Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Friday, March 31, 2006

The Olatunji Foundation

Let it be known that I am not simply a blogger who sits back behind my computer and shoots off at the mouth about what Black people ought to be doing. I put my money where my mouth is. This post is a reminder to students attending HBCU's to apply for the scholarship(s) offered by the Olatunji Foundation for Pan-Africanism. The deadline for applicants is May 1, 2006.

This is also a call for all like minded and financially able visitors to donate to the Olatunji Foundation so that we may give as many scholarships to deserving students of African descent. We cannot sit back and wait until we "Hit the numbers" or that we get that six figure salary to start being philanthropic. We must finance our own liberation by following the principle of Ujamaa and Ujimaa. We ask that as a minimum donors give $25. What is $25? $25 is what the average person spends on lunch for one week. $25 is less than the cost of a weekend date. It is less than a new pair of shoes at Payless Shoes. is 160 people give $25 dollars the Olatunji Foundation would cover it's entire operating costs for a full year, which includes 5 scholarships. To the right you'll note that there is a bar graph that has been stuck at $600 for about 3 months now. That is from my own pocket and two donors. I would hope that of the 2,300 people who have been to the blog in the past 3 months, that some of you agree that we have to put our money where our mouths are, if Black people are going to develop the leaders of our communities for tomorrow.

Let me tell you, everyone else is after our best and brightest. Every corporate foundation out there is offering more money that I have at hand to our students. Who do you think our students are going to look out for when they graduate? The people who made it possible for them to be where they are, that's who. It's a rough truth, but it's like that. People talk about the meddling into black organizations that is done by white corporate interests. But no one is looking at why these corporations are able to do so. It is because we do not support our own. Are our people supposed to just roll over and die because we won't shop, trade, or philanthropise (not a word) our own? Are black institutions supposed to just go away because some people believe that such institutions are "passe?"
So if HBCU's are not responsive to the demands of black people, then we should not be surprised when we did nothing to maintain their allegiance.

So the Olatunji Foundation was founded on the same idea that drove Marcus Garvey to incorporate the Black Star Line: Black people must invest and have ownership of the vehicles of their liberation anything else is slavery by proxy.

So, people may disagree with my opinions on various subjects, but it can never be said that I was a fast talker and never an actor. What about you?

The Scholarship application:
Donation page:

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Edmonton Black Pages

Garvey's Ghost receives visitors from all over the world. Some people land here after executing some odd searches. I for one would like to know why so many people in India are obsessed with speaking with ghosts. Anyway, our people to the north have a Black pages and I encourage all those who wish to do business in or with Canada make sure to hook up with our people there and keep our monies between us as long as possible:

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Spoken Word

I used to perform at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in NYC among other venues. Responding to a comment on one of my previous posts I referenced a poem written in 2000 which I am shocked to realize was six years ago. So I'm posting it here for old times sake:

by Sondjata

My words are exact.
original CP time.
Tell it straight.
Like a plumb line.
rays of the sun during
Vernal Equinoxes on equatorial lines.
Put history to rhymes
the flow smooth like the
tick tock of stop watch
gear tines.
4/4 time.
Tell whole truths
that flow like whole notes
to provide soul antidotes
to false hopes.
I get's down for mine.
But still I rise
like the sun on Christmas morn'.
During winter solstices
when the Christ was born
on the horizon.
cosmic production of the

I can fight gun fire
through fire
like a
Haitian freeing his nation
with determination
provided by Boukman's incantations
as Orisa numb pain sensations,
as I regularly receive revelations
from ,
those that made trips
in the holds of slave ships
like the ones named
Mary Matthew and Jesus,
but you refuse to believe this:
Biology is Chemistry is Physics
and is describable by mathematics
and that right there is what confused Pythagorus
my murmurings mesmerize like
metronome ticks
tricks are for kids
so I don't kick poems
for the heck of it.
'Cause the situation in Sierra Leonne is much too serious.
fierce fighting persists
Europeans make trips
to diamond mines to strip
so some wack ass rapper can brag 'bout some bling pon his wrists.

Something is terribly amiss!
That poets pimp the past
so they can pop some pink toes puss

ease up man
for my words
are exact
original CP time.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The American Crisis of and for Young Black Males

Minister Faust of the Bro-Log has posted a piece from the NY Times entitled A Poverty of the Mind which is another attempt at dispelling the notion that black students are mocked and therefore perform poorly in academics if they are seen as acting white. I've dealt with this particular issue before you can take a gander at my writing here:

One of the questions brought up in the article was:

Nor have studies explained why, if someone cannot get a job, he turns to crime and drug abuse. One does not imply the other. Joblessness is rampant in Latin America and India, but the mass of the populations does not turn to crime.

And why do so many young unemployed black men have children — several of them — which they have no resources or intention to support? And why, finally, do they murder each other at nine times the rate of white youths?

Off the cuff I will point out a couple of things that are different in Latin America and India. First off, the opportunities to make a living in either place are not as hindered as they are here. In the States, if you do not have a permit to sell things you can be harassed and arrested. Secondly, in Latin America, if not India, one can get shelter and food without a job. both of which are nigh impossible to do in the US.

Secondly it is patently false that there is no crime in Latin America (as is intimated by the author) a quick search on the web reveals:

Recent studies have shown a dramatic increase in crime and violence in Latin America, particularly in the 1980s. There are significant variations across countries in homicide rates: from 60.8 homicides per 100,000 population in Colombia to 2.9/100,000 in Chile in 1994/95.1 However, average rates in Latin America are higher than in any other region of the world and have increased from 8 homicides per 100,000 population in the 1970s to 13/100,000 in the 1990s.2 In addition to the general problem of violent crime, there has been growing concern in the region with the problem of violence against women and violence against children and adolescents.3

There is significant inequality in the distribution of violence among different social groups and geographical areas in the region. The highest homicide rates are registered among the male population and the age group 20-24 years old. In Colombia, for example, homicide rates for this group reach 249.4/1000,000, compared to 60.8/100,000 for the entire population.4 However, there have been significant increases in the homicide rates among the female population and the age groups 15-19 and 10-14 years old in the 1980s and 1990s.5

The rise in crime and violence has been particularly acute in the largest cities and metropolitan areas, where homicide rates tend to be significantly higher than in the rest of the country. Homicide rates in the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro reach 55/100,000 and 52/100,000, compared to 23/100,000 in Brazil. They reached 95/100,000 in San Salvador, 101/100,000 in Guatemala City, 112/100,000 in Cali and 248/100,000 in Medellin. 6

Furthermore, in the largest cities and metropolitan areas, there are significant differences in the level of crime and violence in the richest and the poorest neighborhoods. Maps of violence in Brazilian cities show significant differences in homicide rates across neighborhoods. Homicide rates varied from 2.65 to 111.52/100,000 in São Paulo (1995), 0.0 to 74.13/100,000 in Curitiba (1993-95), 0.0 to 101.8 in Salvador (1994) and 0.0 to 245.1 in Rio de Janeiro (1996).7

A series of factors have contributed to the increase in violent crime in Latin America since the transitions from authoritarianism to democracy.8 Conjectural factors and national characteristics aggravated the problem in particular countries. However, some factors have increased the risk of crime and violence in many or most countries in the region in the 1980s and 1990s.

* History of civil wars and armed conflicts
* Persistence of high levels of social inequality
* Low and/or negative rates of economic growth
* High level of unemployment
* Rapid growth of large cities and metropolitan areas
* Absence/weakness of basic urban infrastructure, basic social services and community organizations in the poorest neighborhoods, in the periphery of large cities and metropolitan areas
* Growing availability of arms and drugs
* Growing presence, strengthening of organized crime
* Culture of violence, reinforced by organized crime as well as the media, the police and the private security services
* Low level of effectiveness of the police and other institutions in the criminal justice system

Secondly on the issue of drug use we find This:

"I think we're all waking up to the reality that drug use is no longer just something that's happening in the United States," said Eduardo Amadeo, president of the Argentine Planning Secretariat for Counternarcotics and Drug Prevention. "Drugs are now being sold on the corner near the schools my children attend, near our [social] clubs and [soccer] fields. It's a problem right here, and one that we are now going to have to deal with."

So let's not act as if Black American men are somehow acting differently than any marginalized group in the world. It is simply false.

Now moving on to the meat of the issue we find the following, which is pretty relevant in the current discussion of illegal immigration though I won't go into that with this post:

Yet the jobless black youths simply did not turn up to take them. Instead, the opportunity was seized in large part by immigrants — including many blacks — mainly from Latin America and the Caribbean.

One oft-repeated excuse for the failure of black Americans to take these jobs — that they did not offer a living wage — turned out to be irrelevant. The sociologist Roger Waldinger of the University of California at Los Angeles, for example, has shown that in New York such jobs offered an opportunity to the chronically unemployed to join the market and to acquire basic work skills that they later transferred to better jobs, but that the takers were predominantly immigrants.

