Monday, May 31, 2010

“I Hate Israel”

“Okay, I admit it. In fact, I proclaim it from the housetops: I hate Israel. I hate it worse than Kosovo or Croatia or any other nasty little actually-existing racial-chauvinist country I can think of -- though in my defense I will say I hated apartheid South Africa as much, while it was around. But now that the Boers aren't running the show there any more, Israel has had to take up the slack; and it has done so, admirably, more than adequately, and con amore.

I encourage others to join me here. Free your minds of cant, abandon false piety and useless prudence, and repeat after me: I hate Israel.” - Michael Smith

What is wrong with hating Israel? It is a nation which takes a huge amount of our public funds and uses it to build nukes, kill Palestinians and make people around the world hate us all. We Americans are all accomplices to Israel’s many crimes.

The zionists control a media now devoid of standards and they use money to control both major political parties. Any politician who dares speak up against Israel immediately faces a well funded opponent.  So we are all powerless in the face of this onslaught, even those of us who would change the equation. That excuse doesn’t cut any ice in the Arab and Muslim world, so we are hated no matter what we believe.

I’m truly sick and tired of having a bulls eye on my head because of the Israelis. I live under the constant threat of terror attack because the Israelis are a bunch of sick fascists, a nation akin to “a mad dog” as Moshe Dayan said.

I love Michael Smith at Stop Me Before I Vote Again, but I take issue with one thing he said. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad never said he wanted to wipe Israel off the map. Aside from that correction, I will free my mind of cant, false piety and useless prudence and gladly say that I hate any government which deliberately kills humanitarian aid workers and uses my tax dollars to do it.

Norman Finkelstein

“During Israel’s massacre in Gaza … afterwards Israeli officials were saying that they wanted to show the Arab world that they were capable of acting like a lunatic state and like mad dogs. That they wanted to restore the Arab world’s fear of Israel.

We really have to ask the question, is Israel acting like a lunatic state or has it become a lunatic state?

Israel is now a lunatic state. It’s a lunatic state with between two and three hundred nuclear devices. It is threatening war daily against Iran and against the Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Things are getting out of control. We have to ask ourselves a simple basic simple fundamental question. Can a lunatic state like Israel be trusted with two to three hundred nuclear devices when it is threatening its neighbors Iran and Lebanon with an attack?”

'Israel is a Lunatic State' - Finkelstein on Gaza Flotilla Attack

Israel Murders (Again)

Israel is no longer content to just ram ships and injure human beings attempting to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza. Now that nation increases its criminality by killing 9 people who had every right to sail in international waters and to bring help to a suffering people.

Why do they hate us? I guess it is because our client state continues its criminality with impunity.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

More “Illegals” Please

I hope my Black Agenda Report colleague Bruce Dixon will forgive this title. He rightly points out “… There are no such people as ‘illegals’ and there are no such things as ‘illegal aliens.’ The terms ‘illegals’ and ‘illegal’ aliens are nothing but good old fashioned hundred percent white American hate speech. . .”

Yet I couldn’t help but give a shout out to a blogger who is new to me. Angry Drunk Bureaucrat hits the nail on the head in describing the nonsensical outrage over “illegals.”

“Let's really focus on the fact that, if there are 140,000 illegal immigrants in the Commonwealth (Pennsylvania) that's 140,000 people that *are being counted* towards things like, oh I don't know, the Census, which keeps us from hemorrhaging population.
So fuck Metcalfe and Readshaw: bring as many goddamn illegal immigrants to PA as soon as possible. Build towns, boroughs, cities. Drive up the population. Drive up demand for services. Increase the tax base. Increase the number of seats Pennsylvania has in the House.”

I always remember the old expression “Be careful what you ask for.” If undocumented workers did leave en masse then this country would be in very deep trouble. There are thousands of undocumented who pay into the social security system but who will never see one dime of that money.

They also rent and sometimes purchase homes. They pay sales tax at the store the way everyone else does. If it weren’t for immigration, legal or illegal, states like New York would lose congressional representation.

So bring it on world! Send us your tired your poor and your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. We need their cash, their taxes and their bodies for census workers to count.  Approximately forty percent of New York City residents were born outside of the United States. The city would be poorer literally and figuratively without them and so would the rest of the country too. I for one am glad they are here. Their presence helps us all.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Obama Stiffs Black Farmers

“So far, Mr. Obama has deferred to Congress. Some farmers have speculated that the president is shying away from the issue because it involves race. The White House said that was untrue.” – New York Times

No we can’t! That seems to be the president’s motto whenever black people need help. In the pre-Obama days, black people would at least go through the motions of making demands. “Democrats take our votes for granted,” was the common refrain.

Now we have a president who ignores us with absolute impunity. Black farmers in southern states were discriminated against by the United States Department of Agriculture for decades. They were denied loans on a regular basis and many lost their properties as a result.

