Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Monday, December 24, 2012

The FBI Treated Occupy Like a Terrorist Group

In reference to the Newtown kilings I wrote, in defense of the second amendment, including the rights of citizens to own "assault weapons", that I do not trust the government. I pointed out that if one needed any more proof that the citizenry should not simply "trust" the government with the exclusive ownership and use of firearms, one should look no further than the various "occupy" protests (I won't even get into what happens outside the US).

As if to bolster my argument, the universe dropped this gem right in my lap last night:

the 112 heavily redacted pages reveal that the FBI approached the Occupy Wall Street protests as "criminal activity" -- which is not terribly surprising -- and investigated the groups as perpetrators of "domestic terrorism" -- which is fairly unsettling. More specifically, the Feds enlisted its own as well as local terrorism task forces in nine different cities across the country to investigate Occupy. In Memphis, the group was lumped together with Anonymous and the Aryan Nation in discussing the threat of "domestic terrorism." White supremacists and 99 Percenters aren't really two groups that we think about hand-in-hand but whatever.
Occupy as "domestic terrorists"?

And what power has the president given himself in regards to "terrorists"?

Indefinite detention you say?

Are we getting the picture now?

Counterfeit medicine from Asia threatens lives in Africa

International health experts are warning of a mounting health crisis in parts of Africa because of an influx of counterfeit medicine from Asia that is playing havoc with the treatment of diseases such as malaria. Porous borders in Africa coupled with indifferent oversight in China are combining to turn the continent and its pressing health problems into a free-for-all for maverick manufacturers, some of whom are producing pills with no active ingredients at all.
When you depend on other people to make things for you....

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The NRA Press Conference

Yesterday the NRA had a press conference where it stated it's position on the calls for further gun control laws in the wake of the Newtown killings. The presenter was rudely interrupted by Code Pink (apparently uninhibited free speech is OK only when it is people who say what one agrees with) who could have had their own press conference and said whatever they wanted. Anyway, blaming the NRA for murders is like blaming Ford Motor Co. for vehicular homicide or Heineken for drunk driving accident. But this is America where someone other than the perp is always responsible. It is always a bad sign in an argument when insults and name calling becomes a substitute for actual facts and the like. There were no shortage of this after the NRA conference as Bloomberg got into the act along with the expected "liberal" outlets. The Times with it's "NRA Crawls From Its Hidey Hole" was really below it's supposed standard for editorials but not unexpected. Every news broadcast I saw on the subject neglected to discuss what the NRA's actual position was further than "armed police at every school". So in the interest of fairness and actually wishing to see a solution let's actually examine what was actually said by the NRA (opinions as to what the membership believes in terms of race and the like are not on the table).
Politicians pass laws for Gun-Free School Zones. They issue press releases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them. 1 And in so doing, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are their safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk. How have our nation's priorities gotten so far out of order? Think about it. We care about our money, so we protect our banks with armed guards. American airports, office buildings, power plants, courthouses -- even sports stadiums -- are all protected by armed security. We care about the President, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents. Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by armed Capitol Police officers. Yet when it comes to the most beloved, innocent and vulnerable members of the American family -- our children -- we as a society leave them utterly defenseless, and the monsters and predators of this world know it and exploit it. That must change now!
I'll wait for anyone to offer a valid rebut to this position. It is a totally factual statement. If "guns" are the problem then ban them all. I would agree with that if you could actually 100% guarantee that nobody anywhere and at anytime could get one. Can you do that? No? right then. So you recognize that some crazy or criminal person can and will get a gun (or guns) then the statement above cannot be disputed. Let's move on.
The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters -- people so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can possibly ever comprehend them. They walk among us every day. And does anybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn't planning his attack on a school he's already identified at this very moment? How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame -- from a national media machine that rewards them with the wall-to-wall attention and sense of identity that they crave -- while provoking others to try to make their mark? 2 A dozen more killers? A hundred? More? How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation's refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill?
Again, a totally factual statement. Nobody can dispute this statement either. I've seen commentary regarding how the mentally ill are currently treated. I think it's beyond the scope of this piece even though it is a valid issue that should be addressed. However this is the NRA not the NIH. The next thing the NRA goes into is about video games and movies:
And here's another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal: There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people. Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. And here's one: it's called Kindergarten Killers. It's been online for 10 years. How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn't or didn't want anyone to know you had found it? 3 Then there's the blood-soaked slasher films like "American Psycho" and "Natural Born Killers" that are aired like propaganda loops on "Splatterdays" and every day, and a thousand music videos that portray life as a joke and murder as a way of life. And then they have the nerve to call it "entertainment." But is that what it really is? Isn't fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography? In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an ever-more-toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty into our homes -- every minute of every day of every month of every year.
I'm not with the analysis that watching violence makes one violence. Yes there is definitely proof that immediately after observing or participating in adrenaline pumping activities that males are more aggressive for some time after and will engage in more risky behavior. There is no dispute in that. I will certainly attest to that in my own life. However; there is no evidence that normal males are "suckered" into acts of criminal violence by playing games. I mean really...you can get shot multiple times and keep going like nothing happened? Really? I'm supposed to believe that? I get to "respawn" after being killed? Really? I can survive a RPG blast and run around shooting people? Really? Look, no rational male thinks that these games or movies are real. We know the fight scenes are choreographed and real fights do not work out like they do in Kung-Fu flicks and the like. There are only a small handful of people that "mistake" that for reality. The NRA pointed them out in the beginning.

