Thursday, September 30, 2010

Obama Crushes Black Dissent

“Those who profit from these wars and U.S. support for oppressive governments like Israel and Colombia hope that by having a Black President, it will discourage African Americans from speaking out in protest against these raids, and against attacks on other social justice fighters.” - Black Workers for Social Justice

Barack Obama’s elections is the worst thing that could have happened to black people. Only Obama could raid the homes of peace activists and not expect any opposition from black people. In fact, this Saturday, October 2nd, the One Nation March will bring together progressives to cheer lead for the democratic party when they ought to be making demands on the system. If there aren’t protests against this crushing of dissent, then the left is completely lost.

Obama’s Police State

“U.S. intelligence services know perfectly well that activists like those raided last week barely have the material resources to put out slim periodicals or keep web sites updated. They cannot possibly provide ‘material support’ to ‘terrorists’ unless political statements against war (or silence in a grand jury) can be construed as, somehow, ‘support’ for those the U.S. government deems terroristic. If the aim is to push anti-war and other social activists to the very edge of the cliff, where they will either shut down or fall into the carefully constructed legal abyss – that’s not harassment, that’s a campaign to ‘neutralize’ the Left, in COINTELPRO terms.”

Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report

Obama Crushes the Left

“Now the Prez can declare any group he pleases a ‘terrorist organization’, and ‘material aid’ includes things like responding to an e-mail. So really, this is a policeman's dream. They can pick you up for just about anything.

Not for the first time, I marvel at all my liberal friends, worried about the dire Fascist threat emanating from those poor teabagger loons, while their hero is busy busting down people's doors for engaging in political activity he doesn't like. “

Michael J. Smith, Stop Me Before I Vote Again

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Baptist "Bishops"

I would not set foot in this church. This is a photograph of the Rev. Curtis Edmonds, a “bishop” at St. Marks Missionary Baptist Church in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Three years ago his congregation saw fit to have him dress up like an Anglican or Catholic and consecrate him as a bishop. This is the height of foolishness and idolatry of the most bizarre kind in a denomination which until recently never had a hierarchy at all.

This worship of the preacher has been annoying me for some time, but the Eddie Long scandal led me to speak out about this disgraceful trend. Black people do not have to engage in crazed religiosity and bad performance in church and we should not claim it as our tradition. Religious hustlers are nothing new, but the taboo against critiquing religious belief has silenced us for too long. Eddie Long is the tip of a an iceberg of hucksterism which threatens to kill church life.

People who note and reject this trend are walking away from churches and we are left with ministers/businessmen and people who are so desperate to believe that they give up any power of thought.

By the way, baptists don’t have cathedrals either. The word cathedral does not mean big church building. Cathedrals are seats of bishops in those denominations (catholics, anglicans) who always had bishops as part of their theology. If you see a baptist church calling itself a cathedral, keep it moving. Do not go inside.

“Bishop” Eddie Long

Here is a piece of advice coming from a nice, middle aged, black baptist lady. One of the principles of the baptist faith has always been that we are a non-hierarchical church. All baptist clergy were called reverends, period. COGIC, AMEs and other denominations had bishops, but baptists did not. So you can take these words to the bank. Any baptist minister calling himself  “bishop” is a fraud, a huckster, and a hustler.

The madness infecting our society has not exempted church people. While baptists sudddenly have bishops, many preachers are giving themselves the title Rev. Dr. when in fact they have only honorary doctorates. Have mercy!

I think this foolishness is a symptom of the ongoing collapse of our society. As the military budget saps our resources, as finance capital sucks our economy dry, as public schools are privatized and democrats and republicans become less and less different, people will succumb to bizarre behaviors they never would have considered in the past. The churches and their members will fall just like the rest of society.

Police State in Minnesota

Remember the words "providing material support to terrorists." They explain what took place in Minnesotat yesterday morning. The FBI raided the homes of activists in Minnesota and Chicago.

"The warrant for the raid on Kelly's apartment, in the 1800 block of Riverside Avenue, sought notebooks, address books, photos and maps of Kelly's travels to the Palestinian territories, Colombia and in the United States on behalf of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. It also sought materials on his personal finances and those of the group, on Kelly's 'potential co-conspirators' and recruitment efforts for the group.

The warrant also sought any information about efforts to support FARC, a guerrilla organization in Colombia, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Hezbollah, the political and paramilitary organization based in Lebanon."

The FBI's actions should not be surprising to anyone. Just four days earlier, on September 20, 2010, the Supreme Court upheld a ban on providing "material support" to organizations which the state department has designated as "terrorist," even if that support is conducted through peaceful, legal means.

