Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Friday, February 11, 2005

Dangerous Precedences

Yesterday a Jury found Lynne Stewart a lawyer for blind cleric Abdel Rahman, guilty of providing material support to terrorists when she acted as a conduit for a message by her client to a Egyptian reporter in which her client claimed to not support the cease fire that was agreed to by an organization he was a member of an the Egyptian government. The actual basis for the trial was that Mrs. Stewart had signed a form indicating that she agreed to the administrative ruling that barred Abdel Rahman from communicating with anyone other than his wife and his lawyer.

There are serious problems I have with this whole circus around this Rahman fellow. First, as I wrote about earlier, how did the prosecution even win a case against someone who's "crime" was speaking? I have never been a supporter of criminalized speech, be it religious, racial or whatever. Crimes should involve specific actions. There are many many many people who think George Bush ought to be shot. I know this because I've heard it said. None the less, not a single one of these people can be arrested, much less prosecuted, for such speech. Even if someone actually took a shot at the President, no one could be held responsible if all they did was say that they agree with the act. Getting back to the blind cleric. There was no evidence at all that shows that he gave money too the individuals who attempted ot bring down the WTC. Nor is there any evidence that he himself attempted to do the act. therefore his conviction was for merely doing what any other person in America is free to do, Express his political opinion about the situation he finds himself in and what he thinks could bring about change. Therefore the whole basis of his conviction was bogus and plainly unconstitutional, if popular.

Thus the "gag order" is equaly bogus and unconstitutional. Again the man committed no crime ( regardless of how odius the speech may or may not be), thus the government had no place gaging the man. Abdel Rahman, like it or not was in fact a political prisoner of the US. Lynne Stewart clearly knew this and I suspect it is the reason why she signed the form in the first place. Contract law specifically states that a contract is void if in it's term it requires the breaking of the law.

The jury claimed that it convicted Mrs. Stewart because they felt she broke her contract. That she somehow felt that she was above the law. I suppose that the Judge "mis"-informed the jury about Abdel Rahman's conviction and the "rights" of the government. Notwithstanding the clear bias of the Jury given the prosecutions use of Osama Bin-Ladin video (which should have been ruled irrelevant), it clearly seems to be that the US was attempting to stiffle political speech. by using "adminstrative" rules to blow up into providing material support for terrorists.

Americans have become so complacent about the basic rights that are afforded to them, that they are willing to strip them from anyone that's not them when in reality the defense of those rights is what keeps government transparent.
The High Price of Dependency

It was with a very angry heart that I had to watch as Brian Ross of the ABCNEws corp. report on UN. Sex Crimes in the Congo:

The range of sexual abuse includes reported rapes of young Congolese girls by U.N. troops, an Internet pedophile ring run from Congo by Didier Bourguet, a senior U.N. official from France, a colonel from South Africa accused of molesting his teenage male translators, and estimates of hundreds of underage girls having babies fathered by U.N. soldiers who have been able to simply leave their children and their crimes behind.

Ravaged by decades of civil war, and one of the poorest countries in the world, Congo has relied on the United Nations for both military protection and humanitarian aid.

"The U.N. is there for their protection, so when the protectors become violators, this is particularly egregious," said Anneke Van Woudenberg, a senior researcher with Human Rights Watch who investigated the allegations on behalf of her organization. "This is particularly bad."

Meanwhile just north-east of there the NY times reminds us of the genocide and ethnic "cleansing" going on in the Sudan, in a report entitled: Darfur's Babies of Rape on Trail fro Birth. In this report they discuss the babies of the systemic rape of women by the Janghaweed Militias.

All in all it is simply a sad day for Africa, where innocent civilians, women and children become the victims of government agents, both domestic and foreign. Where the men have not the will or abilty to defend thier women from the predations of those who would be their protectors and those who would be thier killers.

My question is when will enough be enough? When will we stop selling out ourselves? When will we become emboldened by the ideal of "freedom or death?"

I'm not saying that the people who committed these acts are absolved by our own vulnerability, I am saying that it does not make sense that after everything Africans have been through, we still allow ourselves to be helpless spectators in the world around us.

This needs to stop and no UN peacekeeping force, no AU ( African Union) force is going to stop this. We have got to get to the point where we just will not accept living under so called leadership that does nothing but enrich itself. How did Mobutu live so long when he had servants in his house who could have "removed" him from power? Where is the self-respect?? Where is the outrage at what we allow our own to do for us?