This is interesting. I think that the analysis is flawed in regard to the living wage issue. In the States a 19 year old takes a minimum wage job to get job experience. Grown people who have rent to pay and cannot get assistance if they make "too much" cannot do so. Immigrants, on the other hand, having less to lose, can take on these jobs. One must remember that many immigrants initially do not have any immediate family to support when they get here. Secondly, many immigrants live in conditions such as those recently reported in the news where 20 or so people are packed into houses that have rooms divided multiple times and are huge fire traps. Are we saying that we want to threaten families and make people live in hazardous situations? Lastly, some immigrants that come here are not uneducated. Some have more and better education than African-Americans but lack the opportunities in their home countries. My uncle, who worked for the MTA has told me about many people he worked with from all over the world, would have degrees from those countries but would be doing "light maintenance" for the MTA. He has also said that he has seen that oft times the immigrants take the tests and do the advance work to get the promotions while the black workers would complain about how the immigrants are getting ahead. Overall I think that the issue is not as simple as "immigrants go for the opportunities." But back to the crux of the article's point:

So what are some of the cultural factors that explain the sorry state of young black men? They aren't always obvious. Sociological investigation has found, in fact, that one popular explanation — that black children who do well are derided by fellow blacks for "acting white" — turns out to be largely false, except for those attending a minority of mixed-race schools.

An anecdote helps explain why: Several years ago, one of my students went back to her high school to find out why it was that almost all the black girls graduated and went to college whereas nearly all the black boys either failed to graduate or did not go on to college. Distressingly, she found that all the black boys knew the consequences of not graduating and going on to college ("We're not stupid!" they told her indignantly).

SO why were they flunking out? Their candid answer was that what sociologists call the "cool-pose culture" of young black men was simply too gratifying to give up. For these young men, it was almost like a drug, hanging out on the street after school, shopping and dressing sharply, sexual conquests, party drugs, hip-hop music and culture, the fact that almost all the superstar athletes and a great many of the nation's best entertainers were black.

This in no way undercuts the "acting white" argument. Let me elaborate:

It is a rare case that you will find an outright, blatant "You're acting like a white person" comment directed at students. The "acting white" phenomenon is, in a way a symptom of Post-Traumatic Slave disorder. In a sense it is a understanding of what "black" is as oppositional to what is white. and by white, we mean stereotypical white. This goes back to my problem with the piece I wrote earlier, I believed they asked the wrong people about "acting white." clearly those who were doing well did not buy into such an idea and they would not regularly associate with those who would hold such ideas.

If we go back and look at slavery we note that the areas where blacks were able to be somewhat free, was in entertainment. Entertainers would need to "be cool." Often entertainers in black communities were the best off. As we move forward through time, we find the number runners, and entertainers both in the South and the North. It was basically understood by both whites and blacks that blacks were "cool." Coolness and slickness became the hallmark of blackness in America. I recall watching a documentary on Satchmo where whites were referred to as "ofays." they were expected to not be cool. So "cool" and "black" became synonymous. So moving ahead, we have the changes that went on in the 60's where being defiant became the new cool. Look at many popular pictures of the Panthers. Black leather jackets, dark shades. I mean the Panthers were cool as hell (oxymoron aint it?). Post Black power movement we have Hip Hop which became the new cool. In all of this coolness was still the hallmark of authentic blackness. WHile the trappings of "cool" may have shifted the equation has still stuck. Even the Lt. Governor of Maryland, while talking to some African-American women business owners, would use some slang to show his authenticity as what? A black man, a black person, he knows the language code of how we speak and how we speak is "cool." Also, Cool is a means of survival. There are places in America where if one is not "cool" one will soon be a victim. The wrong walk, wrong manner of acting can mark one for robbery or worse.

In essence then, what we are seeing is, in fact, a fear of "acting white" that is couched in terms of "coolness." This coolness/blackness is exploited by various industries which is why it has gotten worse. In the past 12 years or so, we have seen a dangerous monoculture rise up in black communities. Where once a kid who liked hip hop was also forced to listen to other forms of black music, today one can listen to Hip Hop 24/7. One can watch the marterialistic and largely misogynistic videos at anytime. One has no real incentive to become what used to be called "well rounded."

Used to be that one taught your kids and dressed your kids for where you wanted them to go. Now a days, I see the clothes that some kids are wearing and I see where they are headed and a lot of times the clothes are bought by parents seeking to please their children rather than raise their children. So as parents drop the ball, we should not be surprised when co-opted "coolness/blackness" takes over and our kids make bad decisions.

Monday, March 27, 2006

This Illegal Immigration Thing III

I wanted to go back to this issue again but focus more on the employment aspect of it. It goes without saying that much of the language being used about this issue is "racist" in nature. I think this aspect is overshadowing the real problem which is the charge that Illegal immigrants, primarily Mexicans are either taking American jobs or are doing work Americans will not do. If one looks beyond the rhetoric of both sides you will see that the real driver on this issue is business. American businesses, in their race to the bottom in terms of salaries in order to boost profits gain much from being able to exploit workers, especially workers with "low skills." That Americans have accepted this is why they are now exporting and exploiting labour in more "skilled" areas. So as someone opposed to labor exploitation I have to look at this situation from that point of view.

The US' unemployment rate is 4.7 percent. It is twice that for African Americans. African-Americans constitute the largest group of unemployed people in the US. With an average rate of 4.7 and a general population of 230 million people. There are about 10 million unemployed U.S. Citizens. Persons with "low skills" represent the highest percentage of unemployed people as a result of the decimation of factory jobs. There are about 11 million Illegal immigrants (it is patently offensive to refer to them as "aliens") in the US. If one looks at these numbers you can perhaps see where I'm going here.

If there are 11 million illegal immigrants employed in various industries and there are 10 million Unemployed U.S. citizens, then the argument can be made that Illegal immigrants are in possession of American jobs. In fact it could be argued that the existence of such immigrants is a cause of such unemployment.

So lets go back to the question I have been asking, which has not been answered by most talking heads on TV or radio: If Americans are not willing to do the jobs why is that? If the answer to the question is that Americans, and by Americans I am speaking specifically to those 10 million unemployed who do not have the neccessary skills to compete in the higher wage arena, simply refuse to do construction work, fruit picking and what-have you. Then I say let the immigrants in, legalize the ones who are here (yes, Amnesty) and a big middle finger to the lazy people who refuse to do honest, hard work. A note to the readers: In my life I have worked on farms and garages and I have the highest respect for people who do that work. It is not easy.

If however, the reason that Americans won't do these jobs is that they object to working all day in sometimes difficult conditions and being paid next to nothing, then I think that problem needs to be addressed first. Businesses are claiming that Immigrants play a vital role to the US economy. You should note that they say immigrants and not illegal immigrants. I think they mean the latter, but that's conjecture. How do immigrants play a role? They claim that they do jobs Americans wont do. Specifically agriculture and construction. In agriculture we have a situation where companies ship in people from South America and the Caribbean to clear fields for x amount.n The Website Food First tells us what these business are doing:

More than two million year-round and seasonal migrant farmworkers, including 100,000 children, work in the U.S. About two thirds are immigrants, of whom 80 percent are from Mexico. Just 14 percent of all farmworkers have full-time work. (6)

Agricultural work is among the most dangerous occupations, with injuries and illness disabling farmworkers at a rate three times that of the general population. (7) In California, the average death rate for farmworkers is five times that of workers in other industries. Approximately 300,000 farmworkers in the U.S. are poisoned by pesticides annually. (8)

Farmworkers are paid poverty wages in spite of these risks. Three out of four U.S. farmworkers earn less than $10,000 annually, and three out of five families live below the federal poverty line. (9) Living conditions are equally harsh as migrant housing commonly lacks plumbing and working appliances, and is often next to pesticide-treated fields. Farmworkers spend more than 30 percent of their income on this sub-standard housing. (10)

Farmworkers seldom have health care, disability insurance, vacation, or a pension, and rarely apply for welfare. In a 1997-98 study, only five percent of farmworkers reported having health insurance covered by their employers for non-work related injuries, 28 percent reported compensation for work-related illnesses, and only one percent of workers used Social Security or disability ins urance. Just 13 percent of farmworker families receive Medicaid, 10 percent get Food Stamps, and 10 percent participate in the Woman, Infants, and Children program. (11)

The Systemic Exploitation of Farm Workers

The $28 billion U.S. produce industry (12) is 85 percent cultivated and harvested by hand,13 mostly through the backbreaking labor of our nation's farmworkers. We assume that their poverty subsidizes lower prices for the food we eat, however, according to journalist Eric Schlosser, "Maintaining the current level of poverty among migrant farmworkers saves the average American household (just) $50 a year." (14)

While the average farmworker in the U.S. earns $7,500 per year, Archer Daniels Midland, the world leader in producing soy meal, corn, wheat, and cocoa, reaped $1.7 billion in profits in 2003; its CEO, Allen G. Andreas, received over $2.9 million in compensation. (15) Dole, the world's largest producer of fresh fruit, vegetables and cut flowers generated $4.8 billion in revenues in 2003. (16)

So let us be clear here. It is highly likely that American workers refuse to be exploited by these companies. Instead of these companies cleaning up their acts, they simply use undocumented part time workers. The Food First web site's article on this subject is replete with examples of corporate exploitation.

Hence this is the situation being used to play the American population. Let the Republicans use their "Racist" language to force the issue of immigration to the forefront. Liberals are expected to respond to this language and support "guest worker programs" and other forms of amnesty which will lure more poor Mexicans to the US. Should the guest worker provision pass, then big business wins by securing it's low cost labor since there are no requirements that I know of to force those companies to provide benefits or increase wages. Democrats haven't said a word about the considitions the immigrants work under because, IMHO they could care less. The Democrats just want to keep the latin vote.

So the question still remains on the floor. Are Americans simply lazy or do they rightfully object to being paid slave wages?

