Monday, January 31, 2005

Bush, Social Security and African-Americans

George W. Bush has a serious problem with telling the truth. I am not only referring to weapons of mass destruction. He has become a master of "double-speak". Whenever I hear one of his proposals I tell myself he means just the opposite of what he says. I constantly give the examples of "No Child Left Behind" (which is actually leaving Black, Brown and poor White children behind because it not fully funded) and the "Clear Skies Intiative" (which seems to have been designed to clear the skies of birds while at the same time giving his cronies permission to pollute). The clever enemy of affirmative action's latest proposal was to convince Blacks that they would benefit from privatized Social Security because Blacks die earlier than whites. My first reaction to this was to laugh. After I finished laughing I thought about my age (54), then I thought about the age of my late father (78), my late uncle (74) , my late grandfather (84) and my late father-in-law(78). The males in my family in general have been long livers, without succumbing to
many of the vices that many black males have been subjected to as a result of pressure filled lives which eventually lead to high blood pressure(rampant in the black community). I found a post online on this very subject by Josh McConaha quite interesting "Instead of using African American life expectancies as an excuse to gut Social Security as we know it, how about spending that money in a way that will help them live longer? Yes, African Americans have a shorter lifespan (though the average is lowered by things like infant and childhood mortality rates, and infants and children don't pay into Social Security anyway). Somehow the White House feels that the best way to address that is to dismantle Social Security instead of, well, investing in health care for African Americans. Charles Rangel(D-N.Y) was among a select group of black politicians that met with the president last week. He had this to say " It's unimaginable that they would suggest tackling a problem like this with a plan that does absolutely nothing to address it, but here we are." Rangel said he was''really offended" that the White House and some Republicans are trying to sell Bush's plan for private accounts on grounds that it would be more beneficial to African-Americans. ''It is one of the cruelest things that I have ever read, and I regret that it comes from the office of the president," Rangel said. If Bush wants to do something about inequities between the races, Rangel said, he should address issues including the lack of access to healthcare among many blacks,higher unemployment, and lower wages. Rangel added that unless blacks have better economic prospects, private Social Security accounts will not help them. ''I told the president, 'You can't get out what you can't put in,' " he said. Whichever side is right, the controversy has put a spotlight on what some say has been missing in the national discussion over Social Security: Is the system filled with inequities that discriminate against certain demographic groups? " I think so.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

For The Record

In the final analysis of the 85-13 Condoleeza Rice Secretary of State confirmation one would conclude that she IS the choice of both major political parties since most Democratic senators prefer to turn a blind eye to Ms. Rice's shortcomings, nevertheless I feel those twelve Democrats and one independent who vigorously opposed her nomination should be praised for their desire to let the nation know the truth about their new Secretary of State from an arrogant administration that considers itself above the law. Senators Boxer(Cal), Akaka(Haw), Bayh(Ind), Kennedy(Mass), Kerry(Mass), Levin(Mich), Dayton(Minn), Lautenberg(NJ), Reed(RI), Jeffords(I-Vt), Byrd(WVa), Harkin(Ia) and Durbin(Ill) constitute a small, yet influencial cadre that may grow after future elections (provided the elections are not tarnished by voter suppression tactics).

Paul Newman vs. Joe Lieberman?

The buzz on liberal talk radio is that Paul Newman is considering a run against Joe Lieberman for the senate seat in Connecticut. Paul Newman, who looks very good for a man who is in his 80's would be a formidable challenger to Lieberman, a DLC senator. Lieberman has a fairly good voting record on the issues that matter to those on the left, but at the same time he appears to be quite willing to appease the Republicans. His support of Condoleezza Rice, who did not fullfil her responsibilites during 9/11 and who has been accused of lying to Congress on more than one occasion is an insult to the Democratic party. At a time when this administration continues to gouge the treasury and usurp funds earmarked for vital social concerns like Pell grants, Medicare and Social Security Joe Lieberman continues to promote bi-partisan cooperation when the other party says "my way or the highway" Paul Newman would give Democrats a fresh alternative that would be much closer to true democratic ideals without pandering to the opposition.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Blackwell and From Make Buffalo Beast's Loathsome Top 50 for 2004

