Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

For Somali Women, Pain of Being a Spoil of War

Several months later, the men came back. Five militants burst into her hut, pinned her down and gang-raped her, she said. They claimed to be on a jihad, or holy war, and any resistance was considered a crime against Islam, punishable by death.

Gang rape as a pillar of Islam. Well that's a new one to me.

In some areas, they say, women are being used as chits at roadblocks, surrendered to the gunmen staffing the barrier in the road so that a group of desperate refugees can pass.

No comment.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The White Man: The Great Mediator

It is something I have noticed repeated often in the history of those colonized by Europeans.For some reason the Great White Man(tm) is respected (however grudgingly) as The Great Mediator(tm).

Colonized people who are of different ethnicity's will for some really irrational reasons defer to the power or "intellect" of the Great White Man rather than work out problems among themselves. Today's example comes from Iraq:

But there is no doubt that the US withdrawal has had serious psychological impact because many Iraqis feel the US helped defuse differences between Shia, Sunni and Kurds.

There is something to be said when one needs to have the presence of the colonizer to keep one from killing your fellow countrymen in an indiscriminate manner. It reeks of "oh look the parents have left us alone in the house!" mentality of children and immature persons in their late teens.

Judge Blocks Law Against Human Trafficking

In an attempt to overturn a South Carolina anti-illegal immigration law a judge apparently has taken a stand for trafficking of persons.

The judge also blocked provisions that would make it a felony to transport, conceal or protect a person who is entering the country unlawfully

Is this not THE definition of human trafficking? This is what happens when so called "immigrant rights" activists get way too emotional on a subject. The judge, in his zeal to protect citizens and legal residents who may harbor illegal immigrants threw in protections for those who transport illegal immigrants. Now such traffickers do not have to worry about being stopped in South Carolina because the police have no such power to stop such traffickers.

Gotta love it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

America’s Silent Collapse

Sam Smith lays out an indisputable observation of how far America has veered from it's so called "principles":

We have moved into a time in which the Bill of Rights is being routinely trashed, the true unemployment rate is higher than anything we’ve seen since the thirties, our corporations are out of control, no one in power seems to care about climate change, and the only presidential candidate in either major party who won’t send you to Gitmo without an indictment and trial is Ron Paul.

And Ron Paul has no chance of becoming president (which is not necessarily a bad thing but not for his stands on the constitution or the Federal Reserve [sic]).

As if to underscore this issue I just read an article where a set of people were arrested for feeding the homeless in a public park

Jessica Cross, 24, Benjamin Markeson, 49, and Jonathan "Keith" McHenry, 54, were arrested at 6:10 p.m. on a charge of violating the ordinance restricting group feedings in public parks. McHenry is a co-founder of the international Food Not Bombs movement, which began in the early 1980s.

The group lost a court battle in April, clearing the way for the city to enforce the ordinance. It requires groups to obtain a permit and limits each group to two permits per year for each park within a 2-mile radius of City Hall.

Arrest papers state that Cross, Markeson and McHenry helped feed 40 people Wednesday night. The ordinance applies to feedings of more than 25 people.

olice had not enforced the ordinance while the court battle continued. The U.S. District Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta ruled that city rules regulating how often large groups of people can be fed in a park do not violate the Constitution.

Of course there will be those who say "the law is the law" but you really have to think about a situation where the state gets to dictate how many hungry people you can feed without their approval.

Returning to Mr. Smith we find his comparisons to Nazi Germany:

What surprised me at first was that most Germans, so far as I could see, did not seem to mind that their personal freedom had been taken away, that so much of their splendid culture was being destroyed and replaced with a mindless barbarism, or that their life and work were becoming regimented to a degree never before experienced even by a people accustomed for generations to a great deal of regimentation . . .

Many Americans do not mind that there personal freedoms are being taken away for "security" Do they now mind that their so called inalienable rights as enshrined in the Constitution are being stripped from them? Why has political leadership allowed to get away with blatant violations of the 4th Amendment? How is it that the so-called "liberal" wing of the political class has agreed to sign into law, indefinite detention and imprisonment of persons without trial, simply on the say so of the president or some "law enforcement" official that the target is either a terrorist or has given "support" to terrorists?

Like I said in an earlier post on the growing police state:

I think a lot of people have an idea about what a police state is based on movies and from dictators in the middle east, etc. They fail to realize to recognize the purpose of a police state is population control. Particularly the control of dissident voices and actions within the population. it is the ability to track citizens against their wishes, and it usually accompanied by claims of security and safety. A soft police state is still a police state.

Protecting Civilians from Genocide

That was supposed to be the so called "humanitarian" mission launched by NATO and given the blessing and cover by the United Nations.

In the middle of August, between the end of the siege and the killing of Gaddafi, Misratan forces drove out everyone living in Tawergha, a town of 30,000 people. Human rights groups have described this as an act of revenge and collective punishment possibly amounting to a crime against humanity.

Tawerghans are mostly descendants of black slaves. They are generally poor, were patronised by the Gaddafi regime and were broadly supporters of his regime. Some signed up to fight for him as the regime fought for its survival.

So I would like to take a moment to thank President Obama, our first president of African descent for sending NATO on this mission to "prevent the genocide of the Libyan people". I would like to also thank the UN Security council for their steadfastness in upholding the value of the lives of the people of Libya. Extra special shout out to Ban-Ki Moon for providing the necessary legal cover for all this "protection".

Thank you!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Low Down Dirty Fishermen

It appears that some Luo fishermen are making women have sex with them in order to get the "best fish" that they catch.

"When you are a woman and you want to get into the business of selling fish, you must be ready to lose your pride and use your body for bargaining," she told IRIN/PlusNews. "Being ready to give sex as and when it is needed by the fishermen... it guarantees your survival here on the beach."

Needed? That just bothered me in a place that rarely gets bothered. What these men need is a good beat down and a re-education.


Achieng says she is aware of the risks, but the immediate needs of her family override any concern she may have about contracting HIV.

"You know you can get HIV... but then you remember you have a family that needs to be provided for, and you say, let me die providing for them," she said.

This bothers me because if you look to the right you'll see that I actively loan to men and women in Africa in order to help them avoid being exploited and dependent. It bothers me that when I help a woman to provide for her family that she STILL has to deal with this kind of bullshit.

This needs to stop.


A recent donation of six boats to women's groups in Nyanza by the US Peace Corps shows some of the ways 'jaboya' can be addressed; the women are able to fish for themselves, eliminating dependence on fishermen.

"When you have nothing, those who have something must tell you to bend over backwards for them. Now we have boats and we will no longer be at anybody's mercy," Millicent Onyango, one of the beneficiaries of the US Peace Corps' "No Sex for Fish" project.

While I don't oppose the thinking behind this, I do not think that the larger issue is being addressed. The problem is not that the women have to make deals with fishermen, but the kind of deals they are being made to make. Just as I loan equally to both men and women, I do not totally support programs that lead to gender competition and isolation. I would hope that someone in the Luo communities are working to change the attitudes of the men in this situation so that a proper symbiotic relationship can be formed.

De Niggerbitch

From the people who gave us "black pete".

“She has street cred, she has a ghetto ass and she has a golden throat. Rihanna, the good girl gone bad, is the ultimate niggabitch and displays that gladly"

Dr Goddess deals with these fools:

Once upon a time, yet another international magazine decided to print racist / white supremacist words and imagery regarding a Black artist and then issue an “oops, did we do that?” apology, as if that would be enough to make protestors go away.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

If You Don't Submit To It, You Will Be Punished

Police state at it's finest:

When we were finally brought to the final holding area for our arraignment we were informed that if we refused to submit to a retina scan we would likely be held overnight. The retina scan is a voluntary procedure that all 10 of us had already denied earlier that day. According to our lawyers from the National Lawyers Guild – who are heroes – the lieutenant on duty and the judge said that if we continued to refuse the scans we wouldn’t get out that night. With only a few exceptions due to personal commitments, we all stood in solidarity and refused to submit to the procedure. This was around 11 p.m. on Tuesday, roughly 36 hours after our arrest. Several of the women arrested and a majority of the men were going to spend another night in prison to protest the ever expanding security state. In many ways, this final hurdle was the most egregious encroachment on our liberties. The retinal scan is a voluntary procedure, but if you don’t submit to it, you will be punished.

