Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Kuumba

The present day Negro or "colored" intellectual is no less a liar and a cunning thief than his illustrius teacher. His occidental collegiate training only fits him to be a rogue and vagabond, and a seeker after the easiest and the best by following the line of least resistence [sic]. He is lazy, dull and un-creative. His purpose is to deceive the less fortunate of his race, and, by his wiles ride easily into position and wealth at their expense, and thereafter agitate for and seek social equality with the creative and industrious whites.

-Marcus Garvey

When a Negro student works his way through college by polishing shoes he does not think of making a special study of the science underlying the production and distribution of leather and its products that he may someday figure in this sphere. The Negro boy sent to college by a mechanic seldom dreams of learning mechanical engineering to build upon the foundation his father has laid, that in years to come he may figure as a contractor or a consulting engineer. The Negro girl who goes to college hardly wants to return to her mother if she is a washerwoman, but this girl should come back with sufficient knowledge of physics and chemistry and business administration to use her mother's work as a nucleus for a modern steam laundry.
-Carter G. Woodson

Nia

I trust that the Negro peoples of the world are now convinced that the work of the Universal Negro Improvement Association is not a visionary one, but very practical, and that it is not so far fetched, but can be realized in a short while if the entire race will only co-operate and work toward the desired end... it shall be the purpose of the Universal Negro Improvement Association to have established in Africa that brotherly co-operation which will make the interests of the African native and the American and West Indian Negro one and the same, that is to say, we shall enter into a common partnership to build up Africa in the interests of our race.

-Marcus Garvey

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ujamaa

Let Edison turn off his electric light and we are in darkness in Liberty Hall in two minutes, The Negro is living on borrowed goods."


Those of us who study industrial conditions among the race must have noticed that Negroes in AMerica have been thrown out of jobs that they occupied formerly, and their positions taken by European Immigrants.


Negroes are still filling places, and as time goes on and the age grows older our occupations will be gone from us, because those for whoom we filled the places will soon appear, and as they do we shall gradually find our places among the millions of permanently unemployed...A race that is solely dependent upon another for it's economic existence sooner or later dies.

-Marcus Garvey

"Ujamaa," then, or "familyhood," describes our socialism. It is opposed to capitalism, which seeks to build a happy society on the basis of the exploitation of man by man; and it is equally opposed to doctrinaire socialism which seeks to build its happy society on a philosophy of inevitable conflict between man and man.
We, in Africa, have no more need of being "converted" to socialism than we have of being "taught" democracy. Both are rooted in our own past--in the traditional society which produced us. Modern African socialism can draw from its traditional heritage the recognition of "society" as an extension of the basic family unit. But it can no longer confine the idea of the social family within the limits of the tribe, nor, indeed, of the nation. For no true African socialist can look at a line drawn on a map and say, "The people on this side of that line are my brothers, but those who happen to live on the other side of it can have no claim on me." Every individual on this continent is his brother.

-Julius Nyerere

Monday, December 28, 2009

This is My Country

From the NY Times:

“There’s a lot of racism here” that goes both ways, she insisted. “When you’ve been insulted and called a ‘sale Fran├žaise’ ” — a filthy Frenchwoman — “you think: ‘Wait, this is my country.’ ”


This underscores my previous position regarding the Swiss vote. It is their country.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ujima

The greatest stumbling block in the way of progress in the race has invariably come from within the race itself. The monkey wrench of destruction as thrown into the cog of Negro Progress, is not thrown so much by the outsider as by the very fellow who is in our fold, and who should be the first to grease the wheel of progress rather than seek to impede it.

But notwithstanding the lack of sympathetic co-operation, I have one consolation-That I cannot get away from the race, and so long as I am in the race and since I have sense and judgment enough to know what affects the race affects me, it is my duty to help the race to clear itself of those things that affect us in common.


-Marcus Garvey

[The] New Negro woman desires to take in the rebirth of Africa at home and abroad: To work on par with men in the offices as well as on the platform...


-Amy Jaques Garvey

Kujichagulia

The Negro who lives on the patronage of philanthropists is the most dangerous member of our society. because he is willing to turn back the clock of progress when his benefactors ask him to do so"

Every man has a right to his own opinion. Every race has a right to it's own action; therefore let no man persuade you against your will, let no other race influence you against your own."


-Marcus Garvey

Africans argue, and rightfully so, that one does not refer to the natives of England, or the natives of France, why then are they called natives, with the inference of contempt for their condition of handicap and suppression[?]


-Amy Jaques Garvey

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Umoja

"Show me a well organized nation, and I will show you a people and a nation respected by the world."

"The greatest weapon used against the Negro is disorganization"



-Marcus Garvey

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"It will make you Cinderella.”

Precisely the reason I believe black parents ought to steer clear of Disney:

“It’s O.K., dear,” said her mother, Seo Hye-kyong. “It will help make you pretty and tall. It will make you Cinderella.”

A growing conviction that tallness is crucial to success has prompted South Korean parents to try all manner of approaches to increase their children’s height, spawning hundreds of “growth clinics” that offer growth hormone shots, Eastern herbal medicine and special exercises to ensure that young clients will be the ones looking down, not the ones looked down upon.


NY Times

"There's Nothing We Can Do"

Jason Green, 32, and Melissa Jackson, 23, were suspended after witnesses said they callously walked out with their bagels and said "Call 911" instead of trying to help Eutisha Revee Rennix, who was gasping for air while sprawled on a coffee shop floor on Dec. 9.



NY Daily News

This really happened. Really. I think the above speaks for itself.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

No One Calls Them Out

So please tell me, how are we supposed to help build something decent and self-sustaining in Afghanistan and Pakistan when jihadists murder other Muslims by the dozens and no one really calls them out?


I believe I said this before

NY Times

NYT: Propaganda arm of the US Govt.

I swear reading this piece in the "Global" version of the NY Times, was like reading the daily report out of the Pentagon.

CAIRO — Iran announced Wednesday that it had test-fired an improved version of its most advanced missile capable of reaching Israel and parts of Europe, in a move that appeared aimed to discourage a military attack on its nuclear sites and to defy Western pressure over its nuclear program.


Ohhh Iran has a missile capable of reaching Israel! And Europe! Oh my. Israel has missiles that can reach Iran. And Israel has shown it is quite willing and able to use such weaponry on civilians. What's the bigger threat in the region? England, France, Germany, Russia and the US, a country separated from Iran by a couple of land masses and an entire ocean has missiles that can reach Iran. And the US has shown it will use said arms right next door to Iran. And the "news" is that Iran has tested a missile? That's the news?

The announcement provoked immediate rebukes from the White House and leaders in Europe, and appeared likely to intensify pressure from the United States and other Western powers to impose tougher economic sanctions on Iran.


Really? Exactly why is it the business of anyone in Washington or Europe that Iran, a sovereign nation with the right to self-defense. How is it legal in any framework of international law to impose sanctions on a nation exercising it's sovereign rights? Why is this news?

A White House spokesman told Reuters that the test undermined Iran’s claims that its nuclear program is peaceful, and said it would “increase the seriousness and resolve of the international community to hold Iran accountable” for its provocations.


Provocation? What provocation? Accountable for what? This is total BS. Total. Utter. BS. Provocation is threatening sanctions. Provocation is "all option on the table" threats. Those are provocations. Was anyone in the NY Times editorial staff actually awake and sane when this piece was written?

“It shows that Iran has the ability to stir unrest in the region and impact U.S. interests,” said Mustafa el-Labbad, director of The East Center for Regional and Strategic Studies in Cairo. “It can reach the oil fields on the other side of the Gulf.”


Stir unrest in the region? If exercising one's sovereign rights is "stirring unrest" pray tell, what is invading Iraq? What pray tell are predator drones blowing up people miles away? And this fellow is a "Director of Strategic Studies". Iran has "interests' in blowing up oil fields. Really. How many cups of coffee did he have before that idea popped into his head? oh I know! Iran will blow up Oil fields in Saudi Arabia in order to corner the market on crude oil! I mean that is some junk straight out The Wire. Iran is going to do a drive by so it can have "the corner." I want to know how I can become a "Director of Strategic Studies" So I can get paid to make up Hollywood style scenarios and get quoted in international newspapers. I could be more popular than Tiger Woods at the Playboy mansion.

2009 Klan Shit

Regardless of your position on illegal immigration the following is simply unacceptable and is as nasty as the Klan shit Black folk been subject to. From CBS News:

Four youths - including Donchak and Piekarsky - were previously charged in state court in connection with Ramirez's death. Piekarsky was acquitted by an all-white jury of third-degree murder and ethnic intimidation; Donchak was acquitted of aggravated assault and ethnic intimidation. Both were convicted of simple assault, which carry possible one- or two-year prison sentences.


A man lays in the hospital after being beat up. Later dies and the perpetrators get convicted of simple assault. "simple assault" is grabbing an arse on a subway. Putting a man in the hospital is not simple assault. That man dying is not simple assault. This is some straight out of the 50's Klan shit replete with police involvement.