To the point of those killers who used games such as Call of Duty to "hone their skills". Believe me, they had already decided to do the killing. Whether Call of Duty was available or not would not have made a difference. Do you really believe that killers actually sit down and say "well I can't practice on my X-Box so I'm going to call the whole thing off"?

Didn't think so.

So if anything, the NRA gets the gas face for the whole movies and video game theory it tried to walk out. Oddly none of the news reports I saw even addressed that fallacy.

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Would you rather have your 911 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away ... or a minute away?
I made a similar argument not so long ago. It's the same argument I make in regards to rape prevention. Would you rather be a statistic or have a loved one become a statistic while claiming "he shouldn't have done it" or would you rather create a situation where he "cannot" even if he wanted to? I always suggest the latter. But some people apparently would rather leave themselves defenseless against an assailant rather than have an increased ability to protect themselves.
Now, I can imagine the shocking headlines you'll print tomorrow morning: "More guns," you'll claim, "are the NRA's answer to everything!" Your implication will be that guns are evil and have no place in society, much less in our schools.
Exactly what happened.
A gun in the hands of a soldier protecting the United States isn't a bad word. And when you hear the glass breaking in your 5 living room at 3 a.m. and call 911, you won't be able to pray hard enough for a gun in the hands of a good guy to get there fast enough to protect you.

So why is the idea of a gun good when it's used to protect our President or our country or our police, but bad when it's used to protect our children in their schools?

Cannot even argue with this. Anyone who has had someone enter their home with ill intent has gone for a weapon (assuming they weren't immobilized in fear). And the NRA is absolutely right. We will defend our homes, with guns if available, but will not do the same in a place with our most "valuable" assets: Children? Yes. It is definitely a stupid double standard.
But what if, when Adam Lanza started shooting his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday, he had been confronted by qualified, armed security?

Will you at least admit it's possible that 26 innocent lives might have been spared? Is that so abhorrent to you that you would rather continue to risk the alternative?

I made the same argument. I asked the same question. Not a single one of the newscasters, Bloomberg or Christie, even addressed this question. The NY Times attempted to address it:
In the 62 mass-murder cases over 30 years examined recently by the magazine Mother Jones, not one was stopped by an armed civilian. We have known for many years that a sheriff’s deputy was at Columbine High School in 1999 and fired at one of the two killers while 11 of their 13 victims were still alive. He missed four times.

