Those who Visit the Blog

Monday, January 26, 2015

Savant's Words

I'm not sure why. But I've some ideas. For one, this is not a real forum and was not designed to be. It's more like a free-for-all circus. There are no real moderators who can help keep discussions focused. If someone wants to disrupt your thread there's nothing to prevent him or her from doing so. If someone wants to reply to your ANALYSIS with personal insults rather than reasoned rebuttal, he can do so In real time a forum could simply expel the disrupting persons and then proceed with the discussion. Given the way this so-called forum is designed it probably draws more people from the bottom of the barrel---I mean from the bottom intellectually, not necessarily financially. (Bright and conscious people can come from the hood, like Malcolm or James Baldwin, while buffoons can come from the privileged classes, like GW or whomever). Many good people tire of a "forum" which seeks after the lowest common denominator. And you get more and more people whose natural element is the gutter. The rational few find themselves swamped by a sea of mediocrity and stupidity. But they do exist.



Actually, what Black people expected of Obama is far from clear. And it's not clear that all expected the same thing. From the more conscious and progressive elements in the Black community the common criticism is that we get much the same policies as before, but with a Black face attached to it. When I was interviewed by a French newspaper during the summer of 2008, one questioned posed to me was whether Obama' s election (should it happen) would be a positive turning point for Black America or for the poor in general. I indicated to him that the system is the system, and that the mere existence of a Black president wouldn't mean the automatic end to institutional racism or economic exploitation. And at any rate, we don't know what Obama intends to do or even what he can do from within the framework of the existing socioeconomic order. The interviewer indicated that SOME presidencies in American history were associated with positive change---Lincoln, FDR and Kennedy/Johnson were his examples. But I pointed out to the French journalist that in each of those cases there was already a sizeable movement for social justice already afoot which affected the complexion of the incoming administration. There was an Abolitionist movement BEFORE Lincoln took office, and it had to pressure him relentlessly to take a clear stand against slavery. There was a militant labor movement of millions of people BEFORE Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office, and their pressure added considerably to the impetus behind the policies of FDR. Finally, there was a massive Black Freedom movement already in motion when Kennedy and Johnson took power. And the Movement had to pressure them to stop dragging their feet on civil rights. My concern was that even if Obama was elected, and was relatively progressive, it might mean very little in the absence of a popular movement for social justice. It is my view that the main focus needs to be on economic justice--the theme of Dr. King final phase of the movement, and something that our Black bourgeoisie abandoned--and the protection and advancement of civil freedoms. Without a movement, I argued, not much will be achieved even if Obama is elected. Well, he was elected and what I projected has pretty much been correct. But...we have witnessed waves of progressive struggles: Occupy, the Wisconsin workers strike, and the wave of struggle against police brutality---which in Ferguson has revealed a MILITARIZED police such as one expects to see in police states. There are FASCIST tendencies in America, bolstered by racism, and mainly for the purpose of protecting the privileged classes and their elite interests. Changing that requires considerably more than changing the skin color of the president.



I'm a afraid that the Wizard of Tuskegee was not especially good at understanding classes. But that's another matter. But I think that he himself knew that the "troubles " of the Blacks had to be kept public, or crimes against their humanity could be safely done under cover of night. The genius of Martin Luther King came precisely in bringing the grievances of his people to public scrutiny, EXPOSING the racists, lynchers and exploiters. Washington can speculate all he wishes about the motives of those who publicize wrongs---just as others speculated about his motives in keeping quiet about them. But what all tyrants fear is exposure, and whatever the motives of those who do the exposing, they do their community a service. Silence in the face of injustice amounts to complicity with the injustice.



