16 January 2004

Speaking of universal healthcare, a .:National Academy of Sciences committee:. suggests the U.S. guarantee health insurance for all of its citizen by 2010. But, in a survey of 400 companies, 10% of them report having .:eliminated health benefits:. for employees who will retire, and another 20% said they were going to end the benefits by the year 2007.

Apparently it's not enough that American companies .:outsource:. jobs overseas. They have to eliminate those costly perks to greedy U.S. workers, too.

It's about time we workerbees learned: only politicians and CEOs are worthy of subsidized healthcare after they retire! We'll do the subsidizing, they'll do the retiring.

Get it straight people!!
Dean, Dean, Dean!

I don't begrudge the governor the popularity of his campaign. I'll support him without question if he gets the nomination. But I resent the mischaracterizations of his platform. Specifically, as was done on Larry King last night, that his platform is the only one to address healthcare for seniors. If a show host is going to speak as an authority, he should take the time to actually research the subject.

It is .:Dennis Kucinich:. who first addressed universal healthcare, that includes seniors. His stance was so popular, it caused the rest of the candidates to embrace the concept in some form. That's the mark of a true leader, not a follower of consensus, but a molder of consensus —so says MLK, so say I.

Seen on the reality television show Airline:

An older caucasian male is attempting to check his disassembled rifle onto the plane. The people behind the desk are wary and want to unwrap the weapon so they can look at it. The weapon owner says, "...do I look Arab to you."

Wow. Or maybe not, depending on who is watching the scenario unfold. The problem is that though he is definitely not Arab, he does fit the profile of the untold .:white terrorists:. who currently reside in this country. He could be Tim McVeigh's father for all they know. He could be related to .:William Krar:. for all anyone knows, or a member of the same white supremacist, anti-government groups.

But, to the rifle carrier, who just couldn't leave home without it, we only have to be on the lookout for Arabs. Typical.
There's another phenomenal article on .:blackcommentator:. this week. The author concisely describes Martin Luther King's legacy, and the current lethargy & ignorance among too many high-profile African Americans. I think the ear-to-ear grinning buckdancers of the conservative movement a/k/a cheap labor conservatives, are perfectly described in these quotes:
  • "Erroneously assuming that personal wealth equals group leadership, too many beneficiaries of the great leap out of Jim Crow use their influence to lull the rest of the Race to sleep."

  • "On King’s birthday, they celebrate themselves, oblivious to the blasphemy they are committing. These “distracting classes” —in that they purposely present distracting stories of anomalous Black successes to counter the facts of massive social disintegration..."

  • "...it is largely the distracters who will be on ostentatious display during MLK week. Totally lacking in leadership qualities, they refuse even to bear witness to the realities of African American life..."
  • Recently I was entertained by the blog of a female in the conservative movement I hadn't seen before (she's just a Black version of Michelle Malkin). The misguided sister had the temerity to equate her past promiscuity and alcohol abuse with her alleged past liberalism. Sadly, no one has educated Ms. Reformed that she was not a liberal, she was just a drunken whore who wasn't sober enough to know what the different political factions stood for, and she demonstrates an absolute misunderstanding of what they stand for now.

    White people love stories like hers. It's affirmation of their belief that, generally-speaking, Blacks in America are over-sexed substance abusers. I love stories like hers because they're so easy to deconstruct.

    Ms. Reformed smugly writes about her belief in GOD, and she also lauds a male counterpart in the movement, whose only claim to fame is an annual tradition of maliciously demeaning another Black male of reknown in this country. The contradiction is obvious to the unaffected. It isn't so obvious to a reformed alcoholic whore, who is now on the payroll of conservative print publications. Like others of her small group, she displays a pathological need to feel above others of our ethnicity. And, like the others, she blindly follows as she is led down the garden path.
    Frequently Raised Objections to Participation in the Political Process
    by disaffected Africans in America

    It is important to keep our eyes on the prize. The prize being "Freedom." Freedom, not neccessarily the vote.
  • I hesitate to respond seriously to such torturous logic, but since it was written in earnest I will respond in kind: If voting is futile, local and national politicos wouldn't court the numerous groups and sub-groups in the country. Some .:studies report:. that almost half of all registered voters don't vote. The power is in the people's hands; the onus is on them (us) to recognize it and to use it.