More

Whadayawaaant?

According to the AP:

An 8-year-old boy was sent home from school and ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation after he was asked to make a Christmas drawing and came up with what appeared to be a stick figure of Jesus on a cross, the child's father said Tuesday...

An educational consultant working with the Johnson family said the teacher was also alarmed when the boy drew Xs for Jesus' eyes.


What do these people want? Every frickin'year I hear people yammering on and on and on and on about how people have taken the "Christ" out of Christmas. They yammer on tv. They yammer on radio. They boycott stores that have "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas" in the store windows. Never mind that a great deal of them will have a shrine to the Norse God Thor (The Christmas tree) in their homes. Never mind all of that.

Here's a kid who put the "Christ" in Christmas and people want to get all worked up. They ought to be impressed that the kid nailed it. Pun intended.

[update]

I've been thinking about this some more. This child would be considered well balanced if he had drawn an obese white man in a red suit on a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer who "by magic" slides down chimneys to place gifts under trees. And who apparently eats cookies left for him by children. 100 million households. 100 million cookies.

Right.

[/update]

Achebe

His new volume of essays, “The Education of a British-Protected Child,” is his first book since he was paralyzed from the waist down, in 1990, in a car accident in Nigeria...in this book he tangles further, and profitably, with the obsessions that have defined his career: colonialism, identity, family, the uses and abuses of language. And he returns to some of the still smoldering controversies that have shaped his reputation. These include his groundbreaking 1975 analysis of the racism lurking in Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” and his defense against critics who have attacked him for writing African literature in the colonizer’s language, English.


NY Times

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"America Has Never Fought a War Against a Democracy."

Obama Lies

Obama lied in omission in his Orwellian Peace Prize acceptance speech by claiming, “America has never fought a war against a democracy.” Technically, a war is reciprocated armed conflict. However, the etymology of the word, “war” is “confusion,” which is part of the CIA role in wars against democracy in Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, and Vietnam beginning with US support of French colonialism against Vietnamese independence and extending beyond US approval of election cancelation that began the Vietnam War. ...

In 1953, the United States CIA led by one of President Theodore Roosevelt’s grandsons, initiated a coup in Iran (Operation Ajax [8]) to remove the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh. The Iranian government was understandably dissatisfied with the terms of its contract with the Anglo-Persian Oil Company that allowed British interests to claim 85% of the oil profit from Iran.[9]


Iran, the same country that Obama has continued messing with about democracy and nuclear arms.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Reservation Life

Gang Violence Grows on an Indian Reservation
-NY Times

The prevalence of Hip Hop in this is disturbing. If Hip Hop had it's revolutionary voice it once had (and I mean popular voice, not the underground stuff) I wonder if things would be different?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Odd Quote on FGM

But, this big thing about female circumcision - I don't like saying this, but since it has become a world discussion I might as well say it - there are women who were never circumcised as young girls, and now that they're getting older, they are getting so many problems with their whatever (genitals) that they go to doctors and appeal to doctors to cut them off.


-Shirley Yeama Gbujama
All Africa

Someone please explain to me what can happen 'down below' that would make a woman go and have her genitals cut.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Lego Gun

So Jeremy Bell had an encounter with the SWAT police over his Lego gun which got me to thinking about Skip Gates. But I'll get to him in a second. Firstly I'd like to know why a SWAT team, undercover police, helicopters and cordoned off streets are called in for something legal.
Stop and think for a minute. Citizens have a right to own guns. Calling the police and saying that someone has a gun in a building and is not pointing it at anyone, is not a crime. It is not a crime in progress. It is as innocent as walking down a public street. Perhaps there is a need for civic lessons. Citizens are apparently so in fear of crime and guns that they think actually possession of one is a crime. Some will say, well they needed to be careful because you never know. Careful like they were careful about Sean Bell?

And what if per chance this fellow had an actual gun? Would that have justified the SWAT team? There was no crime in commission or even reported to be suspected to be imminent. But going back to our friend Skip, imagine if Bell had decided that he would observe his constitutional right to cuss out the police on sight? Can you imagine how that would have ended? I would dare say that given the history of the NYPD, Mr. Bell is alive today because he hasn't made Skip Gates an example of how to deal with police who are "just doing their jobs".

What. The....





About that illegal immigrant thing...

Friday, December 04, 2009

Attacking the Mosque

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Attackers lobbed grenades and opened fire on worshipers, mostly active and retired military officials, at a mosque in the garrison city of Rawalpindi during Friday prayers, striking a further blow against the military establishment as the army pursues militants in the lawless tribal regions along the border with Afghanistan...

The attack stunned Pakistan for its brazenness and the apparent ease with which the attackers breached what should have been a secure area.


You would think the greater concern, particularly among those who are willing to riot over cartoons, would be the fact that so called "Holy Warriors" apparently have no respect for Mosques. Knowing full well if an "infidel" attacked a mosque these folks would be posting death threats on YouTube.

Of course there's always the possibility of agent provocateurs.

Blood They Spilt

In remembrance of Fred Hampton

They musta thought he could invade dreams
musta
thought he wore striped sweaters
had bladed gloves
and a fedora
'cause the blood they spilt
sho nuf woulda
made you think they was scared
like
they thought he mighta been Jason
masked up
soon to crash through walls
and put a chainsaw to work
cause the blood they spilt
sho nuf woulda
made you think they was scared
like they thought he was an Alien
a
Predator
something otherworldly
a visitor
come to take their bodies
but the chi town PD
were body snatchers
move like
thieves in the night
room shot up
like this was the Matrix
and he was Neo
Agents who declared
Morpheus must be killed
For he holds to the key to Zion
Killed cause he saw the truth
You're living in a dream world people
Niggas be batteries
fueling complexes
whole economies dependent
on sleepy head negroes
having waking dreams
think they are free
while under greater control
cause the blood they spilt
sho nuff woulda
made you think they was scared
of slumbering negroes
Like they was scared of sitting bull
and crazy horse
Like Israelis scared of home made rockets from bombed out houses
cause the blood they spilt
sho nuff
made you believe they was scared
of
us.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Iraqi Africans

on the packed dirt streets of Zubayr, Iraq’s scaled-down version of Harlem, African-Iraqis talk of discrimination so steeped in Iraqi culture that they are commonly referred to as “abd” — slave in Arabic — prohibited from interracial marriage and denied even menial jobs.
Historians say that most African-Iraqis arrived as slaves from East Africa as part of the Arab slave trade starting about 1,400 years ago. They worked in southern Iraq’s salt marshes and sugar cane fields.
Though slavery — which in Iraq included Arabs as well as Africans — was banned in the 1920s, it continued until the 1950s, African-Iraqis say.


NY Times

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

How Big is Brother?

Sprint Nextel provided law enforcement agencies with its customers' (GPS) location information over 8 million times between September 2008 and October 2009. This massive disclosure of sensitive customer information was made possible due to the roll-out by Sprint of a new, special web portal for law enforcement officers.


slight paranoia

Deconstructing Obama's West Point Speech

To address these important issues, it's important to recall why America and our allies were compelled to fight a war in Afghanistan in the first place. We did not ask for this fight. On September 11, 2001, 19 men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000 people. They struck at our military and economic nerve centers. They took the lives of innocent men, women, and children without regard to their faith or race or station. Were it not for the heroic actions of passengers onboard one of those flights, they could have also struck at one of the great symbols of our democracy in Washington, and killed many more.



Well in regards to Afghanistan not a single person directly responsible for the hijacking of the flights on 9-11-2001 were from Afghanistan or citizens of that nation. Every person directly responsible for the attacks on 9-11-2001 are dead. In fact the direct perpetrators of 9-11-2001 were Saudi Arabian nationals, Egyptian nationals and Lebanese nationals. Of the Hijackers who's nationalities are undetermined, none have been suspected of being Afghani nationals. By the logic of the above quote The US ought to be invading and occupying Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. That is not happening. It is beyond the scope of this piece to discus why but anyone who has watched Farenheight 9-11 knows why we do not.

As we know, these men belonged to al Qaeda -- a group of extremists who have distorted and defiled Islam, one of the world's great religions, to justify the slaughter of innocents. Al Qaeda's base of operations was in Afghanistan, where they were harbored by the Taliban -- a ruthless, repressive and radical movement that seized control of that country after it was ravaged by years of Soviet occupation and civil war, and after the attention of America and our friends had turned elsewhere.