Your comments in post# 268 didn't seem to show awareness of the symbolic intent of the "KKK", hence my reply. But precisely because you are a foreigner I didn't assume that you were "thick." Americans who don't get it I do think to be a bit thick. I don't necessarily expect someone from another country to understand all the symbolism that is old news to the average American any more than I can be expected to understand all the symbolism of the popular or political culture of France or England. Actually, symbolizing the government with the "kkk" brand may be an understatement. For while the KKK was a fascistic and racist terrorist outfit, they are/were LESS dangerous than the national security state, and our increasingly militarized police--something hardly common even in Alabama during the time of Dr. King. (Not even Bull Connor unleashed tanks on nonviolent demonstrators in Birmingham as happened to nonviolent demonstrators in Ferguson). The national security state, the elaborate system of surveillance, our increasingly militarized police are far greater dangers than the Ku Klux Klan ever was. It is the Supine Court which in 2013 gutted the enforcement clause of the Voting Right Act of 1965. And at this very moment they are weighing in on the Fair Housing Bill signed just over a week after Dr. King's assassination. This growing concentration of power (combined with attacks on civil liberties) reflects also the growing concentration of corporate monopoly of wealth, and growing corporate political dominance in local, state and national government. (Ironically, it was under Obama that the Homeland Security provisions were signed into law. ) Also, this repetitive talk about "personal choices" or "personal responsibility " is fine as long as you're talking about INDIVIDUALS. For we certainly expect at least adults to assume such responsibility. But when we're talking about SYSTEMIC evils as poverty, economic exploitation, the militarism, institutional racism, and the growing racial and class divides in our society and the world, talk of personal responsibility is itself irresponsible--cri minally irresponsible. For we can combat such evils only with SOLIDARITY and struggle for social justice. Given the fascistic tendencies of the time, obstructing the solidarity that is needed to save what little democracy is left, and to deepen and expand democracy, becomes a criminal betrayal of the common good. And if you think that racism or class oppression is a thing of the past, then some serious homework needs to be done.


Monday News on Life, History, and Justice.

The Innocent Project is doing amazing work in helping falsely convicted people to leave prison. Joseph Sledge now can move on with his life. It is a shame that the judicial system has regularly imprisoned innocent men and women. This is why social activism is very important, because social activism is a key action in helping human beings. Joseph Sledge is definitely owed an apology. We will continue to stand up for justice. The Ebola crisis in Africa proves conclusively that austerity doesn’t work. Medical research, funds for infrastructure, and international cooperation are actions that can combat epidemics. I am glad that new Ebola cases have declined massively, but the authorities released this vaccine months after so many thousands of black Brothers and black Sisters have died in West Africa. That is a real shame. I do commend the authentic, compassionate international authorities and the African heroes who have helped people suffering with Ebola. Cuba should be given great credit as well in sending doctors, equipment, medicine, and infrastructure as a way for people to help others. It is important to oppose imperialism and to support the Africans who are standing up for the liberation of Africa. Many workers (throughout America) are also protesting McDonalds & other corporations for its wage and benefits policies. These workers, who are fighting for a living wage and workers’ rights, should be commended. There is no excuse and there is no justification for racial discrimination, sexism, and harassment. Human beings should be treated with dignity and with respect. So, the former McDonald employees have every right to sue. We will wait and see if the lawsuits will be successful or not. The life of Ernie Banks is part of our history and our culture. He loved baseball and he loved his family greatly. His contributions to the MLB are excellent. We should learn about the Negro Leagues too. The Negro League baseball players had an amazing amount of strength, talent, and authenticity. He will be missed. RIP Ernie Banks.