People like Mr. LaPierre want us to believe that civilians can be trained to use lethal force with cold precision in moments of fear and crisis. That requires a willful ignorance about the facts. Police officers know that firing a weapon is a huge risk; that’s why they avoid doing it. In August, New York City police officers opened fire on a gunman outside the Empire State Building. They killed him and wounded nine bystanders.

You'll note that Mother Jones completely neglected to discuss the Pearl Miss shooting where the gunman was stopped by an assistant principle who retrieved his gun from his vehicle and confronted the gunman. Think if that person did not have to go to his vehicle in the parking lot.

Also there are obvious questions to ask about the Mother Jones research. For example in the 62 mass murder cases over 30 years how many armed civilians were in the immediate vicinity of the event? Obviously an unarmed civilian population is incapable of using a gun to stop a would be mass shooter. So that argument is dead on it's face without further investigation. As to Mr. Lanza, let us think on the hypothetical that the administrators were all armed or there was a contingent of armed personnel on that campus. Adam Lanza broke into the building by breaking the glass. Let us assume that there would have been a set of security cameras that would have alerted someone to Lanza being at the door and armed. NO sooner had Lanza made his entry then he would have been confronted by at least one armed person. Lanza is likely dead at this point. All children alive.

Say Lanza gains entry and no armed person is on the scene. The person who noticed the break in could/would have tripped an alarm that warned all persons to lock doors, etc. Then armed personnel confront Lanza, Perhaps one or two of them are shot. But Lanza is stopped. No children are killed. The NYT tries to equate the Newtown situation with the recent shooting in midtown Manhattan. Two completely different situations. But of course the entire point of the comparison is to raise fear and doubt in an already fearful and doubtful population. Anyway, back to the NRA:

Is the press and political class here in Washington so consumed by fear and hatred of the NRA and America's gun owners that you're willing to accept a world where real resistance to evil monsters is a lone, unarmed school principal left to surrender her life to shield the children in her care? No one -- regardless of personal political prejudice -- has the right to impose that sacrifice.
Bulls eye. Just read that paragraph again. Let that sink in. Because ultimately that is what all the "gun control" talk is about now.

I remember that non-fiction movie "Lean On Me" where Morgan Freeman plays the no nonsense principle who walked the halls with his baseball bat. Oh how far we've fallen.

I won't get into the NRA's specific proposal in regards to volunteer and non-volunteers to guard schools. That is a matter of budget and policy beyond the abilities of the NRA. But what I think needs to be done by the public at large is to stop with the emotional, from the gut reactions to these things. Stop with the dumb politics. Until or unless every single gun in existence is destroyed, there will be someone with one.

Mexico has some of the toughest gun laws in this hemisphere. It has a huge murder problem. Guns are smuggled in via the US (so we are told). So clearly "law" is not the solution.

The oft carted out "western Europe has far less gun crime than the US" argument is nice on it's surface. It is not until you realize that western Europe has almost always had lower gun violence than America and western Europe has less violence period and that has been the case PRIOR to the current gun laws they have undercuts that argument.

If one does not like guns that's OK. Just say so and move along. Name calling and false arguments are totally unnecessary. Media outlets are fast losing credence with the public because facts are far easier to find with studies and the like easily accessible over the internet. I don't care for the Nanny State BS that the left is creating anymore than I like the wild free-for all that the right has been pushing. Being against the NRA or "The Right" does not make one's argument any more factual.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Alternet and the Handwringing Liberals

Alternet has this piece up, for pageviews I'm sure, about the 9 Horrible Gun Laws Backed by the Right Wing Because obviously one must be a "Right winger" to agree with any of the items they list. Lets look at this list:

1. Guns on Campus

Dubbed the “Campus Personal Protection Act,” this model legislation would allow handguns to be carried on campus. The ALEC bill would also “limit” regulations that the governing boards of colleges imposed on the carrying of guns on campus.

This is basically an extension of the idea that a private law abiding citizen should be able to carry a weapon anywhere he or she is legally entitled to be. I don't have a problem with that. But it is part and parcel of the "right to carry". Either you have it or you don't. I do believe that folks who wish to run up into a school and shoot at students will think hard about the possibility that they will be killed in the process. That even though being armed does not in any way guarantee that you will not be killed. It does mean that you, along with all the other armed students/persons have a chance at stopping the would be killer should you have the chance.