As we know Al-Qaeda is in fact an international phenomenon made up of varied Jihadist groups with a common ideology that Crusaders ought to be out of Islamic lands. We also know that the group of "Al-Qaeda" in Afghanistan are in fact the remnants of those Mujahadeen that fought the Soviet Union with our direct economic and military help. Al-Qaeda is in fact a creation of the US intelligence agency who thought that supporting a Islamic fundamentalist group that was opposed to Communism was a good idea. The US policymakers had absolutely no problem with fundamentalist Jihadist blowing shit up when it was the Soviets bearing the brunt of the abuse. It may also be the case, and I say may, that the fundamentalist terrorism in Georgia is the direct result of such meddling in Afghanistan. As I have shown in my post on the historical ties of the Taliban and the US (Ron Paul also expounds on this] It's pretty clear that the US had absolutely no problems with dealing with the Taliban government. It is the height of hypocracy to turn around and start talking junk about a government that the US was more than willing to cut energy pipeline deals with. And of course Obama didn't even discus why "America and our friends had turned elsewhere." The defeat of the Soviet Union was all that the US was interested in. It's not like policy makers in Washington had no clue what was going on there.

Just days after 9/11, Congress authorized the use of force against al Qaeda and those who harbored them -- an authorization that continues to this day. The vote in the Senate was 98 to nothing. The vote in the House was 420 to 1. For the first time in its history, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization invoked Article 5 -- the commitment that says an attack on one member nation is an attack on all. And the United Nations Security Council endorsed the use of all necessary steps to respond to the 9/11 attacks. America, our allies and the world were acting as one to destroy al Qaeda's terrorist network and to protect our common security.


Note the highlighted text. This is the Bush Doctrine that many of us are accusing Obama of regurgitating. It was President Bush who took the position that anyone who had any so called "terrorists" within' their borders were targets. Except of course Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Egypt. Right? Gary Leupp makes the point:

But neocon strategy has always required the simplistic conflation of disparate phenomena, and the exploitation of public ignorance and fear, in the execution of policy. Who are they, after all? The invasion of Iraq required the Big Lie that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9-11. The earlier invasion of Afghanistan required the clever sleight-of-hand by which the mainly Saudi Arab but international al-Qaeda was equated with the purely Afghan Taliban. “We don’t distinguish between terrorists and the governments that support them,” Bush declared.


So it is clear that Obama is in fact continuing the Bush policy. Afghanistan and Taliban are the enemy because we say their government supports them.

And in support of my earlier point:

The fact is, there was and is a difference between al-Qaeda, an international jihadist organization that wants to reestablish a global Caliphate and confront the U.S., and the Taliban, which wanted to stabilize Afghanistan under a harsh interpretation of the Sharia but maintain a working relationship with the U.S.  And now, eight years after being toppled, the Taliban are back with a vengeance, demonstrating that they have a real social base. Moreover a Pakistani Taliban has emerged across the border as a direct consequence of the U.S. invasion.



Under the banner of this domestic unity and international legitimacy -- and only after the Taliban refused to turn over Osama bin Laden -- we sent our troops into Afghanistan.


Here is Obama's big lie. The velvet gloved sleight of hand. The truth is far more detailed. Again from Gary:

The Taliban never invited Osama bin Laden to Afghanistan; he was there when they took power, guest of a warlord who had been hostile to themselves. He had flown in from Sudan, booted out by the government there following a demand from the U.S. The Taliban extended to him the hospitality required by the pashtunwali code, in appreciation for his services in anti-Soviet struggle in the 1980s. But as Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair have documented on this site, from 2000 the Taliban initiated talks in Frankfurt with the EU, facilitated by the Afghan-American businessman Kabir Mohabbat, to transfer bin Laden out of the country. Mohabbat was employed from November by the National Security Council to negotiate with the Taliban about bin Laden’s fate... The Bush administration also dispatched Mohabbat repeatedly to Kabul---three times in 2001---to discuss bin Laden.  In other words, at minimum, on can say that the State Department knew, and we should know, and Obama should know, the Taliban and al-Qaeda are two very different things.


So lets set the record straight. Bin Laden was in Afghanistan who extended to him the customs that any govermment would do. Upon a request for extradition of Bin Laden, the Taliban, reasonably asked for proof of his crime. After all NO country simply hands over people without proper documentation. On top of that the Taliban was in the process of extraditing him. Problem was that Bush did not have either the respect or patience to be "diplomatic" and therefore invaded to the country. So I re-iterate Obama is simply carrying on the tragic mistaken policy of the Bush administration.

Within a matter of months, al Qaeda was scattered and many of its operatives were killed. The Taliban was driven from power and pushed back on its heels. A place that had known decades of fear now had reason to hope. At a conference convened by the U.N., a provisional government was established under President Hamid Karzai. And an International Security Assistance Force was established to help bring a lasting peace to a war-torn country.


In a matter of months Pakistan a country with, you know, deliverable nukes, had it's president tossed, Al-Qaeda move in and had it's northern territories overrun with ousted Taliban. JUst like what happens in an occupation where the previous govt goes over the border to shore themselves up for a retake.

Oh and provisional government? Oh that's what colonial powers do. Toss the legitimate "non-compliant" government and replace it with one that will co-operate. Oh the resolutions sound really good too But really lasting "peace" was what the country had (like Iraq) before the 'international force" got there. And really it's not the US's job to bring "lasting peace" to Afghanistan. The only legitimate interest the US has/had in Afghanistan is to locate Bin Laden.

blah blah blah about Iraq


The Iraqis voted that the US had to leave. End of discussion. Bombs still go off there. The country is fractured and each major group has it's own ghetto. Thanks dude.

Although a legitimate government was elected by the Afghan people, it's been hampered by corruption, the drug trade, an under-developed economy, and insufficient security forces.


A legitimate government? Really? That's why this new plan has American taxpayer money going into the hands of "tribal elders" right? Anyone paying attention knows that the "legitimate government" in Afghanistan has control of maybe 20 square miles. I exaggerate but in reality the central government is viewed as a puppet of the US (it is) and has control of little more than Kabul.

Over the last several years, the Taliban has maintained common cause with al Qaeda, as they both seek an overthrow of the Afghan government. Gradually, the Taliban has begun to control additional swaths of territory in Afghanistan, while engaging in increasingly brazen and devastating attacks of terrorism against the Pakistani people.


No actually the Taliban has an issue with being overthrown. Al-Qaeda opposes all crusader presence in Islamic lands. We've already demonstrated that the Taliban and Al-Q are not only not the same, but have different goals in mind. The "Brazen" attacks on the Pakistani people is in direct response to Pakistani involvement and cooperation with the US, you know the government that attacked their government. So the suffering of the Pakistanis is a direct result of US overthrow of, and occupation of Afghanistan. I wont' even get into the drones. Not that this was not predicted.

I set a goal that was narrowly defined as disrupting, dismantling, and defeating al Qaeda and its extremist allies, and pledged to better coordinate our military and civilian efforts.


Understand people, this is an open ended event. Part of the entire problem with this so called "war on terror" is that it is not dealing with the root problems. Top of the list is the issue of Palestine. So long as the Palestinian issue is not dealt with there will be problems. Period. Secondly, since there is absolutely no way to control what people think, there will always be extremists, extremist networks and extremist allies. And really lets be clear that extremism cuts a lot of ways. And if all extremism, including that of the US is not dealt with, then this is simply about power plays.

I do not make this decision lightly. I opposed the war in Iraq precisely because I believe that we must exercise restraint in the use of military force, and always consider the long-term consequences of our actions


Well then Obama opposed the Iraq war for the entirely wrong reason. The Iraq war ought not to have been fought simply because Iraq was not a threat to the US. Iraq had not threatened the US. The war in Iraq was justified on the basis of outright fraudulent claims and documentation. The war in Iraq is simply put, one large international war crime by the US and it's allies. Period. The opposition is not about "military restraint" and "long term thinking". The opposition to Iraq is simply about not doing illegal shit.

If I did not think that the security of the United States and the safety of the American people were at stake in Afghanistan, I would gladly order every single one of our troops home tomorrow.


Really. Security? We have already demonstrated that the Taliban was not in any way shape or form opposed to working with the US in terms of securing oil pipeline deals. We have already demonstrated that the Taliban was not opposed to removing Bin-Laden from Afghanistant to a neutral party and was in fact in negotiations to do so. So the fact of the matter is that the invasion of Afghanistan has made the US less secure by pissing off a whole lot of people who may not have been pissed off before. The invasion of and continued occupation of Afghanistan puts the government of Pakistan, a nuclear armed nation at risk of collapse or of being taken over by more extreme elements. How does any of that make the US more secure? As has been correctly noted by Republicans, the brighter Taliban and Al-Qaeda members will simply sit this latest phase of the occupation out until the US leaves. And if they are going to do that, then what is the difference between leaving in 2011 and now? Oh that's right an election cycle.

It is from here that we were attacked on 9/11, and it is from here that new attacks are being plotted as I speak. This is no idle danger; no hypothetical threat


C'mon man, aside from the blatant fear mongering, What part of the Hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Egypt does he not understand. What part of the Taliban had no part in plotting or carrying out 9-11 does he not understand. Even TD Jakes has acknowleged the legitimacy of the Taliban fighting a group who has invaded their homeland. There will be no defeating the Taliban because Afghanistan it their home. They will not surrender.

This is not just America's war. Since 9/11, al Qaeda's safe havens have been the source of attacks against London and Amman and Bali.