They won a landmark lawsuit in 1999, Pigford v. Glickman, which compensated the farmers with $1 billion. An additional $1.25 billion is still owed but neither congress nor the administration has acted on the claim, missing a March 31st deadline.

The president could release money through a Treasure department Pigford fund, but has so far has declined to do so. I’ll say it for the 101st time, black Americans would be better off with a white democrat in the white house than with Obama. Obama idol worshippers want to have it both ways. On the one hand they endlessly talk about how brilliant he is and in the same breath proclaim that he can’t possibly figure out a way to do anything that benefits black people without making white people mad.

Racist white people don’t like him anyway and don’t really care what he does. So like a bunch of chumps, Obama’s black supporters give him carte blanche to stab us in the back time after time. 

It is insulting to say that expeditiously helping black farmers would somehow destroy the Obama presidency. He hasn’t acted on this issue because he just doesn’t care. There is nothing complicated going on here. The president has the power to get this money without asking congress but he refuses to do it because inaction and betrayal have worked so well for him in the past.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Drill Barack Drill

I just had to post this Mike Flugennock cartoon.

Obama Continues Oil Drilling Approvals

"Salazar is playing a cynical shell game, making the public think he stopped issuing the faulty approvals that allowed the disastrous BP drilling to occur, when in fact he has given MMS the green light to keep issuing those very same approvals. The only thing Salazar has stopped is the final, technical check-off which comes long after the environmental review."

Ever since the April 20th explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, the Obama administration has given the green light to 27 different off shore drilling projects.

Drill baby drill!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Aiyana Jones

"There is no question about what happened because it's in the videotape. It's not an accident. It's not a mistake. There was no altercation. Aiyana Jones was shot from outside on the porch. The videotape shows clearly the officer throwing through the window a stun grenade-type explosive and then within milliseconds of throwing that, firing a shot from outside the home."  Geoffrey Feiger

Aiyana Jones was a seven year old girl living in Detroit, who was killed by the police while sleeping in her own home.  The police were searching for a murder suspect thought to be in the Jones home.

The story smelled to high heaven from the beginning. The cops used a flash grenade as they entered the home, a practice meant to disorient armed and dangerous suspects. Neighbors told cops that children were in the house, why use a flash grenade? There was a weird story about the gun “discharging” and a cop’s collision with a grand mother. It made no sense.

Today it all made terrible sense. The cops were filming an episode of The First 48, a reality show produced by the A&E network. I remember when A&E meant Arts and Entertainment. Now it is reruns and reality.

The First 48 follows a  police investigation in the two days following a murder. I have to admit that I was addicted, no pun intended, to another A&E program, Intervention, which shows an addict and family in the days leading up to an intervention and a stint in rehab. I realized it was not healthy to be entertained by other people’s pain and I pulled the plug on Intervention.

It was followed by Obsession which showed obsessive compulsives under treatment and now Hoarders, where you can watch people living with their own garbage. Bad television was bad enough, but now it has resulted in the death of a child. The cops were obviously trying to make an ordinary scene seem to be a lot more exciting, so they fired into a window and threw in a flash grenade. Aiyana is dead because of bad television.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Civil Rights a Non Issue for Leahy

Today the Huffington Post breathlessly reported what first appeared to be good news. Huffpo said that Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, would “throw cold water” on the Bush, I mean Obama administration plan to gut fifth amendment rights against self-incrimination for terror suspects.

The truth turns out to be less than wonderful. "The question is not so much whether I'm concerned about the civil rights one way or another, it is what a court will agree to. After all, it was the Supreme Court that set down the rules of Miranda. Whatever changes might be made, have to made within the confines of what the United States Supreme Court has already said.”

It doesn’t matter if he cares or not? Well apparently he doesn’t. Civil rights, no biggie for the white house or for the senate either. I suppose we have to take some comfort in his tepid response, but sooner or later our rights will be watered down into nothingness, by Obama and the democrats.

The Supreme Court and the Ruling Class

Barack Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan is an absolute disaster for the democratic party and for democracy itself. The nomination is just the latest proof of Obama’s obliteration of black politics and his victory over all progressives. Anyone praised by the likes of Joseph Lieberman for moving the court in a “less liberal” direction is a bad bet for the progressive cause.

Kagan could not find one black person worthy to hire as a tenure track law professor when she served as dean of Harvard law school. Indeed, this white woman could find only six white women to hire, out of a total of 32 tenure track positions filled in her tenure.

Yet it is the Harvard connection which is one of the more disturbing elements of the Kagan nomination. If Kagan is confirmed, all nine supreme court justices will have attended either Harvard or Yale universities (Ruth Bader Ginsburg attended Harvard for a time but ultimately graduated from Columbia).

Americans love to believe in their self-aggrandizing myth of a classless society, a meritocracy. In this well rehearsed lie, this country purported to be one in which any individual might rise as a result of hard work and determination.

