14 February 2004

Star Trek & Outsourcing

Whenever I hear talk of the glories of .:outsourcing:., I'm reminded of an original .:Star Trek:. series episode. It was in a Romanesque setting featuring a species of humans who had evolved to the point where they were telepathic. They had the ability to move things and control people with the power of their minds! *oooh* Because of that, they used (enslaved would be a better word) lesser evolved beings to do their bidding. They believed themselves to be too good to do any manual labor.

As with all Star Trek episodes, there was a moral to the story. The moral was that instead of actually being superior beings, the telepathics were actually inferior because they couldn't do anything for themselves. When the lesser beings were able to use their own minds to fight off the telepathics, they were thoroughly screwed as a species.

Which brings me right back to .:outsourcing:.. Proponents of it talk excitedly about the cost benefits to corporations (government, too), and the morality of free trade. What they don't talk about is the utterly dependent society it is creating in these united states.

Why is it that so many callers to CSPAN are slow talking and slow thinking? Why can't I ever get through to that muhfucker?!

This morning the host posed the question: Should we "give up" the memory of Vietnam? I won't comment on the complete absurdity of that, it's just too, well, absurd. But I have to answer his follow up question of what we can learn from Vietnam.

None of the callers so far (it's still on) mentioned that both Vietnam and the invasion of Iraq were based on a big fat ass LIE!! The Gulf of Tonkin lie (promoted by LBJ) prompted the Vietnam war; the WMD lie prompted the illegal invasion of Iraq. Like General Butler said, war is a racket. When we learn that lesson, we'll no longer need to go over and over the strategies, tactics and blunders of Vietnam.

Damn those slow-witted, tongue-tied people who manage to get through on the phone lines when I can't!! Damn them!

13 February 2004

Black History Question:
What is the name of the author who created the characters Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson, and which one of the author's books contains the following quote, "We're a wonderful, goddamned race, I thought. Simpleminded, generous, sympathetic sons of bitches. We're sorry for everybody but ourselves, the worse the white folks treat us the more we love 'em."?

Black History Question Answer from February 12:
.:Premier Patrice Lumumba, Congo:.

Did He Serve Honorably, or Didn't He?

Even though the story of Dubya's missing year in the National Guard isn't new, the news coverage of the last two weeks certainly makes it seem as if it is. During the 2000 presidential campaign the .:Boston Globe:. was the only publication to delve into the story and report it. The Globe highlighted the contradiction between what Dubya wrote in his 1999 autobiography—"I continued flying with my unit for the next several years"— and National Guard records that show he did not fly for 18 months (1972 and 1973).

The neo-conservative defense is that the issue is purely political and has no merit. Interestingly enough, it was neo-cons who labeled the previous president a .:draft dodger:. and insisted that it reflected on his ability to serve the people of the United States and command the military. In this instance a sitting president who failed to complete guard duty is undoubtedly an issue of the man's credibility. Unfortunately for them, Democrats may be angry enough this time around to press for answers to the very real questions surrounding Dubya's missing time in the National Guard.

Today's "document dump" by the White House hasn't assuaged the doubts about his service, nor is it in accordance with Georgie's .:affirmative answer:. on Meet The Press that he would "authorize the release of everything to settle this". As usual, Smirky McCokespoon says one thing and does something totally different.

12 February 2004

Greg Palast on .:Democracy Now!:.
What we have to understand is that our president said, I actually just looked at his speech from last March 17. He said we're going into Iraq to get those who have aided, harbored and trained terrorists, including those associated with al Qaeda. That's a quote, from our President, and he didn't find any people connected to al Qaeda that were there with Saddam Hussein's support. But now that we are there — now it's like it's a welcome mat for al Qaeda now. So, the question is, is our President correct? Is he correct that we are safer? Yeah. He's right. There may well be al Qaeda in Iraq, but they didn't come until after our tanks arrived.
I'm Not Ashamed to Admit I Laughed When I Read This:
Every time Bush made a campaign point, he did that goddamn clenched hand with a thumb on top. Was he offering a fisting to Russert? To the American people?
Read it on .:Rude Pundit:.
Black History Question:
U.N. sessions were disrupted by U.S. and African Nationalists in 1961 to protest the assassination of the premire from an African country.

What was the Premire's name and what country did he head?

Black History Question Answer from February 9:
August of 1619

11 February 2004

I Have Arrived!

"I'm the one who went to school at night!" she said. She stepped closer to me as she spoke and thrust her head forward to punctuate the end of every sentence.