The Buffalo Beast came out with it's annual "50 Most Loathsome People of 2004" and to my delight one of the infamous who made their list was none other than Democratic Leadership Council Chief Executive Al From who came in as number at #31. The Beast said " Founder and CEO of the detestable Democratic Leadership Council, the lead organization for the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” wing of the Democratic Party. From’s appeasement strategies have lead directly to tragic losses in the last three elections. Responsible for the inability of serious people to fully respect the Democratic Party. The number one position belongs to J. Kenneth Blackwell, the Ohio Secretary of State. I don't believe anyone is more deserving of this dubious distinction.
The Beast writes "Crimes: The greasy, rancid piece of crap who delivered Ohio for Bush by any means necessary, and then bragged about it in a recent fundraising letter. A black man who has no reservations about screwing over his own people in his lust for power and money. Blackwell is the kind of soulless traitor without whose complicity no nefarious evil plot ever goes down. In step with the future of global elections." To see who the other 48 loathsome of 2004 are; visit
www.buffalobeast.com

Bush Administration Minus Two Powells

In my breif conversations with conservative Republicans I find that they are always eager to point out to me that the Bush Administration is color blind. As points of reference they mention Ron Paige, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell. They also remind me that the Sr. Bush appointed only the second African-American Supreme Court Justice in history, the "honorable" Clarence Thomas, as if for some reason this was supposed to make me happy or proud. Of all the Supreme Court justices this is the one who says the least and writes the fewest opinions. He seems to go along with whatever Anton Scalia says. I am not saying that I have disdain for all Black Republicans because I don't; I believe that the person should be judged by his or her actions and not necessarily his or her party affiliations (and this includes members of the DLC). The late Jackie Robinson continues to be one of my all time heroes and he was a Black Republican. In the early years of the first George W. Bush adminstration I thought Colin Powell would be another Jackie Robinson. He had assumed the role of the "conscience" of the Bush Administration who often had differences of opinion with the more hawkish elements of the Bush team. Here was a man of humble beginnings who became one of highest ranked officers of the United States armed forces. He could have become the first Black President. Unfortunately my opinion of him began to change when I found out that he played a major role in the massacre of over 3,000 Panamanians (many of whom were Black). Then came the straw that broke the camel's back..........Colin Powell lied in front of the United Nations General Assembly using fuzzy videos, maps and charts he professed he had irrefutable proof of weapons of mass destruction. He even used an old term paper of a California student(grammatical errors and all) to propagate George W. Bush's lie. This was the straw that broke the camels back. Michael Powell became just a much of a disappointment to me as his father. During his reign over the FCC he fought to change the rules in favor of the big corporations. Clear Channel reached near monopoly status. Robert McChesney, author of the best-selling "Rich Media, Poor Democracy" wrote .....""Michael Powell will not be missed by those of us concerned about creating a more democratic media system. His tenure was marked by some of the lowest moments in the history of the FCC — most notably the disastrous decision in June 2003 to further loosen media ownership rules. Powell’s record has been one of avoiding the public he was meant to serve. He had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the few public hearings he attended, yet he made countless appearances before industry groups and trade associations" So I told my Conservative Republican acquaintences that as an African-American I am not impressed in the least by Condoleezza Rice, even though I do respect her very high level of education; she embarrassed herself during the hearings for Secretary of State when she implied that Senator Barbara Boxer was casting doubt on her integrity, when all the Senator was doing was using Ms. Rice's own words. Ron Paige called the teacher's union "terrorists" and I happen to be a teacher. I don't believe that any of the so called shining star black Republicans have a sizable contituency yet for some reason they are all highly visible on television. I will not even mention Armstrong Williams and Alan Keyes, their records speak volumes. Overall I am not impressed.

