Thursday, March 30, 2006

War Against Women

Housewives are happier than women who work outside the home, or so we were told by a recent study. There is just one problem. The study's findings are different from every other study on the subject. Alternet points out the following.

"Over the past 15 years, some 20 studies have looked at the association between women's employment and earnings and their marital happiness. These studies have involved different samples of people and different methods of arriving at results. But they all tell the same story: Employed women are as happy (and perhaps happier) in their marriages as non-employed women and having an income generally improves a woman's marital happiness."

How politically expedient to quote a study whose results are different from every other study, at the precise moment that women are being told to go back to the 1950s. Be afraid, be very afraid when supposedly scientific work backs up the right wing agenda.
Bring Me Your Tired and Your Poor

Los Angeles is not known as a city where people are prone to take to the streets. When I heard that a crowd estimated to be at least 500,000 strong assembled there to protest anti-immigrant legislation, I had to sit up and take notice.

Frankly, I see nothing wrong with immigration, legal or otherwise. I laugh when I see Lou Dobbs go on his rants about undocumented workers. When Dobbs' ancestors came from whatever part of Europe they hail from, did they phone ahead and get permission from the Iroquois and the Sioux? Of course they didn't.

You see, there is a lot of karma going on here. The parts of the country that now comprise Texas, California, Nevada, Utah and parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Wyoming were all part of Mexico. The US stole that huge amount of land, half of Mexico's territory, in a war waged between 1846 and 1848. When immigrants sneak across the border, they are just going back to their old neighborhood.

If the often quoted figure of 11 million undocumented immigrants is correct, then it is no small matter to send them home. Be careful what you ask for. Eleven million people pay a hell of a lot of sales tax. They rent a lot of apartments and buy a lot of houses. Many of them are in fact tax payers. If the 500,000 who protested in LA show the extent of immigration in that state, then California would lose a lot if they all left.

If you are ever tempted to complain about immigration, just think of the poor Indians when they saw boats land at Plymouth Rock. You have a lot less to complain about than they did.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

War Against Black Women

"Even after controlling for socioeconomic status and disease stage, African-American women were 19 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than white women."

There is always a war against all black people. It exists because beliefs in white supremacy still exist. Once again yet another study shows that black people have to be on their guard wherever they go, including the doctor's office.

Black women are being seriously under treated for breast cancer. A study of breast cancer patients in New York City hospitals in 1999 and 2000 indicated the following.

They found that minority women were only 50 percent as likely as white women to receive adjuvant treatment, even though they had similar rates of referrals to oncologists.
The likelihood of under-use of adjuvant treatment was 34 percent among black women, 23 percent among Hispanic women and 16 percent among white women.

I'm not going to waste my time pondering this issue. Too many white people still feel superior to non-white people and so they treat non-white people badly. Case closed, end of discussion. I'm not going to pretend that a mystery exists when it doesn't.
War Against Women

Much has been made of the news that 7 women died after using RU-486, the abortion pill. Very little has been said about the 69 American men who have died because they wanted to have erections. Yes, viagra can kill.

Fewer women die from abortions of all kinds than die from complications of child birth. Scary stats on the abortion pill are an attempt to outlaw abortion, which is meant to punish women for having sex.

There are many people who believe that the fetus is a person, but most of those who want abortion to be illegal want to keep girls in there place and that means punishing them for being sexually active. Check out this chart (scroll down) and you will see what I mean.
More Bush Lies, More Press Obedience

"And when he [Saddam Hussein] chose to deny the inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. "
George W. Bush, March 21, 2006

That statement is an out and out bold-faced lie. Hussein gave UN weapons inspectors unlimited access to Iraq in November 2002. They found no WMD of any kind because Hussein destroyed his stock piles in 1991 before the first Gulf War. I knew that. The millions who marched around the world three years ago knew that. Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rumsfeld and Rice knew it too. The press knew that. Sorry, they are apparently out of the loop. Bush keeps lying and they keep acting like stenographers, obediently taking down his every word without question.

The occupation of Iraq has now lasted nearly as long as America's involvement in World War II. Despite the destruction of that nation there is still no political opposition worth mentioning. Despite the opposition of a majority of Americans Bush made it clear that he wasn't contemplating a troop withdrawal. Why should he? No one is standing in his way.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Harold Ford Jr. Is Worse Than I Thought

photo - Memphis Commercial Appeal

"If you're not going to stand up for your mother, then who are you going to stand up for?"
Barbara Ford Branch

I have no use for Ford, none whatsoever. He is a political prostitute, publicly expressing his love for George Bush and supporting an end to social security.

