Friday, March 31, 2006
Further proof (as if we needed any more proof) that U.S. infrastructure is not protected. Yet, dumb gullible Americans continue to buy the nonsense from the Republicrats that War is the way to protect America and War is the answer to the country's problems.
Unfortunately Americans have swallowed that bull hook, line, and sinker.
If these 3 clowns were able to do this with such ease, and with no layers of security to stop them... Al Qaeda would have a field day!!! And don't think for one minute that Al Qaeda doesn't pay attention to these news stories. They have televisions and the internet and follow American news like millions of other people.
Follow report here... courtesy of MSNBC online. It turns out that it wasn't all that hard to break in after all.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Is the White House responding to the poor public opinion, or is it something else?
Could there be more to the story? Could this be a reaction to the Federal Criminal investigation of the White House that is currently taking place? Could Card be part of the investigation?
The reason I bring up these other possibilities is because the White House rarely responds to public opinion. They couldn't care less what the people think. Americans should know that by now. So that leaves only a few other possibilities (in my opinion).
The Bush administration typically only makes this kind of move when IT HAS TO. Often for some legal reason or because the person is so fed up with the administration and realizes that it is so bad that they have to leave.
Any other shake ups planned? It will be interesting to see. The only shake up that I really want to see is someone leaving in handcuffs. (We've actually already had that...but the mainstream State-run media was conveniently not on duty when those incidents took place).
White House Officials who have been arrested already that I know of:
David H. Safavian- Chief of Procurment- Arrested in Connection with the ongoing Jack Abramoff/Republican Party Corruption Scandal.
Claude Allen- Domestic Policy Advisor
And that is what is known so far... this doesn't count criminals in the other Departments of government.... such as Defense, and State Departments.
This is by far the most corrupt government and political party in modern history.
So you almost have to look for a story under the story when someone like Andrew Card resigns.
Follow story here...
I posted this story 2 weeks ago! right here at Mirror On America. Just want to remind readers of how hard i'm working... There are a lot of other less than worthy blog sites that get all the web traffic (several thousand hits per day).... and they don't really have the content to justify it.
Here is my previous post on the Bush Iraq War Provocation story. Thanks to Ms. Amy Goodman.
I may post again on this story. I just thought it was interesting how late some of the "Big" blogs are on this...and other stories.
I guess Conservatives don't believe in this part of "Democracy"- A Free Press. Yet they preach the importance of a Free Press to other countries, telling them what to do. The hypocrisy is endless with these guys.
However, I do agree with his analysis of the Bush Administration strategy. Pinkerton is correct. The current media frenzy from the White House and Pentagon are well orchestrated to turn things around and to make Non-Republicans look like out of step extremists. The Bush administration is good at turning things around and making Americans believe that the things that they are seeing and hearing about Iraq are not true. What makes the Bush administration all-powerful is their control over American media....and they usually use this to great effect. They usually get what they want, even when struggling in opinion polls (the 2004 election is a perfect example. The State-run American media defeated John Kerry as much as anything else. It wasn't Bush that defeated Kerry. Kerry was defeated due to gross mistakes in the Kerry camp, and ultimately because of the media, which made sure that he would not be President).
Follow link to listen to story from the Public Radio Program "On The Media".
Listen to story titled "Calling On Helen".
Or copy and paste direct audio link below.
The U.S. is playing a dangerous game which could, and probably will backfire against not just the suits in Washington, but against the American people who are the ones who have to fight the wars that these old wealthy white men create.
The U.S. and Europe are funding the opposition in Belarus like it does in other Eastern European countries, and it is no doubt helping in the planning.
The goal of the U.S. is to surround Russia as much as possible, and the spread NATO as far East as possible, even risking war. The U.S. has doubled the size of NATO in the last 10 years or so, even bringing unstable governments into the organization.
Georgia and Ukraine are to be a part of NATO (Georgia may already be in... they have been adding countries so fast, I honestly lost track). These two countries have skirmishes and tit for tat conflicts with Russia as a routine. Why would anyone want these countries in NATO when it could create a crisis so easily?
Do the American people even know this stuff? No. Do the American people have a vote on NATO expansion and who gets in? No
Then why in the hell is this allowed to happen? Americans are the least knowledgeable about what's going on with NATO (of all NATO countries), yet it is American blood that will have to be spilled in larger amounts than any other group of people, if NATO ever had to act. The exposure and risks to America and to its people increases with each new NATO country, because that is one more country that the American people are obligated to defend. Also, each new country increases the chance of a conflict, because NATO increases its geographical area. In that case, shouldn't Americans be more aware of these decisions by Congress to increase our defense burden (without the knowledge or approval of the American people)?
These policies are aimed at Russia and China (Russia specifically), even though boneheads in Washington will say that the Cold War has ended (a lie they have been telling for a long time). What is interesting is that most of these new NATO countries add nothing of value to NATO's fighting capacity. These are mostly symbolic additions to NATO, designed primarily to antagonize and humiliate Russia. In fact, many of the new NATO countries have militaries that are so poor they are often a burden for NATO, rather than an enhancement.
When will the U.S. learn to stop meddling in the internal affairs of these countries?
We are better off giving moral support and nothing more. We fight for Democracy in these other countries yet we don't have Democracy right here in the United States.