There is the Christmas truce of WWI. It has been over 100 years since it occurred on December 24, 1914. This was one of the most poignant, important events of WWI. It has been called Weihnachtsfrieden in Germany and Trêve de Noël in France. The Christmas truce was when there was a spontaneous ceasefire all across the Western front that stretched 440 miles from the border of Switzerland to the North Sea. This was very extraordinary, because there was the jingoist reaction shown by all of the belligerent powers (like Germany, France, Russia, and Britain) to justify their recourse to war just months before, starting on July 28, 1914. There were British and German troops meeting in no man’s land during the unofficial truce. There is one picture of British troops from the Northumberland Hussars, 7th Division, Bridoux-Rouge Banc Sector). Just before this truce, German imperialism invaded Belgium and Luxembourg. The German military then went south across the border into France. The Germans wanted to have a quick victory over its opponents on the Western Front. The Germans wanted to defeat Britain and France in six weeks before going into Russia. British and French imperialism were thrown on the defensive, because of the initially rapid German advance. They soon stabilize the front and mobilize the resources of their colonial empire. They also created a crippling naval blockade on food supplies to starve the German population. By December, there was a stalemate. There were thousands of men in the trenches. The trenches were rat infested, wet, bloody, and cold. The war was still going. These horrible conditions caused a number of unofficial truces to exist. It started on Christmas Eve where about 100,000 soldiers along the Western front laid down their arms. They fraternized in no-man’s land between the lines of trenches. Many of them (for 48 hours or more) sang carols, exchanged cigarettes, food like chocolates, and personal mementos. There are plenty of photographs showing British and German troops along the soldiers’ letters home are witness to the event. On December 26, 1914, German soldiers of the 134th Saxon Regiment ad the British soldiers of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment met in no man’s land. The Christmas truce was not totally universal. There was slaughter among many sectors. On December 24, 1914, that the first German bomb struck on British soil, in Dover. In some instances, the lull in hostilities lasted only hours—just long enough to enable the retrieval and burial of the corpses lying in the freezing and desolate wasteland. Some said that a friendly football match occurred among British and German troops. This truce represented how strong the anti-war sentiment was during WWI. Many people refused to fight, created unofficial truce, munities, strikes, and peace protests. Corporal Adolf Hitler of the 16th Bavarians opposed such truces. “Such things should not happen in wartime. Have you Germans no sense of honour left at all?” he complained. Within days, the German, British and French High Commands served anti-fraternization orders, carrying the heaviest penalties. The Christmas truce was a courageous display of opposition to the brutality of war. We can learn the lesson that this truce represented the need for us to fight for world peace which we all seek. The Christmas truce was a great act of humanity.

We can never forget about the fifth year anniversary of the terrible Earthquake in Haiti. After 5 years, there have been massive protests against the UN occupation of Haiti. Some people want the departure of the neoliberal Haitian President Michel Martelly (he once eulogized the ex-dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier or Baby Doc) and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe. Laurent Lamothe finally resigned in December of 2014. The U.S. regularly supported leaders in Haiti who were not necessary for the interests of the Haitian people. Structural problems have to be addressed in Haiti. We know that token international aid has been used as a capitalist, imperial tool to keep the South captive to the North’s bad neoliberal policies. The South need true development. Bill Clinton and Bush Jr. among others were involved with the funds sent to Haiti. NGOs and USAID used funds to serve U.S. interests. Much of the funds helped to benefit the rich and business people of the West. Clinton’s CIRH or the Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti has done little to radically reconstruct Haiti in a revolutionary fashion. Approximately 80% of the aid money dedicated to developing countries ends up in the coffers of businesses and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from the donor countries. Far from helping, this dynamic only creates a relationship of dependency hampering, even preventing the “recipient” country from developing the very structures which could liberate it from this colonial relationship. The structural adjustment programs have failed since they focused on massive privatization, local economies were destroyed, and other problems have existed. In other words, local economies were damaged as a way for to cause U.S. imports of rice, poultry, etc. to flood the Haitian market. Haitian sugar, rice, and chicken crops were once protected. Big multinational corporations have huge influence in Haitian resources too. The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti or the MINUSTAH still is occupying Haiti territory. The MINUSTAH was established June 1st2004 after a coup d’état led by the United States, France and Canada which removed from office the democratically elected Jean-Bertrand Aristide, leader of the most popular political party, Fanmi Lavalas. Fanmi Lavalas, which has largely dominated in both elections it participated in, was banned from the 2010 election, “won” by the U.S.’ favoured candidate Michel Martelly. MINUSTAH has suppressed the human rights of the political party Fanmi Lavalas. Their other human rights abuses include rape (of Haitian men, women, and children), the spreading of cholera, extrajudicial murder, and the repression of other peaceful political protests. The private contractor DynCorp trains the Haitian police. Much of the aid money has been used to build up luxury hotels, which is a disgrace when over 1 million Haitians are homeless. So, the Haitian people in 2015 are fighting for independence, liberation, democratic governance, and sovereignty. Political and economic democracy is what the Haitians are fighting for. The lives of Black Haitians matter.