The fact that only two out of 160 law schools in the country have been deemed worthy for consideration to the highest court is an indicator of a very disturbing change in our society. There is no longer any pretense that this country is a meritocracy. The ever intensifying class stratification is being more and more solidified and is expressed in new and awful ways on a daily basis.

The truly awful justice Antonin Scalia said so himself, out loud and in a public venue. When asked by a student at the American University law school how she could succeed without connections, Scalia at first told her to, “Just work hard and be very good.“ When the discussion moved to the likelihood that she might reach the holy grail of being a clerk for a Supreme Court justice, Scalia set her straight.  He quickly remembered himself and told her the honest truth, that she could pretty much forget about getting anywhere when she attended such a lowly institution.

“By and large I’m going to be picking from the law schools that basically are the hardest to get into. They admit the best and the brightest, and they may not teach very well, but you can’t make a sow’s ear out of a silk purse. If they come in the best and the brightest, they’re probably going to leave the best and the brightest, O.K.?”

It isn’t clear what the young woman thought about being referred to as a sow’s ear, but she certainly went home knowing that she shouldn’t even think about venturing out of her place on the class system totem pole.

Kagan’s defenders can’t defend the blank slate technocrat on the merits, they just talk about how wonderful and brilliant she is. Period. That is proof enough of Kagan’s lack of qualifications to serve as a justice on the nation’s highest court and of a more insidious form of corruption at work as Jonathan Turley points out.

Nominations like Kagan’s are the result of a network of graduates who work consciously or unconsciously to see that their own are nominated. Notably, after Kagan’s nomination, powerful figures from her Harvard years came forward to vouch for her abilities. Their message was the same: Despite her lack of a record, she is known in our circle as a real winner. She is, in a phrase, one of us. Indeed, reporters breathlessly reported how Kagan and Scalia are good friends and how she knows many of the main players from Harvard, as if it is the judicial equivalent to having graduated from the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The favoritism shown Harvard and Yale should be viewed not just as incestuous but as scandalous. It undermines educational institutions across the country by maintaining a clearly arbitrary and capricious basis for selection. It also runs against the grain of a nation based on meritocracy and opportunity.”

Turley should have said allegedly based on meritocracy and opportunity. I will have more to say about the Kagan nomination and black America in my Black Agenda Report column on Wednesday.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Death Unmasked
Saw this Leon Kuhn cartoon. Had to post it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

John Brown

“Had he succeeded, the Civil War would have been started not by the secessionists but by the abolitionists, and the issue from the first shot would have been freedom, not union. The conflict might have been shorter and the outcome less bloody.”

I missed his birthday. Brown was born on May 9, 1800 and my blogging inactivity has caused me to miss that and other events. John is one of America’s greatest heroes.  If not for John Brown, slavery might not have ended until the twentieth century. The south controlled congress and the courts, and was adamant that the “peculiar institution” continue and spread to newly settled territories. Northerners were tired of being controlled by the slave powers, but most weren’t willing to fight back. Brown was, and he hastened the start of the war and the end of slavery.Terry Bisson and  Kevin Gray explain why Brown is so important.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Twin Disasters: Elena Kagan and Oil

No, I haven't posted in a long time, three months to be exact. Much has happened in that time, and I must have been suffering from outrage fatigue. I have of course been regularly writing my Black Agenda Report column, but alas I have neglected this blog and that means I have neglected myself as well. No mas!

Since February the president ended the moratorium on offshore drilling and told a bold faced lie in the process. "It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today don't cause spills. Technologically they are very advanced. Even during Katrina the spills didn't come from the oil rigs, they came from the refineries onshore."

Well, that was before the Deepwater Horizon blew up in the Gulf of Mexico and put egg squarely on Obama's face. Oh and by the way, oil rigs did cause spills in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Liar, liar pants on fire.

What does the oil disaster in the gulf have to do with Elena Kagan, Obama's supreme court nominee? Because the hits just keep on coming. My worst fears about Obama are being realized and in very short order. Every week brings a new outrage that I need to get over and be outraged about.

As I said in my BAR column, we are told to keep voting for democrats because of the importance of federal judicial nominations. But if a democratic president chooses a conservative democrat, what is the point of supporting him?

As dean of Harvard law school, Kagan did not appoint one black law professor during her tenure, not one. Out of 32 tenure or tenure track positions, she hired only seven women, one of whom was Asian. No African Americans, Latinos or Native Americans were hired. All 25 men hired were white.

Why did Obama choose her? Glenn Greenwald explained it all very well. "Nothing is a better fit for this white house than a blank slate, institution-loyal, seemingly principle free careerist, who spent the last 15 months as the Obama administration's lawyer vigorously defending every one of his assertions of extremely broad executive authority."

So here we are with a mediocre butt kisser on the court, a court devoid of anyone who didn't attend Yale or Harvard. The outrage is back!