Update 1:22 PM: So I was looking into this charge about paying taxes and not receiving benefits. It turns out that employers who do not pay under the table wages (which I presume most do) are in fact withholding SS and other taxes. This would seem to bolster the "we pay taxes" case. But here's the problem:

How does one get a Social Security Number? Well you apply for one at a government office. Certainly an undocumented worker is not walking into a government office and announcing their presence. That would lead to a visit from INS. No, these individuals are using fake SS ID's. what happens is that to make a "show" of following the law that requires employers to ask for proof of documentation (for which SSN is a part) some illegal immigrants give these fake SS cards. The taxes are withheld and sent to the Social Security Administration where it is discovered that they do not match any numbers on record. These funds are then put aside in what is called a "Social Security Suspense File." So the government, at any given time knows exactly how many people with "faulty" SSN's are out there and therefore knows where they are or have been working. So, I think this "we pay taxes" thing is a bit overstated. Another law, the one against having fraudulent documents, has been broken in order to procure employment. I don't think the vast majority of illegal immigrants are paying SS taxes and I think it damages the credibility of those working for immigrants to put forth that argument.

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Friday, March 24, 2006

Afghan's Religion Problem

Afghanistan has a religion problem. In fact a great many Islamic countries have a religion problem. See in Islam there is the concept that "there is no compulsion in Islam." Unfortunately, that message doesn't appear to be understood by a great deal of Muslims or it is super-ceded by the command that those who reject Islam are Apostate and should be killed. And so we find another ex-Muslim being charged with Apostasy and facing a death penalty. I won't hold my breath waiting for the Islamic world to send troops to Afghanistan to rescue this man. I won't hold my breath waiting for Afghan embassies (if there are any) to be burned to the ground. I won't hold my breath waiting for a boycott on Afghan goods (that's right they have no goods on the world market except poppy). No I will pray that the judge in this case has better sense than the people that reported this unfortunate soul.

I have heard commentators say that if the man recants he would be spared. Or if he is found to be insane (which I think is the most likely outcome as it saves face) he can avoid the death sentence. I hope that he does not recant. I hope that if any attempt is made to declare him insane that he loudly protests and affirms his sanity. It is the right of any person to freely choose to believe or not to believe whatever he or she wants. It is weak minded and weak faithed men and women who need to kill people who question religion.

Secondly, I am appalled that my taxes are going to support this regime. Anyone who has children or relatives in afghanistan for military service ought to be outraged that this event is even happening while their loved ones lives are on the line.

Edit: 2:37 PM

I hadn't read the entire NY Times piece but I got to post that stuff here:

Rahman had ''committed the greatest sin'' by converting to Christianity and deserved to be killed, cleric Abdul Raoulf said in a sermon Friday at Herati Mosque.

''God's way is the right way, and this man whose name is Abdul Rahman is an apostate,'' he told about 150 worshippers.

Another cleric, Ayatullah Asife Muhseni, told a gathering of preachers and intellectuals at a Kabul hotel that the Afghan president had no right to overturn the punishment of an apostate.

He also demanded that clerics be able to question Rahman in jail to discover why he had converted to Christianity. He suggested it could have been the result of a conspiracy by Western nations or Jews.

At a fruit market in Kabul, many ordinary Afghans said they supported the death penalty, but some wanted more investigation before meting out the punishment.

''In the past 30 years, so many Afghans have been killed in name of communism, Taliban and politics or for robbery. It's enough Afghans killed,'' said Ghulam Mohammed, 45, a former army officer. Clerics should talk to him (Rahman) and bring him to the right way.''

I got nothing else to say. The quote speaks for itself.

update: 3-27-2006: Apparently the Afghan court has decided that Rahman is insane and that there isn't enough evidence to prosecute him. This represents the expected cop-out predicted. Apparently Rahman will be effectively deported to spare his life from maniacal Imams and others in his country.

This whole thing got me to thinking about a post over at Planet Grenada that discussed a Latina who had converted to Islam after becoming unsatisfied with her life and her Catholic upbringing. I bet she never even had to think that she would be killed for such a conversion. Yet she now faces the very real possibility that should she change faiths again she could very well be killed, especially if she leaves the country.

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The US has condemned the Belarus government for arresting peaceful protests over what is being called a "riggged' elections. Says the US:

A White House spokesman today said that "the United States has condemned the actions of the Belarus security forces in the early morning hours, in which they seized and detained Belarus citizens who were peacefully protesting a fraudulent election."

And what the F&*(^! happened in NY City during the Republican convention? What exactly was that eh?
What about the detention of Cindy Sheehan when she was lawfully entering the congress at the invite of congresspersons for the State of the Union speech because she was wearing a shirt in protest of the War in Iraq?

What stiff necked hypocrites!!

And this goes doubly for the EU which knows full well that the US government has engaged in illegal arrests of peaceful protestors and has not once called for sanctions.

Stiff. Necked. Hypcrites!

That the US population is too fat, to lazy and too complacent to stand up for their so called "constitutional rights" makes no difference. I bet. I bet $1,000 that if US citizens went to DC to protest the NSA wiretapping, blocked traffic in and around the capital in such a manner that "normal business" could not be conducted and refused to leave until Bush was arrested and charged for his admitted crime, the police in DC would be arresting people to. I bet!

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

So I've just finished reading the body of the so called "controversial" and "trash" paper, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy and I'm left asking what is the controversy about?

Almost everything in the paper is something I and anyone else who has kept abreast of international and national news already knows. The paper clearly states what it means by the Lobby which is defined as a small group of Jews and non-Jews (who are mostly Christian Zionists) who do not represent the majority of American Jewery(or European for that matter), who are pro Israel and are defacto agents of the Israeli government. All the objections I've seen published so far have been clear slander (Antisemitism) or the usual "after the Holocaust you would think." comments. While there are many scholars who are claiming that the paper does not represent good scholarship (note: bad scholarship at Harvard? Who knew) I haven't yet seen a critique that negates the main thrust of the paper. I'll be on the lookout for any of it though. Feel free to post links to such things if they exist. Other critiques have been irrelevant issues (unfortunately a practice becoming more and more common in America) or innuendo about Nazism (unfounded by any of the text).

Since the paper is over 80 pages and heavily annotated I think the first question that should be asked of anybody who pops the "Holocaust" or "Anti-Semite" remark is if they had, in fact read the entire paper. See I've noticed that like the Bill Cosby speech, a whole lot of people have formed opinions based on things they heard reported and not based on the actual data. Matta fack, it happens here in the comments section a lot of times. I bet that this paper will simply drop off the radar because it names names and presents information that so far no one can credibly counter. David Horowiitz of Frontpage Mag tried but you's David Horowitz, nuff said.

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This Illegal Immigration Thing 2

Apparently there are people who think that I am wrong on my position on illegal immigration. I have stated clearly that illegal immigrants are being used by business to depress wages to extract more profits. To prove this point I offer President Bush himself:

Guest-worker proposals would allow businesses to offer special work visas to illegal immigrants already in the country if they can show that U.S. workers will not take the positions. The visas would last for up to six years under the leading Senate proposals, but senators are divided over whether workers would have to return to their home countries for a year before qualifying for a renewal.

"But part of enforcing our borders is to have a guest-worker program that encourages people to register their presence so that we know who they are, and says to them, 'If you're doing a job an American won't do, you're welcome here for a period of time to do that job,' " Bush said after meeting with groups involved in the immigration fight.

For a group of people who want the "Market to decide" it is odd that business should be petitioning the government for special status for their exploited workers. If Americans don't want to work to pick fruit why is that? If it is because the wages are low then why not follow the laws of supply and demand. Wages would have to go up to entice workers to do the work. That's how a "free market" is supposed to work right? But no, Instead we are supposed to back programs that
allow companies to use undocumented workers (who cannot form unions) to do work the companies refuse to increase wages for.

Oh that's right. If fruit pickers get higher wages then the costs of fruit goes up. Well yeah. And? I'd rather pay more for fruit knowing that the person picking it is not being exploited than pay next to nothing for it and have their blood on my hands, or in my stomach. And besides, the cost of fruit is also determined by transport costs and the associated profit margins for that. It is also the retail costs and the profit margins associated with that as well. Is it a problem for all involved to make less profit to avoid worker exploitation? I think so.

This is why I am opposed to the current proposal in the Senate as well as 'Guest worker" programs. I am opposed to anything that depresses or stagnates the wages of working class citizens and that, readers, represents a large portion of Americans and represents a whole lot of Black people.

On the other hand I take up the challenge of "Jobs Americans don't want to do." with Black American unemployment at all time highs for certain groups of AA's I suggest a serious serious look inward regarding the attitude towards "menial" work. Dish washing isn't glamorous or "Bling" but it's honest work. Landscaping isn't bling work either, but it's honest work. If you've been in and out of jail or dropped out of High School because you wanted to be cool, you need to realize that you cost YOURSELF opportunities by deciding to be a "f-up." If you were put in a bad spot because your parents made bad choices recognize that and move on. It's not fair, but it's how it is. You can't change your past only your future. If you are being passed over for employment because of illegal immigration you need to speak up.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Speaking of Darwin

A couple of posts ago I discussed Autumn's poem. Specifically the reference to Darwin. Interestingly Salon has an article entitled "Religious belief itself is an adaptation"that is very relevant:

Did he have any particular agenda when he set out on his voyage on the Beagle?
Click here

I don't think so. He was a deeply religious man. He hadn't thought about evolution at all. What he was was an all-purpose observer, with a particular interest in natural history, and of course in beetles, which were the love of his life.