American Sniper is a controversial film. Debates exist all of the time about it. The movie was directed by Clint Eastwood and its screenplay was established by Jason Hall. The movie was about the story of the famous sniper Chris Kyle. He is known as reputedly the deadliest marksman in the history of the U.S. military with about 255 kills. The Pentagon has confirmed 160 kills. The movie is highly pro-war despite the anti-war views of Eastwood. The movie shows Kyle’s multiple duties in Iraq and how he suffers emotionally. It is a story that deals with xenophobic revenge and violence especially after 9/11. The movie shows a scene where Kyle defends his younger brother against a bully when his younger brother I being beaten by a bully. Later that evening, Kyle’s father explains to his sons that there are three types of people in the world. These people are the sheep, wolves, and sheep dogs. He explains that predatory wolves are responsible for all the “evil” in the world and it is the job of sheep dogs, who are “blessed with aggression,” to protect the sheep who cannot take care of themselves. This statement from his father serves as a theme in the American Sniper movie. The movie presents the narrative that U.S. is under attack from “evildoers,” so ultra-right and pro-military fanaticism is needed in the world. We know that imperialism has plundered the Middle East for over 100 years. The U.S. has been the source of aggression in many of the events of the Middle East. Western imperialists are the wolf in sheep dog’s clothing (with a bad disguise at that). So, the movie doesn’t show the complex nature of war or the horrendous cycle of capitalist imperialism. Bradley Cooper is the actor who plays Kyle. Kyle becomes a rodeo cowboy in Texas. When he watches the 1998 bombing attacks on U.S. embassies, he is angry and joins the Navy. He becomes a Navy Seal and a sharpshooter. Kyle meets and falls in love with Taya (who is played by Sienna Miller). Kyle and Taya look at the September 11 attacks on television and Kyle is again overcome with anger. Kyle soon goes into Iraq. He is involved in 4 tours. After each tour, he struggles to settle down in civilian life even when he has a son and a daughter. Memories haunt him and he want to protect his fellow soldiers in Iraq. He is a sniper in Fallujah which has been destroyed. Arabic people in the film are portrayed in a negative light regardless if they are fighters or regular men, women, and children. The word savages are used to describe them throughout the film. Eastwood omits that the U.S. support and financed Islamic fundamentalists and many Islamic terrorists for decades. The movie shows the paranoid view that Muslims threaten San Diego or New York. Kyle kills women and children. Reactionary forces are exploiting this controversial film to promote the illegal, neocolonial invasion, and occupation of Iraq.

The establishment is heavily involved with the establishment religious circles of the world. They try to make religious to not make tough stands on controversial issues or compromise core convictions in order to be “politically correct” or submit to the interests of the establishment. One example is that the establishment promotes the evil Vietnam War. Many churches opposed it courageously and others supported it under the banner of jingoistic patriotism. Another example is that Council of Foreign Relations promotes globalization and many members of the establishment church like Rick Warren are CFR members. There are prosperity gospel religious leaders who promote materialism, corporate glamorization, and commercialism when we have millions of poor people struggling in America alone. We know about many elitists who not only advocate global government (which I don’t support), but are actively involved in the CFR, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group (which are groups who want more global integration). One of the easiest organizations that the establishment uses to try to manipulate religious people is the Council on National Policy or the CNP. The CNP has connections to the John Birch Society and the CNP is used as a way to control the conservative wing of the religious establishment. Famous CNP members include Tim LaHaye, Nelson Hunt, Howard Philips, etc. They receive corporate backing as well. So, we have to expose not only globalist extremists, but controlled opposition who seek to exploit God for profit literally. We have to be obedient to righteousness. That means that we have every right to not call a grown man Holy Father and we have the right to fight against racial discrimination and economic oppression.

By Timothy

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday News in late January 2015