It's the same reason I practice martial arts. If someone gets the drop on me I'm probably dead. However; should he or she fail to incapacitate me, I am very capable of ending the conflict quickly and if I so chose mortally.

But hey, If you want to cower in a corner or under a desk hoping that dude with the gun doesn't find you or the police get to campus and the building in time. PLease by all means, don't carry.

2. Immediate Firearm Purchases
Yeah I totally oppose this item. If you have no intent to use the gun for a crime, you can wait.

3. More ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws
I agree with "Stand Your Ground" laws. Again, I see no reason why a law abiding citizen should be prosecuted for protecting him or herself from someone who is breaking the law and threatening their life. I actually don't even think there should be a need for such laws because it should be understood that one has the right to defend oneself to the point of mortally wounding an assailant.

With the rise of surveillance in America, it is now quite possible that in the near future just about every public altercation in America will be recorded and it can be found out who initiated a conflict without the he said she said and other forensics.

Don't let the use of Trayvon as a proper example of Stand Your Ground. Zimmerman was without reason to exit his vehicle while armed and run up on Trayvon who was legally at the location and committing no crime. Just because someone claims "stand your ground" doesn't mean it is "Stand Your Ground".

4. No Borders to Firearm Movement

This ALEC bill would, if passed, require states to recognize “concealed carry” permits or licenses from other states. This would mean that the state where guns are being carried in would have no recourse to go after people with guns if they have a permit and came from a state that allows “concealed carry” permits.

I agree with this one too. It makes no sense that you have to apply for a permit in each state you enter. No sense at all. Your driver's license isn't only for one state and your vehicle is a weapon. The technical term, at least in New Jersey is reciprocity. The state recognizes the "privilege" of driving as granted by any other state (or country)so long as you meet the requirements of being licensed and insured. Clearly it would be prohibitive for both citizens and the state to have to obtain special permits for each and every state one drove into. It's not like the specifics of how to drive changes when one crosses a state line.

So exactly how does one explain how the operation of a firearm or the background check to get one or the permit that one possess to carry change once one changes states?

From what I've read, these state laws have managed to save us from the menace of Hip Hop artists and basketball players who shoot themselves. Furthermore, last I checked all of these mass shooters lived in the state where they purchased/ obtained the gun used.

And to bring us back to the point. Law abiding citizens are not the problem and these laws only serve to make their lives more difficult.

I'm going to skip to number seven:

7. Guns for Emergencies This ALEC-backed legislation would prohibit states from confiscating firearms in the wake of a declared “state of emergency.” The group claims such a law would run afoul of the Second Amendment. It also calls for public employees who confiscate firearms to be found “guilty of the crime of larceny of a firearm or ammunition,” if such a law were on the books.
I am TOTALLY against the state being able to disarm the citizens upon declaring a "state of emergency". I simply do not trust the state enough to be cool with that. If you are so clueless as to not understand why I would suggest you look back on the Occupy protests. Regardless of your position on them the violence was one way and sometime brutal. You trust the state if you want to. The founding fathers put in the second amendment specifically because they did not trust government. The British went and proved them right on that one.

See some of the ideas aren't actually bad and some are actually in line with the better founding principles of the country. No need to simply say everything one disagrees with is "right wing claptrap". Sometimes people have not only a different perspective than you do, but also a different set of fears.

The NY Times on it's Errors in Reporting

One of the various reasons I have left Twitter and Facebook:
“In the Twitter age, the pressure is worse than ever to be fast — it’s become more difficult,” he said. “Some of the pressure is coming from readers. If they see a headline on a Web site, they start looking for a complete and fully reported story from us, and they protest if they don’t find it.”
NY Times I will probably write more about my vacancy of Twitter and Facebook over on my other blog but this one point is one of the things that maddened me about Twitter. People are free to say all kinds of flat out wrong things in a public setting with no repercussions at all. Worse they can flat out deny factual information with little more than snark because "it's my stream and I post what I want". Twitter can be useful...I get curated tweets on topics I'm interested in via FlipBoard minus the useless chatter thank you very much.