    But, and that is a big ol' BUT, voting itself has never been, and will never be the ultimate answer. Our responsibility doesn't begin and end in the voting booth. We have to know what's going on once our elected officials are safely ensconced in office, drawing a salary from public coffers. We have to notify our officials of our concerns about what they're doing, what they haven't done, what WE need done. Make the phone call, write the letter, sign the petition, attend the meeting, paint the sign and join the protest, etc. That's not asking a lot. That is the PRICE we have to pay for FREEDOM, for DEMOCRACY. We cannot continue to be consumed with the common minutiae of our daily lives, and ignore a system that can, and will, crush us while we're not looking.

    Democracy is not a spectator sport! (the author of that is unknown to me) They work for us! A bit of jingoism, right? Sure it is, but it's true!

  • Malcolm X made a historical speech entitled "The Ballot or The Bullet." In that speech he says that there is basically no such thing as a bloodless revolution. "Freedom" will not come by way of the ballot.
  • It borders on deception to use this particular reference, without also noting that Malcolm advocated a RETURN to Mother Africa in that same speech. He didn't say stay here and ignore the system. He said: "You and I should let them know now that either we collect our investment right here, right now, and then if we can't collect it here, our people will then be ready to go back home."

    He went on further to say: "In order to do this, we're starting a voters' registration drive. ...We're going to organize a corps of brothers and sisters who, after this city is mapped out, they won't leave one apartment-house door not knocked on. ...If you don't have the sense of responsibility to get registered, we'll move you out of town. It's going to be the ballot or the bullet..."

    Unless one is prepared to emigrate to the Continent, naysaying the efforts of others is pure negative energy. However, to those who are ready and willing to do that, they will soon find their short-sightedness has gotten the best of them. Many of the nations on the Continent are now struggling to throw off the chains of colonialism, disguised as IMF loans and World Bank regulations. The IMF, World Bank, and the World Trade Organization, are run by Western powerbrokers, and that includes the U.S. As a result, the political shenanigans of this country will still adversely affect their lives.

    While addressing the NY Labor Militant Forum (1965), in reference to the Nation Of Islam, Malcolm said, "...at the same time itdidn't participate in politics. It didn't take part in nothing that Black people in this country were doing to correct conditions that existed in our community... It became powerful, but it was in a vacuum. And it was filled with extremely young, militant Black people who wanted action, more action than the organization could produce..."

    The lesson is: militancy without a productive outlet is useless.

  • The political process has been usurped by the powers that be and the vote is no longer a vehicle of progress, but is in fact a vehicle of regress and our tactics have to be rethought.
  • Though the system has definitely been corrupted beyond recognition (the last four years especially), nothing except cynicism and apathy is stopping the bent over masses from affecting change in the system, by simply STANDING UP. That means making informed choices based on our CONSCIENCE, not on foolhardy pragmatism—allowing our reality to be interpreted and redefined for us by others in this country.

    What kind of group doesn't participate in its nation's political system and lives well? I can think only of the .:Gypsies:., in various countries they live in, and they're always treated like scum. If we drop out entirely, what is to stop the complete regression into a type of sophisticated bondage? That isn't any more incredible than the suggestion that abandonment of the political process, by people of African descent, would be more beneficial than participation. Do you put anything past caucasians, who would have absolute power (which corrupts absolutely) over you? Do you think enough caucasians will object to stop their brethren from acting as barbaric as they have throughout history? It didn't stop slavery, the .:laws of manumission:. proved that. Jim Crow laws proved it again. The good white folks of both eras were silent (with a capital S), or fully complicit in following the unjust laws of the land. You have to recognize that the good hearts of some white people won't compel enough of them to stand up against their own in protest to what would happen to us.