These Democratic "Revolutions" must occur on their own, must be homegrown, and must happen naturally without outside help or interference. Instead of meddling, the U.S. should do a better job of being a good example. Technically, in my opinion, the U.S. is not even a Democracy....certainly not a sound one if you are talking about genuine Democratic principles. Therefore, if the U.S. wants to help Belarus and all these other countries, it can start by re-establishing Democracy right here at home. Then it will be the right example for other nations. The U.S. has its own problems with the lack of Democracy and Human Rights:
1. The lack of voter choice- a limit of 2 political parties
2. Voter fraud
3. Media monopolies
4. Lack of citizen involvement (by design) which is the absolute key for having a "Democracy"
5. Lack of voting power (no direct vote, & no power of national referendum on issues such as NATO, Port Security, Healthcare, etc)
7. Free speech problems
8. Mixing religion and politics
9. Gap between rich & poor
10. 1 in 5 children living in poverty
11. U.S. losing brain power- no emphasis on educating future generations
12. Largest Debt ever that will never be paid off
13. Largest Trade deficit ever
14. Nearly 50 million Americans without health insurance
15. Over 25 million people needing food aid to survive
AMERICA! GET YOUR OWN HOUSE IN ORDER...PLEASE!!!
Read the following article about the latest Cold War drama as it plays out in Belarus.
Condoleeza Rice On Meet The Press This Week.
Rice selling the war in Iraq, as part of the media frenzy by the White House to restore public support for the madness in that country.
Also talking about the upcoming conflict with Iran.
Rice continues with the same old lies. One of her many lies was that Bush & Co. never tried to connect Iraq with September 11th. OF COURSE THEY DID. This was one of their main ploys to trick the American people. Now they are trying to say they never attempted to make the connection? I can vividly recall Cheney, and others making this connection leading up to the war...every week like it was some kind of political campaign. This is also the reason why public polling still shows that half or nearly half of dumb Americans believe that there was a connection, 2 and 3 years later. This is also indicated in the recent Zogby report on U.S. troops in Iraq. Scroll through the March Archives to see my Blog entry about the Zogby report. Zogby's report shows that some 90% of U.S. troops believed there was a link between Iraq and September 11th and that this was the reason for the war. So, they even tried (and succeeded) to trick their own soldiers into believing the Iraq-September 11th connection. Now she is denying it? Of course we know, and most intelligent folks knew all along, that there was no such connection. The FBI has confirmed it, The CIA has confirmed it, the UN has confirmed it, The U.S. Congress has confirmed it, and the 9/11 Commission has confirmed it....and when pressed to tell the truth (something rare in Washington D.C.), the Pentagon has also confirmed it- THERE WAS NO CONNECTION BETWEEN SADDAM AND THE 9/11 TERRORIST ATTACKS.
She also lies about Weapons of Mass destruction. More evidence is coming in showing that they knew they had a weak case for WMD. But they continue to sing the same tune.
Replay last weeks show here. The transcript can be seen here.
Click here for the direct link to video if the above does not work.
The program looks back at an interesting 1968 experiment among white students in Iowa, conducted by Jane Elliott.
Definitely worth viewing. You can view online here. Works best with the Realplayer video option. Also plenty of background information available from PBS Frontline.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Rumsfeld Called Incompetent By One Of His Own Generals
When did the General get the memo? LOL
Turmoil at the Pentagon? I think that this has been going on for a while. We are now hearing about these tensions more publicly. Other military officials (retired and active) have suggested the same thing.
What makes this unusual is that it was done so publicly. Usually Generals do not come out against the Secretary of Defense or any other Cabinet member. Generals (even retired ones) typically stay out of politics and avoid criticizing Civilian officials on matters of policy.
But besides that, it is not much of a shock. Here you have a Cabinet which has no war Veterans and no officials who had any significant military positions of leadership. You have people calling the shots who really have no experience and don't know what the hell they are doing. This has been a big part of the problem all along.
These guys are basically part of a tight knit group (All cowards and War Hawks who never served....also called "Chicken Hawks"). They are part of a group who I call the PNAC group. For those who keep up with what is going on you know what i'm referring to. For those who don't, I will give a brief overview and maybe you can do your own research for particulars.
Basically the men who orchestrated the lead-up to the war in Iraq, the war itself, and who shape U.S. foreign policy, are a group of pro-war, extreme right wing high powered and rich white businessmen who make policy that benefits their interests. They are all owners or stakeholders in the U.S. Defense Industry, the oil business, Finance business, Commercial Real Estate, or other major industries. They are part of a high powered Think Tank group called the "Project for a New American Century" or PNAC. They wrote a document several years ago that basically indicated that they wanted to invade Iraq, long before the invasion, and before G.W. Bush took office. This manifesto from 2000, titled "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century" became the basis for the Foreign policy strategy that followed and that continues today in the Bush Administration. To learn more on this check here... The aim of this group is U.S. global dominance by means of projecting military power and intimidation.
Dozens of people are associated with this group. Key figures are Paul Wolfowitz (former deputy Defense Secretary), Condoleeza Rice, Bill Kristol, Scooter Libby (The indicted Asst. to the VP), Richard Perle, Donald Kagan, Jeb Bush (Brother of G.W. Bush), Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Otto Reich, and many others. They carry an extreme ideology.
Now this is not exclusive to just Right wing Republican nuts. Democratic leaders get their foreign policy officials from the same kinds of "Think Tanks". The right wing and the Democrats are not very different when it comes to much of their philosophy on foreign policy. Both share the same basic ideas when it comes Imperialism. Both believe that the U.S. should dominate the world, by military force if necessary. The motto of "Might Makes Right" is a common theme with both Parties. That's why I call them the Republicrats. We essentially live in a one party system in the United States.