Every time I see or read articles and newscasts about Rwanda and Congo and Sudan, everyone blames Europe and America ( and China), Tey get blamed for providing weapons, For not providing food or medicine or whatever else, But I don't see anyone seriously discussing why We are doing these things to ourselves? It is unfashionable to "blame the victim." I understand that ideology but clearly doing the same thing over and over again is NOT solving a damn thing. The same old wait for the UN to step in or wait for this or that Donor?

A recent article in The Black Commentator discussed how when Belgium pulled out of what is now the DRC they left all of 4 doctors. When Mobutu left I understand he left the banks with a couple hundred thousand dollar equivalent in currency. WE can defintitly fault belgium (and the US) for starting the problem in Africa, but since then Africa has sent many many professionals, especially in the medical field, to Europe and America. Many of those came for the better economic opportunities. Can I fault those indiviiduals? No. But if they are here or in Europe then they are not in Africa. In many instances the doctors and nurses were trained in State supported schools and thus the investments in that human capital is gone. Clearly then those who could be serve the medical needs of Africans are best serving the needs of Europeans. Do they care about Africans? Is there no will to sacrifice for the future of the country? Is it going to continue to be the case that Doctors without Borders and WHO will be the suppliers of medical services rather than locals? Is this acceptible to us?

Nation building is not a get rich quick scheme. It doesn't happen over night and it's not free. Franz Fanon, Amilcar Cabral and Kwame Nkrumah among others warned us what would happen once black faces got into the high places. I was truely hoping that they would eventually be proven wrong. It seems I was overly optimistic.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Did they actually say (or write) that?

This morning on"This Week" was comedy hour as Donald Rumsfeld made the following statement regarding Nuclear vs. Biological agents:

"Unlike nuclear agents Biological agents can affect people over generations."
Is he serious? Perhaps he's not seen what radiation can do to people.

Yesterday, while doing my laundry I stumbled upon some Jehoviah's Witness material. I decided to entertain myself by reading the article they had entitled: "Can the Environment be saved?"

Folks..They spent about 3and one half pages, out of four, discussing what is wrong with the environment. The last half page contained a "solution" that basically was: "man" cannot do anything but destroy and the only solution is the Second Coming. The thing that scared me about this piece was that there are many many people who believe this and therefore do not care about theier impact on the environment. This belief in the Second Coming of Christ has been around for some 2000 years, with each generation believing it would happen in thier lifetime and all being wrong. You would think that with 2000 years of incorrect guessing as to when the Second Coming would happen, that people such as Jehoviah's Witnesses would at least say:

"Well since we have NO CLUE when this Second Coming is going to occur, we suggest the following actions be taken by believers so that just in case the Second Coming doesn't happen in the lifetime of our children's children's children's to the seventh generation, we do not hand them Asthma and Cancers of every kind."

No I guess that would be too worldly.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

I was wrong...kinda

I've been having debates on Social Security and have been using numbers from the Office of Management and Budget to bolster my case. Unfortunately I was using some wrong numbers, That is I was looking at discretionary spending rather than Mandatory Outlays. The distinction is important. The Department of Defense, which is budgeted for $401 billion in discretionary spending, is supposed to use that money for all it's operations including paychecks for all soldiers, aquisition of arms. It should be noted that $200 billion is earmarked for R&D. The DOD basically has no "mandatory outlays" as the Social Security Administration and Human Services department have.

When we look at the mandatory outlays that the SS administration has, we would note that it must put out upwards of $500 billion for 2005 in SS benefits alone. The Department of Human Services also has a large mandatory outlay in the form of Medicare/Medicaid which is $286 billion and $188 billion respectively.

The next mistake I made, and it is a very important one, was to look at these totals next to the GDP. That was wrong. Looking at the GDP which is expected to be $12 trillion in 2005, one could easily argue that it would be easy to fund SS, Medicaid and Medicare. After all their mandatory outlays are but 10% of the GDP. However, the GDP is not what the Federal Government actually takes in. What the Fed actually takes in is faaaaaar less than the GDP. In fact it is about 10% of the GDP. In 2004 the receipts of the Federal Government was $1.79 trillion. This is very important in the diuscussion of SS (and why I should have been more careful in my initial argument). If SS will take $500 out of those receipts and Medicare and Medicaid another $474 billion then combined these two programs actually take out over 1/2 the receipts of the Federal Government. The DOD would take out half of what is left, leaving $600 billion to divide up among the remaining agencies (17 large and many small) and programs.

