "wealth poor." The average black family in 2001 had a net worth of just $19,000, including home equity, compared with $121,000 for whites. Blacks also had just 16 percent of the median wealth of whites, up from five percent in 1989. At this rate, it would take until 2099 to reach median wealth parity.

"It’s very discouraging," Jones-DeWeever said. "In the 1990s, there was an increase in the black middle class, but these families still are not secure. They don’t have that wealth to serve as a Band-Aid in times of economic distress."


Exactly my point to all that can hear. How can people with such little net worth have some of the biggest collections of big cars and huge churches? if the average black family has a net worth of $19,000 and has a Honda Accord in the driveway then the car is worth more then they will be. I have a friend who was in a situation where he could not afford tires for a car he had. This same person came home with a new Altima and is in the process of goading Chysler to take back his Neon. He says he can afford the new car because he's getting a $5,000 raise. I did the math. The new car note is at least $300 dollars. which is $3600 over a year or $18000 over the next 5 years. In that same time the $5,000 over the next 5 years will net $25,000. But wait. We all know how taxes work, so really after taxes that $5000 may be closer to $4,000 in which case Nissan Motor Corp got a nice $3600 raise this year. I like nice cars. I like cars in general but I'm old enough to know better to sink $18,000 into something that isn't going to generate income.

Wake up.

Links:
http://www.zmag.org/ZNET.htm

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

The State Of The Union

So whilst I was doing my laundry I caught the State of the Union address. Those of you in the computing field, specifically those that use the Macintosh are familiar with the term "reality distortion field." For those of you not initiated in the way of the Macintosh, the term is used to describe the apparent power that Steve Jobs has to make people who are in his presence during MacWorld events to forget reality and believe every and anything that comes out his mouth or out of the halls of Apple Computer Inc. I believe that President Bush has the power of the "reality distortion field."

At least half of his speech was on "the terrorist threat" and he continued to use 9-11 as a whip for those who object to his decisions. What was worse was that he stated that America's word was the most "certain" in the world. Of course there was the obligatory shot of Colin Powell. The President then went on to lie about WMD's and the threat Saddam posed to the world. Senator Kennedy was shaking his head as others in the chamber stood and applauded this lie. "Most certain" indeed.

Then Bush talked about how these countries needed to, among other things, form labor unions. Have we not covered the fact that American companies are the biggest obstacles to organized labour in the developing world? These companies actually dictate to governments and make it clear that organizing and other labour actions will not be tolerated and will result in the closure and relocation of jobs to other more compliant governments. But Bush got a standing O for that line.

Another laughable comment was that the people that objected to the war because they think that it was/is due to interests in the resources, should talk to Italy, Australia, Equador, etc. We are supposed to believe that these countries became a part of the "coalition of the willing" out of a sense of justice for Iraq. Never mind that in the run up to Gulf War I, a small country, who's name escapes me right now was basically threatened with a guarantee of economic strangulation for having the gall to vote in oppostion to the US. They were told "that was the most expensive no vote you will have ever made."Note to the clueless: Those countries have a vested interest in keeping good ties to the US. Their interests is to make sure the US interests are secured. Duh!

Bush went on to contradict himself some more and I lost interest in the rest of the speech. Such other notables was how the tax cuts have lead to economic recovery. Well if you give tax cuts to corporations who can use that to increase thier after tax income while they offshore and outsource high paying jobs, I would suspect that you'd see an increase in the economy. Besides, as it is being reported Americans went into some serious debt this holiday season. Interest sugar treats for everybody!!!!

In what may be a mistake on my part, there was a shot of an apparently sleeping Congressman Charlie Rangel. If he was in fact asleep I would say that the image is a perfect snapshot of Black leadership.
Black Power

No, this is not going to be a overview of Kwame Toure's seminal book, this is a recognition of a journalist who get's it as close to right as I've seen in a "mainstream" publication. Over at the Washington Post, Jabari Asim, Puts the smackdown on Newsweek for mis-portraying the essence of Black Power.

Quote:
In recent years, more African-Americans have followed Raines to the highest rung of the corporate ladder. Two years ago, Newsweek famously commemorated the rise of three of them -- Kenneth Chenault at American Express, Stanley O'Neal at Merrill Lynch and Richard Parsons at Time Warner -- with a cover story titled "The New Black Power....

The Rev. King maintained that his only concern with power was whether it was "moral," "right" and "good."...
In this they were in agreement with Booker T. Washington, the controversial figure who founded the National Negro Business League in 1900. According to Washington, black businessmen had "a peculiar opportunity for service, an opportunity ... offered to no other class among the members of the race." ...
Equally valuable is mentoring of the sort provided by former basketball star Earvin "Magic" Johnson. Now head of the flourishing and far-flung Johnson Development Corp., he told Fortune magazine: "Creating black presidents, vice presidents, general managers, managers -- that has been the best part." If black power truly applies to anyone in the corporate world, it's folks such as Graves, Johnson and Winfrey. ...