'Cause I know some of you out there think I'm being over the top when I say "police state". There is no way, no how, that this is constitutional. This is akin to discussions of Dejure and Defacto segregation. Although the law is written to be constitutional, it is in fact used in an unconstitutional manner. No way should it be possible to be *forced* to stay in jail for refusing to do something that you are not required to do.

Invented or Illegitimate?

So many days have gone by since Newt Gingrich's commentary that the Palestinians are an "invented people". Though such news has made waves among more independent minded people, most are distracted by the $10,000 "bet" that Romney offered Perry over a claim that Perry made.
Though that is not the intended subject of this post I just want to say how silly all this "news" over 'The Bet" is.

Regular readers of this blog know that I have engaged in "The Wager" in which I challenged another blogger to provide indisputable evidence to contradict my "theory" of race:

I'll write you another $1,000 cheque should you find a German Shephard[sic] that gives birth to a poodle[sic] through natural means of conception.

I made that bet with a 99% confidence that I would not have to pay out. This is common when you KNOW you're right to bet someone a large sum which they have no chance of winning. It is a means of showing that you are certain of what you speak. As a matter of fact I believe that it is the BEST way to end an argument with anyone. If they are unwilling to put their money where their mouth is, then clearly you should be suspect of whatever they are saying.

I'll note that the person the wager was directed to (and various other persons in the "peanut gallery" STILL have not offered the evidence asked for. But back to Gingrich.

Gingrich is absolutely and specifically correct when he said that the Palestinians are an invented people. He is correct because every nationality is, in fact, invented. Every culture, every national boundary, All of it are invented. The American identity is invented. There were no "Americans" before the United States Constitution was drafted. England as we know it did not exist prior to 1707 and prior to that was a bunch of kingdoms.

Latin America is an invention as well. Canada and Canadians are invented people as well.

Even if you look at biblical history it is clear that Israel is and was an invention. Judaism itself is an invented religion taking large portions of Sumerian and Egyptian theology to create itself.

We could go on and on about all the invented people in history but that really wasn't Newt Gingrich's real point. Gingrich, being the white supremacist that he is, was really saying that European white people, as a body, have the right to determine who is a "legitimate people" and who are "illegitimate people". Gingrich is simply offering, in full view, the white supremacist worldview in which people exist only if white supremacists say so and they exist under conditions that white supremacists determine.

Many of the targets of such ideologies internalize these identifications. African-Americans have called themselves Negroes for generations. They have accepted, largely without question, the One Drop Rule, imposed by White Supremacists to specify who is not white and will generally object to those who oppose such an "invention".

Many people scoff at Kwanzaa, saying that it is "made up" as if Christmas and a fat white man who goes up and down chimneys are somehow more "legitimate" an invention. Or that the claimed birth of a person who is the son of a sky god (even though the birthday could not possibly be at the time it is celebrated) is more "legitimate".

The Palestinian leadership for all their objections to Gingrich's commentary behave exactly as Gingrich meant when they "petition" the UN to recognize them and ask for a state. Did the Kosovars ask for independence? No! They took independence and declared themselves a state. Palestinians generally then accept this idea of illegitimacy each and every time they seek outside people to legitimize their claims to national identity.

The same White Supremacists who say that Palestinians are invented (read 'illegitimate") are the same ones who heartily approved of Serbian independence. This should make it clear what Newt Gingrich (and those who agreed with him) meant when he said "invented". Invented was simply a code word for another I word.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sounds Fair to Me

From Fox News:

On Sunday, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps senior commander said the regime will not return the drone, and in fact, considered the spy mission of the unmanned vehicle to be an act of war itself.

"We are not the kind of country to allow our enemy to operate freely within our national security and to continue without any response, but regarding the kind of reaction we will show, our enemies will see its effects," said. Gen. Hossein Salami.

I've seen argument against male self-determination in regards to becoming a parent start and end with "once his sperm leaves his body it's no longer his or his decision." I don't agree with that but if we're to take such an argument to it's logical conclusion, the drone that was in Iranian airspace, clearly without their permission, is THE property of the Iranians and as such, they have a right to do whatever they want to with it.

We would expect that the US, if it were confronted with an Iranian drone flying overhead, would also, understandably, take all measures to down it. They would not be returning the property to the Iranians either; at least not in one piece. Furthermore the US would also take such an action as aggression if not a blatant act of war.

Therefore, the proclamations made by Iran ought to surprise no one at all.

Looking further at the report we see the following:

President Obama was given different options by the Pentagon to go into Iran and either retrieve the RQ-170 or destroy it, but he declined because, sources say, he didn't want such a mission to be seen as an act of war.

Bolton said that's not an adequate excuse.

"The Iranians, in saying they would not give it back, said the very act of sending it over Iran was an act of war, which undercuts the Obama administration's assertion that we didn't go into try and destroy the drone after it was captured for fear of the Iranians saying exactly that. ... So while there may be a lot of good reasons not to go in that is not one."

President Obama is quite correct in his analysis. To further exacerbate this situation by invading Iran (which is exactly what "retrieval" means) is a silly idea. Obama is trying to save US face by attempting to deflect the "act of war" angle by NOT making the mistake of making an unmistakable act of aggression.

This writer would like to remind the audience that when China shot down a US plane in it's territory, the same fools said to go get it. They, however knew better than to try to run up in nuclear China and for all their talk, they got nowhere.

Someone tell Bolton that winning the so called "war on terror" does not include invading Iran.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Police employ Predator drone spy planes on home front

Was only a matter of time.

As the unmanned aircraft circled 2 miles overhead the next morning, sophisticated sensors under the nose helped pinpoint the three suspects and showed they were unarmed. Police rushed in and made the first known arrests of U.S. citizens with help from a Predator, the spy drone that has helped revolutionize modern warfare.

But that was just the start. Local police say they have used two unarmed Predators based at Grand Forks Air Force Base to fly at least two dozen surveillance flights since June. The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration have used Predators for other domestic investigations, officials said.

The money shot:

"Any time you have a tool like that in the hands of law enforcement that makes it easier to do surveillance, they will do more of it,"

Sunday, December 04, 2011

The Decline of the American Middle Class

Back in August of this year I discussed the economic reality that is facing the US middle class:

Well right across the Pacific is this country with a middle class population that is as large as the entire population of the United States. Let me say that again: There is a country with a middle class population as large as the entire population of the United States. Oh, and that population is growing. There's another country on the Indian sub-continent with a huge population of bright people who are like this other country is growing it's middle class at a fast rate. If you are a company looking to grow and profit would you be looking to America or looking to these places? Don't think too hard now.


As discussed earlier the race to the bottom is creeping into the middle class as occupations that require expensive college educations that commanded high 5 and 6 figure salaries can be (and are being) sent to anyone with a fast internet connection and a PC. They will gladly do for $20k, if that much, what you ask $100k for. You do the math.

You'll note from the original entry that I did not quote any primary sources. I had simply looked at the facts on the ground and wrote my analysis. Now let us look at what Alan NasserProfessor Emeritus of Political Economy at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. has to say on the very same subject.

Here he is quoting one of Obama's advisors Jeffrey Immelt:

“Today we go to Brazil, we go to China, we go to India, because that’s where the customers are.” My goodness, this looks like the Leninist thing about the insufficiency of domestic markets to absorb the economy’s output. The US worker is not only becoming decreasingly important as an input to production, (s)he is no longer seen by big capital as the most promising customer, the most robust source of sales revenue.

Here he is quoting a Wall Street [type] executive:

A US-based CEO of one of the world’s largest hedge funds told a writer for The Atlantic that “the hollowing out of the American middle class didn’t really matter.” The CEO described the subject of an executive discussion earlier this year: “… if the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty and into the middle class, and meanwhile means one American drops out of the middle class, that’s not such a bad trade.”

Some more from a CEO in the internet business, you know, the ones who trade "free social networking" websites and programs for access to your private information to sell to his (or her) actual customers:

The Chief Financial Officer of a US internet company expresses the same sentiment: “We demand a higher paycheck than the rest of the world. So if you’re going to demand 10 times the paycheck, you need to deliver 10 times the value. It sounds harsh, but maybe people in the middle class need to decide to take a pay cut.”