Patricia Young on Social Security:

My hats off to Senator Lautenberg for his stance on Social Security. I too think it is a shame to gamble with a system that has provided secure income to millions of Americans since the New Deal. Two out of three elderly Americans rely on Social Security for at least half of their income. We can not afford to gamble on the ecomnomic well being of our seniors, disabled workers and children. It is estimated that it would take about $2 trillion in transition costs to shift from the current system to a privatized system. The Bush administration is willing to take on more federal debt to cover this change over. I think it is unconscionable at a time when the federal government is running record deficits. It looks like business groups, financial institutions and conservative think tanks are lining up behind the president, while labor unions, civil rights groups and organizations representing women and the disabled are joining liberal think tanks in opposing his plan. I think this speaks VOLUMES

Saturday, January 22, 2005

John Hess (1919-2005)

Yesterday morning the great WBAI news commentator John Hess departed from this world. John Hess will always be remembered for his ascerbic wit and uncanny ability to tell it like it is. WBAI listeners over the years anticipated the commentaries from John Hess and Prisoner X which usually came at the end of the evening news. John Hess was the Paris correspondent for the New York Times, a paper he criticized more for what it did not print than for what it printed. He played a crucial role in exposing the My Lai massacre as well as the nursing home scandal. He was also a Pulitzer Prize nominee. John Hess will be missed.

The Case Against Condoleezza Rice

Recently Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made numerous condemnations of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias. She has referred to him as "dictator" and the Bush administration considers him "hostile" As a person of African descent who reasonably keeps abreast of current events I find Ms. Rice's comments inaccurate, distasteful and downright embarrassing. Mr. Chavez has been subjected to many derogatory invectives like "monkey" and "gorilla" from some fair skinned Euro-Venezuelans because of his race. Many African-Americans are all too familiar with this type of behavior from segments of the Caucasian population of the United States. I would think that since Ms. Rice grew up in Mississippi she should know something about racial prejudice.
The person Ms. Rice calls a "dictator" just happened to be elected president four times
in his country. This seems to be very hypocritical since her boss' (George Bush) two presidential elections came under clouds of controversy. The Bush administration has done everything in it's power to sabotage the Chavez government. The notorious National Endowment for Democracy has funneled millions of dollars to the opponents of Chavez, this in turn led to crippling strikes and demonstrations, but through it all Chavez prevailed. The
highly respected New York Times showed us that 100,000 people were protesting the Chavez government, yet they conveniently left out the fact that 500, 000 people took to the streets in favor of it. This makes one question the integrity of the New York Times, or wonder
if the administration is telling the paper what to print. It seems as if Mr. Chavez's unpardonable crime is that he has taken the revenue of the oil profits from the upper classes and given them to the lower classes for education, housing and improved infrastructure. The blacks and browns are going to share the petroleum income with the whites. I wonder if Ms.
Rice can see why I, as an African-American see Mr. Chavez as a hero. In this country the
gap between the rich and the poor is widening. All attempts to level the playing field are being
attacked: affirmative action, Medicare and overtime pay. The Bush Administration has mastered the art of double speak; "No Child Left Behind" does just the opposite of what it says as does the "Clear Skies Act" which seems to be designed to clear the skies of birds.
But perhaps the unkindest cut of all was the 40 million inaugural festivity, of which 12 came from the pockets of the residents of Washington D.C.(most of whom are African-American) who are heavily taxed but have no representation in Congress. Under this Bush administration half of the Black male population in the nation's largest city is unemployed while the blacks continue to be incarcerated in numbers far greater than their percentage of the population. I am certain that Ms. Rice is aware of the voter suppression in the Black community that eventually led to Mr. Bush's victory. History is filled with people who collaborated with oppressors to the detriment of their own people. Mohandas Ghandi was killed by a fellow Hindu. Martin Luther King was stabbed by a Black female. During the civil war there were blacks who voluntarily fought alongside the Confederate Army. Ms. Rice I
regretfully must acknowledge that you can be placed in this category as well.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Howard Dean Takes Early Lead