Link to the Rumseld Story.... listen to audio report.
How were these men able to have access to this country so easily? Because the nations own immigration system allowed it and in fact facilitated the entry of these men, making it easy for them to get here. Many of the hijackers gained access to the country under the Student Visa system, which gives Visas away like candy.
Fix the problem by overhauling the immigration system, changing Homeland Security to deal with the terrorist threat, and changing foreign policy to fight terrorism long term (by reshaping Muslim perception of the U.S. and fighting extremism)? Right?
NO! None of that was done.... Instead, The U.S. launched two wars (one large war) under the flawed strategy of fighting terrorism with Conventional Military power...which doesn't work.
The Visa system is still a huge vulnerability for the U.S.
Now over the past couple of weeks, we learn of a high level Taliban member who has been given access to the U.S. and who is now attending Yale University. What is going on America?
Friday, March 24, 2006
This is just like the facade that the Republicans put up about Pakistan, where it is o.k. to gang rape women, among other disturbing things. The U.S. acts as if these things are not happening.
This is one more example of Bush administration policies, speeches, and rhetoric not matching up with the facts. But then again, they will probably try to convince Americans that this is not actually happening, and what we are actually seeing and hearing is all an illusion, created by the news media, just like in Iraq.
Now this man in Afghanistan probably will not be executed...but this is likely because the whole world is watching. The fact that he was even brought before a court should be troubling enough.
America has a widening credibility problem because of this kind of hypocrisy.
Follow the story here, and also here.
From the LA Times
Bush's Requests for Iraqi Base Funding Make Some Wary of Extended Stay
By Peter Spiegel, Times Staff Writer
March 24, 2006
WASHINGTON — Even as military planners look to withdraw significant numbers of American troops from Iraq in the coming year, the Bush administration continues to request hundreds of millions of dollars for large bases there, raising concerns over whether they are intended as permanent sites for U.S. forces.Questions on Capitol Hill about the future of the bases have been prompted by the new emergency spending bill for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives last week with $67.6 billion in funding for the war effort, including the base money.
Although the House approved the measure, lawmakers are demanding that the Pentagon explain its plans for the bases, and they unanimously passed a provision blocking the use of funds for base agreements with the Iraqi government."It's the kind of thing that incites terrorism," Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) said of long-term or permanent U.S. bases in countries such as Iraq. Paul, a critic of the war, is co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill that would make it official policy not to maintain such bases in Iraq. He noted that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden cited U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia as grounds for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.The debate in Congress comes as concerns grow over how long the U.S. intends to keep forces in Iraq, a worry amplified when President Bush earlier this week said that a complete withdrawal of troops from Iraq would not occur during his term.
Follow the rest of this story here....
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOKS OF MY LIFETIME SO FAR, AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOKS TO COME OUT IN THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS.
Everyone should read this book. The book is along the same lines of a manuscript that I have started. Author Kevin Phillips is a prophetic writer, along the lines of Dr. Zinn, Dr. Cornel West and others, except this author comes from the Republican side.
This should be required reading for every American.
Check out an interview of the Author, by Lou Dobbs. http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/03/21.html#a7601
For more information about the book and the author, see story and interview by Amy Goodman. Click video/audio links at top of page.
Another detailed report comes from NPR. Click audio link.
Official website for the Book and Author can be found here.
I stated that before the war even began. I knew that U.S. troops would have to be in Iraq for AT LEAST 5 years.
I also found it a little strange & interesting that he gave his rare press conference around 9 or 10AM when people would most likely be settling in at work, or still asleep...
Presidential Press Conferences are almost always held during prime time.... dinner time, when the American public can actually see the President. lol Interesting.
I am amazed that we still have dumb Americans who connect the war in Iraq to 9/11, when most educated people agree that there is no such connection because there is no link between the two events. There is also no logical link between Iraq and the so called "War On Terrorism".
I am also amazed that many Americans still believe that you can fight terrorism with Military power... when this is absolutely false. I knew that would be a failed approach from the start. It's like using a giant flame thrower to kill an ant. The use of military power has actually had the opposite affect, as I thought it would. Terrorism has grown over the past 5 years, because of U.S. foreign policy.
Follow story here... Bush declaring that U.S. troops will be in Iraq for years.
In my opinion, the Democrats have been guilty of the same thing. That is why I call the government Republicrats, because both parties are pretty much the same to me. The show host does a good job of not letting this Democrat Congress Woman off the hook. But I agree that the corruption we see now is on a new level that is unprecedented.
Follow Story here... Click audio links at top of page.
O'Conner states that the independence of judges to make decisions freely without intimidation and threat may become a thing of the past.
In my opinion, the U.S. is entering new territory. This fits a pattern of other events that show how the country is creeping further into something unrecognizable... like a third world religious country... like the former Taliban in Afganistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, or Iran. In our case, the push towards this new chaos, where rule of law is replaced by religious and emotional rule, is being led by the Christian Right Wing (Republicans).
This is part of a larger war against the judicial branch by Religious Right Wing Conservatives. They are at war with the judicial branch throughout Federal and State governments, impacting numerous judges. During the Terri Schiavo controversy, the judge in that case was threated several times. Luckily arrests were made. But the Religious Right-wing nuts have shown no signs of let up. In fact, they have become more active. This is creating a dangerous situation for the country.