There it is in black and white people. You, the 99% are overpaid for the work that you do. Remember that these are the type of people who are bankrolling the major candidates for President of the United States as well as those members in congress. Do you think they are backing and paying for candidates who think you are "underpaid"?

And do note that they are not of the opinion that somehow the retail prices for goods and services ought to drop in tandem with the drop in salaries.

Let's look at some more:

Thomas Wilson, CEO of Allstate, is unabashedly frank about the way in which globalization generates an opposition between working-class and business interests: “I can get [workers] anywhere in the world. It is a problem for America, but it is not necessarily a problem for American business… American businesses will adapt.”

So all the big execs know that the American middle class is screwed and they are planning on who they can sell to instead. Of importance, this statement shows that the exec is of the opinion that the US ought to resemble the markets of current "developing" nations where there are wide disparities in income and wealth. Where if you have the connections and money to sell overseas you do so and you exploit your home labour force as much as possible to maximize profits. This is noted in our next quote:

We can call this the Third-Worldization of the Rest, or, if we focus on the wage-earners of the developed countries, the creeping obsolescence of the working class. Workers can of course never be rendered entirely obsolete. What is happening is that we are approaching that condition asymptotically. One might object that there are clear limits to how impoverished working people can be made – after all, workers have to be maintained as work-ready. Upward redistribution can only go so far. But ever-widening inequality is perceived by elites as feasible by virtue of the limitless possibilities of greater indebtedness. Workers can make ends meet by indefinitely mortgaging their future income.

This reminds me of an observation I made about I, Robot:

Specifically I was struck by the displacement of humans in many jobs. I, robot takes place in 2035, when yours truly will be in his 60's. at that time it appears that robots are rubbish collectors, babysitters, cooks, janitors even bartenders. My question was, what happened to the people who usually do these jobs?.

Workers are expendable and certain workers will become more and more expendable. I also wrote:

But I think that the movie presents a very very real spectacle as to how the elite in the US view the masses. People without "ends" are expendable and replaceable and hopefully we can make them just disappear.

Is this not what the executives are saying?

This subject of mortgaging the future is also the theme of the recent movie"In Time". There, instead of paying actual wages which people spend in order to live, they are paid in literal time to live. While a worker in our reality may decide not to work because he doesn't feel like it, he is unlikely to decide not to work if his life literally depended on it. In this dystopia, time is literally money. Why waste time with negotiating wages when you can cut the chase. Sounds extreme and scientifically impossible but the point is clear: How much work will we get out of you for as little as we can get away with? Let's go back to the article:

Non-union workers contracted by Ford to do inspection and repairs at the Dearborn truck plant make $10 an hour without benefits, which is projected to be less than the Chinese average by 2015.

So 2015, a scant four years from now, US autoworkers may well face having the same salary prospects as the Chinese, though with nowhere near the same cost of living. I bet they'll still be voting Republican though.

In the end though there will be an equalization among workers around the world as the ultra rich and those who own resources (usually one and the same) will force down the wages and living standards of those in the so called "developed world" while doing all they can to moderate the rise of income in the developing world. They will do this by moving production to wherever the customers and the cheapest labour is to be found. This is why many states in the US do all they can to give "incentives" for businesses to stay or relocate in said states. And oft times these incentives come right out of the tax revenue needed for cities and towns to run their public works. Many don't see the problem until the companies up and leave and leave a huge hole in the state and or city budget and a whole lot of unemployed people. Welcome to the new America. Not too much unlike the old one. Just that white folks are no longer being protected by their richer counterparts.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Senate Wants the Military to Lock You Up Without Trial

There are still changes swirling around the Senate, but this looks like the basic shape of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. Someone the government says is “a member of, or part of, al-Qaida or an associated force” can be held in military custody “without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.” Those hostilities are currently scheduled to end the Wednesday after never. The move would shut down criminal trials for terror suspects.

Note that they have put this into a defense appropriations bill so that Senators would have to vote against the appropriations bill in order to kill this little piece of unconstitutionality.

Money shot:

Obama approved of the execution without trial of Anwar al-Awlaki, al-Qaida’s YouTube preacher, based entirely on the unproven assertion that Awlaki was dangerous. Awlaki was an American citizen. So Obama thinks he has the right to kill Americans the government says are terrorists, but he doesn’t want the military to lock them up forever without trial. OK then

Early Results in Egypt Show a Mandate for Islamists

This from the same NY Times that hosted a thoughtless piece of drivel talking about how Al-Qaeda had "lost".

The party formed by the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s mainstream Islamist group, appeared to have taken about 40 percent of the vote, as expected. But a big surprise was the strong showing of ultraconservative Islamists, called Salafis, many of whom see most popular entertainment as sinful and reject women’s participation in voting or public life.

Analysts in the state-run news media said early returns indicated that Salafi groups could take as much as a quarter of the vote, giving the two groups of Islamists combined control of nearly 65 percent of the parliamentary seats.

And remember that the entire point of backing Mubarak in Egypt was to keep parties like the Muslim Brotherhood from power. Also remember that one of the platforms of Al-Qaeda is the removal of "leadership" that is "non-Islamic" and who act as fronts for the "liberal west".

Total failure. Total.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Public Sector Meltdown Hits Black Women the Hardest

So says the article in Ms. Magazine Blog But of course one has to pay attention to the details:

That means, naturally, that black women are feeling public-sector cuts the most. Twenty-three percent of employed African American women work in the public sector, compared to 19.8 percent of employed white women, 18 percent of employed black men and 14.2 percent of employed white men.

You'll note the reference to "employed" women and "employed" men. Of course the problem here is that Black men in general suffer from high rates of unemployment. Higher than that of Black women.

From Crains:

“Black women are a majority [53.4%] of the black workforce, head a majority [52.8%] of black families with children, and were more economically vulnerable even before the recession started,” according to the report.

From Money Magazine:

Overall, black men have it the worst, with joblessness at a staggeringly high 19.1%, compared to 14.5% for black women.

That's the national number.

From the US Department of Labor:

Blacks are the only racial or ethnic group where women represent a larger share of the employed than do men — more than half (54.3 percent) of employed blacks in 2010 were women, compared to 46.3 percent among employed whites. Employed black women still earn less than employed black men.

In NY State the unemployment rate of blacks generally (2010) is 40.8% divided into 17.3 for black males (error margin between 15 and 19 percent) and 12 % (error margin 10=13 percent). No that does not equal 40% so lets take those numbers at the high end of the error margin for both groups. So 1 in 4 black males 16 and over in NY state as of 2010 were unemployed and 1 in 7 (rounding down) black women in NYS in a similar situation.

This is not to belittle the situation that confronts black women but the numbers do speak for themselves. It may be harder out there for them now, but the numbers are not and have never reached what black men have faced and are facing. I'm glad Ms. is concerned with getting women back to work but I'd like for people to be concerned with getting black men into work.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Teach by Example

Egyptian police crack down. From the AP:

Witnesses said the violence began when riot police dismantled a small tent camp set up to commemorate protesters killed in the uprising and attacked around 200 peaceful demonstrators who had camped out in the square overnight....

Police were firing rubber bullets, tear gas and beating protesters with batons to clear the area on Saturday, said Sahar Abdel-Mohsen, an engineer who joined in the protest after a call went out on Twitter telling people to come down to Tahrir...

While the military tolerates daytime demonstrations in the central square, a symbol of the country's Jan. 25-Feb. 11 uprising, it claims long-term occupation paralyzes the city.

Or was that New York City or Oakland or.....

