Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Friday, December 31, 2004

Kuumba

Today we ponder "creativity." To this end I offer a quote from Robert Faris Thompson's "Flash of the Spirit":



Kongo Presence unexpectedly emerges in the Americas in many places and in many ways. Take for example, vernacular English and singing. In the South of the United States, important Ki-Kongo words and concepts influenced black English, especially the lexicons of jazz and the blues, as well as of lovemaking and herbalism. Many a Ki-Kongo derived word has been described by etymologists as "origin unknown." The word "jazz" is probably creolized Ki-Kongo. It is similar in sound and original meaning to "jizz," the American vernacular for semen. And "jizz," suggestive of vitality, appears to derive from the Ki-Kongo verb dinza, "to discharge ones semen, to come." Dinza was creolized in New Orleans and elsewhere in black United States into "jizz" and "jism."

The slang term "funky" in black communities originally referred to strong body odor, and not to "funk" meaning fear of panic. The black nuance seems to derive from the Ki-Kongo lu-fuki, "bad body odor," and is perhaps reinforced by contact with fumet, "aroma of food or wine," in French Louisiana. But Ki-Kkongo word is closer to the jazz word "funky" in form and meaning, as both jazzmen and Bakongo use "funky" and "lu-fuki" to praise persons for the integrity of their arts, for having "worked out" to achieve their aims. In Kongo today it is possible to hear an elder lauded in the way: "like there is a real funky person!--my soul advances toward him to recieve his blessing" (yati, nkwa lu-fuki Ve miela miami ikwenda baki). Fu Kiau Bunseki, a leading native authority on Kongo culture, explains: "someone who is very old, I goto sit with hiim , in order to feel his lu-fuki. meaning I would like to be blessed by him." For in Kongo the smell of a hard working elder carries luck. This Kongo sign of exertion is identified with the positive energy of a person. Hence "funk" in black American jazz parlance can mean earthiness, a return to fundamentals.

Robert Faris Thompson

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Nia

Today we study "Purpose." To this end I offer the words of Franz Fanon:

Since the Middle Class has neither sufficient material nor intellectual resources (by intellectual resources we mean engineers and technicians), it limits its claims to the taking over of business offices and commercial houses formerly occupied by the settlers. The national bourgeoisie steps into the shoes of the former European settlement: doctors, barristers, traders, commercial travelers, general agents, and transport agents. It considers that the dignity of the country and it's own welfare require that it should occupy these posts. From now on it will insist that al the big foreign companies should pass through it's hands, whether these companies wish to keep their connections with the country, or to open it up. The national middle class discovers it's historic mission: that of intermediary.

Seen through its eyes, its mission has nothing to do with trasforming the nation; it consists , prosaically, of being the transmission line between the nation and a capitalism, rampant though camouflaged, which today puts on the mask of neo-colonialism. The national bourgeoisie will be quiite content with the role of the Western bourgeoisie's business agent, and it will play it's part without any complexes in a most dignified manner. But this same lucrative role, this cheap-Jack's function, this meanness of outlook and this absence of all ambition symbolize the incapability of the national middle class to fullfil its historic role of bourgeoisie. Here, the dynamic, pioneer aspect, the characteristics if the inventor and of the discoverer of new worlds which are found in all national bourgeoisie; are lamentably absent. In the colonial countries, the spirit of indulgence is dominant at the core of the bourgeoisie; and this is because the national bourgeoisie identifies itself with the Western bourgeoisie, from which it has learned its lessons.

Franz Fanon
The Pitfalls of National Consciousness

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Not My Tribe?
I spotted this piece while perusing Blackelectorate.com. The article, entitled: "Real African-American Culture Is Superior to Psuedo-African Culture" was too much for me to pass up on. As is the usual for critics of Kwanzaa Mr. Mudede incorrectly describes kwanzaa:

quote:
No, the reason I don't celebrate or recognize Kwanzaa is because the language and practices of that occasion are drawn from an African tribe that is not mine.

really? Last I checked Kwanzaa was not based on any specific "tribal" practices but rather a distilliation of common themes thruout Africa. So what specifically is Mr. Mudede's problem?

I'm Manica, which is a tribe settled in the eastern, mountainous region of Zimbabwe. I recognize my tribe first, and then to a much, much lesser extent my country, whose borders were invented by the British. As for Kwanzaa, I don't know the tribe that does and says such things as "Umoja" and "Ujima"; and if I did know them I still wouldn't celebrate their holiday because it is not a Manica holiday. I don't celebrate Zulu holidays, nor do I celebrate the holidays of the Masai people, and so why should I celebrate the holiday of the tribe that says things like "Umoja" and "Ujima"?

I want to comment on this statement because it reveals much of what is wrong with much of the African intelligencia on both sides of the Atlantic. Notice that as "intelligent" as the writer is he still decides that he is more about his "tribe" than his nation. In fact he later goes as far as to state that such tribalism is at the "soul" of the Black African. Furthermore; unless he is speaking in a general sense, Why is it that he prefers to celebrate English, French or who knows what other races holidays but not one of the 'tribe next door." It seems that It's not so m uch Kwanzaa that Mr. Mudede has a problem with, it is with black people in general. But let me continue.

Mr. Mudede then extols the virtues of African-American "non-tribalness"


While African Americans enjoy their invented tribal holiday, real Africans look to America as an escape from tribalism. Indeed, the best possible gifts that black Americans could give black Africa are their tribal-less music, customs, books, hairstyles, and dances. A holiday that celebrated the traditions and practices of a tribal-less black America would probably be more useful to black Africans as a whole than one that got at all involved in the messy and usually bloody business of tribalism.


Let's all be pretty honest here and state that much of African-American culture is either grafted european customs or latent African customs. But look at his last sentance. Kwanzaa is a tribaless "holiday." It is Mudede that is injecting "tribalism" into the holiday by tripping over the use of Swahili. Furthermore, nowhere does he even discuss the meanings of the Swahhili words and thier role in Kwanzaa. No, all he does is moan about how Swahilli is spoken by some tribe somewhere and since it isn't his, he isn't interested. SHeeeeeet if that's his only problem then why not translate the Swahili words into Manica and get on with it.

Mr. Mudede then offers up something that is of real value:

Similarly, the fact that black Americans are not attached to a tribe (or tribes) means that they have created a unified African-American culture, one that offers Africans a better example for unification than anything you would find in Africa itself.