Now we know that he is willing to lie about his own grand mother for political gain. Ford Sr. and now Harold Ford Jr., claim that family matriarch Vera Ford, pictured above, was white.

Sorry. That is not the photograph of a white woman. Fortunately, at least one of her descendants is honest. Barbara Ford Branch is quite adamant that her mother was a black woman and is calling out her own nephew. Good for her.

Ford Sr. and Jr. are asking us to believe that a white person would pass for black in an era when to put it mildly, there was no incentive to do so. Hmmm. I suppose anything is possible, but Ford has proven that the legal theory is true. Liar in one thing, liar in all.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

War Against Women

OK girls, get back in your place. South Dakota has banned the few abortions that took place there. The state of Missouri will no longer fund birth control clinics that serve poor women. Every week the New York Times tells us that women want to go back to the kitchen. What is going on?

The consolidation of power by the American right wing means that Iraq has been occupied, colonized and used as a cash cow for corporations. It means that we can say goodbye to fair elections. It means that the corporate media bows to conservative ideology. It means that museums that claim to promote science apologize for teaching Darwin. Even HBO has gotten in on the act. They are presenting a new series that tells us polygamy is a good thing. Yikes.

Right wing domination also means that anyone who was subservient to white men has to assume their old position. The right wing, even right wing women, extol the virtues of submissive women and guys who keep them that way. Women make less than men because they want to, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, housewives are happier than women who work outside the home, etc.

It is sad that few women are willing to speak about discrimination against them. Today's New York Times has an article about women at law firms. Why do so few make partner? Gee, I don't know. Could it be discrimination? You think?

I will now be on the look out for war against women stories. Stay tuned.
The Trouble with Irshad Manji

Is Irshad Manji supportive of Israel’s continued occupation of Palestine? In a New York Times op-ed on March 18, 2006 entitled, “How I Learned to Love the Wall” her answer appears to be yes. Actually, the title tells us all we need to know.

Ms. Manji is making a name for herself as the “go to person” on Islam, kind of like a Muslim Henry Louis Gates. You know the type. The New York Times and the rest of the corporate media maintain a hotline to their cell phones. In return for joining the punditocracy, they tell the media and the politicians what they want to hear about the group they claim to represent. They always give the powers that be a pass. It is a good deal for Manji, Gates and their ilk.

In her op-ed Manji condemns suicide bombing, as she ought to do. However, she is struck dumb on the subject of deaths caused by the occupiers. She says nothing about bull dozed homes, nothing about babies dying in childbirth when their mothers in labor were not allowed to pass through check points. She says nothing about the Israeli violence that has killed Palestinians. Manji neglects to mention that Israel knew as early as 1967 that the occupation was illegal.

The occupation of Palestine is a violation of Israeli law, international law and of human rights. It doesn’t matter that Manji is a Muslim. Her support for the occupation tells us that she is more concerned with vilifying certain segments of the Muslim community than she is in speaking out against oppression. That is the trouble with Irshad Manji.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Thanks Left Edge North
“[Merton Center} holds daily leaflet distribution activities in downtown Pittsburgh and is currently focused on its opposition to the potential war on Iraq.”

Who is a terrorist? According to the FBI, it is anyone opposed to Bush administration policy. The quote above is from a FBI memo that confirms spying took place against a Pittsburgh peace group in 2002. Keep thatt in mind when Bush says he is only spying on terrorists.
New Civil War

In this week's Black Commentator I note the beginnings of a new movement for succession. South Dakotans succeeded from the rest of the country when they outlawed abortion. Yes, it is that serious. We are facing assaults on our rights on a state by state basis. In Missouri, the GOP controlled legislature voted to ban state funding of birth control services. It looks like this war is targeting women first.

By the way, I have to thank Alternet for picking up my BC commentary.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

More Dead Iraqis

Only Nixon in the midst of Watergate had lower approval ratings than Bush has now. Every poll shows his approval ratings in the 34% range.

The gutless Democrats are still afraid of him. Sen. Feingold's attempt to censure the president because of warrantless surveillance sent his fraidy cat colleagues running for cover. The corporate media tell us that talk of impeachment and censure will energize the Republican base. Who cares? They are his only supporters now anyway. How can anyone fear a president that most of the country can no longer stand?