And it's worth pointing out that when Darwin first set out on the Beagle, he brought his own Bible. He had to overturn his whole upbringing to come up with this revolutionary idea.

Darwin departed England a devout Bible literalist. After failing his effort to become a doctor, he had in fact trained as a minister at Cambridge University. As he says in his autobiography, he would even pull out the Bible to settle some argument with other members of the ship's crew. But then as the trip went on, for reasons Darwin really never disclosed but I don't think had to do with the idea of evolution, he gradually dropped his Christian beliefs. Becoming a man of the world and much more aware of other cultures and religious beliefs, he realized that the stories of the Bible were basically no different than the stories of these other religions.

But what really turned him against religion was the doctrine of damnation. He said if the Bible is true, you must be redeemed in Christ and be a believer in order to go to heaven. And others will be condemned. And that includes my brothers and all my best friends. And he said that is a damnable doctrine. Those are his words.

This is interesting because the book referenced by Autumn and her father condemns Darwin for effectively rehashing a "pagan" worldview. Yet it is clear that it was Darwin's willingness to question that lead him to go from fundamentalist Christian to what I suppose is Atheism. Deep down I know that most religious people are scared of this type of thing. They try to threaten and intimidate people from contact with "non-believers" because they are scared that they will find that what they believe is not all that true.

We also find this:

The only common ground that I see is the one that was approached by Darwin himself. Religious belief itself is an adaptation that has evolved because we're hard-wired to form tribalistic religions. Religion is intensely tribalistic. A devout Christian or Muslim doesn't say one religion is as good as another. It gives them faith in the particular group to which they belong and that set of beliefs and moral views...Oh yes, I grew up fundamentalist. I grew up as a Southern Baptist with strict adherence to the Bible, which I read as a youngster. As a child, I was warned by counselors and routine religious training that the truth was in the Bible. Redemption was only in Christ and the world is full of Satanic force. Satan himself perhaps -- but certainly his agents, witting and unwitting -- would try to make me drop my belief. I had that instilled in me. You have to understand how powerful the religious drive is -- the instinct which I consider tribalist but probably necessary -- in most societies for continuing day-to-day business.

A pretty honest evaluation of most if not all religions. read the rest of the interview it is most interesting and reflects my outlook pretty well.

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Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome

I saw Dr. Leary give an abbreviated presentation on Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome. I had an issue with a specific statement she made and wrote to her about it. Having not received any response I am posting the e-mail here so that other people may be informed of it:

Dr. Leary;
I would first like to thank you for the presentation you gave at William Paterson University on Feb 2. 2006. I have seen your work via Gil Noble’s Like It Is program and was very excited to hear you in person.  There was, however, one point you made which the data did not support and that was the assertion you made regarding the non-existence of race as a biological fact. I feel it necessary to take this issue up because I feel it detracts from what is a most excellent diagnosis.
Since we both agree on the prevalence of cognitive dissonance, I think we should be able to come to an agreement on this particular issue.   Let me start with a question:
If the Egyptians could clearly note differences in humans, how can we in 2006 claim that there are none?  While it is imperative that we remove the white supremacist ideology of race, which you made a strong argument for, it is a mistake to say there are no races.
When I discuss race I often ask: who would mistake Lucy Liu (of Charlies Angels fame), Loretta Devine and Carmen Electra for each other?
No one.
Anyone who could see would immediately be able to discern distinct differences between the three individuals even though such differences are apparently “skin deep.”
Yet modern “liberal” scientists would want to tell us that which we see does not exist. Surely you would agree that this is cognitive dissonance.
Further, since people are usually uncomfortable with distinguishing “races” because it is becoming a faux pas in liberal circles I offer an alternative question:
Can you identify a dog?
Of course you can. Practically everyone can identify a German Sheppard, Poodle, Spaniel, Dane, Boxer, etc. It is universally accepted that these are breeds of dogs. But what is breed but another word for ‘race.”   Indeed breeding is defined as:
Developing for a particular purpose or quality.
Different dog breeds have different qualities or phenotypes.  Breeds of humans have different qualities and phenotypes.  Biologically we are speaking of the same thing.
Like humans, different breeds (races) of dogs can mate and produce “hybrids” such as cockapoos and other so called ‘exotic” dogs. 
Oddly, the minute these same facts are applied to humans, it is  “unscientific.” It’s “racist.” No, it is a shell game. It is cognitive dissonance.
Having established the phenotypic basis for recognizing “races” let’s deal with the genetics (note this is my academic area of expertise). It is now popular to claim that humans are 99% genetically alike and to act as if the 1% difference (rounded numbers) doesn’t make any difference. This is yet more cognitive dissonance. You get the wrong blood type for a transfusion and you are dead. You have the right genetic makeup and you are resistant to malaria. Another anomaly will grant you great immunity to the poisons of cigarette smoke. There are thousands of genetic differences within’ the 1 percent that have a great effect on the human condition. A single change can be the difference between life or death or more pertinent to this discussion, being black, brown, red, yellow, pink or not colored in terms of skin color alone.
Dr. Louis Leaky, claimed in one of his books (which I don’t have with me at this time, I’m going “off the dome”), that if the entire human species were to disappear except for the group of people he was studying in Kenya, 90% of all human variance that we see in the world today would could be reconstituted from that Kenyan group.
Furthermore, Mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome analysis show that the Rift Valley African woman is the mother of all humanity and that the same is true for the African man (I can forward you the research if you like).
You posed the question of how ho get blond Aborigines and straight haired Europeans.
The answer is simple. Since we know that the Black African is the mother of humanity then at some point the Black African mother had to have a child with the genetic ability to produce a lighter version of itself. Indeed all over Africa we have the births (and usually premature deaths) of Albinos who have blond hair and blue eyes. Blond hair is simply hair that has little or no melanin.  It is known by these same scientists who tell us “there is no race” that melanation is the normal process and condition of humans and that all other skin colors are a product of de-melanization, primarily to facilitate vitamin D production in environments with less sunlight. If you like I can also send you the data on the process of melanization and the different blocks on the production of melanin.
Similarly, in regards to hair texture, curly hair is dominant to straight hair, straight hair genes always lose out to “curly” genes.  Therefore, in the move to Northern climates, Black homo sapiens had natural pressure on them to lose melanin in order to produce Vitamin D for healthy bones, it is no doubt that along with lighter skin and a decreased ability to produce melanin, hair color and texture changes also happened (non melanized hair is less dense than melanated hair). These changes were inbred by the small founding populations and gave rise to the new breed of human just like careful selective breeding of dogs can produce a breed.
Now, you asked about the Eskimos. Why are they dark even though they are well away from the Equator and receive very little light? The answer, which has also been known to scientists, is that the Eskimo diet is high in fish that contain high levels of vitamin D. Thus the pressure to lose cutaneous melanin was not there.
These Eskimos are believed to be the founding population of the Americas, which explains the brown and red coloring of the natives. They still retained the melanization potential of their ancestors.
So this, in brief is the reason why your assertion clearly based on “scientific publications” that race biologically doesn’t exist is wrong. There is no need for this assertion in order for your diagnosis to be valid. Indeed Linnaeus was a white supremacist, but one can knock him down without disappearing whole breeds of Homo sapiens. Indeed disappearing POC’s is the exact reason for this recent push to claim the non-existence of race. If races don’t exist then certain claims by now non-existent peoples as a group no longer need to be listened to. We do not need to concern ourselves with black Katrina victims because we disappear them in the name of  “humanity.” Furthermore this idea is also used to spread racist guilt to POC’s by saying that as humans they are somehow equally responsible for racism, which is untenable.
I believe you may have inadvertently found yourself aiding such an ideology, since everything else in your presentation points to your desire to not see black (or any other peoples) disappeared or for the dominant group to deflect facts that cause them cognitive dissonance
You may find much of this logic posted on my Blog:

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This Illegal Immigration Thing

I was really avoiding this topic because I'm of two minds about it. On the one hand I understand the anti-illegal immigration stand in that it is simply against the law to enter the country outside of legal pathways. That's a no brainer to me. That's is what makes the immigration illegal. On the other hand I understand the "give me your poor" and "This used to be Mexico" angle. America with the exception of the Natives is a country of immigrants and therefore persons who act like they are somehow "native" to America and think they should dictate who should come in and who should not are out of line. Indeed a lot of people are nativist.

I am the type of person who can see that the real argument should not be about who comes in (which is typically couched in "racist" terms), but the means which they come in and what happens when they get here. Let me say at the outset that I do not support the current legislation that would criminalize giving aide (in terms of medicine, food, housing. etc) to illegal immigrants. That is simply inhumane and most importantly, is not the actual problem.

Lets also debunk a particular argument used by pro "immigrant" persons: Illegal immigrants pay taxes. Now from what I understand, an Illegal immigrant does not have a Social Security Number. Therefore the person legally and for tax purposes does not exist. If such a person is hired the employer is not reporting that persons employment and therefore they are not paying the state and federal taxes. If this is incorrect then there has to be some kind of conspiracy between employers and the state to let that happen. Thus assuming the above to be true, Illegals are NOT paying state-federal taxes. Secondly the fact that illegals pay Sales taxes does not mean that they are entitled to services. Tourists pay sales taxes too. Out of state people pay sales taxes too, yet neither of these persons are eligible for residency in the state where the sales tax is payed. Similarly, an American in Mexico who pays Mexican sales tax (if they have it) could not use that as the basis for legal status. So let's just toss those arguments out because they are pretty specious and distract from the real issue.