This is very true and is the great untapped gift of the Diaspora. It proves that we can be a whole unit even with our regional differences. What is lacking is what Fanon spoke about, the creation of a National Consciousness. This can be achieved in a single generation if the leadership was up to it and "intellectuals" such as Charles Mudede wasn't to busy running away from his neighbors.

Links:
http://www.thestranger.com/current/feature2.html
Ujamaa

Today is Ujamaa or Cooperative Economics.

Let us as Negroes, prepare ourselves throughout the world for the conflict that is bound to ensue between the rivaling forced for the ultimate domination of out country-Africa. For we are not going to give up easily, and allow these European intruders to rob, exploit and dominate the land of our fathers.

If the oil of Africa is good for Rockefeller's interest; if Iron ore is good for Carnegie Trust; then surely these minerals are good for us. Why should we allow Wall Street and the capitalist group of America and other countries to exploit ourt country when they refuse to give us a fair chance in the country of our adoption? Why should not Africa give to the world its Black Rockefeller, Rothschild and Henry Ford? Now is the opportunity. Now is the chance for every Negro to make every effort towards a commercial, industrial standard that will make us comparable with the successful business men of other races.

Africa invites capital to develop it's resources. Let not that capital, whether it be financial or man-power, be supplied by white men, bnut let us Negroes make our contribuition. All that Africa needs is proper education. The Western Negro has much of that, and it is our duty to so prepare our brothers as to place them on guard against the tricky exploiters of Europe who have been decieving and robbing them of their possessions.

-Marcus Garvey April 18, 1923

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Ujimaa

Today is "Collective Work and Responsibility." I couldn't find something to quote for today so I decided to just comment on the situation in South-East Asia. The US has pledged 35 million to aid the countries involved in the catastrophy. To the average person this may seem like alot but we should note that the War in Iraq has already cost over $100 Billion and it has cost many many lives. It should be unnacceptible that a nation so committed to "Christian Values" would spend such a l arge sum of money on killing, which went largely on the basis of false information, yet spends not even a 10th of that amount to help multiple countries recover from a natural disaster.

Outgoing Secretary of State Colin Powel made teh rounds this morning claiming that the US is the largest doner to AID organizations in the world. Well the US should be and that does not excuse the fact that early on the US government only wanted to give 15 million. Clearly now, as when the first Atom bomb was dropped on Japan, Asian lives and well being are not a great concern to those white men and women (and a couple of house negroes) in power in the US.

GG

Monday, December 27, 2004

Kujichagulia
Today marks Kujichagulia, or "Self-Determination." Today I'll post a piece from Amilcar Cabral: National Liberation and Culture (Return to the Source):


History Teaches us that , in certain circumstances, it is very easy for the foreigner to impose his domination on a people. But it also teaches us that, whatever may be the material aspects of this domination, it can be maintained only by the permanent organized repression of the cultural life of the people concerned. Implantation of foreign domination can be assured difinitively only by physical liquidation of a significant part of the dominated population.

In fact, to take up arms to dominate people is, above all, to take up arms to destroy, or at least to neutralize, to paralyze, it's cultural life. For with a strong indeginous cultural life, foreign domination cannot be sure of it's perpetuation...

In fact, culture is always in the life of a society (open or closed), the more or less conscious result of the economic and political activities of that society, the more or less dynamic expression of the kinds of relationships which prevail in that society, on the one hand between man (considered individually or collectively) and nature, and, on the other hand, among individuals, groups of individuals, social strata or classes...

The study of the history of national liberation struggles are preceeded by an increase expression of culture, consolidated progressively into a successful or unsuccessful attempt to affirm the cultural personality of the dominated people, as a means of negating the oppressor culture...Therefore, national liberation takes place when, and only when, national productive forces are completely free of all kinds of foreign domination...National liberation is necessarily an act of culture.

The experience of colonial domination shows that, in the effort to perpetuate exploitation, the colonizer not only creates a system to represss the cultural life of colonized people; he also provokes and develops the cultural alienation of a part of the population, either by so-called assimilation of indigenous people, or bty creating a social gap between the indigenous elites and the popular masses...The urban or peasant petite bourgeoisie, assimilates the colonizer's mentality, considers itself culturally superior to its own people and ignores ot looks down upon their cultural values. This situation, characteristic of the majority of the colonized intellectuals, is consolidated by increases in the social priviledges of the assimilated or alienated group with direct implications for the behavior of individuals in this group in relation to the liberation movement.

But in the face of the vital need for progress, the following attitudes or behaviors will be no less harmful to Africa: indiscriminate compliments; systematic exaltation of virtues without condemning faults; blind acceptance of the values of the culture, without considering what presently or potentially regressive elements it contains; confusion between what is the expression of an objective and material historical reality and what appears to be the creation of the mind or the product of a particular temperament; absurd linking of artistic creations, whether good or not, with supposed racial characteristics; and finally, the non-specific or a scientific critical appreciation of the cultural phenomenon.

As we know, the armed liberation struggle requires the mobilization and organization of a significant majority of the population, the political and moral unity of the various social classes, the efficient use of modern arms and of otehr means of war, the progressive liquidation of the remnants of tribal mentality, and the rejection of social and religious rules and taboos whicihi inhibit development of the struggle (gerontocracies, nepotism, social inferiority of women, rites and practices which are incompatible with the rational and national character of the struggle, etc.)


Amilcar Cabral 1970

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Kwanzaa 2004: Umoja
Today marks the first day of Kwanzaa 2004. Today is Umoja, Unity. Instead of commenting directly on the subject I will post the words of Marcus Garvey c 1922:

As far as Negroes are concerned, in America we have the problem of lynching, peonage and dis-franchisement.

In the West Indies, South and Central America we have the problem on peonage, serfdom, industrial and political government inequality.

In Africa, we have, not only peonage and serfdom, but out-right slavery, racial exploitation and alien political monopoly.

We cannot allow a continuation of these crimes agins our race. As four hundred million men, women and children, worthy of existance given us by the Divine Creator, we are determined to solve our own problem, by redeeming out Motherland Africa from the hands of alien exploiters and found there a government, a nation of our own, strong enough to lend protection to the members of our race scattered all over the world, and to compel the respect of the nations and races of the earth.