Sandy Hook Gun Violence: Sober Analysis

Amid all the tears and concern (and ratings boosts) that the Sandy Hook killing spree has unleashed on the public, I have seen very little in the way of cold hard analysis on the facts surrounding the case. I have a theory about that but I won't go into it here. What I will do is repeat what I've said many many times: This is not a "gun" issue. It is a person issue.

On the recent airing of This Week one of the commentators pointed out that the young man in this case went for the automatic weapons and not the hunting rifles. This, according to him, was proof that the issue is the gun. No one bothered to ask this fellow whether in the absence of said automatic weapons would the shooter have decided to settle on the hunting gun.

It's an obvious question, but was never asked. The reason is clear, there is a call from certain segments of the society to have a ban on assault weapons. I'm not going to go into whether that is a good or bad idea. What is important is that when folks are so focused on their pet concern, they fail to think through on the actual subject at hand.

I remind people that guns have not killed a single person. Not a one. Every person who has been shot has either had someone point a gun at them and pull the trigger, been hit by a stray bullet fired by a person. Shot themselves or dropped a gun they were handling or someone else was handling.

See the pattern emerging here? Guns are inanimate objects. They can do nothing without the person. Therefore the problem is not the gun but the person.

I've been reading Better Angels of Our Nature which makes it pretty clear that America, of all the "Western" countries is the most violent. Let's examine this piece from the BBC from back in 2001:

Guns are deeply rooted within Swiss culture - but the gun crime rate is so low that statistics are not even kept. The country has a population of six million, but there are estimated to be at least two million publicly-owned firearms, including about 600,000 automatic rifles and 500,000 pistols.
A "deep" gun culture. one third of the population has arms and there was a gun crime rate so low there weren't statistics kept.
Few restrictions In addition to the government-provided arms, there are few restrictions on buying weapons. Some cantons restrict the carrying of firearms - others do not. The government even sells off surplus weaponry to the general public when new equipment is introduced. Guns and shooting are popular national pastimes. More than 200,000 Swiss attend national annual marksmanship competitions.
Wait. The government sells weapons to the public? There are few restrictions on buying weapons? I thought the "problem" was availability. According to every talking head on TV for the past couple of days, the entire problem is the availability of guns. If this theory is so iron clad why does Switzerland have such a low violent crime rate?
Despite the lack of rigid gun laws, firearms are strictly connected to a sense of collective responsibility.

[Note: Switzerland did pass a referendum requiring citizens to keep ammunition at "approved government facilities" after a successful push by "lefist" groups. The original plan was to strip all guns from citizens]

Ahhh... This takes us back to the entire reason for the original second amendment to the US Constitution. Gun ownership and use was largely an expected thing of men (and some women) at the time of the Constitution's creation. It's not as if gun violence was unknown to the founders. Gun violence, knife violence, etc. was well known and an accepted risk and danger of a free society. That was in addition to the fact that any citizen could up and form or join a militia for the purposes of defense (or for us black folks...lynch mobs). Therefore it is clear that the problem of "gun violence" in America is American culture. Better put and amply demonstrated in Better Angels of Our Nature (and elsewhere) the "cultures" in America. A recent study by Harvard professors Don Kates and Gary Mause shows the following:

Between 1998‐2004 (the lat‐ est figure available for Russia), Russian murder rates were nearly four times higher than American rates. Similar murder rates also characterize the Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and various other now‐independent European nations of the former U.S.S.R....

Table 1 shows many other developed nations (e.g., Norway, Finland, Germany, France, Denmark) with high rates of gun ownership. These countries, however, have murder rates as low or lower than many devel‐ oped nations in which gun ownership is much rarer. For example, Luxembourg, where handguns are totally banned and ownership of any kind of gun is minimal, had a murder rate nine times higher than Germany in 2002....