Friday, November 18, 2011

There Is No One To Vote For

As a long time non-voter I have long since come to understand the true nature of the political beast that is the US political scene that the occupy people are facing. A lot of people assume that I don't vote because I am either apathetic, "given up" or some other scripted response taught to them by someone or some organization(I won't even go into the "slavery" angle). Every now and then some who understand as I understand come out and speak on who this system works for. Sometimes it's a foreign government official that declares that he or she has "access" regardless of who's in office. Sometimes it's the CEO of some company that declares the he too doesn't vote because his interests are always being looked after regardless of who or what party is in office. Today we find yet another person reaching this realization:

But what I sensed in New York was anger not only at this economic problem, but the fact that the political system is broken. There is no one to vote for as an alternative to pro-bank candidates. So what began as anger has become a gathering awareness that Obama was simply fooling voters instead of leading the change he promised. That’s what politicians do, of course. But people hoped that he might be different. That was the gullibility he played on. He has turned into the nightmare they thought they were voting against.

There is no one to vote for. Exactly. When I size up the candidates I understand that in the great scheme of things the ones who would best represent my interests (and yours actually) will never make it past the primaries. Even the so called "establishment liberals" who bash Republicans at every turn will marginalize true change agent candidates by claiming they are 'unelectable". They will turn from arguments that you should "be heard" to telling you what you should be saying.

For example we have Cynthia McKinney, a black woman with a strong anti-war, anti-corporate platform. During the last presidential election the Black "Left" cognoscenti up and declared that supporting McKinney was a waste of time and votes and that voting for Obama was the right thing to do. So in essence the so called talented 10th spent their efforts in the service of pro-wall Street and pro-war candidates because they wanted to make history rather than stick to their principles. Principles which later showed themselves to be toilet paper thin as they supported, among other things, NATO regime change in Libya.

You'd think these cognoscenti would have encouraged black voters to, you know, vote their conscience or their principles, you know those things that they carp about every Jan 16th or other opportune moments to mention Dr. King and his dream. Oh well.

I have long said that it will not be until the proverbial feces hits the fan that people will realize that they are being had. They are being had slowly but surely. The general population is under the impression that unless something like a Nazi takeover happens that everything is OK. It is not and it will not go that way. The police state is everywhere and visible to everyone paying attention. One only need to move out of the little "permitted behavior" and "permitted discussion" zone to find out. The occupy break ups by various city governments shows that "we" are about as free as the Egyptian was in Tahir square. The differences are simply that there's more money here than there and cultural differences. Make no mistake though as politics go, both governments would do anything to maintain and protect itself from the people. And let us be clear, the protests are thus far non-violent on the part of the protestors, Just imagine what would happen if the protestors decided to do what the Libyans did, or what the Syrians are doing. With what we have seen thus far in NYC and Oakland do you now honestly think that mass beating and actual shootings would not happen here if the protestors actually resisted the police?

Where are the elected officials, supposedly the representatives of "the people"? Have you seen them with the people? Have you seen them have press conferences condemning the behavior of the authorities? Have you seen them point out the constitutional problems with the police actions? No. The ones who have spoken out have said that the protestors should "go home". That they "have been heard" and now "business needs to return to normal". As if they really do not get it.

So when people ask silly ass questions about "what candidate are they supporting" or "what candidate are they fielding" I know they simply do not understand what is going on. There is no one to vote for and when someone with the credentials show up the Liberal cognoscenti do whatever they can to not support them.

Game recognize game.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sister Citizen Hits Cain Where it Hurts

Of late I've not found myself on the same page as Dr. Harris-Perry. This being especially true in her recent remarks in regards to Cornel West and her commentary in regards to the racism of white liberals with respect to Obama. But fair is fair and her latest Sister Citizen piece is all the way spot on.

Neither Thomas nor Cain was ever in any imminent danger of torture or murder, both of which are fundamental aspects of lynching. Neither man was attacked by a mob acting outside the normal structures of society and government; the inquiries into both men’s actions have followed standard media, employment and governmental practices. And while television and the Internet helped promulgate their stories, there was nothing particularly technological about their experiences. I suspect that what Cain and Thomas meant was that they were the victims of a symbolic lynching, not a high-tech one.

Kaboom. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Black Theology

Theology. According to the Webster dictionary theology is:

the study of religious faith, practice, and experience; the study of God and of God's relation to the world

According to the NY Times Africans AKA "black people" did not have "theology until 1836 when it was invented at Union Theological Seminary in NY.

The school, where the eminent theologian Reinhold Niebuhr taught, is also known as the birthplace of black theology. James H. Cone, a foremost scholar in that tradition, is still on the faculty.

I cannot make this stuff up.

Clearly then the staff of the NY Times among others are of the opinion that African traditional religions, which existed prior to 1836, simply do not exist. The Yoruba, Ashanti etc were just having idle chatter when they conceived of, discussed and handed down religious traditions to their descendants. The Kikuyu weren't facing Mt. Kenya for any particular reason at all. They apparently just enjoyed the view.

The further arrogance of this statement is that it also presupposes that somehow the trade in African bodies somehow managed to wipe out traditional religious thinking among those being bought and sold.

It would have been simple for the editors of the NY Times to have stuck "American" before "black" and "Christian" before "theology". That would have made the statement accurate and not totally dismissive of the theologies that existed in African-America prior to 1836.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Those "Unbridgable" Rights

Since it seems that unless I'm a white man or woman writing for an establishment type newspaper or blog, what I say amounts to a hill of so many beans (yes I'm somewhat bitter), let me go and quote somebody else in regards to those rights that "we" supposedly have in the US.

Here's Dave Lindorff on The Penn State situation:

And yet there are all kinds of laws that abridge freedom of speech and the right peaceably to assemble, as well as the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

We’ve all been witness lately to how municipal authorities, no doubt under pressure from the bankers and from the central government’s police and political authorities, have been “abridging,” with the aid of police wielding clubs, pepper spray and tear gas canisters, the supposed freedom of occupy movement activists to peaceably assemble.

This morning upon hearing the news of the removal of the #occupy protestors including the destruction of their property, I reminded the twitterverse as to the laws governing the citizens rights to peaceably assemble:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

And importantly the 14th Amendment which is clear about what the states can and cannot do in regards to the rights of citizens:

1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

In regards to due process, even the severely diluted form that it currently has, has been affirmed by court order allowing the #occupy protestors to remain. I won't engage in my position that the "life, liberty and property are in regards to criminal or civil prosecution and not in regards to the actual rights of citizens.

It's pretty sad when I have to read citizens writings about how the #occupy protestors have to act "legally" as if peacefully assembling isn't already legal. Furthermore claims of sanitation and crime are no legal grounds to abridge the rights of protestors. Sanitation issues can be negotiated with those peacefully assembled to provide public safety while recognizing the assembly rights.

Similarly if crimes are being committed in the #occupy protests then the state has a right and obligation to find those responsible and prosecute them. To report as if the actual protestors are criminals or creating crime is utter bullshit. Similarly claiming that reports of gunfire are grounds to evict #occupy protestors is bullshit as well. Shootings happen outside of all manner of locations including parks, nightclubs etc. Shall we shut them all down as well? I mean people get raped in Central Park. Shall we shut it down and deny people access to the park?

None of this is totally surprising given that a poll taken a couple of years ago found that a good number of Americans are of the bizarre opinion that they have "too many rights".

Friday, November 11, 2011

Clinton and Cain

Alexander Cockburn:

A luxury suite! One of Bill’s targets, when he was governor of Arkansas, would have been lucky to get a ride home in the troop car, after a brisk session in the governor’s office, with bruises on her arms when she resisted the guiding hand. Who says this isn’t the land of progress? Seventy years ago a black man making the sort of advances of which Cain is accused tended to end up swinging from the branch of a tree, not running for president with a hefty quotient of Americans saying they don’t give a toss about the harassment charges.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Gunfire Before Liberia Election

From the NY Times

MONROVIA, Liberia — Hundreds of protesters clashed with the police and United Nations peacekeepers here in the Liberian capital on Monday afternoon, leaving at least one person dead the day before a presidential runoff that the opposition has vowed to boycott.