Do they lynch Englishmen, Frenchmen , Germans or Japanese? No. And Why? Because these people are represented by great governments, mighty nations and empires, strongly organized. Yes, and ever ready to shed the last drop of blood and spend the last penny in the national treasury to protect the honor and integrity of a citizen outraged anywhere.

Until the Negro reaches this point of national independence, all he does as a racde will count for naught, because the prejudice that will stand out against him even with his ballot in his hand, with his industrial progress to show, will be of such an overwhelming nature as to perpetuate mob violence and mob rule, from which he will suffer, and which he will not be able to stop with his industrial wealth and with his ballot.

You may argue that he can use his industrial wealth and his ballot to force the government to recognize him, but he must understand that the government is the people. That the majority of the people dictate the policy of the governments, and if the majority are against a measure, a thing, or a race, then the government is impotent to protect that measure, thing or race.

If the Negroes were to live in the Western Hemisphere for another five hundred years he would still be outnumbered by other races who are prejudiced against him. He cannot resort to the government for protection for government will be in the hands of the majority of the people who are prejudiced against him, hence for the Negro to depend onh the ballot and his industrial pregress alone, will be hopeless as it does not help him when he is lynched, burned, jim-crowed and segregated. The future of the Negro therefore , outside of Africa, spells ruin and disaster.

Marcus Garvey


While some of the comments, specifically regarding lynching, may not be applicable today, the general sentiment of being outnumdered in the US and the affects on black monetary and political power is something we saw in the last presidential election where blacks regardless of tunrout were still unable to make THE difference in the election. Also the general commentary on slavery existing in Africa and the serfdom peonage and expoloitation rings true from Darfur to Cote D'Ivoir. It seems so odd that the statements made in 1922, some 82 years ago, still ring true today.



Saturday, December 25, 2004

The GOP for Quotas

During the first Bush administration, Bush put his half cent in on the Affirmative Action policy of the University of Michigan. He and most "conservatives" are against "quotas." That is they claim that it is discriminatory and wrong to set aside jobs and the like to "certian groups." They say that groups should compete and the market should rule. So it seems odd that the NY Times is reporting that the Bush administration is supporting an idea that Sunni Muslims in Iraq should have some ministries and other governmental positions for them as they are expected to make a poor showing in the upcoming Jan elections.

quote:
An even more radical step, one that a Western diplomat said was raised already with an aide to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's most revered Shiite cleric, is the possibility of adding some of the top vote-getters among the Sunni candidates to the 275-member legislature, even if they lose to non-Sunni candidates.

The diplomat said even some Shiite politicians who were followers of Ayatollah Sistani were concerned that a Pyrrhic victory by Shiites, effectively shutting Sunni Arabs out of power, could alienate Sunnis and lead to more internal strife. Shiites make up about 60 percent of Iraqis and were generally denied power under Saddam Hussein.


No matter what the reasoning, this is clearly Affirmative Action and/or a quota system. One has to wonder why AA and quotas are ok in Iraq but not ok in the US as it concerns Black people. Blacks in the US make up proportionally less of the US population than Sunnis do in Iraq, yet there has never been a suggestion that Blacks, historically denied power in the US, should recieve representation in key areas of government in proportion to their population. In fact in various states, districts have been redrawn specifically to reduce black representation (by cutting up democratic districts).

Of course we will probably never hear a peep by black conservatives who prop the party line about quotas 'cause just like their white counterparts they know that quotas are only a problem as it pertains to black folks.

Links:
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/26/international/middleeast/26diplo.html?hp&ex=1104037200&en=dc34a08c61975e6d&ei=5094&partner=homepage

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Support Our Objectors

Everyday when I'm out driving I am assaulted by bumper stickers reading "Support Our Troops." This was the brainshild of the first Bush administration for getting the US population behind the first Persian Gulf War. Fearing the "ghost of Vietnam" they concocted this idea that you don't have to support or like the war but a patriot supports the troops.

Nonsense.

Let's be clear here,"Support our Troops" is used to show support for the war and diverts attention from the war at hand. I say we should not support our troops. Why? This is a volunteer army. There was no draft. Any person in the military now is there because they chose to. They knew the risks. Why should I be any more supportive of a soldier than a firefighter? At least a firefighter is actually doing a public good. And before someone blows a gasket, I have family and friends in the Military and they know my position. being a volunteer military also means that like Muhammed Ali the soldier could object to being deployed to a situation they morally object to. This is the highest level of military service: To object to something that ones conscious tells you is wrong and standing by it. But where are the "Support the Objectors" bumper stickers?

Nowhere to be seen.

GG

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Solstice the Reason for the Season

Today I watched in disappointment as ABCNEWS continued it's propaganda machine for "conservative Christians" by airing a "newspiece" about the concern Christians have about the "removal" of Christ from Christmas. This is not a new conclusion but one that has been getting more attention especially in the wake of the conclusion that "Christian Morals" decided the past presidential election. What made me so irate was that there was absolutly no one on the opposite side or a different side that was given enough air time to discuss in any real detail why the "Jesus is the reason for the season" idea is plain wrong. And what was worse was thier habit of finding black Christians who are often more virulent than their white counterparts in the "defense" of Christianity, to discuss these matters. But then again such phenomenon is not unheard of.

One of the advertisments that was flashed on screen was that 96% of people celebrate Christmas. 5% Hanukkah and 2% (maybe) Kwanzaa. Let's not even start on the Kwanzaa comparison since Kwanzaa is not even a religious observance as Hanukkah and Christmas is. But lets observe that 96% number. How many of that 96% celebrate Christmas because of "Santa Clause", "Christmas gifts" and "Christmas trees?" All, mind you non-Christian and 'pagan" in origins? Yes. Old Saint Nick is simply a re-incarnation of the Norse God Thor. The Christmas tree an allusion to the tree which was used during human sacrifices to Thor the human sacrifices being the gifts. Merry indeed!! How many of these "Born Agains" have these pagan symbols in thier homes? A whole lot. Hypocritical isn't it then to be upset because retailers are saying "happy holidays" instead of "merry Christmas." But then that's par for the course.

If you look at that 96% of Americans who celebrate Christmas, only 77.25% of them also observe Easter. What's Easter? Only the represented date of "Jesus'" resurection. Why is it that so many people who observe the "Christian origins" of Christmas feel it unimportant to observe the pivotal resurection of said Christ? Because they are in it for the food and clothes. I would Hazard to guess that an even smaller number of people observe Good Friday, The day representative of Jesus's actual "humanity saving" crucifiction.