Lastly, some people are asking for "clearer paths" to citizenship. I really don't think there needs to be a "clearer path." the path is particularly clear. You go to the embassy apply for a visa. Get the Visa, arrange transportation. Once in the country, present yourself to the appropriate agency and do whatever it is they require. Pretty clear. The actual problem is that for a variety of reasons persons choose not to go through the paths laid out. This post is not going to explore those reasons though.

So then what is the issue? Jobs. Anyone who has eyes to see will tell you that when it comes to many types of physical labor "hispanics" are all over the place. Whether that labor is in Hotels, cleaning rooms, doing maintenance or cooking in kitchens, there is a very high number of "hispanics" doing this job (I have no clue to the status of these individuals and I don't want to imply that these persons are illegal immigrants). On construction jobs, even those dead smack in 90% black neighborhoods will have "hispanics" doing all manner of physical work, with white anglo men giving directions and a handful (if that) of black men on the job. Of course we have the typical or stereotypical lawn care industry in which a large percentage of the workers are "hispanic." We have had reports that show that Walmart has been subcontracting maintenance crews for their stores. Some of these companies hire illegal immigrants with sub-standard wages in order to give the lowest bids. This is THE problem.

Illegal Immigrants are used by Corporations to depress wages in certain low-skilled but physically intensive work. For an Illegal the prospect of any US Dollar wage is far more than they could earn in the country (50% come from Mexico) of their origin. Yet for life in the US such wages are insufficient. So we have a problem. Americans supposedly do not want to do the jobs that the illegals (and legals) are taking. This is probably true to an extent. However, a large reason why such jobs are not wanted is because of the poverty wages that they offer. Such jobs, prior to the waves of illegal immigration was the type of job that teens and others just out of High School may have taken. Now they are being taken by grown people which in essence displaces entry level work that used to represent the starting points for US citizens. So while their is merit to the "jobs gringos don't want" argument, the issue of depressed wages needs to be addressed as well.

Along with this is a phenomenon that may be only my own observation. As hispanics move into "the jobs gringos don't want" they tend to hire people they are most comfortable with (which is natural) or those they feel they need to look out for: other "Hispanics." Now that presents another problem: Lock out. Where I live the entire maintenance crew is Hispanic. Every ancillary service that comes in is also Hispanic. In terms of groundskeeping there is a local black (American) company that does landscaping. the only time I see that company doing work near where I live is when a black family contracts them for work on their property. Yes they do an excellent job. So the question I have is how come they have not received a contract or some other vendor status to do work for the complex where I live? There are many possibilities, but I believe that a part of the problem is lock out.

So what should be done? In my opinion, the current law winding it's way through Congress needs to be trashed. What needs to happen is the enforcement of current law:
a) it is illegal to traffic in people, lets enforce that law.
b) It is illegal to cross the border except at approved points with the intent of immigrating. Enforce that law as well.
c) It is a legal requirement for registered companies to pay laborers less than minimum wage. Enforce that law. In fact I say we amend it to revoke the business status of any company that is found breaking this law as well as it's owners /operators.
d) if it isn't already, require companies that subcontract out work to require certification of compliance with labor laws. Specifically no contractor should be able to use undocumented workers. This should put a halt on the downward pressure on wages because a company could not get contracts while having undocumented workers on staff.
e) in conjunction with d, the IRS needs to make examples out of companies who's output exceeds what is possible by their reported employees. If a company is doing construction and is doing 300 man hours but only declares employees that can do 100 man hours then there is a problem. There should be an auditing team to sort through paperwork.

Basically, end the incentives for illegal immigration. A person who comes here illegally (from anywhere) won't get work (the prime reason to come to the states). You hire a maid who's not documented and YOU may the price for it. A company that wants to stay in business needs to be afraid of what will happen to it for employing persons. The immigrant should not be seen as a pariah for being an immigrant. Those who provide aid to immigrants should not be criminalized. The criminal behavior of those who exploit the immigrant should be penalized. This is like how prostitution is dealt with in Sweden. Prostitutes are not treated as criminals, the Johns are. They tackle the exploitation of women by dealing with the exploiters rather than those vulnerable to exploitation.

There also needs to be a political issue brought up with Hispanic community leaders. Although I'm sure that there are many black men and women who are caught up in Bling and drug dealing, there are also people who are willing to work who are locked out. It is simply unacceptable that there may be a lock out of jobs by "hispanic" companies. Such a thing would be called "institutional racism" if Anglos did it, but it appears to be accepted here. I think Sharpton had it right when he fell out with Ferrer about political respect. If this kind of lock out continues, and I suspect it will, then blacks will be on the losing side due to their lack of cohesion and a bad attitude (historically understandable) towards physical labor.

Let us be clear. There is a problem of Illegal immigration and we should not, in black communities, simply label people who see the problem and object as "racist." there are jobs being displaced there are possibly whole industries on lock. The solution does not lie in criminalizing good samaritan behavior, it lies in addressing the exploitation of workers by businesses and dealing with apparent unfair practices of those groups that largely host the immigrants.

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Prisoner Abuse in Guantanamo

D-Sekou of Deskrat fame has posted a pertinent piece from truthout and NPR regarding the forced feeding of prisoners at the Guantanamo prison in Cuba.

Yousef was the second detainee to have an NG [nasal gastric] tube inserted into his nose and pushed all the way down his throat and into his stomach, a procedure which caused him great pain. Yousef was given no anesthesia or sedative for the procedure; instead, two soldiers restrained him - one holding his chin while the other held him back by his hair, and a medical staff member forcefully inserted the tube in his nose and down his throat. Much blood came out of his nose. Yousef said he could not speak for two days after the procedure; he said he felt like a piece of metal was inside of him. He said he could not sleep because of the severe pain."

This is torture not medical care.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Black Men's Burden

Last night the NY Times posted an article entitled: Plight Deepens for Black Men, Studies Warn which contained information which anyone paying attention would know by now:

Focusing more closely than ever on the life patterns of young black men, the new studies, by experts at Columbia, Princeton, Harvard and other institutions, show that the huge pool of poorly educated black men are becoming ever more disconnected from the mainstream society, and to a far greater degree than comparable white or Hispanic men.

Assuming this to be true, it lays out a very ugly picture. If the drop out rates in certain locations remain the same then we are looking a serious long-term problem. While we expect, in America, for black men to trail white (non-so-called hispanic) men, the fact that black men are also in worse shape than so called "Latinos" and I use the phrase "so-called" because one can be black and come from a spanish speaking (or portugese in the case of Brazil) country or background. But I digress. There's a lot made about black and brown unity on issues. I think this report may back up my contention that blacks and browns may not have as much in common as is thought.

Especially in the country's inner cities, the studies show, finishing high school is the exception, legal work is scarcer than ever and prison is almost routine, with incarceration rates climbing for blacks even as urban crime rates have declined.

This point is particularly troubling as I contend that a large part of the reason for high rates of black incarceration is related to the lack of black business ownership in black communities. In any community the local business is the avenue of first employment it is the first example of careers and business ownership. When everything in a community is owned by people outside that community and those business owners are (rightfully) more concerned with employing their family members in order to keep money in the family, the employment prospects for local young people drops. I'll even add that a part of the problem is also the get money attitude that many young men fall into. No desire or training (or a combination of both) to wait to finish one's education in order to earn the long buck. The idea that life is short so one should have as much fun as possible as soon as possible also plays a serious role in this incarceration problem.
Some would talk about unfair sentencing and police work, but as true as that is, it is not THE determinate for black incarceration. Simply put, if one is not hanging out then one is very unlikely to get arrested for selling crack or whatever. If one doesn't sell crack then one has a far lesser chance of being subject to the incarceration business. If one does not carry a weapon or go places or hang out with people who "necessitate" such armourments, then one's chances of "catching a case" is reduced exponentially. This is not to say that some people don't get caught up due to family problems and the like, but at the end of the day during the transition from childhood to manhood, one has to start making hard choices.

In response to the worsening situation for young black men, a growing number of programs are placing as much importance on teaching life skills — like parenting, conflict resolution and character building — as they are on teaching job skills.

As indicated earlier, this is about decision making. I believe that the two biggest issues are probably conflict resolution in a the face of a popular culture that glorifies confrontation as a measure of manliness.

¶The share of young black men without jobs has climbed relentlessly, with only a slight pause during the economic peak of the late 1990's. In 2000, 65 percent of black male high school dropouts in their 20's were jobless — that is, unable to find work, not seeking it or incarcerated. By 2004, the share had grown to 72 percent, compared with 34 percent of white and 19 percent of Hispanic dropouts. Even when high school graduates were included, half of black men in their 20's were jobless in 2004, up from 46 percent in 2000.

I want folk to really sit down and think on this. For many people their 20's is when they are getting their employment legs. They are at the bottom of whatever profession and are working their way up. If you take away someone's 20's you have eliminated their foundation for work which many will be unable to recover from for an extra decade.

Dropout rates for Hispanic youths are as bad or worse but are not associated with nearly as much unemployment or crime, the data show.

With the shift from factory jobs, unskilled workers of all races have lost ground, but none more so than blacks. By 2004, 50 percent of black men in their 20's who lacked a college education were jobless, as were 72 percent of high school dropouts, according to data compiled by Bruce Western, a sociologist at Princeton and author of the forthcoming book "Punishment and Inequality in America" (Russell Sage Press). These are more than double the rates for white and Hispanic men.