    Though we participate in the system now, to a degree, we still see the Amadou Diallos, Nathanial Joneses, Mumia Abu Jamals, the Central Park Four, stolen land, predatory lending, unequal healthcare, etc. If we drop out, the situation will inevitably get worse. You cannot fight for yourself by refusing to engage the enemy! And, since we're all wise enough to know that violent revolution is not just distasteful, but not an option, the system is the only field of battle on which to engage said enemy.

  • The Presidency is completely locked up by the powers that be and they even dish out the viable candidates that you pick from on all sides of the table. No matter who you end up voting for they win and their agenda is advanced.
  • There'd be no need for complicated charades like the Iowa Caucus, or party primaries if things were all wrapped up... if the fix were in... They need, at the very least, the appearance of being democratically-elected to do what it is they want to do. Without our (we the people) cooperation or acquiescence, they can do nothing.

    There are only so many people at the top of the pile, those who are sometimes referred to as powerbrokers. They rely heavily on the bent backs of the teeming masses to hold them up, and to do their bidding. Those "powerful" folks aren't the footsoldiers in the armed services. They are not the dutiful factory workers assembling weapons of mass destruction, or the punctual office cube-dwellers churning out reams of white papers, or the early rising family farmers and commercial farm laborers making sure there's food to distribute across the nation. They certainly aren't the garbage haulers and sewer workers that contribute greatly to our "way of life", albeit without appreciation, by carrying away and 'treating' all the disease-laden waste we produce. They aren't the pipefitters, bricklayers or mechanics either.

    Do you really believe that those people, and all those people in the innumerable industries & jobs I didn't list, are a part of the ruling elite sitting on the Bilderberg Committee or the Council of Foreign Relations? If they knew the truth about was happening they wouldn't want to continue to be exploited. The people who do belong to those organizations have no power alone, they need the people to allow themselves to be manipulated.

  • To this day we have not been able to elect a candidate that can represents our interest. On the national level White people won't elect one
  • We can dispense with this lament using simple mathematics. We're 12% - 13% of the entire population. Of course, we alone cannot elect an official to solely represent our interests. We don't have the numbers to do so, and if we did, we do not want a Black representative who will act as white ones have acted all these years: dismissive of the real concerns of other human beings.

    To revert to dated adolescent lingo: It ain't gon' happ'n cap'n. We don't have the numbers.

    There are always those willing to sell us out from time to time (re: Clarence Thomas, Janice Rodgers-Brown, Jesse Lee Peterson, Denise Majette and Cory Booker), but we've made no real attempt to work the system as a group like other groups have, e.g., the .:Irish:. Farrakhan had a mind-blowing idea to unite the .:Black & Red:., it has yet to receive the attention it deserves. It's possibile we aren't ready to acquire greater power through partnerships because we're too influenced by the credo of "ruggid individualism", that it's champions rarely practice themselves.
  • 14 January 2004

    To the casual reader—

    Since MLK's birthday is fast approaching, as a reminder of the depth of stupidity of Dubya (some say it is bone deep) , and to illustrate how little times have changed with regard to bigotry & racism, I offer this link:
    .:Dubya - Jan. 21, 2002:.
    I can't wait to see the winning .:MoveOn:. ad air on television. It wasn't the one I voted for, but it is impressive in its simplicity and profundity.

    My only disappointment with the entire contest is the supplicating response to the RNC's smegma slinging about ads submitted for consideration that compared Dubya to Hitler. Oh' boo hoo! Those assholes need a biggie-sized cup of shut the fuck up!! The ads weren't endorsed or commissioned by MoveOn.

    .:Ralph Peters:. referred to presidential candidate Howard Dean as "Herr Howard", and the hypersensitive GOP-ites didn't have any objections. War veteran (a triple amputee) .:Max Cleland's image:. was juxtaposed with Osama bin laden's in commercials run during the mid-term elections of 2000. It was a loathsome attempt to associate the veteran with terrorism. As expected, the RNC's cakehole was shut tight then, too.

    If raising the level of political discourse were honestly their goal, they should have been outraged by those instances of GOPers wallowing in the gutter. But it isn't, so they weren't.
    Now Paul O'Neill is .:spinning:. his original story in the same direction as the Dubya misadministration. As usual, Clinton is to blame. According to O'Neill and Dubya, Clinton started it, and his fraudulency was only following the established pattern. Both of them conveniently fail to mention that the pattern did not entail an illegal military invasion of a sovereign nation.