This is why the entire we will disrupt Al-Qaeda is stupid. The fact of the matter is that the bombings in London were done by a local group of Jihadist cells. It was planned and executed in London not in Pakistan and not in Afghanistan. Same with Amman. And Bali has a entirely home grown group with it's own internal issues. It is incorrect and flat out wrong to make the argument that somehow 30,000 more troops in Afghanistan and 2 years is going to make any difference in Bali, London or Amman, or Palestine.

-- America seeks an end to this era of war and suffering. We have no interest in occupying your country.


Translation: Never mind the troops we already have there. Never mind that we overthrew your last government. Never mind our involvement in your war with the Soviet Union. Never mind those predator drones overheard. Never mind that we and the "Security council" decided you needed an interim government designed by us. Never mind that your president, our boy, was elected in what you understood to be a fraudulent election. Oh and let's not talk about that pipeline.

In the past, we too often defined our relationship with Pakistan narrowly. Those days are over. Moving forward, we are committed to a partnership with Pakistan that is built on a foundation of mutual interest, mutual respect, and mutual trust. We will strengthen Pakistan's capacity to target those groups that threaten our countries, and have made it clear that we cannot tolerate a safe haven for terrorists whose location is known and whose intentions are clear.


Translation: We gave y'all billions of dollars so your ISI could keep these people in check. What the hell have you been doing with all that money. We're scared to death that a nuke is going to land in the hands of those people. Scared. To. Death. We've seen what those things can do. After all we've dropped a few on Japan. Going forward we will do whatever we can, including death from the sky to make sure those nukes are safe or taken safely out the country.


These are the three core elements of our strategy: a military effort to create the conditions for a transition; a civilian surge that reinforces positive action; and an effective partnership with Pakistan.


I swear I have heard this speech in a meeting before. "Civilian surge that reinforces positive action"? This is sales pitch language. Read that sentence again. It says absolutely nothing.

First, there are those who suggest that Afghanistan is another Vietnam. They argue that it cannot be stabilized, and we're better off cutting our losses and rapidly withdrawing. I believe this argument depends on a false reading of history. Unlike Vietnam, we are joined by a broad coalition of 43 nations that recognizes the legitimacy of our action. Unlike Vietnam, we are not facing a broad-based popular insurgency. And most importantly, unlike Vietnam, the American people were viciously attacked from Afghanistan, and remain a target for those same extremists who are plotting along its border. To abandon this area now -- and to rely only on efforts against al Qaeda from a distance -- would significantly hamper our ability to keep the pressure on al Qaeda, and create an unacceptable risk of additional attacks on our homeland and our allies.


The argument about Afghanistan being another Vietnam is not based on whether Afghanistan can be stabilized. Afghanistan was stable before the US got there. Afghanistan will be stable as soon as the US leaves. The only thing causing instability in Afghanistan is the presence of the US. Period. Full stop.

Secondly, the problem with Vietnam was that the Vietnamese had no intention of allowing foreigners to occupy and defeat them. Period. Same with Afghanistan. There are only two options for "victory" in Afghanistan: Genocide or withdrawal. What Obama is doing is putting off the latter option since the former cannot be done these days.

Thirdly this so called coalition of 43 countries has been shown to be a farce. How many of those countries who are not England, France and other NATO allied countries were under the gun to support the US in Afghanistan like they were to support the Iraq war? How many of those countries are supporting the war in Afghanistan are doing so contrary to the will of the local population?

Fourthly: In regards to the "vicious attack from Afghanistan" We have already shown that to be false. The hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Egypt. They planned, trained and coordinated their attack within' the US. They trained on US soil. They took flight lessons from US flight schools. But disregarding that, even if we allow for Al-Qaeda being in Afghanistan, it was Al-Qaeda and not the Afghan government or people. It's like saying that Israel's attack on Gaza was a vicious attack by the US since US arms were used and the US stands firmly behind Israel. Are we willing to take that responsibility?

Lastly in regards to "risk of additional attacks on our homeland." Further troop deployments will do nothing to drop the risk of further attacks on the homeland. Anywhere there is anyone with an Axe to grind with the US, there is a risk. There is always risk. Life is risky. Furthermore the most serious and immediate risk to the homeland comes from within'. The number one means of reducing the risk of a future attack on the US is to deal head on with the continued oppression of the Palestinians and the propping up of corrupt Arab governments.

Second, there are those who acknowledge that we can't leave Afghanistan in its current state, but suggest that we go forward with the troops that we already have.


These people are just as deluded as those supporting the extra troops.


All told, by the time I took office the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan approached a trillion dollars. Going forward, I am committed to addressing these costs openly and honestly. Our new approach in Afghanistan is likely to cost us roughly $30 billion for the military this year, and I'll work closely with Congress to address these costs as we work to bring down our deficit.


$30 billion this year? This year? This year has less than 30 days left in it. Is he saying that we're in for 30 billion in the next 29 days? Or is the total cost of this year's operations going to cost $30 billion? In either case where is this money coming from? I cannot understand the logic of spending $30 billion that we claim we don't have on a war of dubious purpose and justification and not having national single payer health insurance. The US cannot continue to spend this kind of money AND reduce the deficit. It cannot do these things without a serious impact on social programs, education or infrastructure projects.

And we can't count on military might alone. We have to invest in our homeland security, because we can't capture or kill every violent extremist abroad.


This single sentence undermines everything pro-troop said before. If you can't kill or capture them all then you cannot end the threat posed by such persons. And if you can't kill them all then they can form networks. If they can form networks... So in the end Obama admits that the solution is not military. Therefore he admits that in terms of "national security" there is no point to the surge in troops. If he truly believes the above statement, then he knows that he's pulling a fast one on the American people. And if he's pulling a fast one on the American people why? I suggest that it has to do with the pipeline.


We will have to take away the tools of mass destruction. And that's why I've made it a central pillar of my foreign policy to secure loose nuclear materials from terrorists, to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, and to pursue the goal of a world without them -- because every nation must understand that true security will never come from an endless race for ever more destructive weapons; true security will come for those who reject them.


Total bull right here. The US has one of the largest piles of tools of mass destruction on the planet. It has the largest military budget on the planet. It has them spread out world wide. And this country has actually dropped nukes on civilian populations. The US provides cover for Israel a country that is believed to have upwards of 200 nuclear warheads (I'm not clear as to whether such a claim has been confirmed). Even if Israel does not, the US regularly sells weapons to Israel, who is in violation of numerous UN resolutions, that are used against civilian populations. To think that this fact is out of sight to, and a major motivation for those who would join Al-Qaeda is to be stupid. The talk of "all options on the table" for "deterring" Iran from it's sovereign right to develop nuclear capabilities (civilian or otherwise) is also the height of hypocrisy and stupid foreign policy. That also does not go unnoticed by would be Al-Qaeda recruits.

We have joined with others to develop an architecture of institutions -- from the United Nations to NATO to the World Bank -- that provide for the common security and prosperity of human beings.


Is this for real? the UN which has a security council with veto power over everything largely made up of previously colonizing and slave trading powers? The World Bank with it's structural adjustment programmes (or is that the IMF?) that has messed up many an economy? NATO? NATO? Who's reason for existing was to fuck with the Soviet Union? And continues to aggravate Russia. Really?

United States of America has underwritten global security for over six decades -- a time that, for all its problems, has seen walls come down, and markets open, and billions lifted from poverty, unparalleled scientific progress and advancing frontiers of human liberty.


Ok I want to know what kind of weed is smoked in the whitehouse and whether I can get some. Does Obama REALLY want to talk about the last 6 decades? Really? Is he REALLY prepared to have that conversation? Seriously whatever drugs they are on over in the Oval office, crackheads want a taste.

For unlike the great powers of old, we have not sought world domination. Our union was founded in resistance to oppression. We do not seek to occupy other nations. We will not claim another nation's resources or target other peoples because their faith or ethnicity is different from ours.


Wowwwwwwwwwwwww. Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Does Obama actually believe the shit that came out his mouth? OK lets be fair The US government doesn't care for world domination, It does what it does on the behest of large corporations most of whom are headquartered in the US. Well no that's not right either. The US has declared a policy of near space dominance. Yes the US has declared that it intends to be the supreme power in space. No world domination my ass. Spy satellites in space where the US goes and tells other people "you're building a nuke right here and you need to stop." Look, I know way too much history for that line to even come close to passing the smell test.

I believe with every fiber of my being that we -- as Americans -- can still come together behind a common purpose.


NO doubt Mr. President. Let me tell you how it could have been done. All you had to say is this:

"We went into Afghanistan with one purpose and one purpose only to capture Bin Ladin dead or alive. Preferably alive to face justice. We will continue this fight until he is captured or his dead body is brought to us. That is all. We can end this tomorrow if Bin Laden is turned over to us. We will sit down with any party who can help us get this done."