Now this is an interesting point. Why, if "hispanics" are having the same amount of drop-outs, are they not exhibiting the same amount of incarceration and unemployment? I suggest, and this is wholly speculative on my part, that the reason for less crime is a by product of the lower rate of employment. Persons who have jobs to keep have less time to get involved with crime, especially the stand on the corner dealing crack type of crime. Also, and again this is highly speculative, if one has a job and have a culture in which men are expected to provide for family (or at least girlfriend and child) then I also think that one is less likely to get involved with crime as it would be shameful to not be providing for your woman and/or child. In the larger black community of late, the whole "Niggas aint shit," Bitches and Hoes" attitude that is very prevalent in the most popular music in history (possibly) tends to cause friction between black men and women so women are unable to play stabilizing roles in mens lives (yes they do). So when the message is 'niggas aint shit" and "I don't need a man" are the prevalent attitudes around impressionable black boys, then they learn that women are not to be trusted and are "out to get them." and are therefore to be used and not provided for (and I'm not going to get into the patriarchy angle on this. That is a whole other discussion). So black men get caught up on paper chasing and hoe slaying and eventually baby making hence perpetuating the problem (this phenomenon has been well laid out By Dr. Frances Cress Welsing in The Isis Papers). Tie this up with the fact that a lot of low level entry jobs are being taken, well better said, offered to illegal immigrants which depresses wages and that since many of these illegals are spanish speaking and therefore spanish speakers are more employable in these fields leaves a pretty good explanation for black men falling so far behind.

Of course we have to recognize the attitudes of potential employers who are on record as displaying blatant bias against black potential employees. But then again, that too isn't new. Garvey warned us long ago that blacks would need to be the primary employers of themselves if they wanted to be economically self-sufficient. The data in this report only underscores this need. The causes of the problem is two fold: It is the lack of stable families or at least community standards of behaviours and expectations of black males and it is the lack of black businesses to serve as the entry point of black male employment and as beacons of the value of waiting and denying oneself for the future. Until these two issues are dealt with, black men will continue to have the problems outlined here.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Autumn's Poem: What The Real Problem Is

Let me begin this post stating that I knew of Autumn before this whole thing happened. Furthermore; I know and have worked with Autumn's father: Bro. Ashanti. He is very much down for the people so it is with some conflict that I post this piece. The Amsterdam News posted an article entitled: Seven-year-old poet defended, praised in which we find the following:

Some in the media were less than thrilled by her “White nationalism is what put you in bondage: pirates and vampires like Columbus, Morgan, and Darwin drank the blood of the sheep, trampled all over them with steel, tricks and deceit.”

Well I didn't have much of a problem until I saw the part about Darwin. Now I asked myself what exactly does Darwin have in common with Columbus and Morgan (JP?) besides complexion? The answer to that question revealed itself:

He explained that they worked on the poem together after reading “The Disasters Darwinism Brought to Humanity.”

Ahh I see. So what exactly is this book? A quick Google of the title finds the following site: in which we find the following:

The 20th century, which we have just left behind us, was a century of war and conflict, leading to disasters, pain, massacres, poverty, and enormous destruction. Millions of people were killed, massacred, abandoned to hunger and death, and left without home or shelter, protection, or support. And all for nothing: in the name of serving deviant ideologies. Millions were left exposed to inhuman treatment that not even animals should be allowed to suffer. On nearly every occasion there were despots' and dictators' signatures beneath all the suffering and disasters: Stalin, Lenin, Trotsky, Mao, Pol Pot, Hitler, Mussolini, Franco… While some of these men shared the same ideology, others were enemies to the death. For the simple reason that their ideologies were opposed to each other, they dragged societies into conflict and turned brother against brother, having them start wars, throw bombs, burn and destroy cars, homes, and shops, and hold riotous demonstrations. Putting weapons in their hands, they had them pitilessly beat the young, the old, men, women, and children to death or stand them against a wall and shoot them… They were ruthless enough to hold a gun to a person's head and, looking into his eyes, kill him, and crush his head with their feet, just because he supported another idea. They ejected people from their homes, whether women, children, or the elderly…

Fascism and Communism come at the head of the ideologies that caused mankind to suffer those dark days. These are seen as enemies, as ideas that tried to destroy each other. In actual fact, there is a most interesting truth here: for these ideologies were nourished by a single ideological source, drew strength and support from that source, and, thanks to that source, were able to draw societies to their side. At first sight, this source has never drawn any attention, has always remained behind the scenes up until now, and has always shown people its innocent-looking face. That source is the materialist philosophy, and DARWINISM, the state of that philosophy as adapted to nature.

Darwinism emerged in the 19th century as the restating of a myth, dating back to the Sumerians and Ancient Greece, by the amateur biologist Charles Darwin, and has since then formed the fundamental idea behind all the ideologies that have been harmful to mankind. Wearing a so-called scientific mask, it allowed these ideologies and their supporters' practical measures to win a false legitimacy.

Another site says:

Almost five thousand years ago… In the fertile soils of the Middle East, pagan religions prevailed in Mesopotamia,. These pagans generated a number of myths and superstitions about the origin of life and the universe. One of these was the belief in “evolution”. According to the Sumerian Enuma-Elish epic, life first appeared spontaneously in water and then evolved in one species from one another.

Many years later, the myth of evolution found fertile ground in another pagan civilisation, Ancient Greece. Some Greek philosophers, calling themselves "materialists", accepted only the existence of matter and counted matter as the original source of life. Consequently, they resorted to the myth of evolution, inherited from the Sumerians, to explain how living beings came into existence. Thus, ancient Greece became the junction point of materialist philosophy and the myth of evolution. The pagan Romans later cherished this heritage.

These two concepts from idol-worshipping cultures were introduced to the modern world in the 18th century. Some European intellectuals influenced by ancient Greek sources who accordingly adopted ‘materialism’ with one common belief: they were completely against the very idea of monotheistic religion. The book by the renowned materialist, Baron d'Holbach, The System of Nature was considered the "principal source of atheism."

Now see, we've been lead to believe that it is only fundamentalist Christians who have serious issues with Darwin. Ahh Soooooooo! I won't get into my problem with the whole "pagan" commentary. I mean I could easily, EASILY write a book entitled "The Disasters that Islamism Brought Humanity" or equally "The Disasters that Christendom brought Humanity" and it would be seen as an unprovoked attack against peoples beliefs even if the content was factual (if not out of context).

Indeed this is the problem with the Darwin quote in the poem. Yes there is a thing called "Social Darwinism" and all kinds of nasty thinking that used Darwins Origins of Species as a foundation of those ideas. That does not mean that Evolution as a scientific theory (with much supporting it) is invalid.l Indeed young Autumn is unprepared to read such a book with a critical eye. For example the book and websites claim that there is no scientific proof of Macro-evolution. That is completely false. In fact such support for the theory of Evolution comes from a wide variety of fields of study.

This brings me to another point:

Barron presented Ashante with a special proclamation from the City Council. “We don’t care what anybody else says, we are proud of you because you spoke out for us. She said nothing that was not true or inspiring,”
I'm sorry brother Barron, Autumn was not speaking for me since I have no real qualms with the theory of evolution. This smacks of the kind of anti-intellectual, scientifically illiterate people I deal with on a constant basis. Just because what was said angered a few white people doesn't make it correct and damn sure don't make it "Black."

Anyway, I hope to hear more from Autumn as she grows up and finds her own voice, if she's like the other poets I know, she'll be writing a poem about what she used to believe.

American Big Man VII: Big Man Grows a Whole Size

Today I read in the Washington Post that "the party in charge" is continuing to pursue the undermining of the FISA court:

The bill would allow the NSA to eavesdrop, without a warrant, for up to 45 days per case, at which point the Justice Department would have three options. It could drop the surveillance, seek a warrant from FISA's court, or convince a handful of House and Senate members that although there is insufficient evidence for a warrant, continued surveillance "is necessary to protect the United States," according to a summary the four sponsors provided yesterday. They are Mike DeWine (Ohio), Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), Chuck Hagel (Neb.) and Olympia J. Snowe (Maine).

You have got to be in Awe on the actually balls on these folk to actually put in writing a law that effectively nullifies the Fourth Amendment. Oh, we don't have any grounds for the eavesdropping but let us continue on anyway. We need to protect the US. How long until this goes down to the state level. "We need to do x y or z in order to "protect the citizens." Anything goes to 'protect the citizens."

Oh but this isn't the worst part. Well maybe it is, but in another development the "Party in Charge" is attempting to make sure that no other person actually attempts to inform the people on the illegal activities of the U.S. Government:

The bill introduced yesterday calls for fines of up to $1 million and prison terms of up to 15 years for those who disclose "classified information related to the Terrorist Surveillance Program," the administration's name for the NSA operation. The penalties would not apply to journalists.

Oh I see. If you whistleblow on the government you should go to Jail and pay up to $1 million. However, should you be the actual person breaking the law you get..what? Ummm..that's right; a free ride! I mean this is the definition of Ass backwards. Yes folks, these are the people that more than 50% of Americans put into office on account of being scared to death of Homosexuals and Abortions. Not to worry people! you can be spied on, grabbed off the street and imprisoned indefinitely and any-damn-place on the planet. You can have feds show up at your job if you speak well of Hugo Chavez but by golly them damn gays can't get married and that girl raped by her dad will have that baby!