They are at war with the judicial branch because this is the only branch of government that they do not yet control. The judicial branch is the only thing standing in the way of their complete dominance over the lives of Americans.
Follow the latest story here... incredible & frightening story showing where the country is headed!! I had to reassure myself that this was still the United States of America...After all, we usually hear about this kind of sick stuff in chaotic third world countries. In places like Columbia, Mexico, Egypt, Turkey, Central America, and Africa, judges and opposition figures are routinely murdered by those in power. Could this now be in the cards for the United States? All indications show that this kind of lunacy, led by Right Wing Christian terrorists, is not far off for the U.S.
This is further proof of the religious radical country that the U.S. is becoming.
Health of troops put at risk once again.
Were thousands of troops and civilians stationed at a U.S. military base in Iraq exposed to contaminated water? The answer is yes, according to whistle-blowers testifying before Congress today.
Kellogg Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton Co., has a long-term, multibillion-dollar contract with the U.S. military to provide logistical support to personnel in Iraq. The Senate Democratic Policy Committee is looking into allegations that KBR failed to act on reports of water problems at Camp Ar Ramadi, also known as Camp Junction City, and home to more than 5,000 troops. This is not the first time the company, once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, has come under scrutiny. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., who chaired today's session, held several public inquiries into Halliburton's practices last year.
Continue reading here...
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
This is one of the main reasons why this country is in the situation that it finds itself in today. War has been packaged for the American people as entertainment. Americans don't really know war, or real pain and suffering; certainly not as a nation. They see war through the lense of American corporate media. Americans don't see the death and destruction that they cause. This makes it easier for Americans to have an apathetic attitude, or we don't give a damn attitude about how U.S. policies impact other people around the world. War has been turned into a video game for these people. The human part of war has been taken out of the discussion for most Americans.
She also talks about the lack of independent reporting, and how the consolidation of media companies is quickly eliminating a diversity of viewpoints. This leads to tunnel vision or "group-think" in American news reporting, where everyone in the industry is trying to report the same thing and seem eager to report the government view rather than engaging in real reporting and challenging such information. This is what reporting is supposed to be about, but sadly, this is not what is happening in the U.S. right now. This has basically led to a State Run media system in the United States.
Direct Link for the video:
Broadband (fast connections)
Dial-up (slower connections)
Read findings of recent report here... and here.
Also, a report from ABC online....
He talks about the controversy with the King family.... why did the King Family sacrifice their integrity?
Amy Goodman has the story... Click the audio or video links.
Topics: Gang activity inside of the U.S. military, and New Orleans.
Click audio link
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Passive Holocaust In Africa Continues
The behavior of the international community towards Africa over the last few years, especially by the Western Powers, has left no doubt in my mind about how the world views Africans. Black Africans are viewed by the world community, especially by whites, as being of lesser value. The world outside of the African continent does not even see Africans as being human beings. This is especially the case in America. I am just telling the truth on the matter. They don't even see Africans as equal to animals.
*We have AIDS in Africa where 6,000 people die daily. The Western drug companies have only recently begun to allow drugs into Africa in large quantities. But still, the drugs are often unaffordable to many. And Western powers, specifically the U.S., which spends billions of dollars in Iraq each month, can't seem to find the money for helping to save the lives of Africans.
*We have thousands dying in Darfur, and Congo. The U.S. even referred to it for what it is- a genocide. After World War II, the famous slogan that was created regarding the slaughter of the Jews was "Never Again". When there was a hint of genocide in Yugoslavia, the Western Powers mobilized quickly and took decisive measures- not that I supported the war there, because there were other options. They were so much in a hurry to save Europe that they skipped over incremental steps and went straight to the war option. Yet when there is genocide in Africa such as in Sierra Leone, where people (children included) were getting their hands and feet chopped off or were getting murdered, the world looked away. The world also looked away in Rwanda, where 800,000 people were slaughtered. Madeline Halfbright worked feverishly...... to avoid calling it a "genocide" so that the U.S. would not have to act. They knew that by calling it genocide, they would be obligated to act based on their earlier promises and slogans. helping in Rwanda would not have even required many U.S. troops. It only needed a couple of thousand U.S. troops and some of out heavy firepower, to help lead OTHER nations into Rwanda. What was needed most was not necessarily firepower (the weapons that the Western powers could have brought in would have been more than enough to restore order). What was needed was the legal authority from the UN to act and the logistical (supply and management) support for the General in charge. But they set things up so that they could avoid the issue. Western powers abandoned their own UN General.
Of course, they went to Rwanda afterwards and gave the same sorry, empty promise- "Never again". Yet here we are again...and they are ignoring it, even when they admit (this time) that it is a genocide. Between 2000 & 3000 people died in a civil war in Kosovo over a 2 year period, and the world moved very quickly in 1999- nearly causing a world war in the process. On the other hand, tens of thousands of black Africans die, and after 3 years, Western countries are still debating, trying to rationalize the worth of black Africans as human beings, and playing with lives. Something is seriously wrong with the Souls of American and European whites. What kills me is that these are the folks always talking about how Christian they are and how they hold up Christian values. I often wonder if they ever read their bibles on their own or if half of them can even read at all. But I do wonder if they read their bibles by themselves, without a Preacher reading the words to them, telling them what to read and how to interpret the passages. I really don't believe that they are reading their bibles at home on their own without study books or Preachers notes telling them how they should interpret the words.