No one, left or right would have objected to this declaration. Not even I.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Swedish Vote and Self Determination

I will probably lose fans over this post. So be it. I've thought pretty hard on this subject since the French decided to ban head coverings and I think the point I'm going to put forward is a needed point even if it is flawed (and I'm sure someone will point flaws out and I welcome it).

Europe and Europeans are an easy target to kick about. Especially if you're not white and non-Christian. With the history of Nazism, Trans-Atlantic slave trading and colonialism of much of the world who could be blamed for picking on Europe and Europeans for xenophobia and discrimination? But while that is easy to do, it also denies the European their right to self determination which we extend to the same groups the European has historically occupied and oppressed. Do the Swiss and the French or whomever have the right to say: This is what it is to be Swiss or French? This is what is and is not acceptable in our land? Is that their right?

Lets look at it from another angle. You can't walk around Saudi Arabia dressed how most Americans dress in the summer. Not only would you most likely insult the cultural sensitivities of the locals, it is highly likely that you'd be arrested for public indecency (Never mind that you'd probably get sun burn). You ever see women who report from some of these Muslim countries? Head draped. For all the talk of tolerance I am yet to see an American reporter show up and broadcast from Arabia like they do from Manhattan. Why not? If the reporter isn't Muslim why should she be subject to the rules of dress or even be looked at oddly for not doing so?

Look at Afghanistan, one of the things about that area of the world is that they do not want or like outside cultures coming in. Oh it's easy to say that they are backwards (and I'm sure many of these "liberals" who are upset about the Swiss vote secretly think just that). But understand that a great deal of the people there would simply not accept foreign or what they perceive as non-Islamic influences on their lives. And I say that is perfectly within' their right.

I would also draw attention to the reader of the fact that in some Muslim countries there are negligible numbers of Christians (or other religious groups). One of the large reasons for this is that apostasy is not looked upon very favorably. In fact in some places that is a crime punishable by death. In fact a Christian convert to Christianity was nearly put to death. Next to a Minaret ban I think the death penalty for conversion is a far more problematic issue.

So we have countries with such a different culture and worldview from the Swiss. The Swiss are presented with immigration of persons from these cultures and who are clearly not Swiss (and in some cases Swiss converts to Islam). The same can be said for France. a huge influx of people who are not French by any definition and on top of that some don't care to be. Now the average reader, particularly one from the States, will say "well what's wrong with not wanting to be Swiss or French?

To that person I would offer this explanation: The US (and Canada) is a country unlike most others on the planet. Unlike Switzerland, France, England, etc. the US is not a country born from it's native peoples. It does not have thousands of years of history of forging an identity that is tangled in it's race and/or ethnicity. It does not have a common language born of it's native people. The US is a colony of people from all over the world. Yes, it's government was created by Englishmen. It's common law is based on English common law, but in essence it is a land not bound by creed but by an adherence to the Constitution. You can (idealy) look like whatever. You can practice whatever religion. Dress how you like, The only real thing required of a US citizen is adherence to the law of the land. A Quaker is just as much American as the Rancher in Texas. In essence this is the basis of the illegal immigration debate. Who gets to define what and who an American is? Unless you're a Native American anyone can trump another person's claim of Americaness by asking "where did YOU come from" where 'You" may mean your ancestors.

This simply does not apply in Europe. The answer to "Who is French" is "I'm from here. I am a Gaul." That is the end of the conversation. No immmigrant, no matter how long they have been there can make such a claim. A Gaul can say to be French is to be, x,y and z and that's it. The Frenchman has every right to determine for himself what Frenchness IS and is not. And they can change that definition at will. Nobody else has the right to tell the French what French culture is. Equally the French cannot tell the Yoruba what Yoruba culture is and WHO is a Yoruba. Catch my point?

If the Swiss want to define their country as a Christian country it is fully within' their rights as a people with self-determination. If they decide that women cannot walk around in public with their faces veiled they are also within' their rights to do so just as the house of Saud can determine that women cannot drive and must be veiled in public. Don't want to be veiled? There are regular flights out the country and special compounds where foreigners live out of sight. If certain countries in Europe allow prostitution. That's their business and their culture. If they allow people to smoke weed in public, it is also their business. We don't regularly question these things.

The argument the Swiss public is making is not so hard. They feel that they do not want to deal with public culture of those who are outsiders in their country. Why should they? Really. The only answer you can give is a projection of your values on the Swiss. It can also be argued that it is the "tolerance" of the Swiss why they are passing such laws. They may see the presence of veils and such as oppressive and intolerant of women. Oh sure the law is about minarets but be sure, this is about far more than that.

I can cite another example. For those that support the state of Israel as a Jewish state are essentially making the same argument as the Swiss. The Zionist is simply far more blatant in his claim to Jewishness and the Jewishness of the homeland. It declares who is and is not a Jew. And there are a lot of people who support this. I do not. The great flaw, and difference, with this Jewishness is that Israel, like America, is a colony state. The Jews that are there have no more claim to the historical land they are on, than I do. There were people there who were displaced to make the state only unlike the Native American, the Palestinian refused to roll over and play casino. Though to be fair to the Native American, they were at a severe disadvantage.


Of course there is a twist. In many countries in Europe the native population is not reproducing at a rate to sustain itself. If they are to survive and maintain their social programs they need to attract immigrants. Of course immigrants come from non-Swiss countries and therefore bring their own cultures (including religion) to their new homes. So the Swiss, while focusing in on their Muslim population may be ignoring their own self created demographic problem. If Europeans want to draw hard lines about what it is to be of a certain culture, then they ought to start reproducing to the extent that they can sustain and grow their own populations and have enough workers to man the jobs they import people for. Of interest about the Minaret law is that it is reported that most of the Muslims in Switzerland are from Eastern Europe and not Arabia or Indo-china, which throws a tool into the straightforward anti-Arab argument. You would think, and I'm sure the Swiss thought that such Europeans would have been easier to integrate into Swiss society.


I'd like to think of it like visiting someone's house. Yes they are expected to show hospitality. But you can't walk in the house stay for a few days and then start talking about how you're going to paint the place a different color, play loud music that the host doesn't care for, tell them to stop cooking whatever food they like 'cause it offends you. No. If you don't like house you leave. In that vein I think that Muslims who veil, when in Europe, ought to show the same deference that Europeans are expected to show in Muslim countries and take off the veil if the local population is offended by it. That's being a gracious guest.

Self determination is the right of all people. That includes Europeans. I think it is foolish to simply talk about the recent Swiss vote as merely or solely about xenophobia (a term I think is way overused) or Islamophobia (another overused term). But one has to take into consideration the hostility that European concepts of freedom took with the Cartoon mess. You have to think of the Director who was killed over his movie on the abuses some women in Muslim countries undergo.

In the end though, anyone who was paying attention to demographics could have seen this coming. And I think it is a mistake to think of Europe as one thinks of America. And one has to seriously consider why is it wrong for Europeans in their own homelands to expect their homelands to look like their homelands? I seriously doubt that such a question would even be broached for a non-European country. And if the Swiss have nothing to fear, then are Nigerians making too much (or little) fuss about Sharia? Is that fearmongering or an observation?

A Past Denied

History is not the past, it is how we recount the past. A Past, Denied: The Invisible History of Slavery in Canada is a feature-length documentary by independent filmmaker Mike Barber. The film, which is currently in production, explores how a false sense of history—both taught in the classroom and repeated throughout our national historical narrative—impinges on the present. It examins how 200 years of institutional slavery during Canada’s formation has been kept out of Canadian classrooms, textbooks and social consiousness.


http://apastdenied.ca/

In Job Hunt, College Degree Can’t Close Racial Gap

Straight from the "No kidding" files:

College-educated black men, especially, have struggled relative to their white counterparts in this downturn, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate for black male college graduates 25 and older in 2009 has been nearly twice that of white male college graduates — 8.4 percent compared with 4.4 percent.

Various academic studies have confirmed that black job seekers have a harder time than whites. A study published several years ago in The American Economic Review titled “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal?” found that applicants with black-sounding names received 50 percent fewer callbacks than those with white-sounding names.


An interesting portion of the article, for me at least, was this:

Mr. Williams recently applied to a Dallas money management firm that had posted a position with top business schools. The hiring manager had seemed ecstatic to hear from him, telling him they had trouble getting people from prestigious business schools to move to the area. Mr. Williams had left New York and moved back in with his parents in Dallas to save money.

But when Mr. Williams later met two men from the firm for lunch, he said they appeared stunned when he strolled up to introduce himself.

“Their eyes kind of hit the ceiling a bit,” he said. “It was kind of quiet for about 45 seconds.”


Last year I had to replace a car that had become to broken to be economical to fix rather than replace. I found it's replacement on AutoTrader. The owner and I came to an agreement on where and when to pick up the vehicle. I friend and I went to pick up the vehicle and when we arrived at this individual's office I called to let him know we were in the lobby. The owner came down and upon exiting the elevator proceeded to walk around looking for the owner of "the voice". Never mind the fact that my friend and I were the only persons in the lobby. It did not occur to this guy that the well spoken voice belonged to the black guy in jeans and sneakers. discussing this with my friend he commented: "you have no nigger in your voice."