This should alarm folks becuase when you look at the US debt. The actual Gross Debt of the Federal Government is 2003 was $6.76 trillion. Out of this amount $2.846 trillion is held by Government Accounts. and $3.914 trillion is held by "the public".

In fact the official US Budget as proposed by President Bush plans on deficits through 2009.

It would appear that the US is one big bad check waiting to hit the bank. There is absolutely no way that the US debt can be paid at any time in the near future. All the people who know these numbers know it and don't really care. If anything, the problem is not Social Security, it's the Debt. the Social Security debate pre-supposes that the US will continue to operate on borrowed money. This supposition only means that at some point the treasury goes bankrupt. The only reason why the Fed has not gone bankrupt is because it's creditors, bond holders and who knows who else have not called in for their money and that convenient issue of Oil being priced in Dollars which makes it the premier currency on the market. But for how long?

At the end of the day it would seem that the US population has apparenly been hoodwinked. Millions of dollars have been paid into a system that may or may not be able to pay out. Furthermore most of these same people have also been made to pay for medical Insurance and the likes, which have been pushing more and more financial responsibility onto the policy holders. It would seem that the only groups that have beeb guaranteed to make out are the medical providers who bill the insurance companies, those doing business with the DOD and those on the receiving end of cashed SS checks.

Either way though, I was wrong in my previous use of the numbers, the corrected numbers indicate that Tax cuts are not the answer. Taxes, both individual and corporate (especially corporate) are going to have to rise. it's not going to be pretty.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Sellouts Strike Back

Well I know it's been a while since I posted but a couple of things I've stumbled across has made me have to comment. Just in time for Black History Month, Black Conservatives have come out swinging to gain more mindshare among African-Americans. the LA Times has an article entitled "recasting Republicans as The Party of Civil Rights"


Condoleezza Rice took the oath Friday as the first black woman to be secretary of State, then immediately reached back into history to invoke the legacy of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

Her words were the latest example of President Bush and his top aides citing the Republican Party's often-forgotten 19th century antislavery roots — a strategy that GOP leaders believe will help them make inroads among black voters in the 21st century.

And if it reminds voters that the Democrats once embraced slavery, that's not such a bad byproduct, strategists say.

Bush, who keeps a bust of Lincoln prominently displayed in the Oval Office, is making Civil War references a staple of his speeches promoting democracy overseas and policy changes at home. And a glossy, GOP-produced "2005 Republican Freedom Calendar," spotlighting key moments in the party's civil rights history, has been distributed to party officials nationwide.

"We started our party with the express intent of protecting the American people from the Democrats' pro-slavery policies that expressly made people inferior to the state," Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Newport Beach) wrote in a letter printed on the calendar.

The letter continued: "Today, the animating spirit of the Republican Party is exactly the same as it was then: free people, free minds, free markets, free expression, and unlimited individual opportunity."

The push also was evident during last year's presidential campaign in the crucial state of Florida.

A Palm Beach Republican group paid for a newspaper ad that listed a raft of black Republican officeholders during the 19th century and said, "Throughout the history of America, the Republican Party has been at the forefront of the fight for civil rights."

ahhhhh yes... The Party of Lincoln. I never bought that whole Abraham Lincoln as savior mentality that took hold on so many black minds, but I never imagined that it such a thing would find itself at the cutting edge of Republican propaganda. Poor thought on my part. The sad thing about this propaganda is that much of it is technically true. Void of any real analysis, such propaganda will play well to younger blacks who, by and large are not well informed on Black History on either side of the Atlantic, and woefully mis-informed about much of US history. For example, while Radical Republicans may well have been at the forefront of Civil Rights at the end of the Civil War, it should be noted that when the Democratic Party took on Civil Rights in the 50's and 60's the result was all the "racists' in the Democratic Party bolted for the Republican party. See Conservatism for them meant "keeping niggers in their place." In fact much of the rise of Republicanism, and Conservatism is one great big white backlash against Civil Rights Legislation, Affirmative Action and many social programs of the 'Great Society."

However; as we all know, Democrats, having locked the Black vote eventually took Blacks for granted. Thus instead of Jimmy Carter or Clinton giving us the first black Secretary of State we get Republicans doing so (even if we don't care for the choice).