*We have a drought affecting Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and other parts of Africa, but the world continues to take the attitude of "Oh well... they're just Africans". Instead of responding to the sense of urgency to help the hundreds of thousands of people affected, the Western Powers allow the UN Food Agency to run low on money.
*Instead of a response, or even coverage of these issues, we are fed more nonsense about who is sleeping with who in Hollywood, who wore what dress to the Grammy Awards or the Academy Awards, the latest Spring fashions, etc. Americans hear more about Celebrity garbage, than the more important pressing issues. This is why Americans are so dumb...to put it bluntly. What is even worse about the whole thing is that Americans are O.K. with being dumb and left in the dark by both the media and by their government. All the reports about U.S. government secrecy and Americans being misinformed should be no shock to anyone who has been paying attention. Americans have themselves to blame.
Not knowing or caring about Africa? This is no surprise. America has a history of forgetting disasters in its own country, as we see with Hurricane Katrina. Once the sensationalization of the earlier coverage loses punch and no longer draws the ratings, and once the overblown stories of rape and murder in parts of New Orleans end and the real stories begin, the news media leaves. Hmmmm
I cannot say that this is simply about race, because the news media also left other parts of the Gulf Coast outside of New Orleans. There are thousands of whites from Louisiana through Mississippi and Alabama who were also abandoned by the media and corporate America (insurance companies for one). But race and socio-economics plays a part. And it shows a relationship between Hurricane Katrina and Africa. If a country forgets its own people, then it should be no surprise that it doesn't even see Africa. Or maybe I should put it this way.... Americans only see Africa if diamonds or oil are involved. And this goes for American blacks as well. There are tons of American blacks who would much rather buy a pair of $120-$160 shoes or spend thousands on chrome or gold plated wheels for their ignorant thug mobiles, or spend thousands on stereo equipment for their vehicles than to help their own brothers and sisters in Africa. The lifestyle of many (not all) in the so-called "African American Community" is disgraceful. At least in the 70's and 80's young blacks were conscious about Africa. We may not have had much money, but what we did was meaningful. Blacks (especially the college students) held rallies, boycotted companies, wrote, did benefits, did conscious music, etc. The point is, we did something. TODAY, many young blacks are mainly concerned with their car wheels, clothes, or the latest ignorant rap song or music video. Sickening how far American blacks have regressed. financially and materially there are a few more who are doing better, but in terms of mental consciousness and education, American blacks are regressing.
When will the world see Africans as human beings and do something?
How many more people have to die?
Now yes, I know we go through these cycles with Africa. But why are they always in need? Because Western powers (whether purposely or not) have not helped these African countries become 21st century industrialized nations. Western powers have not even helped these African countries become 20th century nations for that matter.
Western powers have not helped to build infrastructures in Africa that would allow these countries to be self sustaining. That includes building roads, schools, finding or educating teachers, building a medical system with good doctors and nurses, putting in plumbing, communications, self sustaining or renewable energy, electrical power, establishing a water supply that could be self sustaining, helping Africans to develop a more efficient Agriculture system & train them how to grow crops more effectively and with more of a variety, and most importantly taking advantage of all the excess labor in Africa by bringing jobs to Africa and more economic investment. Help them to establish their own economies. Why not put black Africans to work in poor African countries, in jobs that could provide a living wage? Why not put computers in every major school or in as many as possible? Once this kind of infrastructure is built, they won't need as much help from the world. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.
All of these things could be done. We have the technology to do everything that I listed. What has been missing is the will to do it. If the world would have started a robust program of infrastructure building and economic development 20 or 30 years ago, Africa would be in a much better position. But instead, the situation has been allowed to fester into a catastrophe. This is mostly due to a lack of leadership from the United States, which has become a perfect example lately of lack of leadership in the world.
More on Darfur.
To learn more about Rwanda and the worlds disgraceful reaction, check out the PBS documentary on Rwanda which can be viewed online.
(Best viewed using the Realplayer option).
If you have not seen the movie "Hotel Rwanda" it is a must see for everyone.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
MILES DAVIS IMMORTALIZED
Miles Davis, one of my favorite artists, and from my hometown, entered the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame this week. He was an artist in the true sense of the word. Able to play trumpet, French horn, piano, and other instruments, a great improvisationalist, and avid painter and drawer.
On top of all that, he was the most important figure in jazz in the last half of the 20th century, and as we get further into a new century, he is still one of the most influential figures in jazz. Miles Davis was and is still an institution. Playing with Miles became a prized training ground for many artists. He was a key figure in the development of dozens of jazz musicians and helped to launch many careers 40, 30, 20 years ago. Many of these artists are still playing today. Many iconic musicians have done this in the past, but the only ones who come remotely close to Miles in doing so were Duke Ellington, and Louis Armstrong, mostly during the first half of the 20th century. Another thing that makes Miles different in helping to develop musicians is that Miles' band members ended up being so great in their own right. The list of musicians guided and influenced by Miles is long... but include Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Wallace Roney,
John Coltrane, Paul Chambers, Tony Williams, Ron Carter, Julian "Cannonball" Adderly, Chick Corea, John Mclaughlin, Jack Dejohnette, & Philly Joe Jones, just to name a few.
He was one of the first Jazz artists to push bounderies with Rock & Roll & Funk, essentially leading to the creation of Jazz-Rock Fusion, Electric Jazz, and Contemporary Jazz (what we hear today). He let the jazz world know that the rules had changed and that it was alright to go outside of the traditional jazz box.
He has already been immortalized many times, just by his work. This is yet another honor. He is making history once again.