So it shows that the attitudes seen in this article extend much further than employment. I used to wonder why Russel Simmons always wore his cap and sweater everywhere. I can't speak for him, but I think he wants to let everyone know that they cannot assume that the black guy in the cap and sneakers is a 'hood. He may run a multimillion dollar business. He may have more legal money in his pocket than you do. Not that one's value should be based on that, but for the sake of argument.

Another issue, which I think is significant and which I have e-mailed the author of the Emily and Greg study si whether Africans with actual African names (rather than hybridized Anglo-Muslim ones, which are most common) experience the same level of discrimination starting from resume through interview. I believe this is a relevant question because I have been in resume review sessions where the reactions to "clearly" African resumes was different than others. I observed a similar pattern with "full" Indian names and hybridized Indian names. It is also known that in some cases the employment of blacks who are not African-American (meaning a product of slave trade) is done to meet diversity goals without the "burden" of racial animosity that blacks supposedly harbor.

NY Times

Bleach, Nip. Tuck: The White Beauty Myth


Hat tip Kenyatta Edition

Tiger Woods Owes Us Nothing


It is a sad sight to see all these news reports about Tiger Woods. They keep asking "what is he hiding?" Like it's any of our business.


Guess what folks. Tiger Woods doesn't owe anybody an explanation. Not you. Not me. Not even the police. Perhaps the neighbor but that 's it. Folk could stand to learn a lot from Mr. Woods. Just because the rest of you feel obligated to talk your business does not mean that it's a requirement. I said on a discussion board many months ago in reference to Google Latitude, that there is a great danger to American privacy. In court expectations of privacy are not written in stone. They are based on what is "commonly accepted" by the public. If the public commonly accepts having their movements tracked via GPS and available to the public, then they cannot go to court and claim they were illegally tracked, because they gave up that particular "right" when they allowed themselves to be tracked via GPS. There is a great danger in the replacement of the expectation that "it's none of your business", to the expectation of "why wont you tell?" It is the assumption that the guilty hide information and the innocent spill the beans. Law enforcement loves this because it makes their jobs easier when the public is compliant. But this assumption is contrary to the founding ideas of the country. It is why there is a 4th amendment, 5th amendment and Habeus Corpus.


SO yeah. Tiger Woods has it right. The police come to your door asking questions? You tell them to talk a walk and speak to your lawyer. You don't have to say squat without representation (in most questioning situations) and more people ought to do that.


[update] Watching the state police discuss the fining of Tiger Woods, a statement jumped out at me:


There has been no testimony that warrants any criminal charges


Understand, THIS is why Woods did not give any statement. Anything he said could and WOULD have been used against him. So he said nothing and because he said nothing, there was nothing to charge him with.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Problem with Charter Schools

Charter schools are a good concept. Use public funds to start a school with targeted programs that attract highly motivated students and parents. Sounds good, especially if parents live in an area where the zoned school is, well, not so good. But there's a problem which is evident to most anyone who does not have a child whom they are trying to get the best education for: What about the rest?

One of the issues with Charter schools (and vouchers) is that bright students are sucked out of lower performing schools. They are segregated from other students which then leads to a two (or three) tiered public educational system. That should have been obvious to people but apparently not and in NY this is coming to a head:

Suzanne Tecza had spent a year redesigning the library at Middle School 126 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, including colorful new furniture and elaborate murals of leafy trees. So when her principal decided this year to give the space to the charter high schools that share the building, Ms. Tecza was furious.


“It’s not fair to our students,” she said of the decision, which gives the charter students access to the room for most of the day. “It’s depriving them of a fully functioning library, something they deserve.”


Kinda reminds you of the "whites only" schools right? Or the "Whites only" pools. You know the whites (bright kids) get the pool (library) most of the time and then the darkies (dumber kids) get it. I mean really. Functionally there is no difference. Want more?

In Red Hook, Brooklyn, teachers at Public School 15 said they avoid walking their students past rooms being used by the PAVE Academy Charter School, fearing that they will envy those students for their sparkling-clean classrooms and computers.


Can't walk past a classroom in order to not raise feelings of inferiority among non-charter school students? Anyone read the Brown V. Board of Ed decision? No? let me paraphrase the portion regarding the reasoning. The idea was that "Negro" children would feel inferior to white children because they were separated from them for no other reason than that they were black." Flawed thinking but if taken at it's word, then I believe housing charter schools in non-charter public schools in such a way that students are segregated by facilities is unconstitutional and is no different than the issues brought up by Brown V. Board. If a charter school wants to have no access to non-charter students it ought to have it's own separate building.

But really, I think that the whole charter school idea should be scrapped entirely. I have absolutely no problem with magnet schools. I went to one. You test in and the best of the tested get in (supposedly). But funding and updated facilities need to be provided for all students period. These corporations who want to donate ought to donate to the entire school. The curriculum ought to be revamped, where needed, across the board. It is the job of the public school system to provide the best educational facilities it can for all it's students. Not just some of them. Charter schools (and vouchers) represents a failure to provide such an education and institutionalizes tracking.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Conflict Minerals

According to Global Witness’s 2009 report, Faced With A Gun What Can you Do, Congolese government statistics and reports by the Group of Experts and NGOs, Rwanda is one of the main conduits for illicit minerals leaving the Congo. It is amazing that the conflict mineral approach shout loudly about making sure that the trade in minerals does not benefit armed groups but the biggest armed beneficiary of Congo’s minerals is the Rwandan regime headed by Paul Kagame. Nonetheless, the conflict mineral approach is remarkably silent about Rwanda’s complicity in the fueling of the conflict in the Congo and the fleecing of Congo’s riches.

Advocates of the conflict mineral approach would be far more credible if they had ever called for any kind of pressure whatsoever on mining companies that are directly involved in either fueling the conflict or exploiting the Congolese people. The United Nations, The Congolese Parliament, Carter Center, Southern Africa Resource Watch and several other NGOs have documented corporations that have pilfered Congo’s wealth and contributed to the perpetuation of the conflict. Some of these companies include but are not limited to: Traxys, OM Group, Blattner Elwyn Group, Freeport McMoran, Eagle Wings/Trinitech, Lundin, Kemet, Banro, AngloGold Ashanti, Anvil Mining, and First Quantum.


Dissident Voice

[update] 60 minutes (link it's the first segment.) also had a piece on about this last night. Apparently the miners are using mercury to separate the gold. They burn it. No masks. No safety equipment whatsoever. According to them, Tiffani's is the only jewel retailer that tracks where their products gold comes from.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The problem with military occupation

Military occupation generates resistance because it is humiliating, disruptive, arbitrary and sometimes terrifying to its objects, even when the occupying power is acting from more-or-less benevolent motives....

Northern occupation eventually triggered violent resistance by the Ku Klux Klan, White League, Red Shirts, and other insurgent groups, which helped thwart Reconstruction and paved the way for the Jim Crow system that lasted until the second half of the 20th century.


Information Clearinghouse

The problem with Palin Supporters

So I'm watching this video of Palin supporters in Ohio . Usual nonsense, when I see a fellow at time index 1:35 who says:

"To be honest with you I don't know anything about her foreign policy."


Now I can forgive someone for saying that because let's be honest, most Americans don't have a clue about foreign happenings aside from that which is broadcast on the news. And even THAT foreign news is redacted, simplified and often straight up propaganda. But it's the next guy that takes it (time index 1:40):

"I don't know her well enough, her thinking. I don't know what she knows, what she doesn't know."


but he's a fan.

I wouldn't know have the stuff people ask me...


But this fellow is a fan, thinks Palin ought to be a leader and possibly president? This is a joke right? People want leaders who are uninformed? This is the Republican base? This is "real" America? That's some scary shit.

You know maybe the rednecks in the old south had it partially right with the literacy tests at the voting places cause it scares me to think that these fools actually can cast a ballot somewhere.

Props to Burris

Roland Burris, whom a lot of people said a lot of unflattering things about when he was appointed by Blagojevich to fill the Senate seat vacated by Obama. Not a few black folk who ought to have known better went to bat against Burris, some of whom were previously (and still) hangin' off of Obama's left testicle, and should have seen the political advantage to having another black person of relatively liberal leanings in the Senate. Anyway, Burris is reported to have said that he will not vote for any Health Care bill that does not have a public option. Mind you I'm a Single Payer person. Mind you I believe that this monstrosity of legislation is a give away to so called health insurance companies since it will in essence require all US citizens to become customers (talk about a captive market). The public option is the only sliver of preciousness within' that thing.*

Burris is one of two..two..Senators who have stood up for the public option. Now you know that Burris will be catered too which means his constituency is going to see some green (we know how this goes) in order to get him to go along should his statement be less than granite. So it turns out that Burris will be the champion of the black poor whom will benefit the most from the public option. Gotta give him props.