In contrast, Newsweek's cover men are merely highly paid employees. As the article noted, any of them could be fired tomorrow -- and that kind of fragility makes real power difficult to sustain.


I'll let that stand on it's own.

Links:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A29533-2004Jan19.html

Monday, January 19, 2004

Iowa and The Real Dean Deal

I may come to eat this post but I'll post it anyways. Over at the The Bush Wars The regular poster over there, who is from Iowa said that he thought Dean would win with 30% of the vote. The New York Times has reported that Kerry took the 30% vote. With Dean trailing in third place with some 18% of the vote. I suppose that it is true that Iowa is a conservative "breadbasket" state used by Dems and Reps alike to gauge thier appeal among more conservative voters. If this is any omen, it could be that Dean has fallen victim to the one thing he himself foretold: The white male will vote against his interest and for the status quo. Now being Democrats and largely Christian I'm not completely surprised that Lieberman did not register on the scale regeardless of his Republican in Democratic clothing appeal to conservative "Reagan-Democrats."

The analysis is being made that Kerry and Edwards had more broad appeal. That should be read as "less radical" and "less angry." Many Democrats are also voting for who they think are "most electable." That should be read as "has appeal to Republicans." This will of course move the Democratic party further to the Republican right. Why? Well as I said before teh Republicans get into office regeardless of the votes of two large so-called minorites: African-Americans and the various groups referred to as Latinos. The Democratic party largely depends on those aforementioned minorities and whites who have a modicum of affection for those groups. The African-American population is slowly becoming disaffected with the Democratic party and is largely seen by intelligent blacks as the lesser of two evils. Many black youths simply do not have a clue as witnesssed by a recent "Hip Hop" voting drive where one youth after another referenced "the struggle" and how King was a great man. Any specifics? None had. Besides in NY, as I stated earlier the black vote can be trumped by others very easily. I would rather the Hip Hop voter drive, been a history lesson and then let that history drive people to register of their own volition. Doug Banks said the Polls is how your voice is heard. Bullisht!! LL Cool J said if you don't vote you can't complain. I belive Israel complains without a single voice and gets it's billion Dollar response from congress. I think Haliburton has been doing some complaining and having it's voice heard on a regular basis.

Back to Dean though. Maybe when he moves to other states we'll see different results. After all Clinton did about the same when he Caucused. But if Dean continues to fall behind I would not be surprised because as we should know Guns and War is the American way regeardless of political orientation and when a Soldier is in harms way, talking bad about the sitting president will not win much support.

Links:
http://babelogue.citypages.com:8080/sperry/
http://nytimes.com/2004/01/20/politics/campaigns/20ELEC.html?hp
King Day Observed

As I said before, today you would find everybody and their mommas talking about King Jr. today. And we know that President Bush went and took a dump on Dr. Kings grave on his real birthday. He was escorted by none other than Coretta. Note to Coretta:


Have you no self dignity? Is the King Center in that much need of finances that you brought this president to defacate on his grave? None could, or should prevent President Bush from visiting King's grave, but you did not have to lend credence to this desecration by being his escort. Last year this president threw his weight behind anti-affirmative action legal proceedings on the official observation of your husband's birthday. Clearly this is not an issue of respect for your husband's legacy. No, I don't expect you, as an executive of the foundation to join the protestors heckling the president. Nor do expect you to "black out" on the president. But you and any staff members could have been conveniently sick,"away on pressing business" or any number of diplomatically correct means of showing your displeasure of Bush activities. That assumes of course that you are still "down with the King."

Peace.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

King Jr at 75

Today, not Monday, is the Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. You won't hear too much about him until Monday when the federal holiday is observed. It must be sad to see a person who is hailed by all, followed by few, and understood by even less. I have always disagreed with the concept of non-violence. I understand why it is used but I'm not one for letting people beat on me, and I definitely don't see the point of being beat upon for things that one could do for oneself. But I'm not going to use this space to debate the pros and cons of non-violence. What I will comment on, is how this man has effectively been locked into "the dream." Dr. King was perhaps one of the most hated black men in the United States, though probably more liked that Malcolm X. Most people who have no real understanding of King as a developing man would think that King was a dreamer. King by the time he was assasinated had moved farther beyond such dreams and indeed was coming much closer to the ideology held by Malcolm X. King may never have repudiated non-violence, but he was learning of and directly addressing the global issue of "racism." It is believed by many (myself included) that this shift in focus and ideology is what got him killed.
No doubt Monday will have many non-blacks praising Dr. King the dreamer. He is the only "black" hero that they are comfortable with and is thier bonafides of claiming to be "not racist." Yet many of these King worshippers will not find the same heroism in Marcus Garvey or a slew of Black people, male and female that were not as "palatable" as Dr. King has been made to be. In this the true nature of these so called allies is revealed. For if Dr. King can be accepted but not a Garvey or Malcolm, then we have a conditional acceptance. And I don't accept that. Here's to hoping that this year some people will find out where Dr. King's thinking went after the March On Washington. They should start with this:

http://www.blackcommentator.com/25/25_king.html

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Bush Lies Compound Themselves

Check this article over at the New York Times. It deals with the Bush claim that Hussien was working with "Al Qaida"

quote:

Saddam Hussein warned his Iraqi supporters to be wary of joining forces with foreign Arab fighters entering Iraq to battle American troops, according to a document found with the former Iraqi leader when he was captured, Bush administration officials said Tuesday.