I believe that Christmas should be a strictly religious holiday. NO store sales, No Christmas trees, just a time for Christians to sit down and ponder the life of Christ whether that be in church or in their homes. I am appalled at the crass commercialization of the holiday. But The "good reverend" on ABCNEWS, instead of discussing this issue spent his time discussing what stores the "faithfull" should shop in. Hmmmmmmmm... I object to this so strenuously that last year when a member of my religion posted on a bulletin board " Merry Christmas" I quickly posted that I objected to a member of our "faith" to be involved in the commercialization of Christmas just as we object to the distortion of our own. So you see, it is not merely Christians observing the holiday and definitely not for Jesus.

But lets get back to the header of the post: The solstice. Folks there is a good a natural reason why we celebrate Christmas in the week that includes Dec 25. And note I did not say "the" 25th. Those who keep an eye on the length of daylight will know that the week of December 25th in the northern Hemisphere is the shortest daylight time of the year. That is called the Winter Soltice. After the week of the 25th the daylight hours begin to lengthen and hence the sun is "reborn" Get it? The S[u]n of God (As depicted in Khemetic theology) is reborn on Christmas. Helloooooooo!

In fact if we go further we will note that Easter coincides with the Vernal, or spring Equinox. At that time the daylight and the "night light" are of equal lengths. This represents the s[u]n finally overcoming the darkness (or Jesus coming back from "hell" or "the underworld") and the return of the daylight over the nightlight until the summer solstice in June. In other words as Easter represents the resurection of the "Son" of God,"and his conquering of death the Vernal Equinox represents the resurection and conquering of night (darkness). All of this stuff has been known for thousands of years by many many cultures and predates and is geographically irrelevant to any "Jesus".

So, in short, Jesus is not the reason for the season. The Solstice is. Sorry your reverend or pastor or whatever other Khemetic derived faith one follows, didn't have the decency to look it up, or simply didn't know. But please, don't make that my problem and please, please stop letting these know nothing people on tv to complaining about stuff they really know nothing about.

GG

Monday, December 20, 2004

Bill Moyers

I couldn't think of a catchy title for this post but it is one that ought to be read by everyone who is concerned about the appearance if not fact that the Christian right has taken a deathgrip on power in America and how this is bad not only for those of us in America but for everyone else too:

quote:

I'm not making this up. Like Monbiot, I've read the literature. I've reported on these people, following some of them from Texas to the West Bank. They are sincere, serious and polite as they tell you they feel called to help bring the rapture on as fulfillment of biblical prophecy. That's why they have declared solidarity with Israel and the Jewish settlements and backed up their support with money and volunteers. It's why the invasion of Iraq for them was a warm-up act, predicted in the Book of Revelations where four angels "which are bound in the great river Euphrates will be released to slay the third part of man." A war with Islam in the Middle East is not something to be feared but welcomed – an essential conflagration on the road to redemption. The last time I Googled it, the rapture index stood at 144 – just one point below the critical threshold when the whole thing will blow, the son of god will return, the righteous will enter heaven and sinners will be condemned to eternal hellfire...

as Grist puts it, "to worry about the environment. Why care about the earth when the droughts, floods, famine and pestilence brought by ecological collapse are signs of the apocalypse foretold in the bible? Why care about global climate change when you and yours will be rescued in the rapture? And why care about converting from oil to solar when the same god who performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes can whip up a few billion barrels of light crude with a word?"

Because these people believe that until Christ does return, the lord will provide. One of their texts is a high school history book, America's providential history. You'll find there these words: "the secular or socialist has a limited resource mentality and views the world as a pie ... that needs to be cut up so everyone can get a piece." However, "[t]he Christian knows that the potential in god is unlimited and that there is no shortage of resources in god's earth ... while many secularists view the world as overpopulated, Christians know that god has made the earth sufficiently large with plenty of resources to accommodate all of the people." No wonder Karl Rove goes around the White House whistling that militant hymn, "Onward Christian Soldiers." He turned out millions of the foot soldiers on Nov. 2, including many who have made the apocalypse a powerful driving force in modern American politics.


This is serious business folks. I saw through the whole "Jesus loves you" talk that many (I can't say all) Christians have given me. I even have a neighbor who's son (5 years) likes to talk about how I am a pagan, but that neighbor loves to ask me to watch the child. But I suppose the pagans are supposed to "be there" for the believers. Anyway I knew that deep down their "love" was very much conditional. and in fact they were more interested in Rapture than anybody else around them. That thier God was so parochial as to seek to eternally damn people who may have lived lives of Iwa Pele (Good character) simply because they chose to worship differently, seemed pretty stupid to me. But perhaps this rapture will come soon and remove these resource wasting people from our midst so we can live in peace.

Links:
http://www.alternet.org/story/20666/">http://www.alternet.org/story/20666/
Mistaking Mr. Garvey

The following is in response to an article entitled What is the Future of Black Advocacy in America By Anthony Asadulla Samad

Mr. Samad
I read your piece on “The Future of Black Advocacy” as it appeared in the Black Commentator. While I agree with the overall sentiment of the piece I must disagree with the following portion:

Two of our major advocacy organizations, the NAACP and SCLC, have on-going leadership battles centered on what the future direction of “the movement” should be. New groups like the National Action Network and Operation HOPE claim to be the future of the struggle but are fueled by “personality driven” activism (Al Sharpton and John Bryant) that seems to serve a more singular interest than collective – some say, replicating “the Jesse Model.” The “Jesse Model” only replicated “the King Model” which replicated “the Garvey Model” which replicated “the Booker T” in terms of organizations driven by personality leadership. It’s a 20th Century phenomenon we can’t seem to get away from, and the “take me to your leader” syndrome now causes a rush to the front of the line that breeds conflict on another level – the lobby for the white man’s (mainstream) attention. The point is, when you get in front of him, do you really have anything to say?


Nothing could be farther from the truth in regards to Marcus Garvey and the UNIA. While Marcus Garvey was indeed a charismatic person who at pivotal times let his ego get in the way of his organization, the model that the UNIA represented is in no way comparable to the NAACP, SNCC, NAN or Operation HOPE. A cursory glance at the work of the UNIA would confirm this.