    Additionally, there are reports of other government officials .:who confirm:. O'Neill's initial statements. But, everyone knows the truth cannot be allowed to interfere with this misadministration's carefully constructed image of integrity. Lies aren't lies unless they say so.

    I'm lazily surfing the net and happen to find one of those bullshit emails about Social Security & immigrants receiving SSI. The kicker is, the wingers think it's all true!

    Below is the main portion of the bogus email, with correct information bracketed in red text underneath each section:
    Q: Which party took Social Security from an independent fund and put it in the general fund so that Congress could spend it?

    A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic-controlled House and Senate.

    [The answer is actually FALSE, of course. This is the .:link:. ]

    Q: Which party put a tax on Social Security?

    A: The Democratic party.

    [The correct answer is slobbering Ronnie Raygun in the early '80s. The .:link:.]

    Q: Which party increased the tax on Social Security?

    A: The Democratic Party with Al Gore casting the deciding vote.

    [This is the only part of the odious email that is actually true.

    Gore did cast a vote in the Senate to break a tie on the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. The Act was a behemoth that "covered everything from agricultural commodities, licensing of radio spectrum, luxury automobile taxes, fuels, banking, medicare, etc." It passed in the Senate, 51-50.

    This .:link:.
    explains it all.]

    Q. Which party decided to give money to immigrants?

    A: That's right, immigrants moved into this country at 65 and got SSI Social Security. The Democratic Party gave that to them although they never paid a dime into it.

    [Another outright lie! The gov't.
    These people are pathologically deceitful.

    13 January 2004

    I'm tired, just plain ol' drained. How many times will I come across the hypocritical complaints of "anti-bush vitriol" from the rabid right wingers ?!!

    It's shocking that they think everyone has forgotten about the non-stop personal attacks on Clinton during his two terms in office. Accusations of rape and murder against him still emanate from the gaping maws of many a wing nut in cyberspace and the real world. Why the hell are they indignant about warranted criticism of the thief now occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? More accurately, how dare they feign indignation over anti-bush sentiment!!

    It makes you want to line them all up against a wall, give them your best 3 Stooges slap, and a la' Cher in Moonstruck, yell at them to "snap out of it!"

    Criticizing his misnamed policies, like the .:Clean Air Act:. that allows increased emissions from corporate polluters, his wholesale ignorance (asking .:President Cardosa of Brazil:. if they "have Blacks, too") or equating his over-staged appearances, .:set up by Bob DeServi:. (a former NBC cameraman who is now on his staff), to the highly staged political events in Nazi Germany are valid. It is the opposite of the indiscriminate invective hurled at the last legal occupant of the White House.

    Either right wing hypocrisy is boundless, or willful ignorance is a requisite to labeling oneself a conservative (heavy on the CON)!!
    Good grief, ol' Dubya finally .:admits the truth:. about Iraq:
    "The stated policy of my administration toward Saddam Hussein was very clear -- like the previous administration, we were for regime change," Bush told a joint news conference in Monterrey, Mexico, with Mexican President Vicente Fox. "And in the initial stages of the administration, as you might remember, we were dealing with (enforcing a no-fly zone over Iraq) and so we were fashioning policy along those lines."
    It's not exciting, though. The press will only treat it as an innocuous admission, and the GOP spin will continue to blame Clinton, as usual.

    Damn, I thought they were the party of personal responsibility. I've yet to hear this misadministration take responsibility for anything!
    The closer it gets to election day, the more frequently some of us are subjected to the BLACK 'window dressing' of the GOP, trotted out to make obligatory appearances on television, or quoted in print publications. It's not easy watching them debase themselves when you also share their ethnicity.

    For all of their blather about being "independent" thinkers, they show no ability to think at all. They don't recognize their role as tokens.