The document appears to be a directive, written after he lost power, from Mr. Hussein to leaders of the Iraqi resistance, counseling caution against getting too close to Islamic jihadists and other foreign Arabs coming into occupied Iraq, according to American officials.

It provides a second piece of evidence challenging the Bush administration contention of close cooperation between Mr. Hussein's government and terrorists from Al Qaeda. C.I.A. interrogators have already elicited from the top Qaeda officials in custody that, before the American-led invasion, Osama bin Laden had rejected entreaties from some of his lieutenants to work jointly with Mr. Hussein.


Add this to the revelations by O'Neil that proves that Bush has always had Saddam in his sights and that 911 was simply the greatest excuse ever (and even allowed to occur)and we have a confirmed conspiracy going.

So let's count them up:
1) Claims of WMD found untrue
2) Claims of Uranium from Niger untrue
3) Claims of working with Al Qaida untrue.

Yet there is a strong possibility that Bush will return to Office in 2004. Sad isn't it.

links:
http://nytimes.com/2004/01/14/international/middleeast/14INTE.html?hp
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/01/09/60minutes/main592330.shtml

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Complaining Is Our Specialty

I hope people didn't think I was ignorant in not noting that Jan 1st represented the 200th anniversary of the independence of Haiti. I have a poster of Jean-Jaques Dessalines on my wall. It is no doubt that what Boukman, Toussaint and Dessalines did was a pivotal event in the history of the "new world." It inspired many people including a favorite of mine, Denmark Vesey. The independence of Haiti brought on the wrath of many European governments and the United States of America as well. Jimmy Carter's support of the Duvalier regime and the exploits of the United Fruit Company are things that should never be forgotten. But there are other things that at this juncture we need to look at. Duvalier is long gone yet Haiti seems no better off than during his regime. Indeed in many parts of the black world, where blacks supposedly rule themselves, there is greater misery and exploitation than before and we need to look at this.

The Black World Today posted a declaration by the Haitian Studies Association in which they list of a number of resolutions and beliefs. Though the organization claimed neutrality regarding the legitimacy of the government of Aristide, they go on to demand an assortment of understandable and mostly common sense things. It is not what they demanded of the government that I am most interested in, it is what was demanded of the citizenry of Haiti that I was interested in. There were none. One of the problems of the legacy of Colonialism and exploitation is that black people, by and large do not trust government and authority. Most of these same people also expect government to do and solve all of their problems (some even their personal problems). Indeed you'll find that many political parties will rise and fall on their promises to "provide jobs" and then fail to do. Maybe it's only me, but I was under the assumption that government provided services and security; not jobs. The government provides these services based on the taxes that it raises from the population. These taxes are based on the value of property, income and sales of goods. If the country has a poor population then the government has little revenue and therefore services go by the wayside. This is the situation that is in Haiti. At least that is the economic situation. The political situation is that there are many moles and agent provocateurs in Haiti. Many of them from the US and their job are simply to keep Haiti "under control." Under control means that they don't want another Cuba. Lets get back to the economic situation first though.

Under a situation where the government is economically weak a couple of things happen. firstly people in the country try their best to get into government because even with the little money the government has, there is better chance of getting paid if you’re a minister of some sort. being in the government can also facilitate leaving the country or at least sending your family overseas. The last thing is that companies that want to do business in Haiti (read dump products and get cheap slave labor), know they must bribe all the right people in order to get through whatever bureaucracy has been set up and to "assure" that no unionizing, or other "threats" to "legitimate business" occurs. Let us make no mistake once people become old enough to understand the game, there is intense pressure and desire to get into government by any means deemed necessary. Here is where the agent provocateur comes in, he (and it is certainly a he) founds some "democratic peoples movement" and organizes people around what the government isn't doing for them. They point out all the problems with the society and claims that if they were in power they would change things. This person is guaranteed to earn the ire of the local "law enforcement" agent. See this agent has a vested interest in the ruling party because most likely that's how he got his job. So this person can be counted on to commit violations of human rights that can be used as further evidence of the corruption of the ruling party. Oft times these actions are completely unknown by the President and denied by everyone around him (who themselves may be on various intelligent agency payrolls).