“data on fire‐ arms ownership by constabulary area in England,” like data from the United States, show “a negative correlation,”10 that is, “where firearms are most dense violent crime rates are lowest, and where guns are least dense violent crime rates are high‐ est.”11 Many different data sets from various kinds of sources are summarized as follows by the leading text: [T]here is no consistent significant positive association be‐ tween gun ownership levels and violence rates: across (1) time within the United States, (2) U.S. cities, (3) counties within Illinois, (4) country‐sized areas like England, U.S. states, (5) regions of the United States, (6) nations, or (7) population subgroups . . . .12

So let us dispense with the popular position that it is the guns and gun ownership that is the driver to gun violence. There is one point that is entirely true that needs to be admitted though. Guns do allow people who are too chicken shit to attack and kill someone with their bare hands the ability to kill with minimal risk to themselves. Suicide killers do not fall into that category. They know they will be caught and that they likely will be killed during or after their spree. Which brings me to the next point.

Another commentator in This Week pointed out that he owns a gun and has a conceal carry permit. We must understand that this recent shooter used a legally procured gun. This was not a case of an illegal gun (which Bloomberg will likely not mention). This underscores the fact that one does not know who will commit a crime. We do not know whether tomorrow, this individual on This Week will flip out because he caught his wife or girlfriend with another man and decide to shoot up her family. There is no knowing who will flip out or when. We only know that someone will flip out at some point in the future.

So we could have an assault weapons ban. Surely those who simply collect would have to go without even though most of them pose no threat to anyone. The criminals in gangs who want assault rifles will get them and use them. Suicide killers with enough patience will procure one regardless of legality and potential for punishment because they don't plan on sticking around.

Lastly allow me to ask one question that I haven't even heard asked: What if the administrators in that building were armed? How far could he have gotten if like the Swiss, every person in that building was qualified to shoot and owned a gun and had one concealed? Surely less lives would have been lost had one of the many teachers and administrators had a gun and had shot back (or at) the shooter. Why are "we" the public OK with being collectively helpless when one of those unstable people show up?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Man with knife injures 22 kids at school in China

In light of today's shooting in Connecticut and the expected "gun control talk"
A knife-wielding man injured 22 children and one adult outside a primary school in central China as students were arriving for classes Friday, police said, the latest in a series of periodic rampage attacks at Chinese schools and kindergartens. The attack in the Henan province village of Chengping happened shortly before 8 a.m., said a police officer from Guangshan county, where the village is located. The attacker, 36-year-old villager Min Yingjun, is now in police custody, said the officer, who declined to give her name, as is customary among Chinese civil servants.
As I've said many, many times: it's not the gun it's the person.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Should Read "First [known] Biracial President"

Freedom Rider: Susan Rice and American Evil

In the latest Black Agenda Report we find a great comment that I'd like to share:
Walter Rodney was a Black intellectual and the author of a classic book, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Born in Georgetown, Guyana, in 1942, he was the victim of a political assassination there in 1980....

But earlier in the book Rodney said something that turned out to be so incorrect that it is difficult to believe:

"Can the American state simply bring its armed forces to bear on the African continent without causing an explosion of the already developing anti-imperialist sentiments of the black people of this country? Can they get away with it by playing up racism and hoping to have the white sector of the population going with them? My feeling is that it is going to be extremely difficult, for it becomes more difficult as time goes on for the U.S. to manipulate. Cambodia and Laos were places that seemed rather far away and, as Lt. Calley said at one time, there weren't people there, only communists, things that you could kill. But now communists are assuming this human form and they are coming closer and closer to home. They have defeated imperialism in one area. When it crops up in Africa, I think the first major stumbling block will be the black population in this country. I don't care whether there are black congressmen, or whether there are black mayors, or whether they're supposed to be conservative or not. I really cannot see any black person in this country with any viability outside of a mental institution who could actually support the United States sending troops to intervene in Africa. And that is going to be a major contradiction. I know they won't come out and say that. And if there is some black mayor or congressman going into South Africa, I believe he would put his life in physical jeopardy from some other brothers around. I don't think it's a simple task at all for the U.S. to just go and jump into Africa."