*The whole health care "reform" ought to have been the extension of medicare to every SS number holding resident and the budgetary expenditures to cover that as well as an increase in the size of the anti-fraud dept. There is no need for this huge tricky worded piece of legislation which no doubt has more holes than Swiss Cheese.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Authoritative Capitalism Vs. Democratic Capitalism

An interesting point made on This Week on ABC. The idea that there will be a competition between "authoritative capitalism" as practiced in China vs. "democratic capitalism." The idea being that the Chinese, through their centralized government are more efficient than than the US with it's more antagonistic and therefore slower acting government. If we take out the discussion of "efficiency" and go back to their discussion of government power over the citizens, one must point out over the years that many so called "democratic capitalistic" countries like the US and England are moving towards more authoritarian practices. I'll give the example of the guy arrested for using twitter during the G20 protests. I'll even point out the G20 protests. You also have the police state school systems made under the guise of "zero tolerance" rules.

The so called Patriot Act which allows unprecedented spying on citizens. You have the gutting of FISA and by extension the 4th Amendment. What the Chinese authorities are betting on, is that if they can continue to provide economic and material opportunities to their citizens while taking advantage of a culture that defers to authority. So long as the US continues to have issues with it's economy, the Chinese will have a perfect example of how the US talks a lot of game but are undisciplined, which is a bad thing in that culture.

While Liz Cheney may want to believe in her pipe dream that somehow the US is all that more powerful than the chinese, I would remind her of the recent event where a US plane was "captured" by the Chinese, who kept the plane and returned the pilot. No one in authority in the US even THOUGHT about invading that country. There were no news conferences about "all options being on the table." No such nonsense as is regularly trotted out for weaker (and non-nuclear) Iran.

So before people over here get all beside themselves with US haughtiness just check the label on all those goods you purchase this holiday season, the manufacturing location of those auto parts in Pep-Boys and RS Strauss. And then think about how that 1.3 billion people, a middle class as large as the entire US population, will also be doing computing, medicine and everything else too.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Check the picture...

from Windows Phone Thoughts
And see if you can pick out what's missing and why that's a problem.

This is an invite only Microsoft meeting. Folks who are invited are from the tech industry writers. This could have easily been any other company doing the invite so WHO invited is not at issue here.

Makes Sense

It should be clear that a Muslim is not allowed to transgress against non-Muslims as long as he or she resides in their lands under their protection. Any aggression from their quarter is unsanctioned treachery. If they feel they can no longer accept the perceived or real abuses or injustices of the host people then they are obliged to leave that land if remaining there would push them into acts of violence or aggression against the host community.


-New Islamic Directions

I have been making this very argument for a while now.

Of course an oppositional argument to this is that since non-Muslims are occupying Muslim lands and have corrupted Muslim leadership to the extent that the would be Jihadist does not feel that they are safe in said Muslim lands, then the would be Jihadist has nowhere to go and therefore must commit Jihad where he or she is. Even with that argument I believe that the quoted text is the best and those Jihadist that are so annoyed at the status quo in their lands, take to overthrowing those regimes.

Hat tip Planet Grenada

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Everyone looking to take from we

In a series of meetings, Saudi government officials, bankers and agribusiness executives told an institute delegation led by Zeigler that they intended to spend billions of dollars to establish plantations to produce rice and other staple crops in African nations like Mali, Senegal, Sudan and Ethiopia. “They laid out this incredible plan,” Zeigler recalled. He was flabbergasted, not only by the scale of the projects but also by the audacity of their setting. Africa, the world’s most famished continent, can’t currently feed itself, let alone foreign markets.


NY Times

How mad can I be when Garvey had long since warned Africa what would happen we didn't get our acts together. How many African nations depend on volunteer doctors. How many wells are dug instead of water works? How much clothes are dumped on the market rather than home grown? How much diamonds for Jewelry is taken? How much coultan for cell phones are taken? Uranium? How surprising should it be that they'll look to grow food for themselves?

Update:

Daewoo Logistics had signed an agreement to take over about half of Madagascar’s arable land, paying nothing, with the intention of growing corn and palm oil for export.


Paying nothing? Who are we kidding here? Either the leadership of Madagascar is so incompetent as to give up use of land for nothing or, more likely the leadership of Madagascar pocketed some "nice" change in this deal. C'mon now.

Last fall, Paul Collier of Oxford University, an influential voice on issues of world poverty, published a provocative article in Foreign Affairs in which he argued that a “middle- and upper-class love affair with peasant agriculture” has clouded the African development debate with “romanticism.”


I've been saying this for years. People think it's all cute that people are pulling water up from a well when they know full well THEY wouldn't live like that. What? Can an African get a sink and faucet please? And yeah, boo hoo that some old ways of living are going to have to change. How's that depending on foreigners to eat working out. Thought so.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

TD Jakes Justifies the Taliban

So last night I'm doing my laundry when I chanced upon a TV with CNN on with Larry King interviewing TD Jakes. Larry King asked TD Jakes whether he was opposed to war. I expected a so-called follower of Christ, you know the one that folk tell me said something in regards to turning the other cheek among other things, to make a bold statement in the vein of Martin Luther King Jr. and state his moral opposition to warfare. People still do know who he is and what he stood for now that we have a African-American president right?

He did not.

What Jakes said was that War is sometimes justifiable. Particularly in defense of one's country and countrymen.

Stop and think on that for a minute. TD. Jakes, perhaps one of the most prominent black Christians in the US, articulated a position, as a religious leader that it is OK, spiritually and morally to conduct warfare in defense of one's country and countrymen. Ladies and gentlemen is not the Taliban in Afghanistan expressing the exact same sentiments? Is not Al-Qaeda opposed to the US bases in "Muslim lands"? Are they not opposed to the oppression of Palestinians by Israel with the support of "foreigners"? Is there any difference between the fighter in Afghanistan who believes that his country and his people are being slaughtered and occupied by a foreign force just as moral as T.D. Jakes (assuming you think Jakes is a moral person)?

If one accepts Bishop Jakes position, then one must accept the Afghani's position and therefore reject any argument for any troop increase or presence in Afghanistan. The fighters in Afghanistan, by Jakes logic have the moral upper hand since they are defending their country.

Dr. King (and I suppose Ghandi) made the point clear war is like poking someone in the eye. eventually there are no more eyes to poke out. You'd think Bishop Jakes would have understood that, being so spiritually informed and all (*eye roll*).

Sosa and Latin American White Supremacy

I've been telling people about the racism that exists "south of the border" for the longest. It's part of the reason there is so much hate for Hugo Chavez who is known to have made very favorable commentary about the Africans in his lineage. So since we've been exposing negative attitudes world wide (South Korea, China) lets take on the Dominican Republic:

Don't blame Sammy Sosa. Blame Rafael Trujillo. The late Dominican dictator's rule (1930-1961) left generations of his countrymen without families, hope, and a demonized view of Afro-Dominicans and Haitians. During his reign he ordered the execution of tens of thousands of Haitians (The Parsley Massacre) and opened the doors to Jewish refugees from Europe in hopes of adding more Caucasians to his mostly Afro-Latino isle. His self-hatred was ever clear when Trujillo powdered his skin to appear lighter. So, in retrospect, Sosa is simply carrying out the racist ideologies that have permeated Latin America for centuries.


Essence

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

About a 10 on the Duh scale

'Africa must think big to thrive'

Many African states are too small to continue to exist independently, Sudan-born magnate Mo Ibrahim has told a conference in Tanzania.

Mr Ibrahim said the idea that 53 small African countries thought they could compete with China, India, Europe and the US was a "fallacy".


BBC

you don't say. This was said by Garvey before any country other than Ethiopia gained "independence". This is not rocket science. Anyone who knows history knows that the colonial borders of Africa were created with the express purpose of making it easy for the colonial powers to get the resources out of the country. Now it is a means to play one government against another for concessions and cheap labour, where they aren't simply dumping cheap goods on the local markets.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Obama and the Twitter Question

In china Obama gave a speech in which he encouraged the use of Twitter by the Chinese. He said that the use of such social media tools makes American democracy stronger. Too bad he didn't recall the American citizen who had the police barge into his home and take his stuff and placed under arrest for using this democracy strengthening tool to tweet the publicly available police communications to G20 protesters in Pittsburgh PA.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'm sure they like Hip Hop though...

Last week it was an article in the NY Times about South Koreans hating on dark foreigners, now this:

"In Guangzhou, to be frank, they don't like Africans very much," said Diallo Abdual, 26, who came to China from Guinea 1 1/2 years ago to buy cheap Chinese clothes to ship back to West Africa for sale.
With the recession, his business has dried up, his money is gone, and he has overstayed his visa. Now, like many Africans here, he spends most of his days at Guangzhou's Tangqi shopping mall avoiding the police.
"The security will beat you with irons like you are a goat," he said. "The way they treat the blacks is very, very bad." He and others pointed out the spot where in July several Africans jumped from an upper-floor window to escape an immigration raid. One migrant was reported critically injured in the fall, and a large number of Africans marched on the local police station in protest...