Inevitably enough "non-progress" occurs and the new "democratic peoples movement" gains popular strength. The President must go. There are street protests and boycotts of businesses that only really hurt themselves as biz owners simply pass on the lost business to the ordinary Haitian in the form of higher prices the days following the boycotts. The American media shows up on cue and much videotape is rolled capturing "pro democracy protests" and getting "the locals" on film. The locals, glad to be getting attention is unaware of news media rule #1: Find the most talkative but stupid niggro and stick a camera and mic in his face.

So back to the Haitian Studies department. what was missing from their declaration was what the responsibility of the Haitian people were. What can Haitians do for themselves? While they may have valid concerns for the government, what do they think should be done, what are their plans for dealing with the multitude of problems that plague Haiti? Maybe Aristide has become out of touch with the ordinary Haitian. Maybe Aristide, having been thrust on the international stage and learning that running a country is not like running a church has had to deal with issues that the average Haitian has no clue about. The man is in his second year of his five-year term. The parliament is supposedly now defunct and he is ruling by decree. a dictatorship? Probably, but given that Haiti's problems started long before he was put into office and before this defunct parliament, how much different was the "democracy" before it?

While protests may be good camera candy, in the situation that exists in Haiti it really is a waste of time. These opposition parties, if they are indeed legitimate peoples parties and not fronts for US interests or the interests of the economic elite, should be drafting proposals on how to address the common problems of Haiti in specific ways. The unemployed should not be sitting on the streets doing nothing all day waiting for a government job to pop up. They should be cleaning the streets with their free time. They should be creating community economies that allow them to create jobs that would be independent of government action.

So long as Haitians and other blacks continue to look to governments to provide things that government really should not be providing and expecting overnight results from newly elected governments, the cycle of elections followed by ousters and result less protests will continue. These are the things that the Haitian Studies Associations ought to be spending their time contemplating.

links:
http://www.tbwt.org/home/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=77&Itemid=1
China on the Move

Over at the NY Times there is a nice article regearding China's moves to create national standards for technology creatd and used in it's country. As usual, American companies who only see China as a new market to cultivate and rape, are complaining about the measures China is taking to foster its nascent technology sector. China is doing the right thing by it's interests and would be foolish to backtrack on them any time soon. The article freely admits:

Today, the principal international standard-setting organizations have representation from many countries, including China, but American interests often carry the greatest influence.

Which is surely something the Chinese know. They also know:

"We are accustomed to the United States being the biggest market and the technology leader, so the standards have largely been American standards," said Clyde V. Prestowitz, president of the Economic Strategy Institute in Washington and a former trade negotiator. "But China is going to be the biggest in the world for a lot of things. If the Chinese have the biggest market for cellphones, DVD players, computers and other things, they will have a lot of power to set technology standards."

China's effort to develop its own technical standards for the next generation of DVD's appears to be an effort to avoid hefty royalty payments to patent-holding corporations in Japan, the United States and Europe. About half of the world's DVD players are now made in China.


They are looking towards the future and don't want to simply be a dumping ground for US multinationals.

Why is this important to Pan-Africanists? Simple, If one looks at the aims of the UNIA you would see that China is doing exactly what M. Garvey had told us to do. Not to simply be consumers but producers of world needed/wanted goods. remember that China was at the Bandung conference that was famously referenced by Malcolm X. interesting to see what has happened since that meeting. Keep an eye on China folks, they are coming up next in a big way and will eventually overtake the US as a world economic and military power. They are the reason why N. Korea did not and will not suffer the same fate as Iraq. There will be no fly overs or big US bombs going in the direction of China. Remember that China downed a US plane a basically got away with it. Let's see how long those "Proud to be American" CEO's stay that way when the economic shoe is on the Chinese foot.

Links:
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/13/technology/13china.html?hp

Sunday, January 11, 2004

The Last Broadcast

On Friday I happened to be in a PC Richard and Son's store when ABC World News Tonight broadcast US military persons in a helicopter gunship killing suspected Iraqi "insurgents." To give you an idea as to what was seen, you should take a look at some of the older sniper video games. All you saw were green images of some Iraqi with what appears to be a shoulder fired RPG. The US military person asks his comanders if he can engage the enemy and recieves the ok to "smoke him." What then happens is a barrage of munition fire that literally blows the green representations of the people to bits. The explanation given was that these persons, if allowed to live would have attempted to kill American soldiers.

In my eye, while this is clearly a "triumph" of technology, it was cowardness at it's highest form and no better than the men who flew the planes into the WTC. There was no means for the "insurgents" to defend themselves. No real fight occured. No what we had is what could easlily be described as a random act of violence made to achieve political ends, or what the US has defined as Terrorism. Everyone who was in the store recognized that. Most of these were white men and women, business people, customers,etc. and they all stopped what they were doing and were not happy with what they saw. This is why you'll probably not see that footage rebroadcast.