Not a good sign at all. I suppose they still have not learned from that long brutal war.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Paul Craig Roberts on Western Democracy

Writing in Counterpunch

In America the only thing that can ruin a politician is his interest in sex. A politician, for example, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Barack Obama, cannot be ruined by violating United States and international law or by treating the US Constitution as a “mere scrap of paper.” Bush and Cheney can take America to wars based entirely on lies and orchestrated deceptions. They can commit war crimes, murdering large numbers of civilians in the cause of “the war on terror,” itself a hoax. They can violate US and international laws against torture simply “because the president said so.” They can throw away habeas corpus, the constitutional requirement that a person cannot be imprisoned without evidence presented to a court. They can deny the right to an attorney. They can violate the law and spy on Americans without obtaining warrants. They can send due process to hell. In fact, they can do whatever they want just like Hitler’s Gestapo and Stalin’s secret police. But if they show undue interest in a woman or proposition a woman, they are dead meat.

Anthony Weiner. Nuff said.

Jack Abramoff Puts The US Government on Blast

Think about it.He said that he had 100 congress members in his pocket. This is ONE lobbyist. Think of the implications of this when you consider the number of lobbyists in DC.

Remember that candidate Obama made the claim that he would not be held sway by special interests. Now consider just how much money is coming his way. Now watch Abramoff explain how these things go and think carefully as to whether Obama meant what he said or is actually living what he said.

If after watching this video you do not understand exactly how the government is run, why we have bullshit laws on the books and people at #occupy protests being arrested on bullshit charges in direct violation of their rights to peacefully assemble and seek redress, then you really are not all that bright.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Herman Cain on China

t China was "trying to develop nuclear capability .… "

LA Times

Just wow.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Re: Violent Islamism Has Failed

Op Ed contributor Richard Dearlove writing in the NY Times suggests that violent Islamism has failed:

Yet what is surprising 10 years on is the relative failure of violent Islamism to make a more lasting political impact. Few of us would have predicted this failure at the time.

Al Qaeda began with the idea of purging Saudi Arabia of “infidels”; it then came up with a complex political model of a caliphate. What we are seeing instead — and I stress that my comments are personal — is a resurgence of moderate Islam and moderate Islamist parties. These groups are now apparently arguing for the very democratic values and individual rights that Al Qaeda was so opposed to. This can be seen in what is happening today in Tunisia, in Egypt, in the sort of things that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is saying and doing.

Dearlove's position requires that one view failure as a total failure to get everything one wants. If that were the case then any negotiated settlement between any parties would be "failure" for all parties involved. No one looks at a negotiated settlement like that.

Furthermore; Dearlove's position also requires us to ignore history of Islam as it spread throughout regions such as North Africa, etc. Muslims have never been stupid. Contrary to what is generally said by some Muslims, The Prophet had no problem with the use of violence and nor did his followers. However; violence was not the preferred tactic of Muslims in their expansion but it was also never "off the table" and that has always been the case. If they were able to get a foothold somewhere by other means they did so. Knowing this we should look at the actual stated issues that Al-Qaeda claims to have.

Al-Qaeda had a deep hatred of secular governments that acted as puppets of the US and Israel. They had a deep hatred of governments that they saw as oppressing the rights of "righteous" Muslims. Yes, they had ideas of re-establishing Caliphates, but these other issues were just as important.

What has happened since 9-11? Among many things we have seen a very aggressive push by the Palestinians to receive recognition in the UN over the usual objections of the US and Israel. We have seen the "Arab Street" previously easily brushed aside, topple US aligned leadership in a number of countries. We have seen so called "moderate" Islamists make it into government whereas before everything was done to keep them out. We see the Muslim Brotherhood, previously repressed taking seats in new governments. In other words, the Arab world in general has become that much more assertive towards the US than any time prior to 9-11 or at the oil embargo.

At the same time, as Bin Laden said, the US has been shown to not really care about The Law(tm) as they claim to be. the US has been shown and documented using torture or outsourcing it. Stuff that has been happening for a long time but was not visible to the US or world population until after 9-11. The US and The West(tm) has been shown to be in cahoots with various dictators as evidenced by it's unwillingness to condemn Mubarak or the leadership of Bahrain.

Indeed just like the violence in various cities in the US made space for and pushed the powers that be to address the "more moderate" elements of the civil rights movement, so to did the violence of Al-Qaeda create a space where the relatively moderate Islamist groups had to be dealt with. This is almost always how violence works in such conflicts. In politics the most radical person is labelled the "extremist", the less radical that person is, the less room the people who are moderate have to move. But when that radical person is way out there the middle ground opens up quite a bit.

In Africa Muslims got their place by way of compromise. Why not let them live peacefully over there, rather than risk constant armed conflict? As the old Yoruba saying goes (paraphrased): Woe to the man who disturbs the praying Muslim.

So no, Al- Qaeda failed at setting up a caliphate. But yes, they did get some of what they wanted. Sounds like a "compromise" to me.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

US Admits to "Setting the Course" in Libya

Every now and then the empire gets arrogant and blatantly displays itself to the people. It's usually quickly done, covered up and those not paying attention miss it. But it happens. Today we got a taste of it. Roger Cohen writing his latest opinion piece for the NY Times reveals the real NATO plan:

When I tweeted a sincere “Bravo Obama” message the other day, congratulating the president on “leading from behind” in Libya, it took only minutes for the U.S. ambassador to NATO to tweet back a sharp retort.

“That’s not leading from behind,” Ivo Daalder wrote. “When you set the course, provide critical enablers and succeed, it’s plain leading.”

Like Police Commissioner Ray Kelly's "accidental" commentary about the NYPD's ability (and assumed new authority) to shoot down commercial aircraft this statement ought not be taken as braggadious. This fellow meant exactly what he said. The US "set the course. and provided "critical enablers".

Since we know exactly what "the course" was, then what this amounts to is an admission that NATO was purposely engaged in regime change with the blessing of the UN. NATO essentially declared war on the legitimate government of Libya (a UN member state), "enabled" and "provided" for a civil war against the government of Libya.

And given that this person is making such claims I will direct the reader's attention to my discussion of the constitutionality of said war:

What part of "coordinates, participates or accompany" does the White House not understand? What part of "Nothing in this joint resolution shall be construed as granting authority to the President with respect to the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into hostilities or into situations wherein involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances which authority he would not have had in the absence of this resolution" does the executive not understand?

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Point of Protest

I saw the following comment from the Mayor of London this morning:

and London’s maverick mayor, Boris Johnson, concurred. “An excellent point has been made” by the protesters, he said, “but having made their point, it’s time for them to move on.”

I think this attitude is what has made "democracy" in The West(tm) a pale shadow of itself. The point of protest is not to simply be seen and move along. I say that elections serve that purpose. An election is a form of protest. One shows up, marks a ballot indicating what one's issue is and who you think is best able to represent those interests in the established government. Then one goes home and hopes for the best.

However a protest happens when the results of the ballot fail to meet the expectations of the public or a lack of satisfactory response from whatever established governing body to the will of the people. At that point the public takes to the street to let those in power understand that they are not doing what the people put them in office to do and that until they do so the people are going to make things "inconvenient".

If you note the pattern to all the disruptions of recent "occupy" protests, the basis of these disruptions have been "public safety" and "rights of others to not be "inconvenienced". This is a total crock and an "official" way for the state to bypass the right of the people to protest. People do not have "the right to not be inconvenienced". The public is inconvenienced whenever a head of state shows up in their neighborhood. Nobody asks them before hand whether it's OK by them to have their streets blocked off. When movies are shot on location, nobody asks the neighbors whether they mind. The city (or state) simply ups and decides for them. To make matters worse, the city gets paid to make this decision with absolutely no input from the citizens who will actually be affected by these events. Even worse no citizen of an effected area can go to City Hall and demand that whatever "officially blessed" event be stopped immediately due to "inconvenience". This same city apparatus wants to turn around and claim that protestors "wrong" for inconveniencing others with their protests over the government not doing what the people asked it to do?

But this is how those in power manage to kick aside the people. The whole, "OK you've had your say now go home" attitude rather than "exactly what can we do to address your concerns?" attitude is exactly why the protesters are out there in the first place.