This point is so dead on. In the past 4 years I have been utterly shocked and amazed by the change in attitudes from a number of persons I thought were on principle opposed to imperialism. No sooner had Obama got into office did these persons fall silent to actions that would have had them writing multivolume works. It was indeed disheartening. I won't even get into the folks who prior to Obama had nothing to say on anything remotely political who suddenly "found their voice" and weren't shy about expounding on the politics of the day as if they have decades of experience and study behind them.

But this fatally wrong belief about what black people will or will not do is something that many of us with an interest in the future of black folk need to keep in mind. Don't put anything off the table when it comes to people under a racist system. It has always been the case that those under oppression will spawn a majority population that will ape their oppressors in order to move up economically, socially and politically. It was the 2 "brothers" that put the bullets into Malcolm's body. No matter their issues with Malcolm they knew full well that he was acting in their general long term interest. But their short term personal wants overrode their sense of justice and decency. It's far easier to do and doesn't require doing anything illegal.

Anyway. Good point by Mark E. Smith

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ebony Looks to Its Past as It Moves Forward

I still miss Emerge though. I wasn't aware that the magazine had both a female CEO and Chair of the board. It explains much of the editorials I have seen on Ebony.com. I would be interested in the reader demographics.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

We Cannot Make These Things Up

From the NY Times:
The lone Syrian rebel group with an explicit stamp of approval from Al Qaeda has become one of the uprising’s most effective fighting forces, posing a stark challenge to the United States and other countries that want to support the rebels but not Islamic extremists...Money flows to the group, the Nusra Front, from like-minded donors abroad. Its fighters, a small minority of the rebels, have the boldness and skill to storm fortified positions and lead other battalions to capture military bases and oil fields. As their successes mount, they gather more weapons and attract more fighters.
So the U.S. is effectively supporting a civil war in Syria in collaboration with Al-Qaeda whom we are told are "the enemy".

We just cannot make these things up.

What did I tell y'all about one of the goals of Al-Qaeda? A) To end the regimes they consider corrupt and B) To replace them with Sharia based governments. Remember Al-Qaeda is "not winning" and "not getting what it wants".

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Black Male Life Expectancy

From Alternet
Black Men Die by 65 at Quadruple U.S Rate...

The benefit of education for African American males stops at 12 years, he said,...

About 40 percent of the least-educated African American males who make it to age 25 will die before they are 65, the study found, as will 22 percent of the most-educated. For all other groups, the chances of dying by age 65 are only 10 percent.

And an interesting side note:
African American women also present a puzzle when it comes to the link between obesity and education. For all other groups, higher education means lower chances of becoming obese, but “that is absolutely not true for black women,” Olshansky said
Reminds me of a comment made by someone I know that black women have it the worst. I had to resist the urge to point out that the data does not prove such a conclusion. Perhaps in certain areas they do but not all 'round. The chart at this location: http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/27/2/350/T2.expansion.html Shows that for the disease categories listed, black men die at significantly higher rates than any other group, including black women regardless of educational level. Original article on Health Affairs: http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/27/2/350.full?sid=6edcb07a-28d6-4859-8c99-d863306ebcf5

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Weapons Sent to Libyan Rebels With U.S. Approval Fell Into Islamist Hands

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration secretly gave its blessing to arms shipments to Libyan rebels from Qatar last year, but American officials later grew alarmed as evidence grew that Qatar was turning some of the weapons over to Islamic militants, according to United States officials and foreign diplomats.
As the baby in the Etrade commercials says: This would be my shocked face.

the Obama administration clearly was worried about the consequences of its hidden hand in helping arm Libyan militants, concerns that have not previously been reported. The weapons and money from Qatar strengthened militant groups in Libya, allowing them to become a destabilizing force since the fall of the Qaddafi government.
Remember folks: the US and "allies" were to be providing humanitarian aide and protecting civilians not fomenting regime change.

From the NY Times