I don't know why she got so upset. It started out as a conversation about a movie. But it morphed into a political disagreement, and then morphed again into a one-sided argument, compleat with loud vocals and sista' head thrusting. I was surprised by her anger. I was a little intimidated by her aggressiveness. But when she used those three little words, "I have arrived", to deny today's social injustices and her indebtedness to the Black people who waged the struggle before her, I got mad!

See, this is the same sista' who never hesitated to call me to vent about how she couldn't act the same way the white folks act at work, because she knows (and I know) that we're judged by two different standards. This is the same sista' who warned me about the duplicitous ways of white folks and advised me never to tell them my business, lest they use it against me. But, most importantly, this is the same sista' who had the luxury of leaving her child with her parents while she discovered the world, and then went to school to complete her undergraduate degree.

The end of the argument was anticlimactic. It burned out prematurely because I refused to participate. I still regret never asking her, where does she think she has arrived, and who does she think created the path she took to get there.

10 February 2004

Too Many Lies to Count

Salon.com does an almost line-by-line .:breakdown:. of Dubya's lies during his interview with Tim Russert. I watched it, several times, and Dubya's incoherence is awe-inspiring.

If he hadn't been distracted by trying to keep his lies straight he'd have come across much better than he did. He was so bad even Peggy Noonan had to stop fawning over him long enough to concoct an excuse about Democrats preferring policy (read: details), while rethugs prefer philosophy. . . . yeah the philosophy of mo' money, mo' money, mo' money!
Osama Osama?!

The U.S. soccer team beat Canada in ZAPOPAN, Mexico. As the U.S. team left the field, the crowd .:chanted:. "Osama, Osama!"

Damn! They're taking the game way too personally.
What's Changed?

The History Channel is doing a segment on the 54th Regiment of the Union Army. There's nothing but praise for the Black troops and their white leader. They went above and beyond to prove themselves worthy of the fighting alongside (and against) white troops. They knew, according to the historians, that all of America was watching and that all Negros would be judged by their failure or success.

It's still that way today.

09 February 2004

You're not Trustworthy, Shut your Cakehole!

They NYT quotes Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist as saying ".:it is impossible:." for the U.S. health care system to cover everyone. Senator Frist is the vice-chairman of the Alliance for Health Care Reform, whose .:mission statement:. reads, "the Alliance believes that all in the U.S. should have health coverage at a reasonable cost."

Frist has conflicting interests. His campaign .:received:. millions from the healthcare industry, and his family is living a life free of monetary concern because of their profits from private healthcare.

Bill Frist's family founded the hospital chain Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). An AP report from June of 2003 reported that Bill transferred his HCA holdings and other assets into a trust that is now worth $31 million, and he earns more than $5 million a year. His wife and his sons have trusts that are worth more than $1 million.

After being charged with over-billing Medicare, HCA agreed .:to pay:. $745 million back to the government. Still, Frist claims that his home state, Tennessee, was going .:broke:. from "trying to achieve universal insurance coverage", he made no mention of greedy and unethical corporations.

There's a direct connection between the Census Bureau figures showing the 9% increase of uninsured Americans (to 43.6 million), and Dubya and his compassionate conservative army now running the government.
.:Randall Robinson:. with Words I Can Relate To
In our foreign policy, this hyperpower, I think is coming to endanger the entire world, because now it operates willy-nilly without checks and balances. Iraq is just one example of the kind of disaster that is possible when we have a nation so powerful, so full of itself, unwilling to examine itself, self absorbed, and narcissistic in all of what that means, that it will go forward against the grain of the international community unilaterally, to create the disaster that Iraq will be for many generations to come. It won't work. To think that we now in Iraq have Muslim women becoming prostitutes, servicing American soldiers just feeds the kind of hatred that is growing and felt towards Americans throughout the Islamic world. It's a very sad thing, and we get to a point that we cannot make America listen anymore to anybody but itself.

I -- I just -- to preserve my sanity, and I think my voice, I thought it best for me to leave. I wanted to see another place, to feel another place, and be inspired and encouraged, and enlivened by it.
Black History Question:
In what month and year were the first enslaved Africans brought to Jamestown, Virginia?

Black History Question Answer from February 8:
The .:Scottsboro Boys:. (Charlie Weems, Ozie Powell, Clarence Norris, Olen Montgomery, Willie Roberson, Haywood Patterson, Andy and Roy Wright, and Eugene Williams) were nine Black teenagers falsely accused and convicted of raping two white women on a Southern Railroad freight on March 25, 1931.

