Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

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.