Consider this: Just a few months ago, London was burning. When that was happening the persons involved were called all kinds of nasty things. Politicians went out of their way to say that such looting and burning was an inappropriate way to vent anger and frustration. They went out of their way to arrest the "hooligans" and "low lives" and "gang members" they caught on tape. They went to RIM in an attempt to find out who was sending messages and proposed laws to shut down the internet in case such events happened again. Now when people decide to peacefully sit down in public while posing no danger to anyone (despite the health and safety claims) or anybody's property. Those in charge want to malign these people as well. You cannot have it both ways. Protests are not convenient. That is the entire point of protesting. It is to highlight that the present conditions are "inconvenient" and they're going to spread the "inconvenience" to those who think they are above everything and everybody. If those in office and elsewhere do not like the "inconvenience" I suggest addressing the issues. That usually works.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

West Sees Opportunity in Postwar Libya for Businesses

From the NY Times:

Western security, construction and infrastructure companies that see profit-making opportunities receding in Iraq and Afghanistan have turned their sights on Libya, now free of four decades of dictatorship. Entrepreneurs are abuzz about the business potential of a country with huge needs and the oil to pay for them, plus the competitive advantage of Libyan gratitude toward the United States and its NATO partners.

Why of course they do.

No one could have ever predicted that.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Return of the Brain Size Argument

The man in the video in this linked piece from CNN

says that it

all depends on your brain size and how you use it.

Here's the problem:

Anyone paying attention knows that so called brain measurements were used as proof that the African was not as intelligent as the European. So this guy has basically stated that argument. He sees no black people. and since brain size determines intelligence, since there are no black people, their brains must be small and therefore not as intelligent.

What year is this again?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Just so we are clear

Oakland California, USA

Tahir Square, Egypt:

Any Questions?

Ghaddafi Iraq Coup Plot?

From the NY Times:

rebel fighters found secret intelligence documents linking Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi to a plot by former members of Saddam Hussein’s military and Baath Party to overthrow the Iraqi government, according to an Iraqi official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "

Interesting, but I am far more interested in what followed:

The looted ruins of Colonel Qaddafi’s intelligence headquarters in Tripoli have revealed many secrets. The trove has uncovered ties between the Libyan strongman and the C.I.A. and shed light on negotiations between Chinese arms dealers and Libyan officials during the course of the uprising, an embarrassment to officials in Beijing.

Did I read "ties between the Libyan strongman and the C.I.A."? did I? No one at the NY Times thought, "Hey what's THAT about?"

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tyler Right

Shocking that I would even head a blog post with such a statement. Shocking that I would even muster the energy to come to the defense of Tyler Perry. However; such is the cost of being honest. I found a link to an article where Al Sharpton called folks who object to Tyler Perry's work as "Proper Negroes" Now, on the one hand I find it quite odd that the new and improved, Dapper, Cigar lounging, attack dog for the White House would want to accuse anyone of attempting to be or of being "Proper Negroes" but upon reading the commentary from Perry I had to agree with the following:

“Somebody said to me about the ‘House of Payne,’ ‘Why do you have fat black people on television?’ Because there are fat black people in the world. It’s not a stereotype. This is who we are, we need to stop running from our parents and our grandparents and our uncles, we need to stop running from them and embrace them.”

Mind you I do not watch House of Payne. Never really appealed to me. I also was not a fan of Good Times, though for whatever reason I did have a great affinity for The Jeffersons. Go figure. Tyler Perry is correct in this statement. Why would anyone complain about a show featuring overweight black people? Do these same people complain about Mike and Molly? No? Why not? Fat people can't be on TV? Fat black people are a shame of the race now? And I ask this as a runner and someone who is very fit. I do not see the point of asking this question at all.

I do understand the whole Mammy phenomenon and that some black people may be allowing such stereotypes to guide their thinking on how black people ought to be on screen. I don't think that is fair though. I am not concerned with the weight of the people on TV rather I'm concerned with the actual themes that are presented in the show. I was a HUGE ROC fan. I think I shed a tear when that show went off air. It was funny, it was representative and it also dealt with real deal black working class issues. Apparently the Griot doesn't think so. I suppose it's because the show never got high ratings which is sad because it was a class above many of the "black" sit-coms (or most of them period) And Charles Dutton was a person...of size.

Anyway. Perry is right, these are persons in our community and there isn't a problem having them on screen. We can however critique what kind of themes are constantly pushed or avoided.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Disappearing Black Women

I was having a discussion on this photo:

I mentioned that generally speaking what we call 'black" in the US is not black and that the media, including much "black" media does it's best to disappear actual black women (and it's usually women but not exclusively) from representations of black people. Out latest example from Kotaku:

Now you look at these characters and then go back and look at the lead photo? Do ANY of these characters resemble the black women above? Since they do not we should ask why are these persons being passed off as "black" people? I might have accepted "person of African descent" or "person of color" but "black"? Really? Of particular interest is the comment by one male character designer:

In describing his influences, Jacques-BellĂȘtete mentioned he was heavily influenced by Metal Gear and Final Fantasy. Then he went into a two minute riff about "always trying to have very beautiful female characters," noting that these were characters he would want to sleep with. After making a semi-disparaging remark about female characters drawn in a North American style, he concludes "I'd rather have female characters from Final Fantasy or Soulcalibur to sleep with." This draws chuckles from the crowd.

In light of this comment would it not be appropriate to assume that the "black" characters above represent what white males (or males in general in that market) deem to be "sexy" black women? And if so doesn't that then add weight to the argument proposed by the ex blogger at Psychology today that black women...actual black women are deemed the least attractive?

This is not to say that black women are unattractive. I disagree with that 100%. However I'm talking about what perception is out there and certainly the active disappearing of black women in representations of black women coupled with the above quote makes the argument about that perception hard to dismiss.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Beating the Odds

This morning I had a friendly discussion about the incident of domestic violence which stands a 1 in 4 women in the US being a victim in her lifetime. In her original comment about the subject she said that women face a 1 in 4 chance daily of facing DV (a form of sexual assault) which I pointed out is not the case. It later occurred to me that the importance of differentiating the odds of something happening on any given day vs. the odds of something happening in one's lifetime cannot be overstated.

Let us take the odds of dying. The odds of any one of us dying is 100% (1 in 1). The odds of any one of us dying today is far less than that. The actual probability that any one of us will die today varies with a lot of factors. Do you ride bike in NYC rush hour traffic? Well your odds shot up dramatically. Do you have a heart condition? Yup your odds went up too. On average though the odds of an individual, YOU, dying today is nearly zero even though the odds of you dying at some point is 100%. None of us actually walk around in fear of dying today even though we know that it will definitely happen one day. Yet many people will walk around in fear of an event that has a 75% chance of not happening at all.

Think about it.

Let's look at it this way. If your chance of being sexually assaulted (whether it be by an intimate partner or a stranger on the street) on any given day was in fact 1 out of 4 YOU should be petrified to walk out of the house. Why? Allow me to demonstrate. Say we lined up 4 cards. One card is the Jack of Spades (get it? Jack? Ok...never mind). Say that each morning you had to pick up one of the cards at random which indicted that today you will be sexually assaulted. Each day you would have a 1 in 4 chance of picking up the Jack of Spades. How long do you think you would go before running up on Jack?

Well while writing this entry I did an experiment with 4 pieces of paper. 1 had a "J" on it. It only took my second random (eyes covered and "cards" shuffled) pull to get the "J". If we go by our analogy and started the week on Monday that would mean that on Tuesday I would have been assaulted. Yes, if the chances on any given day that a woman had a 1 in 4 chance of being sexually assaulted or beat up by a man she's involved with I WOULD BE PETRIFIED to leave the house or involve myself with anyone. EVER.


However the true stats are not like that. Thank God. To return to the card analogy the actual odds of any random woman being assaulted is like having a thousand decks of cards splayed out on a table with all but 1 Jack of Spades left and randomly picking a card. You are very UNLIKELY to pull that Jack out. Facing such a situation, most of us would feel very little anxiety at all about drawing a card. The Jack might show up. It would not be pleasant to have picked him, but it's really not likely to happen.

Of course there are ways to increase the odds of pulling a Jack. We can arrange the cards in order and tell the person that the cards are arranged as such. That person could decide to pull from the end of the lineup that is likely to have a Jack rather than the end of the deck that the Jack is unlikely to be. A human example of this would be taking a drink from a stranger. It's still the fault of the stranger who drugged your drink but why exactly would you take a drink from a stranger?