Listen to stories from NPR:
A review of a CD box set showcasing 1970's Jazz/Rock/Funk fusion.
Don Cheadle being tapped to play the lead role in a movie about the life of Miles Davis.
Monday, March 13, 2006
Amy Goodman has the story... (Audio or video available)
Hunger in America: 25 million depend on emergency food aid
By Alan Whyte
9 March 2006
The brutal impact of social polarization and the protracted assault on the living standards of broad masses of working people was reflected in two recent reports documenting the deepening crisis of hunger in America.
According to the February 23 report, “Hunger in America 2006,” a study commissioned by America’s Second Harvest Network, an organization representing some 200 food banks and food rescue groups, more than 25 million people, or about 9 percent of all Americans, receive food assistance on an emergency basis.
This growing army of poor and hungry includes nearly 9 million children and 3 million seniors The overall number of those seeking help at food banks and soup lines has swelled by 8 percent since 2001, and 18 percent since 1997. The study was based on 52,000 interviews with people requiring emergency food and on a survey of 30,000 local emergency hunger-relief agencies.The report found that about 66 percent of those needing food are living below the official poverty line—$15,670 per year for a family of three. The average annual household income of those individuals and families seeking food assistance is only $10,320. However, 10 percent of all adults had no income at all, which is a 37 percent increase in this category since 2001.Another large share of those seeking assistance is drawn from what is commonly referred to as the working poor. About one third of the adults between the ages of 18 and 65 needing emergency food aid are employed. Thirty-six percent of all families seeking assistance reported that at least one family member was working. One fourth of all households reported that a job was their primary source of income, followed by 20 percent who reported that Social Security was their primary source of income.
Half of all the households reported annual incomes of less than $10,000.The report examined the lack of resources for those seeking emergency food. Twelve percent are homeless, which is a 28 percent increase over 2001. Almost one half do not have access to a car, and about one third obtain food stamps, which on average last only 2.5 weeks per month.Seventy percent of those seeking assistance are classified as food insecure—that is, not knowing when they will get their next meal—while 30 percent are experiencing hunger because they have no way of obtaining food. The individuals who seek emergency food are constantly making choices between buying food or paying for utilities or heat (41 percent), buying food and paying their rent or mortgage (35 percent), or buying food and paying medical bills (32 percent).
Read more here...
This is a raw deal because this should be a time when the U.S. should be strengthening the NPT- The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This treaty was created over 3 decades ago and it was signed by most industrialized powers in the world at the time. It is the bedrock of the worlds nuclear security law, designed to ensure that countries that did not already have nuclear weapons capability would not seek it, and that the powers that already had such technology would eventually work to reduce their weapons and would work to get rid of them altogether. The U.S., Russia, and a few others have not lived up to their promises and obligations regarding the NPT. India was not a part of the NPT. But it still sends the wrong message to do this now, at a time when we are trying to convince the Iranians and the North Koreans to end their nuclear programs. This will make any negotiations that much harder- nearly impossible. But this falls in line with the pattern that the U.S. has shown all along.... that it really does not seem interested in a peaceful settlement with Iran or N. Korea. This would be another way to hinder negotiations so that RepubliCrats can have an excuse to start another war. Wars help their friends who control the Military Industrial Complex in this country. This is why the defense industry is the biggest deal in the country right now in terms of the economy.
But this is a sensitive time in terms of nuclear proliferation in the world. In the last 8 years or so, India and Pakistan completed development of their first working nuclear weapons and demonstrated the existence of these weapons with dramatic tests of nuclear devices that caught the world by surprise. Now N. Korea is attempting or threatening to obtain nuclear weapons technology. And Iran is indicating (although not admitting) that it is attempting to go in the same direction.
By making this deal with India, it tells other countries that the U.S. is not serious about non-proliferation. It also tells these countries that there is a reward for obtaining nuclear weapons technology. It tells members of the treaty that they got a bad deal by signing it. They may believe that if they would have done like India and not supported signing the treaty, perhaps they would be in a stronger position. At the same time, it tells countries that are becoming strong developing nations and who are not yet part of the treaty that it is not in their interest to sign it.
This is one of those cases that will become more clear in the next 3, 5, or 10 years. Yet another blunder by the Bush administration IMO. One of many.
Here is a washington post story on the U.S. nuclear deal with India.
Boys of Baraka: recommended documentary film about boys from inner city Baltimore who are given an opportunity to escape their environment. 76% of African American boys in Baltimore do not finish school???!!!! This is a disaster! Why is there no focus on it?
Trailer found on following page.
Here is a great review from the St. Louis Weekly newspaper “The Riverfront Times”.
Listen to a short reoort from the "On The Media" Public radio program.
Recap on Dubai Port Deal
Monday, March 13, 2006
5-10 second delay between opening remarks and start of commentary. Please wait.
More hypocrisy from the Bush administration about American Energy policy. But hypocrisy has become the norm.
March 8, 2006
March 7, 2006
If the company had not withdrawn, I am still convinced that the U.S. Congress would have eventually allowed the deal to pass. All indications showed one Congress member after another backing off from the idea of blocking the deal. This gives me no new confidence about the American political system. In fact, this situation highlights even more the need for more national political parties and the need to allow the public to decide important issues like these through a national referendum.
I want the chance to (formally) study what I am really interested in- and that is International Studies. Basically I keep myself informed about the issues, and have taken some coursework...but never entered a full program.