Former Vermont governor Howard Dean has taken an early lead in polls in his quest to become leader of the Democratic Party. It can not be understated that we are in the initial stages of the campaign but it is always better to be ahead than behind. Howard Dean has stated that he has unanimous support from the Florida delegation to the DNC as well as the support of the Democratic chairs of Utah, Mississippi, Washington state, Oklahoma and his home state of Vermont. This may well be a battle for the soul of the Democratic party between the DINOs(Democrats In Name Only), which include the corporation backed DLC(Democratic Leadership Council) and the party base (progressives, labor, liberals). Dean's adversaries will be none other than Simon Rosenberg (leader of so-called "centrist" New Democratic Network), Wellington Webb (The only African-American candidate who was once mayor of Denver, Colorado), Martin Frost(a successful fund-raiser of over $80 million dollars for the party). Dean Fowler( who proclaims Howard Dean can't get 50% Democratic support.....but this could be just wishful thinking.) In any event Dean's detractors are going to say he will pull the party too far to the left while Dean's supporters will say that the DLC element tries too hard to imitate Republicans, a theme that has been echoed by Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy. This writer is vehemently anti-DLC, in fact it is the sole reason why I have this blog. After the theft of two consecutive Presidential elections I would like to see a Democratic with the guts to say that these elections were stolen, there is nothing seriously wrong with Social Security and that the war in Iraq was totally unnecessary and that TORT reform is just protection for corporations from the wrongs they have committed against ordinary people. At this time Howard Dean seems to be the closest to this, but it is still very early. I do know that if a DLC candidate does win it will be the first time that I will sit out an election.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) Opposes Efforts to Privatize Social Security.

Recently I wrote the senior senator of New Jersey, Frank Lautenberg to find out his position on Social Security. I was very pleased with his response, which I will share with you. I want all like minded people to also contact their senators, congresspersons and other elected officials and find out where they stand on this very important issue. Here is an excerpt from Senator Lautenberg's e-mail. Dear Claude: Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts about President Bush's proposals to privatize Social Security. Please be assured that I will oppose any attempts to gamble with Social Security money in risky investments. Social Security has worked extremely well for nearly 70 years to reduce poverty among senior citizens. Without Social Security, half of all seniors would be living in poverty, while today only ten percent are. To risk this safety net on the vagaries of the stock market would be to jeopardize the very essence of the program – providing retirement security in good times and bad. Instead of guaranteed benefits based on an individual's work history and, in part, on need, benefits would vary greatly depending on an individual's investment skills and luck. Economic risks would be borne by individuals rather than shared across society. While Social Security faces some challenges that should be addressed, the doomsday rhetoric we hear from some quarters is overblown. The current system, without any changes, is projected to be able to cover Social Security benefits for next forty years at the least. I support changes to the program to keep it running for our children and grandchildren, but we must not destroy Social Security under the guise of “saving” it. Instead of promoting policies which give tax breaks to the wealthy, I support dedicating funds to strengthen and protect Social Security and Medicare; I did so when we enjoyed a surplus, and I still consider it a top priority. I will continue to work toward this goal. Thank you for your comments. -Senator Frank Lautenberg