The Yemeni President has resigned recently as the Houthi insurgents are consolidating control over the capital of Yemen. The Houthi militants are still stationed in front of Yemen’s Presidential palace. President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi announced his resignation from Yemen’s government Thursday. Hadi’s prime minister and entire cabinet also resigned. Hadi granted the Houthis a great deal of state power and he gave the Houthis political concessions. There are the U.S./Saudi collaborations in trying to counter the Houthis. Mass protests have come in Yemen in 2011. Since 2001, the U.S. government has given massive aid to Saleh’s military and counterterrorism units in Yamen. From late 2011, the US-Saudi controlled Gulf Cooperation Council oversaw a managed transition process that left elements of the old US-backed dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh regime in control of key departments and placed Hadi in the presidency through a one-man election in February 2012. There have been systematic assassination programs in Yemen for years. They have been backed by the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operation Command (JSOC) and by the CIA. The extended civil war in Yemen has influenced the fall of Hadi’s government. The Houthi militias are part of the Zadi branch of Shia Islam and they are supported by Iran. They have seized the Yemeni capital city of Sanaa. Immediately after seizing the capital, the Houthi leaders signed a Peace and National Power Sharing Agreement (PNPA) with Hadi and various elements of the political establishment. The PNPA provided for the Houthi to be integrated into the existing governmental structures in exchange for the insurgency’s disarmament. The Houthis want to expand their power. When, in July 2014, the Hadi government enforced an end to fuel subsidies, the Houthis responded by demanding the reinstitution of the subsidies and calling for mass demonstrations against the government. There is the AQAP in Yemen too. The Saudis have funded other groups to form a secession movement where independent micro-states are in southern Yemen. The Americans, the French, etc. are watching these developments closely.

When I was younger, I did not know that much about the strong militancy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We all knew that Malcolm X was militant before and after his Hajj. When I got older, I found out about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s more militant views. Both Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. played very important roles in the black freedom movement. Dr. King wanted to use love not as a means to bow down to white society, but to use love to defend our human rights and to stand up for justice. Malcolm X changed rapidly ideologically from 1964 to 1965. Malcolm X made many speeches, but when he tied the economic exploitation to Western powers and when he went into foreign nations as a means to build up alliances (as a means to try to make America accountable for its crimes against black Americans), and then he was soon assassinated. The BPP was an extension of the Black Power Movement. The BPP had guns and talked about self-defense (which is a human right). Yet, the FBI wanted to stop them, because of their revolutionary ideas and they were making results. The BPP were cleaning up the communities, they were providing children with breakfast, they were giving health care to black people, they were helping the elderly, and they were establishing other community development programs which were helping the people. When these things were happening, the FBI illegally suppressed them unfortunately. The Black Panther Party also was strongly anti-imperialist. Dr. King was killed in the midst of him opposing the Vietnam War and trying to get his Poor People’s Campaign fully established. Getting civil rights and voting rights encoded in law is one thing, which was great. Yet, the establishment hated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. overtly when he opposed their war in Vietnam (which was a civil war. Herbicides, napalm, and other evils were found in that unjust war) and when he called for the radical redistribution of political and economic power. Dr. King was a threat and newspapers criticized him for his courageous stand against the Vietnam War. I always viewed Dr. King and Malcolm X’s views as converging before they passed away. Both men wanted an end to the Vietnam War, wanted the growth of black institutions, they critiqued capitalism explicitly, and they wanted a radical change in society. Dr. King gave militant speeches too (like his Beyond Vietnam speech and his Three Evils of Society speech back in 1967). I have great respect for Dr. King, Malcolm X, the BPP, and others who stood up for the freedom of black people globally.

Dinesh D’Souza is a hypocrite. He acts like he is an upstanding man, but he pleaded guilty to one felony count of making illegal contributions in the names of others. Obviously, President Barack Obama has an African American experience. He lived in America, he married an African American woman, he has black American children, he knows about African-American history (including black American culture). Hawaii, Illinois, and New York are found in America. Dinesh is an extremist and he is known for his support of the imperialist & terrorist Christopher Columbus. Dinesh is known to propagate other historically revisionist views. D’Souza believes in American exceptionalism, which is nothing more than Western imperialism. He is a known race-baiter. There is nothing wrong with using boycotts against racist corporations. Dr. Martin Luther King sympathized with democratic socialism (as he criticized capitalism), he was pro-labor, he said that he wanted a radical redistribution of economic & political power, and he was anti-war. So, we have to know history and fight for justice. At the end of the day, communities need independent grassroots organizing. We have to reject reactionary politicians and corporate foundations too. We certainly need more political education. We have to know about the system, so ways can be established by us to replace the current system with a new, fair one. The only way for justice to come is to work among the grassroots and build with other real freedom fighters (via alliances) internationally.