The racial animosity here reflects a prejudice dating to China's mainly agrarian past: Darker skin meant you worked the fields; lighter skin put you among the elite. The country is rapidly industrializing and urbanizing, but that historical prejudice remains. High-end skin-whitening products are a $100 million-a-year business in China, according to industry statistics.

Chen Juan, 27, a secretary in an English-language training school in Beijing, regularly uses skin-whitening products and carries an umbrella on summer days. "For me, the whiter, the better. Being white means pretty," she said. "If someone looks too black, I feel they look countrified and like a farmer. . . . Being white is prettier than being black."
"In my impression, black people, especially Africans, are not clean enough," Chen continued. "To be frank, I just feel black people are too black. Definitely, I wouldn't consider having a black guy as my boyfriend even if he were rich."



But I am sure they love Hip Hop and other black or black derived music though.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Let Them Bow Their Heads

For nearly eleven weeks they have been living on the street opposite the house that was theirs for 53 years. On August 2 Israeli soldiers threw them out; minutes later, settlers from the violent organization Kach (“Thus”, founded by the late Meir Kahane), moved in and have been there ever since. And so the Ghawes are once again refugees, re-living a nightmare they had thought was buried in the Nakba. They watch from the street as settlers carry on life in their former home. When we visited, a guard hired by the settlers picked limes and gave them to one of the Ghawe women: “I am not against Arabs,” he said, “This is just my job.”


In 1979 I reported from Kiryat Arba, a major Gush Emunim stronghold. A settler interviewee whispered with pride that Meir Kahane had an apartment there. For the Gush settlers, Arabs were at very least inferior. One woman said she believed in a “chain of being”: on top, Jews. Then, lesser human specimens. Then animals, vegetables, minerals. Somewhere in the lower reaches of lesser humanity were Arabs. “Let them bow their heads. If they won’t, they should leave,” was a frequent Gush statement about the untermenschen.


from counterpunch

Remember this the next time someone like David Brooks tells you that certain Muslims are merely choosing to have a dour outlook on life.

Friday, November 06, 2009

"people were boiled alive"

The latest from Paul Craig Roberts contains this tid-bit:

As ambassador, Murray saw the MI5 intelligence reports from the CIA that described the most horrible torture procedures. “People were raped with broken bottles, children were tortured in front of their parents until they [the parents] signed a confession, people were boiled alive.”

...Guess who the consultant was who arranged with then Texas governor George W. Bush the agreements that would give to Enron the rights to Uzbekistan’s and Turkmenistan’s natural gas deposits and to Unocal to develop the trans-Afghanistan pipeline. It was Karzai, the US-imposed “president” of Afghanistan, who has no support in the country except for American bayonets...


Now If you're a long time follower of the blog you'll recall this post from July 2004 containing this closing sentence:

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


See, by establishing Karzai as the "legitimate" leader of Afghanistan and therefor legally able to sign certain "concessions" the hunt for Omar and Bin-Ladin are no longer important (or even a stated goal anymore). Why do you think Obama is now selling the Afghan war as the "good war." Why hasn't he made his decision? There are huge interests in Oil on one side, and a public that generally does not know about it on the other. If you can't sell the terrorism angle, then what can you sell without exposing that fact that oil is at the center here?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Thinking of Greeks

There are many things that annoy me. Maybe it's a sign of my aging. Like I get annoyed when people quote "African proverbs"
Like what the hell is that?

African Proverb.

Who, I ask, says "Indian proverb" when speaking of Hindu sayings? Who says "European proverb"? Really I'd like to know because I have never EVER heard any such reference in my life. Africa is the second largest continent by land mass on the planet. It currently has 53 countries thousands of languages and peoples and hundreds of large ethnic groups. How come these African Proverbs can't be identified by at least geography? Current bordered population (country) or something more specific?

I think I will write a book of saying I made up, label them all "African proverbs" and sell it so that liberal whites and black folk who want to show how cultured they are, can quote them. I mean seriously can we even verify that these are actual proverbs by Africans? But you know, black folk are all the same right? You seen one you know them all.

But anyway that's not the real bother here, no it's Greeks. Better put it's the Greeks that people perpetrate. I was reading an article that will go unlinked where this person mentioned some Greek philosopher who asked some inane question about what a "heap" is. I got really annoyed. Maybe it's because I have my first cold in years, but I swear I am annoyed at how much veneration the Greeks get. Supposedly the ancient Greek civilization starts around 1100 BCE. In the next 1200 years or so, they are credited with being frickin' geniuses. Seriously, They write, they tell stories, they philosophize and all kinds of stuff and it's as if there wasn't this HUGE expansive empire right next door. It's like saying that the Taliban in Afghanistann created the motorbike because we see them riding around on one.

That's like saying that the end of the European dark ages had absolutely nothing to do with all those manuscripts stolen and moved into Europe.

I mean it's common knowledge (as in readily available information) that many of the early Greek "philosophers" were students in Egyptian schools. For example Pythagorus learns math in Egypt but is credited with the right angle discovery? Never mind that the sign for the right angle appears in the Metu Neter (hieroglyph) for Het-Heru. Never mind that the Pyramids are built based on mathematics and there are whole papyri that show the math of their, and other construction. In fact the Egyptians are known to have considered the ancient Greeks to be quite lacking in intellect (hubris to be sure).

All that to say this: I think it's time for black writers to step up their game and crush this stuff as much as is possible. Lets create characters the put this information out there (in a non-preachy manner). People who produce TV shows, can we get some intelligent black folk on camera? And I'm not talking Sam Jackson's character in Die Hard either. They should get the last word and make sense. Otherwise our kids will continue to want to be Disney's Tiara rather than Sheeba.

OK I'm done.

Property Taxes and NJ

As anyone paying attention knows NJ pays the highest property taxes in the nation. Politics here centers around various politicians lying (except Daggett) about how they will lower property taxes. Nj residents apparently live in a dream world where they think that property taxes are going to drop precipitously by electing a new (or old) governor and it will happen in 4 years. It's truly amusing to hear people in NJ talk about this. One of the biggest mantras, usually trotted out by Republicans is that corruption in NJ is apparently THE cause of the high property taxes. So lets look at this charge.

A quick Google search brought up a page that states the current population of NJ is 8,862,661.

According to a Rutgers article corruption in NJ is a hidden tax on NJ residents that costs them $1 billion each year. Doing simple math, 1,000,000,000/8,862,661 we find that per person that "tax" costs $115.77.

Lets assume that half the population owns homes/property. They don't and I don't know the actual numbers. That corruption tax would be double the $115.77 to $231.54. Monthly that would be 9 bucks.

9 bucks.

Honestly, If that is enough to break someone then I submit that their economic situation is far more problematic than that which would be solved by eliminating this so called "corruption tax." New Jersey residents blow this kind of money on entertainment a week.

I saw a post in the comments section on the NY Times website where an assumed ex-resident of NJ where they claimed a "friend" was paying 19,000+ a quarter in taxes and was glad to have left for Nevada or Florida. First I thought of how given the small amount that corruption "costs" the tax payer that it's elimination particularly on this 19,000+ quarterly bill would not even register much less provide incentive to stay in NJ. The other thing that came to mind was that apparently this person has enough income to pay $80,000 per year in property taxes. Think about that. This person allegedly pays more in property taxes than the median yearly salary of a resident of Essex County. What exactly is this person's problem. The municipality with the highest property tax rate in NJ is Ridgefield Park Village at 2.255% which means that this person's property is worth $3.54 million.

$3.54 million.

Seriously folks in multimillion dollar homes are complaining about property taxes? Can we say: selfish prick?

So really why are property taxes high in NJ? Well a couple of things come to mind:

1) The rich simply are not paying their equitable share. Equitable meaning they can afford to put in more but are protected by various officials (some not elected) to keep from paying what they can afford.

2) NJ does not have a Wall Street that brings in a lot of money but it houses a lot of people who make money in it. It's like the rappers from NY who make it big and move to Englewood, Alpine, Englewood Cliffs, Teaneck, etc. All that business tax is collected by NY but NJ only gets the property and income taxes.

3) NJ has the lowest sales tax in the tri-state area (as far as I can tell). NY taxes everything including clothes and food. NJ does not. Lost revenue. On top of that while NY charges 8.5% (or more), NJ has 7% raised by Corzine last year I believe in order to close the budget.

4) It's largest city, Newark is underemployed. The inattention paid to the residents to Newark in terms of education and employment, costs the state millions in uncollected income tax, unrealized property taxes from depressed property values, high social services costs and of course the costs to jail and police those persons whom neglect turns out.

These are the top reasons why property taxes are so high in NJ. And until the electorate get it, they will continue to be fooled by politicians promising things they simply cannot deliver on and who'll be long gone to bigger and better money making things by the time the population gets a clue.