The Fight To Save Social Security Heats Up

The following is an urgent message to all moveOn members: WE NEED TO ACT ! Manny Dear MoveOn member, "Over the objections of many> of its own employees, the Social Security Administration is gearing up> for a major effort to publicize the financial problems of Social> Security and to convince the public that [privatized] accounts are> needed as part of any solution." (The New York Times, 1/16/2005) More> than 300,000 of us have now signed MoveOn's petition to Congress to save> Social Security. But the White House is upping its efforts -- the New> York Times disclosed on Sunday that it is using the Social Security> Administration to mislead the American public and sell Social Security> privatization. Documents obtained by The New York Times show that Bush's> plan is to insert "propaganda" into Social Security publications --> using the apparatus of this huge government agency -- and the trust> millions place in it -- to sell their privatization scheme that would> cut Social Security benefits. We need your help to make it clear that> the Social Security Administration is not another propaganda tool of the> White House. Please take one minute to send a message. Call the Social> Security Administration at the number below. Tell them you oppose Social> Security privatization and you expect them to deliver straight facts --> not White House spin -- to the American people. Call: 1-800-772-1213> After the greeting, dial 1 for English or 2 for Spanish. Then press 3.> Then press 0 to speak to a representative. After you make your call> click on the link below to let us know.> http://www.moveon.org/socialsecurity/call/?id=> 5059-5286396-ougidGIEkuN6lOiYot5fRA This isn't the first time government> agencies have been used to deceive like this. The Times notes that, "The> Bush administration ran afoul of a ban on 'covert propaganda' when it> used tax money to promote the new Medicare drug benefit and to publicize> the dangers of drug abuse by young people. The administration> acknowledged paying a conservative commentator, Armstrong Williams, to> promote its No Child Left Behind education policy. But on Social> Security, unlike those issues, the government has not concealed its> role." We need your voice on this issue. We can't let them get away with> this. Thanks for all you do. --Tom Matzzie MoveOn.org January 18th, 2005> P.S. Please make your call and then ask your friends, family and> colleagues to get involved. The best way they can help right away is to> sign our Petition to Save Social Security at the link below.> http://www.moveon.org/socialsecurity/ P.P.S. Here are some links to> useful resources Social Security Administration is Enlisted to Push Its> Own Revision (The New York Times, January 16, 2005)> http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/16/politics/16benefit.html (Registration> Required) Social Security: Playing Politics (Center for American> Progress, January 18, 2005)

Monday, January 17, 2005


Claude Chaney

Winter in America Posted by Hello

Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Stage Is Set For Confrontation: DLC vs. The Progressive Majority

The battle has already begun for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party. On one side we have the Democratic Leadership Council, a group that really is "Bush Lite". Like their Republican counterparts they seem to hide behind the flag, support the war and give support to Bush policies. This is the group that wants to attract southern white males even if it means losing the party base. They have a suprising number of politicians who really should change to the Republican Party. One name that immediately comes to mind fitting this description is Joe Lieberman. On the other side you have the spirited progressive wing of the Democratic Party, emboldened by the fundraising success of the Moveon.org., which is joined by the Center For American Progress, People For The American Way, and The Progressive Majority which are just a few of the online Progressive entities that are having an ever increasing influence on the party. This faction seems to prefer Howard Dean to replace Terry McAuliffe as party leader. Eileen McNamara of the Boston Globe points to a recent Howard Dean statement that one might attribute to Edward Kennedy ''The Democratic Party will not win elections or build a lasting majority solely by changing its rhetoric, nor will we win by adopting the other side's positions. . . . 'Values' has lately become a code word for appeasement of the right-wing fringe. But when political calculations make us soften our opposition to bigotry or sign on to policies that add to the burden of ordinary Americans, we have abandoned our true values." The primary issue that should be addressed by all Democrats is what can be done to guarantee the sanctity of the voting process in a country that is so eager to promote itself as the world's bastion of Democracy. It is more likely that the progressive wing of the party would make this an issue but it still must be acknowledged that Senator Barbara Boxer stood alone as the sole Democrat who questioned the 2000 and especially the 2004 presidential elections.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Limbaugh, Hannity and O'reilly get the boot in Vermont.

Congratulations to radio station WKTV-AM(1490) in Brattlesboro, Vermont, which had the good sense to dump hate radio misinformation talkers Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'reilly and Shawn Hannity in favor of liberal talk show hosts Al Franken, Chuck D and Randi Rhodes of Air America Radio. The station will replace "four" weekday syndicated conservative shows starting January 17, 2005.