Peace.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Interview with Kevin Phillips

Kevin Phillips apparently has written a book on the Bush clan. While i may not ascribe to the whole "dynasty" thing, There is some facts in there that you should know. Read the interview:

Links:
http://www.buzzflash.com/interviews/04/01/int04001.html
Maybe I'm Old

I ran across this article about FUBU moving into Thailand. The statement that jumped out at me was:

Quote:
When American blacks wrap their heads in du-rags, they’re using the cloth to keep their springy hair under control – when Thai hip-hop fans wear du-rags, it’s a fashion statement.

Ok. Maybe it's just me, but this strikes me as just plain wrong.
Bakc in the day when Black men konked their hair they put on scarves to keep the straighted hair in place much as black women did. Back when I was growing up, the rage was to have waves in your hair. It was a part of that "good hair" and "light skin" thing that swept through black communtities in the late 70 and early to late 80's. One got a caesar haircut (real short for those not old enough to know) and then got a nice stiff brush and brushed you hair religiously all day and put on a stocking cap, litterally one of your mommas stockings, on your head when you slept. Later a silk Doo-rag was purchased at the local corner store, along with the deadly Quarter Waters.

This was before Michael Jordan made it cool to rock a bald head so either you had natural waves or your parents up and spent cash on you to get your hair processed. I remember a kid in my Junior High school who had processed waves. I was extremely jealous of the man as my hair, at the time refused to do anything bu "nap up." The one thing that conscientious parents did was forbid thier children to leave the house with any kind of rag on their head. indeed those days are all but gone as now a days kids (and some grown people) go out of doors with these things on thier head and nary a one has waves. Worse yet,most times the doo-rag is sported under a baseball hat. So exactly what is the point? If the Rag was to supposed to control hair, then the hat or doo-rag alone would suffice. Thus we find that the doo-rag as currently sported by AA youth is realy a fashion statement like all the rest of Hip Hop gear.

But that's not the worst of the article. We find that the "blackness" emulated by these Thai kids is that which they see on MTV. Having seen what typical "black" is on TV, That is a very scary idea to think that is what they see as the "best"of black culture. I guess that if I make a trip over there I should expect some fool to call me his nigga and think he's being nice.

Links:
http://nationmultimedia.com/page.news.php3?clid=18&id=106177&usrsess=1

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Black Shells

Yesterday I peeped an article on Hill News about black republicans trying to run for office. Now as I indicated in my latest essay on not voting, I could really care less whether a candidate is a part of the Republican Party or not. My issue is whether they understand the real deal. I'm all for black people infiltrating the Republican Party for our ends but these Black Republicans are some of the worse batch of Negroes since those that sold their brethren to the Europeans.

quote:

Many black Republicans running for Congress are turning away from the identity politics of race and ethnicity and, in the process, seeking to reshape the way politicians and voters think about skin color and ideology.

"Race does not come before my politics," said Margaret Crosby, a black Republican running in Rhode Island's 1st District against Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D)."I just happen to be in a black shell," said Crosby, who picked up an endorsement by Black America's Political Action Committee last month.


This is the same Louis Armstrong "Black and Blue" syndrome. L. Armstrong stated in that song:

"I'm white inside,.." Blackness a shell? Race does not inform politics? What planet is this guy from?

This is what white Americans like with their Negro pets. And that's what they are. Black Shells with white supremacy ideology cream filling. They act like their white counterparts when it comes to the issues of schools, civil rights, war and government expenditures and collections.

quote:

According to this thinking, black people are not de facto Democrats whose political fortunes are necessarily tied to federal largesse. Rather, these Republicans said, black people must free themselves of decades of group think.


Again I'm all for ending the Democratic lock on the Black Vote, but these fools (And I'd like to call them something else but I'm trying to keep it clean here), actually believe that blacks should not represent themselves as a group? Why don't they shop that junk to the Hasidim in Crown Heights, or perhaps to the people that pushed Ms. McKinney from office in Georgia. Of course living in America and in American communities there are going to be areas where the political and economic aspirations of Black folks will intersect with other groups but to split up black folks and tell them to vote, spend and live as if they were each the only individual on the planet is the silliest thing to suggest and is not even the policy of their own party members. The whole campaign process is designed to encourage "group think." Did these Black Republickers ever study the psychological aspects of advertising?

Enough of trashing these folks, let me discuss the problems of black non-Republicans and those who still have Cultural integrity. The reason why these Black Republicans are getting attention and an increasing ear of the new black intellectuals is because of the utter lack of effectiveness of the current leadership. They no longer have the moral clout that they had in the past. They foolishly fought for things that we didn't need. Their bone headed push for integration decimated black businesses and neighborhoods only to now be seen as complaining about gentrification and the lack of black businesses. In our Black Colleges black radical thought is barely tolerated and the education received is largely "plantation training." Our so called Black awards shows only highlight entertainers and athletes and fail to address the growing intellectuals of blacks who do not see what they can offer their communities other than critique. The only organizations that have put forth efforts to mobilize blacks who were not teachers, preachers or politicians have been the UNIA and the NOI. It is of no surprise that those two organizations have been subject to all manner of disruptions. Amy Garvey wrote in "Garvey and Garveyism" that she noted that of all the organizations that were around during the UNIA's time, the UNIA was of particular interest to governments because it's aims of mobilizing blacks to collective independent action was a great threat to the policies of these governments as it regarded blacks worldwide. These governments did all they could to grow oppositional 'Black" organizations to keep the blacks in check. These Black Republicans are no different.