Today the U.S. military began killing more Iraqis. Operation Swarmer will send bombs onto homes, and mosques and schools. Bodies will be torn apart. Families will be devastated.

Nothing scares the Democrats more than saying no to killing. They always support death and destruction. They will say that the president must be supported at a time of crisis and blah, blah, blah. Killing is a political winner. Even for a loser president.

Operation Swarmer may signal the beginning of the end of U.S. troops in Iraq. It also signals the beginning of a wider war against Iran and no one in a position of power will lift a finger to stop it.
Say Goodbye to Violence

"Every time I know a punch is coming or a gun is about to be blasted in someone's face or the soldier is gut-punching the prisoner or the boxer is about to slam the other guy to the mat in a flurry of spit and blood and disgust, I wince. My body recoils. I cannot help but turn away. I cannot watch. Not anymore."
Mark Morford

Mark Morford is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. In his most recent column he explains why he has decided to turn away from depictions of violence.

I stopped watching The Sopranos a few years ago. I know it is well acted, well written and keeps viewers interested in its characters, all of the ingredients for good drama. Yet I realized that when all was said and done it just glorifies violence and criminality. I don't care who did what to whom. I don't care about the latest cliff hanger. I can't watch a celebration of violence any longer.

If more of us abstained from the ever more desensitizing violence presented by the corporate media we would be better human beings. We couldn't be talked into killing Iraqis or Iranians or whomever else the killer elite targets for death.

I'm glad that Morford took the pledge. The rest of us should too.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

If 300,000 People March, but the Press Doesn't Tell You, Did the March Take Place?

Last Wednesday, March 8th, groups across the country marched, lobbied Congress, and took other actions to protest the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005. In Chicago an estimated 300,000 took to the streets. That estimate comes from the police department, which always low balls numbers of participants in demonstrations.
I don't recall seeing news reports mentioning the demonstration at all, much less the fact that the crowd was at least 300,000 strong.

The bill sponsored by Republican Congressman James Sensenbrenner, would make it a crime to any way assist an illegal immigrant. Don't give illegals a beds to sleep in or bowls of soup. You could end up a Halliburton detention center right along side them. No one will know you are there. The media won't bother to report that the centers exist either.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

The AP thinks it got a big scoop on the Katrina briefing story. What a joke. There is a photo of the briefing on the White House web site. It has been there since August.
Bush Briefing on Katrina

On August 30, 2005 the St. Petersburg Times wrote.

On Saturday night, Mayfield was so worried about Hurricane Katrina that he called the governors of Louisiana and Mississippi and the mayor of New Orleans. On Sunday, he even talked about the force of Katrina during a video conference call to President Bush at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Remember this when the corporate media acts like the briefing is a new story.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bush Knew, and So Did the Corporate Media

On August 28th, President Bush was briefed by the director of the National Hurricane Center that Katrina was going to be a very dangerous storm. He was told about the possibility of a levee breech and the inadequacy of New Orleans evacuation plans. This photo of the video conference is from the White House web site. On September 7th, I told my readers that the President had been briefed.

May I ask why the corporate media is suddenly acting as if this is new information? Am I to believe that the New York Times and the Washington Post and the networks know less than I do? Fat chance.

This is yet another indication of the media's complicity in letting the Bush regime off the hook because they don't want to annoy the powerful. For months we have heard the trite refrain of "all levels of government" failing the Gulf Coast. The federal government failed and continues to fail New Orleans. It is a federal responsibility to deal with a natural disaster of this magnitude.

The sad fact of the matter is that it was too late. Even if the president awoke from his drunk and or medicated stupor, the response would not have been much better. Bush had already destroyed the government infrastructure that would have helped New Orleans. This administration doesn't want a government that helps people. They want government to expand corporate power, make the wealthy wealthier and increase military spending and kill people in the rest of the world. FEMA was emasculated because they don't want a FEMA. They want to privatize every government program that they can and destroy the rest.

The Bush administration won't rebuild New Orleans for the same reason. All of the evacuees should have been housed, in their former homes, by now. Schools and hospitals should have been rebuilt. It won't happen because they don't care about black people (thanks Kanye) and because the devastated New Orleans presents them with their fantasy, a city devoid of needy citizens.

The medicare drug plan is a mess for the same reason. It wasn't developed to help the public. It was made to help big pharmaceutical companies. The legislation specifically prevents the federal government from doing anything to lower drug prices, the way they do now with the Veterans Administration. Well, who knows how long that will last. Bush wouldn't want anything like that as part of his legacy.