A Tribute To A King

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was indeed a giant among men. As we celebrate his life and try to benefit from the lessons he taught we can't help but wonder what would he have been able to accomplish beyond his 39 years. King was able to mobilize the youth of his day with actions that produced results. With steadfast determination he made it possible for blacks to sit anywhere on the bus and he also filled the jails with demonstrating young men and women to such an extent that belligerent local authorities were neutralized. Today there is little doubt that Dr. King's assassination was a sophisticated plot by those who considered him a threat to the status quo. When the late Vice-president Hubert Humphrey said that Dr. King was on his potential list of vice presidential candidates the previliged right wing element felt compelled to act. If James Earl Ray was responsible (as the media led us to believe) ...he was not working alone.
Former New York Times, New York Daily News and current radio personality Earl Caldwell
was at the scene of the King assassination, but was prevented from giving testimony. Mr Caldwell wrote a book that could not find a publisher. There was and still is a deliberate attempt to muzzle his account of what happened that day. The right-wing pundits always say "Conspiracy Theory, Conspiracy Theory, Bah....." but what if there actually was a conspiracy and what if it is still going on?" Numerous attempts were made on the life of Malcolm X long before that fateful day at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem. Clinton confident Ron Brown was found with a bullet in his head with no explanation of how it got there. Isn't the timing of the "accidental" death of Minnesota's Paul Wellstone somewhat suspect? There was a time when we would say we would never know but nevertheless the killers of Medgar Evers, James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman had to and will have to pay for their cowardly acts; De La Beckwith and Killian did not escape prosecution even though both faced justice late in life. Maybe one day the same thing will happen to the true killers of Martin King, who killed the man but not the dream. We should all remember his ideals and honor his courage in these troubled times in which an administration bent on empire wants to use Social Security money to further its aim of world domination. Were he alive to today Martin King would oppose the Iraq War as vigorously and wholeheartedly as he opposed the Viet Nam War. In the area of Civil Rights things are as bad and in some cases even worse than they were in the 60s. These times may call for different tactics but they will require the same determination and focus Dr. King had to bear fruit.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Who is responsible for this calamity....Bush or US citizens?

Lie #1 - Saddam Heussein made a deal in Niger to make huge bombs. Lie #2 There are weapons of mass destruction; Donald Rumsfeld knows EXACTLY where they are? and now Lie #3.......There is something fundamentally wrong with Social Security, that must be fixed. Unless you are living somewhere under a rock...you know that the author of these lies is none other than the President of The United States Of America. As the US death toll steadily approaches the 1300 mark, the president still enjoys a free ride in the press. Bill Clinton was practically run out of town for one lie, which really didn't affect the country. Bush's lies lead to death. Bush champions TORT reform because he doesn't want his buddies to be sued.....even if they are wrong. Social Security is fine; experts say that it could be solvent until 2053. Bush wants to take money from Social Security so that he can have more money for a war based (based on a lie) that has no end. To make matters worse there are rumblings that indicate a possible invasion of Syria. The U.S. is not winning in Iraq, which was basically a defenseless nation. A war with Syria at this time would definitely be suicidal. On his way to becoming the first second term president with less than 50% popularity. I just can't understand why this president hasn't been challenged. If you tell a lie often enough people will start to believe it. We have seen this with the Swiftboat Liars and it seems to be a vital part of present Republican party. Will future generations villify Mr. Bush or the people of the country who allowed him to drive it into the ground? Time will tell.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

When Will They Ever Learn?

Someone at the Central Intelligence Agency has suggested that we follow the
same successful plan that was used in Honduras(in the 80s) in order to defeat the
so-called insurgents in Iraq. This "successful" plan included murdering the leaders of
rebel groups and sympathizers. Over 50,000 people were killed in El Salvador and Honduras and then U.S. ambassador to Honduras (who coincidentally is the ambassador to Iraq now) John
Negroponte claimed he played no role in that massacre. One of the main reasons why most
Iraqis want Americans out of their country is the wreckless disregard for human life.
This "Kill them all and let God sort them out" attitude so prevalent then and now will
not win the hearts and minds of Iraqis or anyone else. Archbishop Romero and at least
two American nuns were killed during that period and there were no convictions.
We are consistently being told that collateral damage is a fact of war that we should accept. If this is the case then you are totally justifed if you kill a thousand or two thousand innocent people when the person you are looking for is among them. The outrageous treatment of
the prisoners of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib show an obvious disregard for the Geneva
accords and even worse endangers the lives of our men and women in the military if they
are taken as prisoners. With a press that could be muzzled and an opposing party that seems
to have lost it's intestinal fortitude this issue will never see the light of day. The chickenhawks (Pearle, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld etc.) have the ear of George W. Bush and as a result the sons and daughters of many citizens of the United States are dying and the king says "stay the course", which is so easy to say when it isn't his son or daughter who dies in Iraq. At this point approximately 1,300 US troops have been killed, over 10,000 have been wounded and only half of the American people realize what is going on. This is similar to the Viet Nam at this stage, but in that war it took the loss of 55,000 soldiers before the people began to wake up. As Pete Seeger so aptly put it more than four decades ago "When will they ever learn?"