Take for example the fact that the UNIA, from its inception was an international, Pan-Africanist organization. The NAACP, which was founded by white people with Dubois installed at it’s head, was not a Pan-African organization, nor was it international in scope. Nor was the SCLC. Furthermore, while the NAACP was putting the political cart before the economic horse and aiding and abetting the US Government to oust Garvey, the UNIA was attempting to empower millions of blacks worldwide. How then can we even begin to equate the NAACP and its “struggle” with that of the UNIA?

If one looks deeper at the NAACP vs. the UNIA one would note that the UNIA was founded and funded entirely by blacks for blacks and was not beholden to white sponsorship for it’s programs as the NAACP was and still is.

If we look at the connection between Garvey and Washington we would note that what Garvey admired about Booker T. Washington’s program was the insistence on self-help and economic activity as a means to be independent. Garvey soon went far beyond what Booker T. Washington’s ideologies. A more relevant American ideologue to predate Garvey is Martin Delany who also advocated, unsuccessfully that blacks ought to self separate themselves in order to develop economically and politically. He believed, as Garvey did later, that blacks in continued close contact with whites were and would continue to be overly dependent on whites for their “welfare.” and would continue to be the objects of their violence.

Clearly you can see that Garvey is the “odd man out” in your line up of 20th century leadership. And perhaps that is a reason why Garvey ought to be revisited as we seek answers to the question of “black advocacy.”

Links:
http://www.blackcommentator.com/118/118_samad.html

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The IRS, NAACP and short sightedness

The Wall Street Opinion Journal ran an article discussing the Tax trouble that the NAACP faces due to a speech given by Julian Bond where he flat out discussed George Bush which seems to be in violation of the 501c3 tax-exempt status of said organization.

My early warning system went up when I saw it was the Wall Street Journal that was attempting to defend the NAACP. It turns out, however that the Wall Street Journal isn't really bcking the NAACp as much as it would like to defend other organizations (which it would have more agreements with) from having the same threat carried out against them.

quote:
The NAACP is just one of 60 or so nonprofits now under investigation by the tax police. Our sources tell us that some of these outfits are conservative, and all fall under the 501(c)(3) section of the tax code, which prohibits them from endorsing candidates, making campaign donations or otherwise engaging in partisan conduct. Since the groups receive tax-deductible contributions, goes the reasoning, allowing them to engage in such activities would amount to an indirect subsidy from taxpayers.

One option is simply to tax the errant remarks. The seldom enforced 527(f) section of the code says that if a 501(c)(3) organization engages in campaign intervention, the amount that it expends on that activity is subject to tax at 35%. Why not tax the speech, thus eliminating the subsidy, and leave the status alone?


Let's understand something here, most "liberal" non-profit organizations cannot afford to lose their exempt status. On the other hand many "conservative" non-profits have many large corporate entities through which they can get their funds. Now follow me for a minute. Imagine if say an organization wanted to make a overtly political event which would violate it' tax exempt status, All it would need to do is make sure that they had a corporate backer to donate enough money to cover the fine and they could go on with thier program. Therefore they could undercut the entire "non-partisan" portion of the tax-exempt rules by simply having a corporate donor throw around some cash. That is a very scary thought. When I consider the number of churches that would LOVE to do overtly political actions but do not do so because of the tax laws, I hate to think that they would be able to buy themselves exemptions where smaller organizations could not do so on nearly the same scale.

Therefore as before, I hold that if the NAACP is found to have violated their status that they be stripped of that status. And all the other organizations that are found to be in violation should be stripped as well. This would serve as a message to other organizations that they must play by the rules or exit the game. There's enough money in politics already, let's not add more.

Links:

http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110006026

Monday, December 13, 2004

African "American"

For those of you who watch 'The Wire" you know that the Character known as "Stringer Bell" met his end at the hands of Omar and "The Muslim." What I did not know was that the Stringer was played by one Idris Elba, who apparently is the son of a Ghanian and a Sierra Leonean. Now in the wake of certain "conservatives' who insist that "we are not "Africans" I offer up Mr. Elba as an example of just how wrong that assertion is. Certainly a majority of the watchers of "The Wire' Mistook Mr. Elba for an "African-American." Yet he is and was not.

I know, I Know, McWhorter's issue was on cultural grounds. And I understand that, but Mr. Elba makes a strong case of why given our phenotype, we should be embracing the good parts of African culture because that's who we are.

Not So Innocent Journalists

The NY times today posted a story on a debate on whether the Pentagon should ingage in the international use of deceptive information.

quote:
During the cold war, American intelligence agencies had journalists on their payrolls or operatives posing as journalists, particularly in Western Europe, with the aim of producing pro-American articles to influence the populations of those countries. But officials say that no one is considering using such tactics now.

Suspicions about disinformation programs also arose in the 1980's when the White House was accused of using such a campaign to destabilize Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya.

In the current debate, it is unclear how far along the other programs are or to what extent they are being carried out because of their largely classified nature.


If this statement is true then why should we believe that such tactics are not currently being used. Furthermore then, if a journalist is killed by "insurgents" or other "enemies" then can we be sure that they are not in fact agents of the US government and therefore "fair game?" The bigger problem here is that the use of "journalists" by government agencies puts all journalists and so called "neutral parties" at risk. So when you see another journalist captured and threatened ask yourself: Regardless to how much protesting the journalist does, are they really a journalist or are your feelings being messed with for a different purpose?

Links:
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/13/politics/13info.html?hp&ex=1103000400&en=bf59e633a9d3e197&ei=5094&partner=homepage

Sunday, December 12, 2004

A response to a Reader

I was going to respond in the comments section to a poster 'Rugi' Who commented on my post on John Stott and why I didn't think he mattered so much in the discussion of Morals, Christianity and the wider issues of governance in America. The reader said:



"These "truthists' believed that blacks were not even capable of "salvation""

You seem to be trapped in a logical fallacy. The fact that some people who believe in absolute truth believed something wrong, does not prove that there is no absolute truth, anymore than people who believe in the scientific method and used it to justify racist beliefs (dare I mention Nazis) makes the scientific method wrong. It just proves that they had the wrong truth.


It is wrong to say that I or others do not belive in absolute truths. I do. For example:

1) The Sky is NOT blue. it appears blue because of light scattered by the atmosphere makes it appear to be blue. The sky really has no color.

2) The Earth is round but not a perfect circle.