What is most troubling, and indeed is something I warned about last year, is the cooption of ideologies and personalities that have traditionaly been the bedrock of "Black Nationalists" such as Frederick Douglass. We should expect to see more co-option in the future

The next article that got my attention was entitled GOP Sees a Future in Black Churches


The effort will be visible today at the Crenshaw Christian Center, one of Los Angeles' biggest black churches, headed by televangelist Frederick K.C. Price. More than 100 African American ministers are to gather in the first of several regional summits to build support for banning same-sex marriage — a signature issue that drew socially conservative blacks to the Republican column last year.

Before the meeting, one prominent minister plans to unveil a "Black Contract With America on Moral Values," a call for Bible-based action by government and churches to promote conservative priorities. It is patterned loosely on the "Contract With America" that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich used 10 years ago to inaugurate an era of GOP dominance in Congress.

A separate group with ties to Gingrich will announce a similar "Mayflower Compact for Black America" later this month in Washington, which includes plans to organize in key states ahead of the 2006 and 2008 elections. And at the end of the month, the Heritage Foundation will cosponsor a gathering of black conservatives in Washington designed to counter dominance of the "America-hating black liberal leadership" and to focus African American voters on moral issues.

I want to focus on the "Bible based action by government to promotye conservative priorities." This is a serious problem and I'm appalled that blacks are actually participating in this. But I am not surprised. I have long said that black Christians are some of the most bigoted people in America. There is no worse combination than Christianity and Self Hate. Apparently this group has taken no consideration for the vast numbers of Blacks who are non-Christian. Well I'm wrong, they have considered them and their position is that we do not matter, we should be converted or see damnation. Period. I won't blame the leadership entirely though. This kind of behavior could not happen without the cooperation and financing by members of their congregations. They could not do what they do without the silent approval of those who may disagree but say nothing.

Speaking of silent approval, the NY Times ran an article today about how teachers are dealing with pressure to not teach the Theory of Evolution. The article entitled: Evolution Takes a Back Seat in U.S. Classes

In districts around the country, even when evolution is in the curriculum it may not be in the classroom, according to researchers who follow the issue.

Teaching guides and textbooks may meet the approval of biologists, but superintendents or principals discourage teachers from discussing it. Or teachers themselves avoid the topic, fearing protests from fundamentalists in their communities.

"The most common remark I've heard from teachers was that the chapter on evolution was assigned as reading but that virtually no discussion in class was taken," said Dr. John R. Christy, a climatologist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, an evangelical Christian and a member of Alabama's curriculum review board who advocates the teaching of evolution. Teachers are afraid to raise the issue, he said in an e-mail message, and they are afraid to discuss the issue in public.

Dr. Frandsen, former chairman of the committee on science and public policy of the Alabama Academy of Science, said in an interview that this fear made it impossible to say precisely how many teachers avoid the topic.

"You're not going to hear about it," he said. "And for political reasons nobody will do a survey among randomly selected public school children and parents to ask just what is being taught in science classes."

But he said he believed the practice of avoiding the topic was widespread, particularly in districts where many people adhere to fundamentalist faiths.

This is a serious problem. Why are people who are in the right simply balling up and allowing themselves to be rolled over? I'll tell you why: So called "liberals" have refused to fund their platforms. Fundamenatalists and Cobservatives have set up a vast network of institutions and foundations to fund thier agendas. Liberals are the epitome of "divided we fall." Each teacher, each professor, each student simply "does what he can" and they all get beat. Why haven't these teachers, these educators, put their money where their mouths are and fund thier own defense? Perhaps it's because some believe it's just that one subject. It's not:

He said the teaching of evolution was portrayed not as scientific instruction but as "an assault of the secular elite on the values of God-fearing people." As a result, he said, politicians don't want to touch it. "Everybody discovers the wisdom of federalism here very quickly," he said. "Leave it at the state or the local level."

But several experts say scientists are feeling increasing pressure to make their case, in part, Dr. Miller said, because scriptural literalists are moving beyond evolution to challenge the teaching of geology and physics on issues like the age of the earth and the origin of the universe.

"They have now decided the Big Bang has to be wrong," he said. "There are now a lot of people who are insisting that that be called only a theory without evidence and so on, and now the physicists are getting mad about this."

Expansion, the very heart of Christianity. It does not stop. By it's nature, by it's design it is meant to expand and consume(just like Capitalism). These people will not go away and they will not compromise unless forced to by an equally or greater organized movement. Better get a move on.