I told you before and I'll tell you again, Republicans will get into office regardless of the black vote. One only has to look at what was done to Cynthia McKinney, Other Blacks who don't toe the line will find themselves in the same situation. And because the old guard Civil Rights/ Black organizations failed to address the (+e) [ see my Ujamaa commentary from Kwanzaa 2003] They are unable to defend against the well funded, group thinking and well organized Republican Party that wishes to officially return to the days when blacks were mere black shell, rubber stamps to US policy.

Links:
http://www.hillnews.com/news/010704/black.aspx

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Dumb and Dumber in Nigeria

The BBC has reported that a group in Nigeria is calling itself the Taleban and is attempting to create an Islamic State. If you've been following Nigerian events you'll know that a large portion of Northern Nigerians are Muslim while a large number of Southern Nigerians are Christian and/or practice traditional forms of Yoruba/Igbo/etc religions. One of these idiots took down the Nigerian flag, which I wouldn't mind if they had put up the Red Black and Green; but these fools put up an Afghanistan flag. What is with black folks and taking on other peoples ****? Much of this is Obasanjo's fault though, He should have asserted the Federal Government's authority and put a stop to all Sharia courts when they first popped up. Did Nigeria learn nothing from the Biafran wars? You can't have two different governments in a sovereign nation. How soon we forget that these same Islamists were selling of Africans to the Middle East long before the European Christians took up the job.

Links:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3376979.stm
Coulda Just Read Black Commentator

Over at the NY Times they have an article discussing the closeness between President Bush and Condoleeza Rice. You could have just read the The Black Commentator's January 23, 2003 and April 24, 2003 issues and got the real deal.

Links:
http://www.blackcommentator.com/39/39_cartoons.html
http://www.blackcommentator.com/26/26_commentary.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/07/politics/07COND.html?hp

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Zimbabwe's Shadow

Yes folks, it would seem that it is not just the people of Zimbabwe who are looking for thier land. Seems the people of South Africa have the same idea. I may not have agreed with some of the policies of Mugabe, but he was right on the money to take the land back without compensation to the "owners." This may explain why Mbeki has been standing by Zimbabwe's side during the recent Slavewealth.. I mean Commonwealth meeting in Nigeria. I hope Mbeki does the right thing. Truth and reconciliation to avoid civil war is understandable, but at the end of the day, the land has got to be transferred. There must also be a program put into place to make sure that the people getting the land are able to us the land as efficiently as possible. It would do South Africa great damage to have these tracts of land be used for simple subsistence farming.

The BBC has an article demonstrating some of the serious problems with poorly planned take overs.

Of course.. The white farmers have simply taken their act elsewhere. of course, now Zambian farmers are finding out about white priviledge as they claim:

While acknowledging the farming prowess of the Zimbabweans, local farmers complain they had an unfair advantage. "I do not want to sound petulant - I am happy that we have a bumper harvest and do not need food aid. But I feel a little peeved because we (local) farmers have been made to look incompetent. There are reasons the Zimbabweans had such a good crop," Thrifty Stephenson, a Zambian farmer, told IPS. He says the Zimbabwean farmers had collateral for loans from local and international financial institutions, while some also brought equipment and machinery with them. This gave them a "leg up" when they arrived in Zambia. "We are not talking refugees here. We are talking well-heeled business people," he says. The Standard Chartered Bank of Zambia, for example, gave loans to more than 20 Zimbabwean farmers who had settled in Zambia, to acquire existing farms or buy land. The bank's executive director of finance, Brighton Ngoma, says his institution had set up an agricultural unit to help boost the sector. The money being lent out was from the European Investment Bank and from Standard Chartered itself.

which would support the claim made by Zimbabwe farmers who are quoted as saying:

Mr Nkomo blamed funding problems, saying resettled farmers had difficulties in obtaining loans from banks.

As anyone familiar with farming will tell you, farmers take out loans against the future value of thier crops and pay of loans based on profits gained from selling those crops. Since the hard currencies are not African, then the europeans who control the real money are more inclined to fund thier people (with prooven track records) than the "natives."

Rock. Hard place.