The war against fascism and oppression continues. The socialist Kshama Sawant made many interesting, accurate points. This current neoliberal reality existed before 2009, but the White House is not off the hook for its policies either. Certainly, we have to witness how and why we live under these conditions as a means for us to find ways to get us out of these conditions. The evil of reactionary Republicanism (with its supply side economics and its neo-conservative war mongering) is not the only problem that we face. We have to confront neoliberal Democrats who want to be more like Republicans (by them supporting the war on terror, the War on Drugs, the TPP secretive proposal, etc.) instead of them being independent thinking people. The evils of privatization and economic oppression are with us. We have to think not only independently, but we need to develop strategies where the masses of the people can be truly free. It is obvious that we need a living wage, we need Program 1033 to be eliminated, and we need the development of our public infrastructure, so our standard of living can be strengthened. We’re in opposition to racism and class oppression. We need revolutionary changes in society. This is not shocking to see the DOJ not indict Darren Wilson. There have been many cases where cops, who have executed unarmed people, have not been indicted. We can witness many examples of history to see that. The truth is that Darren Wilson is responsible for the murder of the unarmed teenager Michael Brown in August of 2014. This non indictment from the Justice Department shows how they really stand on this issue. This non indictment further hurts the family and friends of Michael Brown. This comes after the bundled job that the deceptive attorney Robert P. McCulloch has done in his investigation (when he admitted in public that he knowingly used perjured testimony in the grand jury proceedings. McCulloch allowed a mentally disturbed white racist to use her testimony when she has a known history of providing false testimony). There is certainly a massive military police mobilization agenda here too. Militarized police has been used by the state against the peaceful protesters for months. There are many charges where Darren Wilson could have been charged with. The police institution is not only corrupt, but the overall oligarchical system is corrupt.

I am a Millennial and many Millennials harbor some of the respectability views of Anthony Mackie. This “New Black” ideology is more pervasive than I thought. It doesn’t matter if a Brother wears dreadlocks or not. That Brother can still be killed by a cop if that cop wants to kill that Brother. Unapologetically black means that we are black and we couldn’t give a care about what anyone else thinks about our blackness. Also, we, as black people, never invented institutionalized racism. We have to know the origin of the problems that we face in the first place in order for our problems to be solved. Not to mention that superbly qualified black actors and black actresses have not been nominated or they have not been awarded. Denzel Washington never won an Academy Award for his role of Malcolm X in the movie “Malcolm X.” It is ironic that mainstream society wants us black people to be accepting of others, but they never lecture non-blacks to be accepting of us in a higher level. In the final analysis, we should love our individuality, but we should not ignore the struggle. The struggle is real and justice is not solved by individuals trying to accommodate to a system that doesn’t respect us. Justice is won by us struggling and fighting for our human rights and for our right to be ourselves without apology. We don’t have to apologize for our dreadlocks, for our melanin, for our hair, for our human expression, or for our flavor (or swag). We are Black and Beautiful.

By Timothy

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Cameroonian Ntjam Rosie’s classy album

Savant's words on society

The spelling "Amerikkka " has its origins (as far as I can tell) in the political discourses of AA nationalists and revolutionaries, who also sometimes referred to the USA (especially as an imperial power) as "Babylon. " It is not an orthographic error. The "KKK" (acronym for the Ku Klux Klan) was intended to indicate the spirit of the Klan was really NATIONAL, representing established institutions, not just a terrorist racist organization wearing sheets. Sometimes it's the same mentality wearing police uniforms and badges instead of sheets. The expression "Amerikkka " instead of America represents a political attitude having not much to do with "high" or "low" achievement. To an American (even white Americans) the implicit indictment of the social order conveyed by "Amerikkka " is pretty obvious, but may not have the same resonance abroad. As I mentioned before, Attai sometimes adopts our political rhetoric. When angered by some injustice we sometimes use words like "pig", "Amerikkka ", etc. When angered by a treacherous Black person whom we feel is betraying, we sometimes refer to them as "oreo", Tom, flunky, Aunt Jemima, etc. Some Blacks disillusioned with Obama may call him "Oreobama ". But we mainly keep that to ourselves. The fitness of these expressions depends largely on context; and when whites use these expression (even when well meaning), they sometimes misjudge the context.


The Spectacular Media Failure on Charlie Hebdo