Another example would be if you were forced by circumstances to pull from the side of the line up that has the jacks. The human side of this would be living in a high crime area or being in a community where it is deemed acceptable for men to assault women. These are very real circumstances that many women face. I do not make light of such situations. But as mentioned earlier these circumstances are factors other than simply being female. they are situational and should be recognized as such. For if you take the same female from a "high risk" environment and place her in a "low risk" environment the odds of assault drop dramatically and the cause of that drop has nothing at all to do with her gender.

This shows that we can dramatically reduce the incidences of sexual based violence by dealing with environmental factors that can catalyze such actions. At the same time we have to realize that it will never be a zero level of incidences because there will always be a sick person out there who simply does not care.

So I want to restate that the important thing here is to distinguish between the odds of something happening in one's lifetime and the odds of something happening on a particular day.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

TV's and Black Folks

We have already reported that black people, including children watch incredible amounts of television writing:

This isn't just poor blacks, but blacks across the socio-economic spectrum. She went on to discuss the recent evidence that children who are exposed to television during the first 2 years of thier lives are at high risk for developing ADD-HD. Now we do know that ADD is overdiagnosed in black children (and children in general) but what she pointed out was that the studies showed how the brains of these young children who are weaned on TV are actually wired differently ( much like a crack baby)...

13) Television Watching: In black households, 42 percent of fourth-graders watch six or more hours of televisions each day. Only 13 percent of white fourth-graders watch six or more hours of television each day.

Point 13 is perhaps the most condemning point. six hours of television a day represents 30 hours of television a week. or the equivalent of just under the hours of full-time employment. rto put this in perspective if we look at another article in the same Journal, which discusses gradutaion rates of black High Schoolers, we would note that the national average for black graduation is 50.2 percent and in New York 35.1 percent graduate and in New Jersey the rates is 62.3%. therefore we have corresponding drop-out rates of 49.8%, 64.9% and 47.7% respectively. With the exception of the New York rates, one can theoretically make a direct correlation between television watching and drop-out rates. Remember tv watching and the development of 24 hour entertainment directed at children and teenagers (Cartoon Network and the various iterations of MTV) are relatively recent phenomena so tv watching is currently going up, not down.

Now we have a report in the New York Times re-iterating the call to not have children under 2 years of age even have a TV on in their presence.

“I like to call it secondhand TV,” said Dr. Brown, who is the lead author of the guidelines.

Studies cited in the guidelines say that parents interact less with children when the television is on, and that a young child at play will glance at the TV — if it is on, even in the background — three times a minute.

“When the TV is on, the parent is talking less,” Dr. Brown said. “There is some scientific evidence that shows that the less talk time a child has, the poorer their language development is.”

So what do you get when you combine a group of people who generally do not speak English "properly" who also engage in a high level of television viewing AND are likely to leave their young children in the presence of a television set (for whatever reason)? Is it therefore not surprising to see the test scores that we see in largely black schools?

closing quote:

“Unstructured playtime is more valuable for the developing brain than any electronic media exposure,” the guidelines said.

The Difference?

In discussing the fake plot to assassinate a Saudi Ambassador with a bomb detonated in Washington DC, Deepak Tripathi makes a rather insightful comment:

Hillary Clinton is arguably the most interventionist secretary of state of the past half century. While Obama struggles at home with an increasingly belligerent Congress, Hillary Clinton has, in effect, seized control of U.S. foreign policy, which she conducts with far less diplomacy than military threats. Like the Bush-Cheney administration, we are witnessing an Obama-Clinton presidency, which brazenly engages in targeted killings in any country it wishes and, at the same time, accuses another country of plotting an assassination in Washington.

I've already made my objections in regards to the use of drones as well as my objection to the killing of a US citizen for, as far as the actual evidence shows, running his mouth in support of an ideology he ascribes to; an action very much covered by the 1st Amendment. But the continued targeting of individuals in countries in which the US is not at war is in essence no different than the so called plot. If the logic here is that AL-Q represents a threat to the US, then Iran can equally say that the Saudi's, whom they have what cannot be described as a warm relationship, represent a threat to Iran. And if the US can take the claim that killing those who advocate against the govt. of the US is enough to warrant a targeted killing, then so too can Iran decide that a Saudi national who represents a government which is quite open in it's hostility towards the regime in Tehran is a valid target. If the US can claim that it has a national right to kill said person on foreign soil, then so to does Iran.

You don't have to agree with Iran's reasons for it, you simply have to acknowledge that what's good for the Eagle is good for the Mullah.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Iranian Conspiracy

So allegedly the Iranian government, or portions thereof, hatched a plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador. The Ghost had a hearty howl upon hearing this news report as he recounted the many previous plots uncovered by the US that turned out to be wrong. Not saying that it's not possible for such events to have actually originated in Tehran but a simple cost-benefit analysis just doesn't make this story sound all that likely.

Think for a minute as to what Iran stands to gain or lose with such a plot given the risk of being found out as well as the risk of being fingered after the fact. Consider as well the benefits to the US and Saudi Arabia to have such a plot originate in Tehran.

What does Iran stand to gain from such an assassination? Bragging rights that they got him. And.....and......well nothing else comes to mind.

What does Iran stand to lose from such an assassination? Outright hostilities from the Saudi's who would be backed by the UN security council as well as the Arab League. Outright hostilities from the US due to such actions being taken on it's soil and against an official ally.

Condemnation from the Mexican government for involving it's citizens and therefore sullying it's already bad reputation for lawlessness among the international community and further straining ties to the US.

What does the US stand to gain from such a plot? A plain as day excuse to allow Israel to bomb Iran. A plain as day excuse to bomb Iran itself. A plain as day excuse for leveraging the US military in Mexico by claiming that organized crime syndicates there represent a clear and present danger to US national security. A plain as day excuse for further harassment of Mexicans in the US and stricter immigration and naturalization processes.

Downside for Saudi Arabia:....I'm thinking....I'll get back to this one.

Downside for the US: I'm thinking....thinking...proxy war in Iraq?

Downside for the Middle East: Shia Sunni conflicts taken to another level. This could be taken as an "upside" for the US since such conflicts could be the necessary excuses for continued actions in the region with continued use of drones to kill off "unwanted" players in the region.

Min you that as of this writing I haven't seen any of the evidence or know any more details than anyone else not in the intelligence and justice [sic] communities. Again, it is entirely possible that some group within the Iranian govt. decided this would be a good idea. There are stupid people in all organizations but with today's ability to false flag an operation that as far as I know, never even got past the conveniently planted "informant" should have intelligent people asking questions.

Monday, October 10, 2011

No Religious Tests

So apparently not only do some people in the Rick Perry camp think that Mormonism is a cult but also think that not being a "true believer in Christ" is a disqualification for the office of President of the United States. While the Ghost could care less what anyone thinks about someone's religion, it strikes him as particularly odd that a party that purports to be about the "protection of the constitution" would apparently have not read the document. Surely if these persons had actually bothered to read said document they would have stumbled across this particular item:

Article VI: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Mind you that the Ghost had gotten on some lefties case for making fun of Christine O'Donnell of Delaware over the whole "witch" rumor.Not only was it not funny, but if lefties also want to claim "constitution" then they too had to make her religion, whatever it was, or her lack of religion a thing not spoken of.

If I were in the Romney camp, my next advertisement would be Romney sitting on a stool against a white background or perhaps a blow up of the Constitution in the background and I would read Article VI (perhaps even recite it while looking dead into the camera). Then close with "This is America." No name calling. No mention of his religion or any other. Just a direct message to the voter (including those outside the Republican party that he would need to win) showing that he knows what the qualifications of office.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Derrick Bell

Transitioned yesterday along with Rev. Shuttlesworth:

In his 20s, while working at the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, he was told to give up his membership in the N.A.A.C.P., which his superiors believed posed a conflict of interest. Instead, he quit the Justice Department, ignoring the advice of friends to try to change things from within.

Thirty years later, when he left Harvard Law School, he rejected similar advice. At the time, he said, his wife, Jewel Hairston Bell, asked him, “Why does it always have to be you?”

In “Ethical Ambition,” a memoir published in 2002, Mr. Bell wrote that his wife’s question trailed him afterward, as did another posed by his colleagues: “Who do you think you are?”