Links:
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/06/international/africa/06AFRI.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/2818297.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3364267.stm
http://www.zwnews.com/issuefull.cfm?ArticleID=8318

Monday, January 05, 2004

Of Fear And Scanners

By now you probably know about the scanners that are in place at airports in the US. Basically, if you are from one of the countries NOT on the 28 approved nations, you will have your fingerprint and picture taken. New times demand new things some say. Well sure, if that is how you choose to live. It is amusing, in a sick kind of way, to see just what Americans will put up with in order to allow large corporations and thier governmental syncophants to continue to piss on and piss off people in other countries. it won't be too long until those people in the 28 approved countries and of course domestics are included in the grand police profiling scheme. Used to be that it was un-American to take the prints of any person that was not formally charged with a crime. And how long until the "lists" are used against people with "unpopular' political views. They could be harrassed each time they try to travel. Oh I forgot, that has already occured. You would think that people, after being clearly lied to about WMD would start to make a real fuss. You'd think that after the capture of the biggest straw man on the planet, resulted in higher terrorist threat warnings, that people would get the picture. But I guess I give people way to much credit. I wonder how much the scanners are costing the tax payers and whether the database is from Oracle or Sybase.

Links:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3367893.stm
Chavez to FTAA: "Go Back to Hell"

As indicated earlier. I do not purchase, except for emergencies, any gasoline products from Exxon-Mobil, Shell, BP-Amoco, Chevron or Texaco. I tend to purchase Citgo gasoline because it is rfom Venezuela, the country presided by Hugo chavez whome I have a lot of respect for. over at ZNet I ran across this nice piece that demonstrates that Chavez understands just what is going on.

Quote:

We finished our conversation as the President walked in.  Hugo Chavez is not one for subtleties.  "FTAA is the PATH TO HELL," said Chavez.


He meant this in the deepest theological sense.  What is at stake for Chavez is Latin America's mortal soul.  "I have seen children shot to death," said the president, "not by an invading Army but by our own nation's soldiers."


Chavez was referring to February 27, 1989.  While the Northern Hemisphere was celebrating the impending fall of the Berlin Wall, "another wall was going up," he explained, "the wall of globalization." That day, the army massacred Venezuelans, young and old, during a demonstration against diktats of the International Monetary Fund imposed on that nation.

FTAA is far more than a trade document.  It's not just about fruit and cars that we sell across borders.  FTAA is an entire new multi-state government in the making, with courts and executives, unelected, with the power to bless or damn any one nation's laws which impede foreign investment, foreign sales or even foreign pollution.


If you call yourself an activist and you drive a car and have a Citgo gas station near you, then you have no excuse for not supporting Chavez with your wallet.

Links:

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=45&ItemID=4601

Sunday, January 04, 2004

To Vote or Not Pt 2

"The Question is, Do you know why you are here?"

".. The Keymaker, of course.

":But this is not a reason. This is not a why. The Keymaker himself in his nature is a means it is not an end. So, to look for him is to be looking for a means to..do..what?" says the Merovingian

"You know the answer to that question." Says Neo

"But do you? You think you do but you do not. You are here because you were sent here. You were told to come here, and then you obeyed. It is of course the way of all things. You see there is only one constant...one universal. It is the only real truth. Causality. Action, reaction. Cause and effect. "

"Everything begins with choice." Says Morpheus.

"No. Wrong. Choice is an illusion created between those with power...and those without."

"... Casuality. There is no escape from it. We are forever slaves to it. Our only hope, our only peace, is to understand it, to understand the why. "why" us what separates us from them... you from me. "why is the only real source of power. without it, you are powerless. And this is how you come to me, without why, without power. Another link in the chain."

Matrix Reloaded
Scene 17: Taste of the Merovingian.

Causality. the "why. If any one scene in this episode of The Matrix summarized the plight of black people world wide, this scene was it. Most of the voting population comes to the polls without power. They come without knowing why they are there. They do not understand the causality that got them there. They fail to realize that they are at the polls because someone told them to go there and they did. They are sheep. One who carries out the wishes and instructions of another. Indeed, I believe that the vast majority of people are in the situation described by the Merovingian. They are caught in the illusion of choice set up for them by those who have power.

Let us consider how Black people came to vote in the United States. Having arrived here as other peoples property, you would recall that after the Civil War, Black people; men in particular, found themselves in positions of power and the ability to vote. But they had no means to preserve this position. They did not understand as Martin Delany and later Booker T. Washington did, that one must a have an economic foundation on which to exert political power. Not long after massive 'gains" in stature, the black population found themselves again under the heel of legal oppression. And they were powerless to stop it. The period from then until the present has been marked by getting the basics and of following white people around.

One of the clearest example of an exercise of power by blacks that had nothing to do with voting was the Montgomery bus boycott. The bus system in that city depended largely on black ridership. Once that source of income dried up, the only rational action was for a change in the rules. Indeed in the movie Deacon's for Defense (out on DVD) the Mayor of the town in Louisiana had to come to grips with the fact that a good portion of the town's income came from "colored folks."