So I am looking at a possible certificate program in International Affairs at Washington University in St. Louis.
I can't seem to stay away from school.
This has been a long week. I even have to work tomorrow...ON MY "DAY OFF".
Didn't have time (or energy) to write this week. Everytime I wanted to write, I would get too tired.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Here the voices that have previously been muted, even from the American debate. This is insight that you cannot get from mainstream corporate, government influenced news in the U.S.
Follow story here...
Both can be viewed online. Best viewed using Realplayer option.
This first documentary is brand new.
"The Insurgency" about the war in Iraq. Can the insurgency be defeated, and how?
This next documentary is from a couple of years back....
"Is Wal-Mart Good For America?"
Look through my archives (January) to find other documentaries that I have posted.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
The fact that this guy is a criminal, and is thoroughly corrupt seems to have no impact on their vote.This was just a primary vote...but in heavily republican Texas, that IS the vote, because there is no democratic opposition. Many of the seats in Texas (and most of the Southern U.S.) go uncontested. How's that for "Democracy".
The U.S. is about as democratic as Iran.
Read story here...
House party called ‘insensitive’
CMSU suspends fraternity
By MARÁ ROSE WILLIAMS
The Kansas City Star
A fraternity has been kicked off the Central Missouri State University campus after administrators learned that students held a “racially insensitive” party around Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The January event, called a “chicken and beer” party, was held at Alpha Kappa Lambda’s housing complex, which is on university property and considered university housing. A three-week university investigation found that the party mocked the national King holiday, established to honor the slain African-American civil rights leader.
According to an editorial in the Muleskinner, the student newspaper, those who attended the party were told to show up dressed as a black person. Participants came wearing doo-rags and baggy pants and carrying chains, then drank beer from 40-ounce bottles and ate fried chicken. The fraternity’s national headquarters suspended it on Thursday and is taking steps to cancel the chapter’s charter, said Jeremy Slivinski, executive director of the national fraternity.
“We do find that the incident was racially insensitive,” Slivinski said. “And the house is supposed to be alcohol-free. They violated a risk-management policy.”
University officials said that before the suspension, the fraternity had the right to apply for student activity funds but that no university money was used to pay for the party.
Suspension means that the fraternity will no longer be permitted to participate in campus events as a social organization and no longer has access to campus funds. Alpha Kappa Lambda has been on the CMSU campus for 50 years. Slivinski said alumni of the CMSU chapter are “disappointed in the choices our men made and deeply sorry for any offense that might have been taken.
“We will not tolerate this kind of action by our undergraduates,” he said. On Friday, university officials began moving students in the 31-member fraternity from their house into residence halls on campus.
University officials are continuing an investigation and said there may be further disciplinary action against some students involved. Walt Hicklin, interim vice president for student affairs, said the university promotes a “healthy multicultural environment.”
Link to story:
Sunday, March 05, 2006
It's embarrassing really. That's why I never went to see the movie.
Hustle And Flow is a perfect example of why I don't identify with so called popular "Black Culture"....I HATE IT! I don't think that I like anything about it. And I hate being lumped into a group based on my skin tone. It's so disrespectful. No other ethnicities in this country have to go through such issues regarding racial identity and being boxed into some category based on race.
And it's interesting how Hollywood & the Tony Awards never seem to notice other great black performances....more positive performances (I can name countless performances from Poitier, Morgan Freeman, Halle Berry, Denzel Washington and others that basically went unnoticed).... but they seem to notice and recognize the performances that show blacks in negative stereotypical roles, as ignorant, as sex objects, etc. The institutional racism is pretty obvious at this point. I wonder if Black Hollywood will ever stand up to say anything about it. What's even worse is that there are black folks who support this kind of material. Blacks often tend to join in and celebrate the degradation of their own image. It is no wonder why kids in the inner city aspire to be pimps, NBA players, Football players, drug dealers, playboys, models, sex objects, video girls, rappers, etc. These have become the virtues of "Black Americas" urban youth. The impact of these negative stereotypical images goes deeper than the CD's and the movie theaters. It affects how blacks view themselves, and how White America (and the world) perceives blacks in this country.
Here is the link for this roundtable discussion:
They discuss "Hustle and Flow" at the end of their segment. Just click the audio icon. This is the movie that Hollywood will be celebrating. (I get sick just thinking about it). I don't watch awards shows.... American awards organizations lost any sense of "art" a long time ago.
They are begging rich white folks in Washington D.C., who don't give a damn about their right to vote, to renew something that never lived up to its original promise in the first place. They act as if this piece of legislation really gave them a fair vote. Instead, they should think big and demand real voting reform in this country- such as:
1. Standardized voting across the country.
2. Demanding an end to the 50 separate and unequal votes in the State by State voting system.
3. More national political parties so that the 300 million people in this country could be better represented and balance could be brought into the system currently run by two thoroughly corrupt organizations.
4. Demand that votes are actually counted.
5. Demand that votes are counted by non-partisan election officials.
6. Voter verification and ballot verification.
7. A Nationwide voter registration system....or at least Statewide systems. This would allow voters to vote anywhere in the State that they choose...no more designated polling places...which is outdated policy. This would prevent the problem of the same person voting twice at different locations.
8. Allow people to register to vote at more locations...including the neighborhood grocery store, Walgreens, Banks, Drivers License offices, Public Libraries, Colleges/Universities, etc. Voting and voter registration should be as easy and convenient as possible.