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Addendum to Sirleaf speech

Minister Faust of the Bro-Log took me to task on my critique of Hon. Ellen Sirleaf's speech to congress, specifically around the claim of Liberia being the first "independent Republic" of Africa. Minister Faust has pointed out that if taken literally Liberia would be the first "Republic" of Africa. Secondly, the good minister has pointed out that Ethiopia was a monarchy and therefore could not be. by definition considered a Republic. On these two points I must concede and offer up this more detailed explanation of my objection to Hon. Sirleaf's comments.

Liberia is/was an American Colony. Let us be clear. Blacks who "founded" the country were doing so under the auspices of the American Colonization Society. That organization was founded for the express purpose of sending "free people of color" to Africa (or anywhere else) that the US Congress deemed appropriate. The society received funds from the state legislatures of Virginia, New Jersey among others. When establishing Liberia the ACS used the same means that other white countries did in Africa, they "purchased" lands and when all else failed, or for expediency, they used threats of or actual violence. So let us be clear, Liberia at it's inception was an American colony. That black people were the agents of colonization does not make it any different than Ghana, Nigeria or Kenya. In my opinion, the fact that black people were party to this is even more disturbing.

It is my position then that since Liberia was an American colony, the civil war there is no different than the independence struggles of other African colonies they were simply directed at "black-anglo saxons" rather than the British, French or Belgians. In this sense, I reject the claim that Liberia was the first Independent anything in Africa. In terms of colonization era it would be Ghana that holds that title.

In reference to Ethiopia, revisiting Hon. Sirleaf's speech I believe (and that is only so valid until confirmed) that the "First Independent" statement was made to place Liberia at the head of independent Africa. In that context I think that Ethiopia, even though it was a Monarchy,was still the only State in Africa that remained independent and that is something that no leader in Africa ought to forget to mention when discussing colonialism. Therefore, I still fault Hon. Sirleaf for her statement which I believe reinforces some notion of American largess in Africa that is simply unfounded.

Lastly, not really related to the content of the speech, Why are so many bloggers, especially African ones, having multiple orgasms because Hon. Sirleaf is addressing the US Congress? The Chinese president has never spoken to Congress and the Chinese are doing quite well. Hugo Chavez has never and probably will never speak to Congress but is arguably a better statesperson and leader that George W. Bush ever will be. So really, those who speak to Congress or are invited to the White House are typically not really good leaders. This is not a slam on Hon. Sirleaf, but given that the US Congress and government has had the likes of Mobutu as welcome guests, I would personally be concerned about what I may be doing wrong to earn such a visit. Let us not fall back into tokenism and overly emotional responses when Washington puts the spotlight on one of us. The US Congress is simply not that important. I stil say, make that trip too Venezuela!

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Liberia Watch- Sirleaf Speech to US Congress

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia spoke to Congress today. Below is the text of her speech compliments of All Africa with comments from tha Ghost:

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of the United States Congress distinguished guests,

I am deeply touched by the honor bestowed on my small but proud West African Republic of Liberia and on myself by inviting me to address this body of representatives of the people of the great United States of America.

GG: Umm given the deep divide between what much of the country thinks and what the "representatives" are doing I wouldn't say this.

By this invitation, you have paid one of the greatest tributes there is to those who laid down their lives for my country to be free and democratic. I can only say a big thank you.

The people of Liberia and the people of the United States are bound together by history and by values. We share a deep and abiding belief in the power of freedom, of faith and of finding virtue in work for the common good.
GG: Ummm no...

The national motto of Liberia - founded, as you know, by freed American slaves - is "The Love of Liberty Brought us here." We became the first independent Republic in Africa. Our capital, Monrovia, is named for your president James Monroe. Our flag is a star in a blue field and red and white stripes - its one star makes us the lone star state in Africa. Our constitution and our laws were based upon yours. The U.S. dollar was long our legal tender and still is used alongside the Liberian dollar today.

GG: I would expect a "Harvard educated" person to know better but Ethiopia was a state before Liberia. In fact Ethiopia was never formally colonized thought the Italians (whom certain rappers have a particular affinity for) did terrorize that country which lead to Haile Selasie to give the famous "war" speech at the UN. Secondly it is pretty arguable that it was in fact the "violence of white folk" that brought the now "black anglo-Saxons" to Liberia where they proceeded to ape the ways and means of their white American tormentors.

But our ties greatly exceed the historical connection. I stand before you today, as the first woman elected to lead an African nation, thanks to the grace of Almighty God; thanks to the courage of the Liberian people, who chose their future over fear; thanks to the people of west Africa and of Africa generally, who continued to give hope to my people. Thanks also to President Bush whose strong resolve and public condemnation and appropriate action forced a tyrant into exile and thanks to you - the members of this august body - who spurred the international effort that brought blessed peace to our nation.

GG: Say, how DID Charles Taylor get into power anyway? Where was he trained? Where did he get all that money to purchase those arms? hmmmmm?

It was the leadership of the 108th Congress, more than two years ago, that paved the way for a United Nations force that secured our peace and guaranteed free and fair elections. It was your 445 million dollar addition to a supplemental appropriation that attracted additional commitments from international donors. With those funds, we have laid the foundation for a durable peace, not only in Liberia, but in the whole West African sub-region. Special appreciation goes to this 109th Congress for the effort, in recent weeks, to meet Liberia's development needs.

hmmmm a couple of billionj for Iraq and a half billion for a country with "historical ties." how much are black bodies worth? I guess congress is the wrong place to ask these kinds of questions.

Honorable ladies and gentlemen of this Congress, I want to thank you. The Liberian people have sent me here to thank you - thank you for your vision. Our triumph over evil is also your triumph.

Our special relationship with the United States brought us benefits long before the autumn of 2003. Thousands of our people, including myself, have been educated in American missionary schools and gone on to higher training in this country. You have generously welcomed tens of thousands of our people as they fled war and persecution.

I was among them. In 1985, after challenging the military regime's failure to register my political party, I was put in jail with several university students who also challenged the military rule. This House came to our rescue with a resolution threatening to cut off aid to the country unless all political prisoners were released. Months later, I was put in jail again, this time in a cell with 15 men. All of them were executed a few hours later. Only the intervention of a single soldier spared me from rape. Through the grace of Almighty God and the mercy of others, I escaped and found refuge here, in Washington, D.C.

But long before that, our country and I benefited from Liberia?s special relationship with the United States.

My family exemplifies the economic and social divide that has torn our nation. Unlike many privileged Liberians, I can claim no American lineage. Three of my grandparents were indigenous Liberians; the fourth was a German who married a rural market woman. That Grandfather was forced to leave the country when Liberia - in loyalty to the United States - declared war on Germany in 1914.

GG: Let's discuss this privilege. Why would persons seeking "freedom" have special priviledges over those who were not ex-slaves? Probably not a question for congress but a good question for people to ask

Both of my grandmothers were farmers and village traders. They could not read or write any language - as more than three-quarters of our people still cannot today - but they worked hard, they loved their country, they loved their families and they believed in education. They inspired me then, and their memory motivates me now to serve my people, to sacrifice for the world and honestly serve humanity. I could not, I will not - I cannot - betray their trust.

My parents were sent at a young age to Monrovia, where it was common for elite families to take in children from the countryside to perform domestic chores. They endured humiliations and indignities, but my mother was fortunate to be adopted by a kind woman, and both my parents were able through this system to go to school - a rarity at that time for poor people. My father even became the first native Liberian in the Liberian National Legislature.

I was not born with the expectation of a University education from Harvard or being a World Bank officer or an Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations. When I was a small girl in the countryside, swimming and fishing with twine made from palm trees, no one would have picked me out as the future president of our country.

I graduated from the College of West Africa, a United Methodist high school. I waited tables to support my studies in the United States - college in Wisconsin and graduate school in Massachusetts. I went on to enjoy the benefits and advantages of a world-class education.

So my feet are in two worlds - the world of poor rural women with no respite from hardship, and the world of accomplished Liberian professionals, for whom the United States is a second and beloved home. I draw strength from both.

But most of our people have not been as fortunate as I was. Always poor and underdeveloped, Liberia is only now emerging from two decades of turmoil that destroyed everything we managed to build in a century and a half of independence.

The cost of our conflict run wide and deep, manifested in varied ways - mismanagement, corruption, bad governance, massive looting of public treasury and assets. Unlike the Tsunami in Asia and Katrina here in your own country, where the destruction and human casualty were caused by nature, we participated in or stood silently by in our own self destruction. Our country agonized with your citizens and victims and families of these natural tragedies and our country also agonized with itself over the effects of a senseless civil war.

In the campaign months, I traveled to every corner of our country. I trudged through mud in high boots, where roads did not exist or had deteriorated past repair. I surveyed ruined hospitals and collapsed clinics. I held meetings by candlelight, because there is no electricity anywhere - including the capital - except from private generators. I was forced to drink water from creeks and un-sanitized wells all of which made me vulnerable to the diseases from which so many of our people die daily.

I came face to face with the human devastation of war, which killed a quarter of a million of our three million people and displaced most of the rest. Hundreds of thousands escaped across borders. More - who could not - fled into the bush, constantly running from one militia or another, often surviving by eating rodents and wild plants that made them sick and even killed them.

Our precious children died of malaria, parasites and mal-nourishments. Our boys, full of potential, were forced to be child soldiers, to kill or be killed. Our girls, capable of being anything they could imagine, were made into sex slaves, gang-raped by men with guns, made mothers while they were still children themselves.