It should be easily apparent that black people in the United States are used by the political power structure as a means of putting whites into power, or at the minimum, malleable blacks. The Democratic party knows that 90+ percent of Blacks will vote Democrat simply because of "appreciation" over the Civil Rights Act(s). Remember that Blacks used to vote Republican due to President Lincoln. In other words Blacks vote largely out of sentimentality and emotion and not issues. Over at Black Commentator it was reported about a black employee being referred to as a "tar Baby" due to the fact that regardless of how badly blacks were treated they would continue to "Stick" around. Unfortunately this is right on the mark as far as the voting procedure works. Blacks act like tar babies to the Democratic Party. Indeed many blacks act like tar babies in regards to the larger society also, but that's for another post. It should be noted that during the last presidential campaign, with the exception of the National Action Network, The candidates addressed blacks at churches. Now what is wrong with this? I'll tell you. Church is where blacks folks put aside much of their rational thought and by and large indulge in white deity worship, sing songs and generally get themselves worked up emotionally. This breaks down the conscious barriers to psychological suggestion and candidates are able to shoot messages directly into the subconscious mind of black people. Any competent psychologist will tell you that when people are in heightened emotive states they are more susceptible to messages, which they may otherwise have rejected. It should be noted that in general white churches are less emotive in their activities and as such emotive appeals are not as effective. Thus black ministers, in trying to boost their own power, hand over control of their congregants minds to these candidates. It is quite shameful, but it is how the black vote is put on lock. Carter G. Woodson made it plain. What you should ask yourself is how many black business organizations, and civic organizations are courted by these same candidates? How much money can black business groups funnel into the coffers of elected officials to guarantee that regardless of who is in office, black interests are looked after? I fear that these are few if any.

Many politicos will tell black people that by not voting they are doing what the Republicans want. Let's get it straight, Republicans get voted into offices regardless of the black vote. They will continue to get into office regardless to what voting patterns blacks follow. Take the 2000 election. The issue in the 2000 election was not whether the votes in Florida would have gone to Gore. The issue is why Gore lost his home state and many others. Gore lost because white voters didn't want him and Gore knew it. That is why he did not stand up against the blatant voter discrimination going on in the state. The Democratic establishment knows that the future of their party is NOT with the black vote but with the white vote. Howard Dean knows this and said so.

Why don't you hear about Asian or Indian candidates for office? I'll tell you why, they control their local representation and they are organized economically so that they are protected regardless of who is in office. You want proof? I remember when walking down 125th Street, you had vendors on every side walk. In this black neighborhood, outsiders who had economically colonized the neighborhood were able to get the state to dick over and remove black vendors in a black community represented by black people who were voted into office.

Imagine that.

Now you walk down 125th street and you may see a vendor here or there but nothing compared to what was there before. Now look at Chinatown in downtown Manhattan. storefronts with illegal, counterfeit goods everywhere. Sure there is a bust here or there but by and large Canal Street is still packed. Why is that? Clearly there is some level of organization that has come to some agreement with the city of New York that allows this activity to continue on.

They key here is organization and economic power. Voting is like bringing a knife to a gun fight. You might be able to get the enemy with a lucky shot, but you'd be better prepared if you bought the bigger and more powerful gun. So as the Merovingian said: you come to me without power. Why should I give you what you want when there is nothing compelling me to do so?

Saturday, January 03, 2004

You may have voted but there's nothing for you

To be sure, there are millions and billions of Dollars for Iraq. Iraq schools, Iraq houses, Iraq government. There is money for Kellogg Brown and Root, Haliburton and a handfull of corporations in Iraq. There is money for big medical insurance companies but there is no money for you

President Bush intends to stick his middle finger up at Us citizens this year as he plans his domestic budget.

Quote:

They said the president's proposed budget for the 2005 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, would control the rising cost of housing vouchers for the poor, require some veterans to pay more for health care, slow the growth in spending on biomedical research and merge or eliminate some job training and employment programs. The moves are intended to trim the programs without damaging any essential services, the administration said.

Now I'm all for effeciently run organizations, but when you got millions and billions being thrown at corporations who don't do squat for the citizens of the country the money is coming from, then there is a problem.

Links:

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/04/politics/04BUDG.html?hp

Friday, January 02, 2004

Deacons For Defense

I was in BlockBuster when I stumbled across a DVD entitled "Deacons for Defense." It is based on the true story of a group of black men who took up arms to protect their people against the Klan. What is not popularly known is that this group was in fact the founding idea of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense.

The movie is stars Forrest Whittaker and Ossie Davis. This is a must watch for people interested in black history.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Imani

today, the last day of Kwanzaa, the begining of the Roman new year and the begining of the lengthening of days ( in a noticable fashion), we celebrate Imani: Faith. This would be the most "religious" of the principles of Kwanzaa. Faith is having a belief in something even though there's no "hard evidence." I always find it amusing how blacks of various religious affiliations claim how black people have always been a "people of faith" or "always believed in God" yet they will not practice an original African religion. I guess we folks just had it wrong. Contradictory of course, but standard fair when one loses Kujichagulia. But I won't dwell on that. I'll be brief and say that we need to have faith in us and in our own abilities. Doubt and fear are the enemy. When you doubt yourself you automatically inferiorize yourself, and block your natural abilities.

Peace