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Armstrong Williams.......fired?

Usually I am saddened to hear news of someone who loses employment because there is always the thought in the back of my mind in these turbulent times.....it could happen to me
or the people close to me. I have to make an exception in the case of African-American Conservative(....doesn't that sound like an oxymoron?) Armstrong Williams. I was actually ecstatic to hear that several radio stations and newspapers were cancelling his columns and programs because of his accepting $240,000.oo to promote "No Child Left Behind". I remember
saying to myself "if something like this had to happen to someone, there would be no one better
than Armstrong Williams, the protege of the late arch segregationist Strom Thurmond. The same Strom Thurmond I once heard say at one time in the early 60s "I don't understand what
these Negroes are complaining about......they have refrigerators and cars." This is the same
Strom Thurmond who fathered a child with an African-American. This is like the klan having
a black spokeman. Of course I would not like to start any premature celebrations because at
this time I do not have any definite confirmations at this time but if it is true.....what a wonder event. It shows that maybe there are more radio stations that are not owned by Clear Channel than I thought. There is no need to shed tears for Mr. Armstrong because the well connected
talk show host has many friends in the right wing community, but as far as his credibility in the vast majority of the African-American community Mr. Armstrong has a special place alongside
J. Kenneth Blackwell, Clarence Thomas, Moise Tshome and others who have sought personal gain at the expense of their people.

Food For Thought

www.liberaloasis.com
www.wbai.org
www.alternet.org
www.michaelmoore.com
www.truthout.org
www.commondreams.org
www.buzzflash.com
www.allhatnocattle.com
www.flashpoints.net
www.fsrn.org
www.democracynow.org
www.mediamatters.com

Winter In America - Gil Scott-Heron

From the Indians who welcomed the pilgrims
to the buffalo who once ruled the plains
like the vultures circling beneath the dark clouds
looking for the rain/looking for the rain
From the cities that stagger on the coast lines
In a nation that just can't stand much more
like the forests buried beneath the highways
never had a chance to grow
It's winter, winter in America
and ain't nobody fighting because nobody knows what to save

The constitution was a noble piece of paper,
with Free Society it struggled but they died in vain
Democracy goes begging on the corner
hoping for the rain/hoping for the rain
And for the robin perched in a barren treetop
watching last ditch racists marching across the floor
to the peace signs that melted in our dreams
never had a chance to grow/never had a chance to grow
It's winter, winter in America
and all of the healers have been killed or betrayed
It's winter, winter in America
and ain't nobody fighting because nobody knows what to save

c 1975 Brouhaha Music Inc.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Covert Propaganda aimed at African-Americans

Black Americans, like any other group is not a monolith, but one thing most Black Americans do agree on is their distaste for the Republican party in general and for George W. Bush in particular. You would not believe this if you see the deluge of black talking heads with a conservative slant on radio and tv....Williams, Elder etc. It can not be denied that Republicans have made some inroads, but still well over 80% of African-Americans do not support the president. The overwhelming majority of Americans of African descent can clearly see what is really happening..... an assault on affirmative action, an assault on Social Security, tax cuts for the rich and paying a disproportionately high price in casualties in a war fought under false pretenses. We are supposed to be proud of Colin Powell(a man who lied to the General Assembly about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction) and Condeleeza Rice(whose oil company allegedly aided a former Nigerian administration slaughter it's own people) but the piece de resistance is paying Armstrong Williams 240,000 dollars to speak favorably of the "No Child Left Behind Act", a George W. Bush creation that he has seriously underfunded at a time when 50% of the African-American adult male population of the nation's largest city is unemployed. If the covert propaganda operatives can offer that kind of money to Armstrong Williams just imagine what they would give to Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh or Anne Coulter. At a time of so much manipulation and deception the members of the Congressional Black Caucus and Senator Barbara Boxer are to be commended for challenging the Republican/Conservative juggernaut. For all we know this may be the last time one may be able to do so.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