And lets say it, that most of us wouldn't even do that and the only other high profile academic I know of to do anything close is Cornell West.

In 1992, he told The New York Times that black Americans were worse off and more subjugated than at any time since slavery. And he wrote that in light of the consequences of the Supreme Court’s 1954 desegregation decision, Brown v. Board of Education, things might have worked out better if the court had instead ordered governments to provide both races with truly equivalent schools.

I've been making the same argument for some time. There are many teachers, particularly those in schools with a high concentration of black students who agree.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Enter the Shadow Realm

Palestinians have won an initial vote for UNESCO but:

But full membership in Unesco could mean a legally mandated cutoff of all contributions from the United States, both dues and voluntary.

Existing United States legislation appears to mandate the cutoff of money to the United Nations or any of its agencies if they grant “full membership as a state to any organization or group that does not have the internationally recognized attributes of statehood,” and more legislation along the same lines has been introduced.

Clear and present blackmail.

Taxes as Profit

I rarely mix my technology blogging and, well, the rest of my opinionating (not even a word) but the Macalope has posted my exact feelings about the whole tax cuts for businesses argument:

Karl starts with Amazon, which he thinks is headed for DOOOOM because he expects the U.S. government will close the tax loophole that’s meant the online retailer hasn’t had to charge sales tax in most states for all these years.

In short, this is a firm that only exists because of its ability to evade that tax structure. When, not if, that ends, the company is a literal zero.



That's been my argument for a long time. If your entire profit strategy is to pay as little taxes as possible then you're really not going to be in business very long and, erm, taxes will not help you.

Monday, October 03, 2011

When is a Terrorist not a Terrorist

From the NY Times:

Mosque Set on Fire in Northern Israel

The attack followed a series of similar assaults on mosques in the West Bank by arsonists suspected of being radical settlers as part of a campaign known as “price tag,” which seeks to exact a price from local Palestinians for violence against settlers or from Israeli security forces for taking action against illegal construction in Jewish outposts in the West Bank.

When they are "radical settlers"

Or from the LA Times:

REPORTING FROM JERUSALEM -- Jewish extremists are suspected of torching a mosque in a northern Israeli town early Monday, the latest in a string of anti-Arab attacks that have enraged Palestinians and alarmed Israeli security officials.

note: The LA Times said that the extremists had created "terror cells" and that the action was an "act of terrorism" but still did not call the persons who did the act "terrorists".

Friday, September 30, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Is The US a Police State?

Title of a Counterpunch article by John Grant.

We are inundated in this country with propaganda boilerplate about being the greatest democracy in the world. No, we’re not a police state like our friends in Saudi Arabia or our former friends, and current enemies, in Iran. Our police agencies have figured out how to accomplish police state repression in a “softer,” more sophisticated manner.

Of course I made this argument a few times (1),(2), (3), particularly in my American Big Man series. I also tweeted about the most recent example that happened on the run up to the 9-11 10th anniversary commemoration.

One thing that I've thought about is the Posse Comitatus Act. Original:

Sec. 15. From and after the passage of this act it shall not be lawful to employ any part of the Army of the United States, as a posse comitatus, or otherwise, for the purpose of executing the laws, except in such cases and under such circumstances as such employment of said force may be expressly authorized by the Constitution or by act of Congress ; and no money appropriated by this act shall be used to pay any of the expenses incurred in the employment of any troops in violation of this section and any person willfully violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or imprisonment not exceeding two years or by both such fine and imprisonment[5]

In 2006 the act was amended to allow the military to step in to restore public order. This was then reverted back in 2008. Now the reason I bring this up is due to Chief Ray Kelly's interview with 60 Minutes in which he admitted that the NYPD has the capability to bring down commercial aircraft. Despite his later denials, I believe him 100%. The NYPD is perhaps the most militarized police dept in the nation. It occurred to me that such militarization of the police is a direct end run around the Posse Comitatus Act. Instead of bringing the military into the domestic sphere merely extend the power of domestic police to include capabilities and equipment previously available only to the military. In the end you get the same result with a different name.

Many people are under the impression that the Posse Comitatus Act provides a blanket ban on the military in the domestic arena. But the Coast Guard, a part of the Navy can and does enforce domestic law. The Insurrection Act already provides for use of the military, and most importantly the Congress may authorize the use of the military to enforce domestic law at any time.

As I said on Twitter; I think a lot of people have an idea about what a police state is based on movies and from dictators in the middle east, etc. They fail to realize to recognize the purpose of a police state is population control. Particularly the control of dissident voices and actions within the population. it is the ability to track citizens against their wishes, and it usually accompanied by claims of security and safety. A soft police state is still a police state.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Why Multiculturalism Fails and What It Means to Corporate America

This from Diversity Inc. I usually find myself disagreeing with a lot of the commentary from that publication, but the cited article hits the nail on the head. I've been saying similar things about Europe for some time.

think multiculturalism, as practiced by countries in northern Europe and Great Britain, is a failure. Group performance, whether it be in a country or a corporation, requires clear values....In my opinion, multiculturalism is economically and politically detrimental. A society does not benefit by fostering enclaves of people who refuse to knit into the society as defined by its stated values. I know that some people will disagree with this, but I also feel that it is the nation’s right to purposefully work toward limiting the operations of those who do not wish to live by the stated values, and that citizenship must overtly include living by our standards as defined by the foundation documents.

I said something similar back in 2009:

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? ...

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.

A lot of people did not like that I stood up for the self determination of Europeans. But this is about consistency. I simply cannot honestly call for self-determination of the African while saying that the European has no such right.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

More Drones

I post on the rise of drone warfare because I seriously think that it is going to lead to a LOT of problems worldwide. Right now we, as in those in Europen and the US, do not have to think about these things but it is only a matter of time before the threat escalates whether by drones created by other countries or by hackers who break into the control systems of US and European drones to ill effect.

From a recent article in Counterpunch

Professions are supposed to operate within an ethical code and exercise independent judgment. Doctors have a duty to prevent harm. Biologists and chemists should urge their colleagues in physics to take a greater role as to where their knowhow is leading this tormented world of ours before the blowback spills over into even more lethally indefensible chemical and biological attacks.

I doubt that the attacks will become chemical. It could happen but I'm not looking at that. I think there is a larger danger whenever enemies decide to stop trying to target obvious and well secured targets like NYC. Of course it would make for great bragging rights but are rarely successful. There are far more vulnerable places where a remote control car or helicopter could be quite a problem, particularly with web enables devices.

Anyway I have said it before, when warfare becomes detached from actual human risk, then warfare becomes that much more dangerous to the target and more likely to be started by those with the automated systems.

Rep. Maxine Waters on Obama's CBC Speech

The California Democrat, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, says she found the president's language "a bit curious." She says Obama didn't address Hispanics in such a blunt manner and would never use that language in a speech to a gathering of gays or Jews.

Huffington Post Maxine Waters: Obama's Speech To Congressional Black Caucus Was 'A Bit Curious'

The commentary in question:

I'm going to press on for equality. (Applause.) I'm going to press on for the sake of our children. (Applause.) I'm going to press on for the sake of all those families who are struggling right now. I don't have time to feel sorry for myself. I don't have time to complain. I am going to press on. (Applause.)

I expect all of you to march with me and press on. (Applause.) Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. (Applause.) Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying. We are going to press on. We've got work to do, CBC. (Applause.)

God bless you, and God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)

I'm glad that I wasn't the only one who thought something was amiss with that commentary.The whole implied "crybaby" and "lazy" commentary was unnecessary and he knows it. And it's a part of a pattern.

We have Obama back on Father's day 2008 talking about how black men need to "shape up". On father's day. The one day where father's are supposed to be getting props. I've never seen Obama say squat about mothers who are not doing their jobs properly (or at all). Not even Michelle manages to shit on women on Mother's day. I won't even get into the nasty words that this administration has had in regards to it's liberal base.

Like I said a week or so ago, it's apparently cool for politicians to roll up in black events and tell us about the stuff we're doing that they don't approve of. Don't see that happening elsewhere. Usually the politician, you know, tells us what they will do to help us (whether they mean it or not).