Mick Kelly and Jessica Sundin say they have done nothing illegal, but they may be wrong about how the law views their actions. The court ruling means that any contact with a group designated as terrorist is in fact against the law and may be punishable by up to fifteen years in prison. Not only were homes raided in Minnesota, but a grand jury has been impaneled in Chicago and individuals in North Carolina and Michigan have been subpoenaed to appear.

We have lost what is left of our legal rights. Our nation is a police state and Barack Obama has continued and solidified this process which began under Clinton and continued with Bush. Yes, I said Clinton. The rules against providing support to terrorists went into effect in 1996 when Bill Clinton was still president. The Patriot Act put the icing on the cake and we have been going down hill ever since.

I for one would not have any contact with a group designated as terrorist. We have no way of knowing when the government will decide it is convenient to enforce these laws. The next Gaza flotilla could be called an effort to support Hamas. Helping striking workers in Colombia could be called support for FARC.

We need to fight back but we also need to watch our backs. We must speak out in support of Kelly, Sundin and the others raided or subpoenaed but we must remember that the game has changed permanently. The old notions of thinking that we have first amendment rights must end. Our activism now requires that we think about the implications of what we do and our readiness to be targeted by our government. We have to think two and three steps ahead to prevent our best people from being taken out by the police state.

On the other hand, I could be wrong too. Perhaps expressing support for these brothers and sisters will be labeled as providing material support for terrorists. If that is the case it may well be time to find a nice place to live as an expatriot.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Black People Just Don't Get It, Part 2

I saw Part I and was left hanging so I checked out Part 2. "In a capitalist society you are either a capitalist or a victim."

I don't agree with Sizemore's comments about black spending habits. Black people can always get loans to buy cars, but we don't have wealth and we have lower incomes. I did post this video because Sizemore tells us that the way our system works bears no resemblance to how we are told to act within it. People are literally going crazy because they can't reconcile what they observe with how they are told to behave. We should try as much as possible not to be victims of this system and the first step means knowing that the system doesn't work for most of us and acting accordingly.

black man hoses down white lady for calling him a nigger

Oh No She Didn't!

Yes, I'm being lazy and posting videos, but they are all worth watching.

Secret Malcolm X recording with FBI

FBI Asks Malcolm To Be An Informant

Not sure where this recording comes from, but it is significant. Malcolm X was no Ernest Withers.

Words of the Week from Troy Sanders

I had never heard of Rev. Troy Sanders but I love him now. He describes himself as a "same gender loving man" and he had this to say to Ted Haggard, who is still a closeted self hater. "It didn't take a scandal for me to come out and walk in truth. ... There are other options besides waiting until we get into scandal to be called on the carpet and walking in truth." Ouch!

Sanders made excellent points not just about the hypocrisy of anti-gay gay people but about the need to critique scripture and to embrace an inclusive theology.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mississippi G*d Damn!

“The double life sentences imposed on the Scott sisters for an alleged robbery in Mississippi netting little more than $11 is a glaring example of a criminal justice system that is no longer much concerned with justice. No one was hurt or injured, and these women have no prior offenses. No other Western democracy subjects its own people to such draconian punishment for minor crimes. And no other country in the world incarcerates such a large percentage of its racial and ethnic minorities. This is Jim Crow justice, alive and well today. I urge all those of conscience to support the Scott sisters and the thousands of other prisoners who find themselves in similar shoes.” - Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow

Fifteen years ago Jamie and Gladys Scott were each sentenced to a double life sentence for theft of $11. They vehemently deny their guilt, and witnesses who testified against them have now recanted their testimony.

Their case is getting more and more attention and NAACP president Ben Jealous is among those seeking a pardon or commutation of their sentence. I have issues with Jealous, but the NAACP still carries weight, and his involvement can be helpful. In the meantime, please do what you can to help these women whose children were babies when they were first incarcerated in the early 1990s.

Obama and Richie Rich

I just realized something important about this story. Obama’s comments deriding progressives are now well known because the white house released them. That’s right Obama lovers. He wanted the world to know he was kicking you in the butt. If he didn’t want those views to be known, they would have been edited from the transcript.

Stop crying. Wake up and smell the coffee. Beating you down is not incidental. It is an important political strategy for the Dalai Obama.

Tea Party Will Kick Democratic Ass

"Obama continued to eradicate the old Democratic branding, as president, immediately entering into backroom deals with the second most-hated tier of Big Business villains: the drug and insurance corporations. By the summer of 2009, a new brand of Republicans, the Tea Party, had cornered the huge public market on hatred of big business bailouts. Anti-bailout, anti-banker politics had become so popular, the Tea Partyers often found they could use the brand to mask the racism and virulent white nationalism that lies at the core of their 'movement.'