These are examples of absolute truths. You can verify these things through the scientific process and get the same results time and again. There is no situational definition here. Let us apply this to religion. When one says that Jesus is God or the Son of God, where is your proof? a particular book that claims that is not proof. It is only proof as much as it is proven that it was written somewhere. it cannot be verified by anyone else. Same thing for any other religion. You're not dealing with 'absolute truth" but actually articles of faith or belief. Articles of faith or belief regardless of how strongly felt does not constitute "absolute truth." In line with the "Nazi" example of "truth" there is no such thing as "wrong truth" either something is true or it is not. "wrong truth" equals "false." "unpopular turth" equals truth. Furthermore, as any student of logic will tell you, a conclusion as as truthfull as it's premises. Thus the Nazis had false premises that made thier conclusions "false" regardless of how strongly they believed in them.

Now since the commentor chose to specify my example of "blacks were not capable of salvation" let me address this specifically. The reason that this was pointed out was because the very fact that the Bible, which forms the foundation for said "Truths" was able to be interpreted in such a manner, means that said foundation is in fact flawed. If the Book is "Gods" unalterable truth yet that truth changes then it cannot be "God's unalterable truth." In which case it is man's truth and we all know what that means. We recall that this same "truth" forbids women from being leaders in the Christian religion not to mention the God warranted genocide of many people in the Middle East, while proclaiming that Killing is a sin.

This leads back to the readers further issue with my comment on Stott. He feeels that I didn't address Stott. Indeed I didn't. The title of the post was "It doesn't matter." The reason it doesn't matter is because for all his apparent differences with Falwell et.al he still ascribes to:

. In Christ and in the biblical witness to Christ God's revelation is complete; to add any words of our own to his finished work is derogatory to Christ."

Which means he is not for "absolute truth" he is for Biblical truth,. Biblical truth is not absolute truth. It's just what it says it is "biblical truth" nothing more and nothing less and of no less truthful nature than the I-Chin or the Odu Ifa.
Kerik and Condeleeza

In an earlier set of posts I discussed why I and many others objected to Condeleeza Rice being appointed as Secretary of State or even continuing to be National Security Advisor. Many, if not all black conservatives and not a few white ones rose to defend the honor of Dr. Rice accusing black and white liberals of intellecutal parochialism, racism and only capable of puerile logic. Unfortunatly is appears that Al Sharpton has thrown his hat into this arena. I have been a pretty staunch supporterof Rev. Al, but how he says it's ok to call out Justice Thomas but not Condeleeza, smacks of the political opportunism that many have labelled him with. If this is the road Sharpton wishes to travel than I will be more than happy to unhitch my horse from that cart. But this isn't about him. This is about Condi.
Apparently Kerik has been removed from nomination to the top Homeland Security post because he apparently hired a nanny who was in the country illegally AND he failed to pay taxes on her salary. The latter makes sense since paying taxes to a person who shouldn't be here would simply point them out. But anyways, the administration has said that the presense of an illegal alien by Mr. Kerik

quote:
White House officials were clearly annoyed at Mr. Kerik for not determining the nanny's immigration status before this week but said they had no evidence he had sought to mislead them. "It was Kerik's screw-up, it was that simple," the official said. "But it's a mistake you can't tolerate with someone who has oversight for immigration."

Well now, if that is the case: that failure to determine immigration status of an individual makes them unfit for a top Homeland Security post. Then shouldn't it also be the case that a person who failed to heed the many warnings about imminent threat of attacks on US soil, or failed to inform the president of that information or failed to even know about the information, shouldn't that person be unqualified for National Security advisor much less Secretary of State?


Let's take the Black conservative position that race should not be a factor. If we remove race then if Condi, is good enough with her clear failures as National Security Advisor, then Kerik should be good enough regardless of some illegal nanny that has absolutely nothing to do with the actual execution of Keriks duties.

Silly and puerile isn't it?

[edit 12-13-2004] Oh now we find out that Kerik has apparently cheated on his wife with two women at the same time. Interesting, but still doesn't mean much as far as qualifications to run a department. And if such things were important to the American people then Bush, with his AWOL issues, would not be president.

[edit 12-13-2004] Apparently their are issues of kickbacks and possible Mob connections. So I will have to take back this comparison of Condi and Kerik, though I still think Condi is not qualified for her current or new appointment.

Links:
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/12/politics/12kerik.html?hp&ex=1102914000&en=0d3204c719c9e91e&ei=5094&partner=homepage

Friday, December 10, 2004

"Your Laundry is out on the street at 3PM"

When Bill Cosby was taken to task over his commentary about the behavior of a segment of black youth, he responded to one inquiry that blacks "dirty laundry' get's aired when our children leave school in the afternoon. To this I haven't heard much of a retort other than perhaps to attempt to ignore Mr. Cosby or discuss how wrong it is to pick on the poor. Well this week in NY we have had a rash of school violence (which really isn't new) one incident apparently involved a firearm that was stashed in a bathroom. Apparently many of the fights were gang related and some even suspect race-related though the footage I saw consisted of black on black violence. One clip, recorded by NY1 at Springfield Gardens High School in Queens showed an overweight black girl with her hand wrapped around a much smaller black girl with whome she was fighting. And of course there were numerous students watching and cheering on the event. I won't say that such behavior only happens with black youth, but as Cosby said, I'm here to discuss our own. School admins and some parents have been attempting to blame school overcrowding for the violence. I'm not sure how this is the source of problems. Are you saying that once a school reaches some critical mass of students that people suddenly lose control of themselves and must engage in violence? If so? why is it that folks on crowded subways do not end up in fistfights everyday? How come people in Japan who live in quarters that make a studio apartment look spacious not have the level of violence that we see here in the US?

Let's be real here folks: Fights happend among youth. We know this, But the level of violence and the type that we are witnessing is NOT acceptible. Most educators will tell you that it has nothing to do with classroom size, but has everything to do with the parents and the expectations put on children to behave in a certain manner and to repect the honor of thier families when they are out in public. I know a teacher in the Newark School System who told me that the day after she had to discipline a child for disrupting a class, the parent came in the next day ready to fight the teacher. The parent actually threatened the teacher. THIS is what the problem is and we need to address it.