But listening to the hopes and dreams of our people, I recall the words of a Mozambican poet who said, "Our dream has the size of freedom." My people, like your people, believe deeply in freedom - and, in their dreams, they reach for the heavens.

I represent those dreams. I represent their hope and their aspirations. I ran for president because I am determined to see good governance in Liberia in my lifetime. But I also ran because I am the mother of four, and I wanted to see our children smile again.

Already, I am seeing those smiles. For even after everything they have endured, the people of Liberia have faith in new beginnings. They are counting on me and my administration to create the conditions that will guarantee the realization of their dreams. We must not betray their trust.

All the children I meet - when I ask what they want most - say, "I want to learn." "I want to go to school." "I want an education." We must not betray their trust.

Young adults, who have been called our 'lost generation,' do not consider themselves lost. They, too, aspire to learn and to serve their families and their communities. We must not betray their trust.

Women, my strong constituency, tell me that they want the same chances that men have. They want to be literate. They want their work recognized. They want protection against rape. They want clean water that won't sicken and kill their children. We must not betray their trust.

Former soldiers tell me they are tired of war; they do not want to have to fight or to run again. They want training. They want jobs. If they carry guns, they want to do so in defense of peace and security, not war and pillage. We must not betray their trust.

Entrepreneurs who have returned from abroad with all their resources - risking everything to invest in their country's future - tell me they want a fair and transparent regulatory environment. They want honesty and accountability from their government. We must not betray their trust.

Farming families who fled the fighting for shelter in neighboring countries or found themselves displaced from their communities want a fresh start. They want to return home. They want seeds. They want farm implements. They want roads to get their goods to market. We must not betray their trust.

I have many promises to keep. As I won elections through a free and peaceful process, I must preserve freedom and keep the peace. As I campaigned against corruption, I must lead a government that curbs it. As I was elected with the massive vote of women, I must assure that their needs are met.

We are not oblivious to the enormity of the challenges we face. Few countries have been as decimated as ours. In the chaos of war, our HIV rates have quadrupled. Our children are still dying of curable diseases, tuberculosis, dysentery, measles, malaria and parasites and malnutrition. Schools lack books, equipment, teachers and buildings. The telecommunications age has passed us by.

We have a 3.5 billion dollar external debt, lent in large measure to some of my predecessors who were known to be irresponsible, unaccountable, unrepresentative and corrupt. The reality that we have lost our international creditworthiness bars us from further loans - although now we would use them wisely.

Really now? Who arranged these loans? If you agree that they were given when it was known that the receivers were not trustworthy why was the money leant? Why not ask straight out for debt relief?

Our abundant natural resources have been diverted by criminal conspiracies for private gain. International sanctions, imposed for the best of reasons, still prevent us from exporting our raw materials. Roads and bridges have disappeared or been bombed or washed away. We know that trouble could once again breed outside our borders. The physical and spiritual scars of war are deep indeed.

So with everything to be done, what must we do first?

We must do everything we can to consolidate the peace that so much was paid to secure, and we must work to heal the wounds of war. We must create an emergency public works program to put the whole nation to work and give families an income through the rebuilding of critical infrastructure, strengthening security and attracting investment.

We must rehabilitate the core of an electricity grid to high-priority areas and institutions - and visibly demonstrate to the people that government can provide necessary services.

We must bring home more of our refugees, and resettle the displaced. We must give them the tools to start anew, and encourage more of our skilled expatriates, who have the knowledge and the experience to build our economy to return home. For those unable to come home now, we must appeal to you to grant them continuing protective status, and residency where appropriate, to put them in a condition to contribute to their country's reform and development.

Oh, What's this? Garvey's plan from back in the 1920's being revisted? Of course Garvey will never ever be mentioned

We must complete the demobilization of former combatants and restructure our army, police and security services. We must create legal systems that preserve the rule of law, applied to all without fear or favor.

We must revive educational facilities, including our few universities. We must provide essential agricultural extension services to help us feed ourselves again, developing the science and technology skills to insure that we prosper in a modern global economy.

We must create an efficient and transparent tax system, to ensure the flow of government revenues and create a hospitable investment climate.

With few resources beyond the will of our people, I want you to know we have made a strong beginning. During my first few weeks in office, by curbing corruption we have increased government revenue by 21 percent, relative to the same period last year. We have cancelled non compliant forestry concessions and fraudulent contracts. We have required senior government appointees to declare financial assets; implemented cash management practices to insure fiscal discipline and sharpen efficiency; met the basic requirements for eligibility under the US general system of preferences and initial Exim Bank support. We have restored good relationships with bilateral and multilateral partners; commenced the process leading to an IMF Staff Monitoring Program; accelerated implementation of the Governance Economic Management Plan - the G-Map; and we have also launched a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate the abuses of war.

But while we seek national unity and reconciliation, we must not sacrifice justice. I respect the life-saving role that our West African neighbors, particularly Nigeria, played at no small cost to them in accepting to host Mr. Charles Taylor. Liberians are deeply grateful. But I say here, as I have said before, Liberia has little option but to see that justice is done in accordance with the requirements of the United Nations and the broad international community.

I know that my government must go beyond these strong beginnings; must do much more than we have done so far, and we must do it quickly. Our people's courage and patience are formidable, but their expectations are high. And their needs are urgent.

This does not mean that we want big government. We cannot afford it, and we believe that government should not attempt to do what civil society and business can do better.

The people of Liberia know that government cannot save the country - only their own strength, their determination, their creativity, resilience and their faith can do that. But they have the right to expect the essentials that only a government can provide.

They have the right to a government that is honest and that respects the sanctity of human life. They need and they deserve an economic environment in which their efforts can succeed. They need infrastructure and they need security. Above all, they need peace.

That is the task of my administration. To meet that challenge, to do what is right, I ask for the continuing support of this Congress and the American people.

Honorable Ladies and Gentlemen, my appeal comes with the recognition of all that you have already done. In addition to the financial assistance to disarm our fighters, to feed and house our displaced, the artful diplomacy of the United States was central to ending our long conflict. We thank you with all our hearts.

As small and as impoverished as we are, we cherish the friendship we have had with you. During the Second World War, we stood together, even if only symbolically, to fight Nazi expansionism and tyranny. At the request of President Roosevelt, we planted rubber trees after the Japanese seized the Indonesian supply. When U.S. laws prohibited sending ships to a Europe at war, we agreed to establish a shipping registry to help transport American goods.

During the Cold War, we hosted a submarine tracking center, an intelligence listening post and one of the largest Voice of America transmitters in the world.

Again, we ask that we continue working together but we do not ask for patronage. We do not want to continue in dependency. The benefits of your assistance must be mutual.

Honorable members of Congress, much is at stake for all of us.

Liberia at war brought misery and crimes against humanity to its neighbors - a toll that is beyond calculation. A peaceful, prosperous Liberia can contribute to democracy, stability and development in West Africa and beyond.

Nine times - nine times! - in the past 15 years, the United States has been forced to evacuate official Americans and their dependents from our country, at enormous cost to your taxpayers. Monrovia, I am told, is the most-evacuated U.S. embassy in the world. I am determined that you will not need to rescue your people from our shores for a tenth time. You contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to a UN Peacekeeping Force in Liberia. A fraction of this will be required to support a peaceful and stable Liberia.

Honorable Members of this great Congress, think with me about this. What is the return on an investment that trains young combatants for life, rather than death? What is the yield when our young men can exchange their guns for jobs? What is the savings in food aid when our people can feed themselves again? What is the profit from educating our girls to be scientists and doctors? What is the dividend when our dependence ends, and we become true partners rather than supplicants?

Honorable Members, we know that there is no quick fix for the reconstruction of our country, but Liberians, young and old, share their government's commitments to work, to be honest, to unite, to reconcile and to rebuild. A nation so well endowed, so blessed by God with natural resources, should not be poor. We have rubber and timber and diamonds and gold and iron ore. Our fields are fertile. Our water supply is plentiful. Our sunshine is warm and welcoming.

With your prayers and with your help, we will demonstrate that democracy can work, even under the most challenging conditions. We will honor the suffering of our people, and Liberia will become a brilliant beacon, an example to Africa and the world of what the love of liberty can achieve. We will strive to be America's success story in Africa, demonstrating the potential in the transformation from war to peace; demonstrating the will to join in the global fight against terrorism; demonstrating that democracy can prevail, demonstrating that prosperity can be achieved.

Umm..does this woman really believe in this so called "global fight against terrorism?" Would she had, does she in fact support the clearly illegal war in Iraq? If so this is not good. Secondly, I know this is congress but can we stop the brown nosing. Liberia should not be "America's success story" it should be "Africa's success story." This is really not looking to good.

The people of Liberia have already rolled up their sleeves, despite overwhelming obstacles, confident that their work will be rewarded, confident in the hope and promise of the future.

The women of Liberia and the women of Africa, some in the market place and some in high level of Government have already shared their trust and their confidence in my ability to succeed, and ensure that the doors of competitive politics and professionalism will be opened even wider for them.

Honorable members, I will succeed. I will not betray their trust. I will make them proud - I will make you proud - of the difference which one woman with abiding faith in God can do.

God bless you.

Our last note: We repeat our call for Liberia to form a strategic alliance with Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba. It is possible that if debt forgiveness is not attainable that Venezuela may step in with relief as they did for Argentina. It would be a mistake to again lay open liberia to vulture capitalists.

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