    You don't hear Armstrong Williams weighing in on the deficit, or issues like the recent Mars exploration & its impact on the nation, because no one calls him for those types of things, nor will they. It's a rarity to see a person of color represent the party for anything other than issues affecting other people of color. Talk about being relegated to the back of the bus . . . . Not a one of the alleged Black conservatives (small "c" intended) has any function other than to be at the beck & call of the party for appearances.

    But they do it well! They smile big, and secretly pat themselves on the back for being smart enough so the white folks will really, really like them. Nevermind that they don't like themselves, as long as white folks like 'em, and give them their scooby snack, that's all that matters.

    I've never seen two Black conservatives who are friends. Ken Hamblin isn't buddies with Armstrong. Larry Elder and Juan Williams don't hang out, get together for coffee, or golf, or whatever it is two self-hating assholes would do together. All of Clarence Thomas' old friends (who are Black) say they don't talk to him anymore, and no one ever sees him with other Black people, so you know he doesn't have any friends who look like him.

    It would be a hoot to see two Black conservatives who actually liked and respected each other enough to be friends. But, I doubt it will happen. They want to stand as far away from those who look like them as they possibly can. That's why they pledge allegiance to the GOP, to get away from other Black people.

    12 January 2004

    Former Treasury Secretary .:Paul O'Neill:. spills the beans... a little. He says the Dubya regime was planning for the invasion of Iraq from the moment they stole the office of the Presidency. That's interesting. It confirms the theory that this misadministration, filled with imperialistic .:PNAC:. members like .:Paul Wolfowitz:. and .:Richard Perle:., used 9/11/01 as an excuse to further their agenda.

    Are the well-paid talking heads of the rabid right paying attention? That's not a serious question. I know they pay close attention to everything, and they also lie their ass off on camera.

    The brilliant news readers have characterized O'Neill's statements as hype for "his" book, when actually, it's not his book. O'Neill is neither the book's main subject, nor the author. .:Ron Suskind:., is the author. That would make it, uhhh, his book.
    In response to one of those emails I received about our soldiers in Iraq, full of overwrought sentiment claiming they are "fighting for our freedom", I wrote the following:

    ...they're not protecting anyone's freedom, despite the adamant opinions and contorted logic expressed by the most vocal contingency in our country.

    You cannot kill another nation's citizens, concertina wire their townships & villages when they fail to provide the information you THINK they have, inadvertently kill & maim innocent noncombatants, and then logically proclaim you're protecting their freedom, or the freedom of the citizens in your own nation. That's akin to shooting up the neighborhood of the man who robbed you, as a way of protecting your property from future theft.

    The terror alerts are sounding with even more regularity. If this war was making us safer, we would have less worries about terrorist attacks, not more! We're not more free because of their sacrifice of life and limb. We're less free because of the fear we've engendered by invading Iraq without international support, and based on lies, half-truths and the monumental ignorance of many Americans.

    According to various mainstream news reports, since 9/11/01 we've targeted Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Syria, Lybia, et. al. for military aggression. Those countries' inhabitants are far more knowledgeable about the geo-political manuvers that affect their nation than we are. And, because our current foreign policy of Pax Americana recklessly uses war to institute peace, too many of them are more likely to join the same religious fundamentalist movements we seek to eradicate.

    You cannot make peace through war; you will only export death, destruction, despair and eventually desperation. What the soldiers are doing is obeying orders. By itself, following orders is the right thing to do, however, put into the larger and proper context, it's tragic.

    Death & destruction are not the ingredients of the foundation for democracy; they only build a foundation for puppet regimes, and those never last. History has documented (and continues to document) the crumbling of every last one of them.

    U.S. citizens can now be held indefinitely, without charges, without access to legal counsel and without notification to family members. Does that make you feel more free? Is that what the U.S. soldiers are fighting and dying for in Iraq? Unwarranted arrests, investigations, or detentions don't only happen to the other guy. Some people might think that's a good thing... but would the country be safer if it happened to you?

    Military personnel deserve all the empathy, sympathy, and prayers for safety the American public can muster, because ultimately, we too share the blame of putting them in harm's way through our incuriousness and apathy about politics and history.

    ...fighting for our freedom? Absolutely not, but they are fighting for their lives!