GG

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Mychal's Lesson

I've recently been introduced to Mychal Massie. I'm not the better for it but a few people he has run into will be the better for me writing about him. There are a lot of black conservatives that I cannot stand. Massie and Armstrong are perhaps the worst of the bunch. But Massie has such a nastly look about him AND he writes in such a nasty tone that he is perhaps the black male Ann Coulter. This time around Massie writes in an article entitled The Revolution Got Busted in which he "takes on' people he labels liberals and are well stupid.

he writes:

I posited to a militant social worker from the Oakland, Calif. area the following question: Had Bill Cosby achieved his gargantuan stature because he spoke forthrightly about the critically deficient role of parenting in the black community? He could not respond to my interrogative because to do so would have been to prove my point. So he rambled about needing to be patient.

Exactly what qualified the individual as "militant?" Does one simply have to say certain words and one is a Militant? The last time I saw any real "militancy" it was from the New Black Panther Party and not a social worker. But I digress. This encounter is actually very instructive to those of us who "stay black and die." I wrote on these very pages that the knee-jerk reaction that many blacks had about Bill Cosby's statements was uncalled for and unwise. Getting on Cosby's case because he's rich, or because one felt one didn't like "his tone." would needlessly distract from the hard truth in his message that the vast majority of us see each and every day. One should not be caught making excuses for peoples bad choices and bad decisions even when and if there are larger societal forces at play. It is consistent with African thought and philosophy to hold each person accountable for thier own actions. Had the "militant" in question had followed this line he would not have been fooled or tricked into supplying Massie with the ammunition to discredit him and would have been able to turn the tables on him immediately. We live and hopefully, we learn.

The next opportunistic victim of Massie was a young college student:

I, with no apologies for being heavy-handed, challenged a young Vassar "academician" (his word not mine) to step into the reality of the 21st century. His collegiate mind wrestled with my specific assignation of the cartoon character known as Aaron McGruder. Following his puerile logic, it was legitimate for McGruder to attack Dr. Condoleezza Rice, but it was not so for me to call him on it. This is the prevailing shameful mentality of far too many. It is a travesty that these young anachronists and those who sired them live in a self-imposed shadow world of accusations of white injustice and black inferiority.

Well we're not offered details as to what "purile" logic Massie was discussing, But I'm sure if he indeed understood what "puerile" meant he would realize that he himself uses such logic. So let me explain (again) why consciensious black people do not like Condeleeza Rice. We know she is a very intelligent person. In fact that adds to our problem with her. We know she was Dean of such and such, on the board of such and such and has a oil tanker with her name on it. The issue is that as followers of Dr. King's "Justice threatened anywher is Justice threatened everywhere." as followers of Malcolm X's call for human rights here in America. as observers of Muhammed Ali's "Ain't no Vietcong ever called me a Niggir." we object to Dr. Rice's lending her racial credibility to an adminstration that is waging an illegal war in Iraq. When one kills people or has people killed outside judicial or legal bounds one is a Murderer. So simply put George Bush is a Murderer. So is Condi Rice, Colin Powell. Donald Rumsfeld. Trust us, our distaste for Rice is shared with all the members of her clique in the white house. AS for her "qualifications." Any one who can read can find out that multiple sources of information about the threat to national security prior to 9-11 has shown that Condi either lied to the president, didn't inform him or flat out missed the importance of said information. That sir, makes her incompetent. And again, don't get us wrong, we think the entire adminstration is incompetent as well. And yes Massie you should feel free to attempt to "call me" on the issue. But seeing as I passed logic class with an A I believe you'll find my logic up there with the folks who invented the subject.

But let me direct something to the students who may be reading this. Becareful of what and to whome you speak. There is usually a group of people who think as you do who are probably better able to communicate what you want to say. Either learn the "company line" or don't speak. This is not to say you don't have 1st Ammendment rights but you must understand that the enemy is sneaky and is looking for the weakest link and you are probably it. I went through 2/3 of my college career not speaking on any black subject because I knew I was uninformed. By the time I opened my mouth my peers dubbed me "Hukem" or "Authoritative Utteranece of Blackness." Basically, anytime I spoke I usually had my facts straight. Yes I've added new information since then but the foundation had to be built. So consider yoursef warned and schooled. Do not allow yourself to be caught out there.

Anyway, Massie then goes off into left field to discuss Angela Davis and Gil Scott Heron. For some reason he feels a need to kick the man while he's down by discussing his recent drug arrest (assuming that to be true). Which proves what exactly? After all musicians are NOT revolutionaries though they may echo revolutionary ideas. In fact artists in general are a troubled lot and only really stupid people actually look to them for a plan. They are there for inspiration and inspiration only.

So there is one thing I'll agree with MAssie on: The Revolution is busted but there are those of us willing to put it back together and move forward and we don't have to compromise our principles in the process.
White Kids Wile out: Hip Hop Blamed!!!

Today I was awakened by news that an ex marine losy control of his faculties and shot up a Rock concert. Yes it is true! Mainstream news has actually reported on violence at a white music event. According to ABCNews Anchor Peter Jennings, Police say that violence among hard rock events is very common. Of course THAT comment did not make it onto ABCNews' website. If you looked at the reported news you would believe that only Black Hip Hop fans wile out at events. So the next time someone blames violence on Hop Hop tell them to go "Head banging"

Links:
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=316135

Monday, December 06, 2004

Ohio Certifies

Though I'm in the extreme minority in my peers who believe Bush won the election (though I can't say he did so fair and square). There has been a ruckus regarding the Ohio numbers. Apparently Secretary "Black"well will announce the certified results for Ohio with the gap closing from 136,000 to 119,000 with the provisional Ballots added. Even though there has been some debate over the process of removing "bad" provisionals, Provisional ballots were the only real means for Kerry to have taken Ohion. As Garvey's Ghost soberingly pointed out, there were 155,000 provisional ballots cast in Ohio. John Kerry would have had to take nearly every single one of them in order to win. That was simply an statistical impossibility. as Garvey's Ghost pointed out, a large number of provisional ballots were cast in areas with next to 0 black populations and places where George Bush won by wide margins. Thus GG concluded that it would be impossible for Kerry to take Ohio based on provisional ballots. Then of course we have the spoiled ballots. As with last year people have been stuck on Chad for all the wrong reasons. Since GArvey's Ghost does not vote we can look at this from a more dispassioned position:

1) US citizens routinely allow their votes to be eliminated via the Electoral College system. If American Citizens felt that "every vote mattered" they would have eliminated the EC a long time ago.