It would be two decades before the last one managed to get out of Alabama, but not the end of their suffering. By 1989 all nine of them had died.
Round-n-Round We Go . . . .

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf .:pardoned:. Abdul Qadeer Khan for selling nuclear know-how to three countries named in Dubya's two different axes of evil, Libya, Iran and North Korea. He also made it known that Khan would be able to keep the money he made from the deadly deals. Musharraf's reasoning is that Pakistan wanted the bomb and got it thanks to Khan's efforts, so he's not going to kill the goose because it laid an additional golden egg in someone else's nest.

It should be noted that President Musharraf's reign is courtesy of a military coup, and since Khan has overwhelming support from the people of Pakistan, Musharraf has to go easy on him. To do anything else would only give the opposition, headed by former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, a rallying cry for its supporters.

Pakistan is our ally. It is headed by an unelected leader. It undoubtedly possesses WMD, and it's now been proven that it trafficked in WMD. Iraq was our ally. We helped destroy its WMD, and it has never been proven to have trafficked in WMD.

Shouldn't we have learned to choose a better class of friends by now?

08 February 2004

An Open Letter to Shasta MacNasty:

Awww, gal . . . you are salty for someone who puts herself out there the way you do. I can't honestly say I'm sorry you took offense to my feedback. Instead of being offended by it, it should have caused you to engage in some introspection. I approached you as a wise woman would a foolish girl. But true to type, you pulled out the blacker than thou accusation. *tsk tsk*

Unprocessed, my dear girl, refers to your thought processes. Specifically, it's a way of saying that you do not think.

You are offended because you're on a man's "b" list, but you're not offended because the white man asked you to a sex party.

You are offended because a group of Black professional men are willing to buy membership into a singles club that restricts its female membership to those with a certain look and background. However, you glibly mention your potential willingness to participate in group sex and your burgeoning reputation as the "fat fun girl" at work. Do you see the pattern here?

For some strange reason you then dredge up the story of a Black man who pursued you, though he was already involved in a relationship. That bit of information has no bearing on your belief that the invitation to a sex party was acceptable, except for the fact that you were on the inviter's "b" list.

You want to know why white men are generally disinclined to choose Black women as partners. Why? Do you want to change their minds so they'll be willing to get witcha'? You have one, who wants you to join him in group sex, don't worry about those who have no interest in Black women.

You describe their lack of interest as a trend. Either you are living in an alternate reality, or you're suffering from a lack of exposure to American culture. White men have always been interested in Black women, but it is usually (though not always) a lust kept secret. At first that lust resulted in rapes carried out in slave quarters, later it was during "knight" rides through Black neighborhoods, and later still through coercion of Black female employees (read up on Strom Thurmond's dastardly deeds for an example) or forays into Black neighborhoods by older white men wanting to teach younger white men what sex was all about.

You don't need me to go with you to the pride store, just schlep on down the road and stop by the clue farm your dammy. Make sure you get a big basket for those clues, you need more than your two arms can carry!
Black History Question:
Mary McLeod Bethune was one of the most prominent African American women of the first half of the twentieth century—and one of the most powerful. Known as the "First Lady of the Struggle," she devoted her career to improving the lives of African Americans.

She was also well-known supporter of the Scottsboro Boys' struggle for justice. Who were the Scottsboro Boys?

Black History Question Answer from February 7:
In 1950, the House approved a permanent version of the FEPC, but southern senators filibustered and killed the bill.

Where's the Beef?

Both Salon.com and The Village Voice have done extensive articles on the Roger Stone/Al Sharpton connection (Stone is a former GOP consultant). Curiously, after paragraph upon paragraph of innuendo about campaign donations from Stone, and Al's campaign finances being commingled with his National Action Network (NAN) funds, neither article pinpoints how his platform has become more GOP-like.

Reiterating his liberal, forward-thinking message to an audience in .:Aiken, SC:. on Superbowl Sunday, he showed the allegations that his campaign has been taken over for the specious smears they are. He presented nothing remotely resembling anti-Democrat rhetoric. To the contrary, he encouraged increased and informed participation in party politics.

Knowledgeable readers of the Salon and Village Voice articles are left wondering what Stone could possibly be getting from Sharpton in exchange for the money. The critical eye sees a distinct possiblity— Al is playing the "game" far better than his over-eager detractors realize. It could quite conceivably be a matter of Al taking Roger and his cronies for a ride.

Whatever the case may be, his message remains strongly pro-Democrat, and the regulating authorities have not charged him with a crime or launched an investigation. I'll maintain my healthy skepticism until some proof of wrongdoing is found in the proverbial pudding.