9. Have a popular vote for President.
10. Stop voting on Tuesdays. Saturday or Sunday voting should be the new norm.
Black elites should be fighting for these things and more. Instead, they are begging for the weak system that we have had for the past 40 years to be reinstated. That is nonsense! The same voting rights act that they are begging for was almost never enforced.
*Throughout the 1990's, when Republicans were able to dominate the media and manipulate voting- The Voting Rights Act was in place. Didn't help.
*In 2000, We all know what happened there. All sorts of trickery all over the country, especially in Florida with partisan voting officials controlling the vote, votes not being counted, votes thrown out, ballot tampering, bags of ballots thrown in the trash or missing, vote rigging of various kinds, entire areas where votes were thrown out, and an election that would have gone to the other candidate had all the votes been handled properly. THE SAME VOTING RIGHTS ACT WAS IN PLACE. It didn't make one bit of difference. The election was STILL a fraud with the Voting Rights Act in place. Didn't help!
*2002, more Republican trickery allowed Republicans to gain even more seats in the U.S. Congress. One of the main tricks used was changing the bounderies of the voting districts...called redistricting, in a way that gave Republicans an advantage. Now, most Congressional seats have no serious competition, and run uncontested due to all the redistricting that has taken place. This is an example that shows how far the U.S. is from being a real Democracy. THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT WAS IN PLACE in 2002. But to no avail. It didn't help.
*2004, Even more political trickery occurred in 04. Ohio and other States like Florida, have Secretaries of State who are responsible for counting the votes, but these same people are also the chairpersons for one of the political parties involved in the election. International Observers (the OSCE) were shocked to learn about this system in 2004. Then there were all of the scandals regarding voters being turned away, fraudulent organizations working for the Republican party, posing as independent voter registration groups but were really throwing away voter registration cards made by Democrats... all sorts of undemocratic behavior took place during the 2004 election season..., in particular a lot of media manipulation of the voters. ALL TAKING PLACE WHILE THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT WAS IN FORCE. Didn't help.
*In 2006 and 2008, you will see the same nonsense.... culminating in a fake ceremony that Americans take part in every 2-4 years, giving themselves the illusion of being a Democracy, without actually being one.
*The Voting Rights Act hasn't done a goddamn thing to guarantee or protect my vote. And even if it did, what good does it do to protect a vote within a larger broken, corrupt, un-democratic system?
Black Elites...wake up and stop thinking small! Shut Up about the Voting Rights Act and push for real Democracy.
Currently, foreign countries manage our debt, the U.S. relies on foreign energy sources, foreign labor, foreign port operators, foreign vendors of various kinds, etc.
Republicans constantly preach about how well they handle security, but that just doesn't match the reality of what it taking place.
How much more will the U.S. give away?
U.S. defense interests to be taken over by Dubai organization. Part of a strange pattern.
This study also points out something even more troublesome. It shows that 90% of soldiers believe that the Iraq war was retaliation for 9/11. This shows just how misinformed, uninformed, uneducated, and misled, and really brainwashed these soldiers are.
It has been made clear on several occasions, and by several different entities (including the F.B.I., CIA, and the 9/11 Commission) that Iraq was not responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Yet, the right leaning media, especially FOX news, helped to perpetuate this lie by suggesting that there was a link between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks. This was a major reason that this ignorance was allowed to fester among the American public, especially among the troops.
If you were someone who was not familiar with the world before 9/11, you could easily get confused about what was going on afterwards. This is what happened with the troops. The fact that 90% still hold that view is really troubling.
U.S. troops should be more educated and more aware of the world. This just supports the idea that most of these guys (and girls) really have no clue of where or why they are fighting and dying. That's the problem with allowing recruiters into U.S. High Schools. We put kids into schools that don't teach civics, don't teach world geo-politics, don't teach international relations, don't teach foreign policy, don't teach world history, don't teach world geography, don't teach world religion and culture, yet we allow them to be hunted by these recruiters who send them to wars that they, in turn, don't understand because the same system that sent them, has not educated them. This condition actually makes it easier for the recruiters to recruit these young people (in addition to other reasons such as a weak, hollow economy that operates off the backs of the working poor). It's almost as if the U.S. education system is designed to breed soldiers...soldiers who won't ask questions....because they have been miseducated and bred not to be curious. That's how it appears to me. Why else have they not educated young Americans? They know that with proper education, fewer will want to join the military. This is true because on one hand, such students would presumably have more options for higher education, and on the other hand, students will be more reluctant to join due to a more skeptical conscience brought about by their educational experience. If you're running a military industrial complex and you need warm American bodies to fill uniforms, one of the main things that you would want to do is dumb down the masses, so that they would be less resistant to joining, fighting wars and accepting propaganda. This is in fact what has happened to young Americans. They have been turned into little more than pieces of military equipment on a conveyor belt; almost dehumanized, in order to become these easily trainable fighting machines.
For Information on this Zogby Poll, here is a summary of the report.
An additional article from Zogby.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Filmmaker Kevin Willmot, takes a no holds barred look at Slavery and the social implications of a Southern victory. It's a mockumentary, but still carries a strong message.
Watch trailers and get other information at the films website. Also get information from another official website for the film- from the film company, IFC Films.
And I don't give a damn if I offend right wing Southerners. Kevin Willmot is speaking the truth in his own way here. Hell, you have millions of Conservative Whites who are STILL MAD about the South not winning the civil war.
I wish that it would have taken a closer look at radio shows, where Conservatives dominate by a a much wider margin.