Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

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".