And now the "real" battle begins..........

A "few "courageous Senate Democrats agreed to an investigation of the questionable 2004 presidential election of George W. Bush, forcing a debate on widespread allegations of voter suppression in Ohio. Although this move will not change the outcome of the election it will force the media to cover these allegations of foul play, which to this point they seem to be very reluctant to do.
Similar intiatives were made in the 2000 election where voter suppression was an issue in Florida, but unlike the 2000 election this time a few Democrats stood up and let it be known that it appeared to them that George W. Bush's Ohio victory was fraudulent
1) Ohio Secretary of State, J. Kenneth Blackwell refused to accept
ballots that were not printed on a particular bond of paper.
2) Mr. Blackwell permitted over 34,000 Republican Poll Workers
to intimidate voters in minority districts causing them to wait
several hours to vote.
3) One Ohio county with a substantial number of minorities
closed polls because of a bogus 9-11 type emergency.
4) Mr. Blackwell (like former Florida Secretary of State Katherine
Harris) showed a contemptuous conflict of interest by being
head of the Bush re-election campaign in his state and at the
same time claiming to be "unbiased" as overseer of the election
process in his state.
5) Triad and Diebold corporations produced voting machines
without paper trails. At a time when you can go to any ATM
and get a receipt for your deposit or withdrawal you can not
get a receipt that confirms that you voted for the candidate ofd
your choice.
These are just five of the reasons Rep.John Conyers, Rev. Jesse Jackson and others want answers. Because of today's vote we may be able to find answers. Although I see this as a very positive step I am weary of the fact that the number of Democratic senators who want an inquiry is still very small. If the House of Representives is forced to make George W Bush president it can be said that George W. Bush was NEVER chosen by the people and that maybe he doesn't have the "political capital" that he frequently boasted about.
Unfortunately for the progressive Democrat it is disheartening to see
John Kerry throw in the towel so quickly like his predecessor Al Gore. As
a progressive Democrat I have an intense dislike for Robert Novak, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Delay et al. , but at least I can say that these individuals are committed to their cause. I see the Republican party as aggressive and outspoken like HANNITY and I see the Democratic party (especially the DLC contingent) as compliant and soft like colmes. I know that there are thousands, perhaps millions of Democratic voters who believed in the last two Democratic candidates, gave of their precious time and energy to support them and in the end find that they just "wimped out" The heart and soul of the Democratic party will be tested within the next two years. Those brave but few who stood up to the Bush machine may well determine the direction of the party and the nation.


Monday, January 03, 2005

Remembering Shirley Chisholm

This site acknowledges the passing of Shirley Chisholm, the late Congresswoman from Brooklyn. Ms Chisholm was the first woman of African descent to become a member of Congress. She showed us just what a courageous a spirited campaigner could be through her tremendous determination in spite of the odds. Ms. Chisholm surprised many when she was able to get 151 delegates in her presidential bid in 1972. She will be missed.

Boycott January 20, 2005...Spread the Word

On January 20, 2005 there will be a massive boycott in protest of the Grand Theft in Ohio and the illegal Iraq War. On that date do not purchase ANYTHING(food, water and especially gas). Stock up on these items in advance. I want anyone who happens to stumble upon this website to tell ten friends, then have those ten friends tell ten friends of their own..etc. This is the only way we can make the corporations know that we mean business. If this one is successful...there will be others. Spread the word!