2) barring the use of the EC, American citizens, if they cared about "every vote" would have gone for a proportional system, where EC votes are given based on stict proportion of votes won.

3) Speaking directly to black citizen voters: I fail to understand why they do not understand that they are still living under Dred Scott. You vote when where and how white folks let you. End of story. Why are we still wasting time shocked and amazed that half the country votes with Bush and co? Why are we surprised that white liberals don't care more than it takes to write an article or two on the subject of voter fraud? In all the years that black voters have been assigned poor voting machines, where were there elected officials? Why haven't there been huge pushes BEFORE NOW to address the issue of inadequate voting Apparati? Furthermore Black voter, why did you abandon Al Sharpton in the primaries? Your so called leadership told you to back Dean and Kerry and every other white man. But could not muster up a single bit of solidarity for the "black candidate"so that certain black and anti-war issues could have remained on the front burner. Fora abanding the black client, you deserved what you got on Election day.

Sound harsh? It is. Life's like that. Politics is like that. Until black voters cease to be pawns of the DLC and the RNC we will not get the kind of respect we deserve...no..we're getting what we deserve.. no respect at all.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Who is John Stott? It doesn't Matter.

The Religion Problem in the US


David Brooks, a regular OP-Ed columnist at the NY Times wrote an OP-ED piece discussing the apparent religiosity that has come over the US. In line with most other columnists, and lay people, there is much discussion about the Christian nature of the US and what that should mean. Let me discuss the religion angle first.

To be sure, this is an overwhelmingly Christian country. As it should be given it's history. That history is that it was founded by Europeans who are overwhelmingly Christian. Since these Christians decimated the indigenous population and forcibly "discouraged" the religions of Africans who they bought here in a most un-Christian manner, they remained as the "top dog" in terms of religion. These particular Christians also knew quite a bit about religious persecution (even while practicing it on others. Hence they knew that the State, which was supposed be protective of individual liberties, was in cahoots with "the Church' then problems would arise. I believe that the reason for the prohibition of the State to "establish" religion was so that no single denomination could impose it's interpretation of the Bible upon others Christian groups. It is entirely possible that the Founders did indeed intend for the US to be a Christian country, in perpetuity but once they added that clause in the constitution, that idea was and is bound to fall.

Let's look at the issue of school prayer. Most of it's proponents are Christian. Muslims don't appear to be too concerned even though their religion requires 5 daily prayers at set intervals, some of which occur during school hours. People who practice Santeria, Lukumi, Ifa, Buddhism, Taoism also seem to not be up in arms about school prayer. So why is it that Christians feel this need to have prayer in school especially when nobody has ever been stopped from bowing their head at their desk and saying whatever prayer they want. If one can pray in school to oneself, then one does have "School prayer." What we don't have and what some people don't want, is out loud, mandatory prayer. This is a critical thing because it speaks to the Christian need (and Muslim too) to have public shows of faithfulness. Something almost entirely absent in other religions. So not only must one be accosted by "Jesus is my co-pilot" bumper stickers. and my favorite: "no Jesus, No Peace" (as If Christians haven't caused wars...Ha haaa...Anyways) But when we get to school we would then have to be lead in prayer as if we were at a church. When I ask Christian proponents of School prayer what they would do if their children were in a school that had to make salat, I've been informed that they would remove their children immediately. Now how hypocritical is that? So we know that this is not about prayer or even so much about public prayer. No folks, This is about public Christian prayer. In essence these advocates of School prayer are actually advocates of school prosylization. Herein' lies their legal problem. Schools are funded by public money from people of all religious backgrounds. It is illegal for the state to give funds to public institutions that discriminate against any part of the tax paying public covered under the Civil Rights Act. In any case where a student who does not wish to participate in "School prayer" is asked to leave the room, we have discrimination. Why should that student who's parents pay taxes be required to leave the room? Why not all the praying folks?

But lets take this further, since the constitution does NOT read that the state cannot establish a Christian religion, but instead reads that the state cannot establish religion [at all]. If the state were to say that prayer must happen (or should happen or can happen)it puts the public institution in a position of deciding which type of prayer is acceptable. Once that public institution does so it is in effect establishing a religion, a clear violation of the constitution. In fact given that some tax payers are atheists and therefore do not ascribe to any form of "God recognition" the very requirement of a prayer would be de-facto establishment of religion.

So we should not be fooled by certain Christians who think they are somehow "defending American values" when they talk of school prayer. What they are doing is passing off a clear biblical agenda (to which many Americans ascribe to) but is clearly contradictory to the Constitution. Let me return to Brook's article though.

Brooks quotes a man, John Stott who states:

Most important, he does not believe truth is plural. He does not believe in relativism of good and evil or that all faiths are independently valid, or that truth is something humans are working toward. Instead, Truth has been revealed. As he writes:

"It is not because we are ultra-conservative, or obscurantist, or reactionary or the other horrid things which we are sometimes said to be. It is rather because we love Jesus Christ, and because we are determined, God helping us, to bear witness to his unique glory and absolute sufficiency. In Christ and in the biblical witness to Christ God's revelation is complete; to add any words of our own to his finished work is derogatory to Christ."



Well this is the problem. If I don't believes in "Christ,' Then that opinion is simply that, an opinion. It is also quite arrogant and not to mention flat out wrong when this John fellow or any other Christian for that matter thinks that they are in possession of the one and only "truth." It is simply not the case and that can be proven. These "truthists' believed that blacks were not even capable of "salvation" That is not an accepted "truth" anymore (well in most denominations). Furthermore; What is "relativization" of good and evil? Is it relativizing when in the Bible it clearly states that "Thou Shalt Not Kill" yet many, many Christians support the killings in Iraq? That many many Christians approved of the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan. That many many Christians to this day believe it was OK for the US to kill in Vietnam? If that is not 'relativization" then I don't know what it is. But Christians, especially white ones, have no problem killing non-Christians that they feel are a threat to them, no less than Muslims believe in Jihad. Oh Christians have access to the most efficient killing machines in the world, yet believe that one should "not kill" and "turn the other cheek." Moral relativism indeed!

Links:
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/30/opinion/30brooks.html?oref=login&n=Top%2fOpinion%2fEditorials%20and%20Op%2dEd%2fOp%2dEd%2fColumnists%2fDavid%20Brooks