The Democrats no longer have anything resembling a brand, at all. Is it any wonder, then, that Democratic congresspersons are scrambling to disassociate themselves from the national party, two months from election day?"

Glen Ford

I have good ideological reasons for freeing myself from the yoke of the democratic party. But we must never forget that the democrats are just plain stupid and can't seem to learn from their past mistakes.

Democratic liberal snobbery has been in full bloom this week ever since Tea Party candidate Christine O'Donnell won the republican nomination for Delaware's senate seat. First we were told to turn up our noses because she once spoke against masturbation. Now every utterance she has ever made is being scrutinized so that liberals can snicker.

Don't say I didn't warn you, but I think the democrats are looking at defeat and in large part because they think everyone else is as snobbish as they are. There is nothing stupid about O'Donnell or the other new republican candidates. They know how to campaign and they have a message they stick with or as someone once said, they "stay the course."

This election cycle is looking more and more like 1994 when the republicans gave Clinton a beating. Obama and the democrats have done nothing but run from their base, and even deride them publicly in a way that Slick Willie never dared to do. As foreclosures rise and unemployment continues unabated, the democrats continue to talk about deficits and swear off a stimulus bill that might actually help millions of people.

While they laugh at O'Donnell she and the rest of the republicans are filling the void. Nature does abhor a vacuum, especially in politics. Democratic base turn out will be low and the energized tea party will win.

The democrats only do well when republicans have been utter failures and are hated by the masses of people. Now democrats don't have a hated republican to run against. They have a lousy health care plan that they connived to postpone until 2013 and so they can't even use it to run with. The wars continue unabated and the corporate bailouts continue. Apathy rules and that means we are looking a republican victory on election day.

We must also remember that the victory isn't really that big a deal. The "stupid" Palins and O'Donnells will wave the banner of war, but so does Obama. They will assassinate American citizens but so does the constitutional law professor president. I have often said that the right wing come by their brand of terror honestly. What excuse does our smarty pants president have? And don't forget Democratic treason against their own. ACORN was destroyed with a democratic president and democratic controlled congress and yet they couldn't have been any worse off if McCain and Palin had been in charge.

At any rate, get ready for Christine O'Donnell. The republicans are supporting and raising money for her and she is only 11 points behind the democratic candidate. Get used to her. She will be around for at least six years.

Obama Sucks Up to Richie Richman (Pun Intended)

Barack Obama certainly knows where his bread is buttered. The path to political power begins with rich people, and getting and keeping their approval.

On Thursday night Obama spoke at a $30,000 per person Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Greenwich, Connnecticut. The event was held at the home of Richard and Ellen Richman. Yes, that's right, their last name is Richman. What irony.

At any rate, not only did the president tell his well heeled audience why they should keep writing checks, but he decided to take the opportunity to beat up progressives.

"Now, the second reason I'm telling you this is because Democrats, just congenitally, tend to get -- to see the glass as half empty. (Laughter.) If we get an historic health care bill passed -- oh, well, the public option wasn't there. If you get the financial reform bill passed -- then, well, I don't know about this particularly derivatives rule, I'm not sure that I'm satisfied with that. And gosh, we haven't yet brought about world peace and -- (laughter.) I thought that was going to happen quicker. (Laughter.) You know who you are. (Laughter.)"

The odds were against any pesky progressives being present in the $30k per plate crowd, but why pass up a chance to reassure the check bundlers? Of course Obama would hang out with Richie Richman and make fun of people who have the nerve to make political demands. The Richmans of the world demand such behavior from anyone who wants to climb the political greased pole.

As for people who want world peace, we have sense enough to know that the democrats can't give it to us. That is why we have already dumped the democrats and know that we can't rely on electoral politics to produce change that will bring peace, justice and a sustainable planet.

No need to feel offended. Yes, we know who we are and we know that the democrats are not only not the answer for change, but that they are as much a part of the problem as the reviled republicans. More on that in my next post.

Hat tip to Glenn Greenwald

Monday, September 06, 2010


Mordechai Vanunu should be a nobel peace prize laureate, not Barack Obama.

Constitution Free Zone

I did not know that the U.S. Border Patrol was allowed to operate within 100 miles of the border until I saw the New York Times article I linked to a few days ago. Mind you, they don't have to be within 100 miles of an actual border, but also within 100 miles of international waters. What does that mean? It means that if like two-thirds of the population you live in New York City, Seattle, New Orleans, Akron, Philadelphia, Sheboygan, Bangor, Raleigh, Los Angeles, Yuma or Sacramento, you are in a Constitution Free Zone. Be sure to check out the graphic and relax and enjoy the rest of your Labor Day. No worries.

Sunday, September 05, 2010