Wednesday, December 29, 2010

FOX NEWS: Execute Mike Vick!

The ubiquitous and conservative pundit, Tucker Carlson, filling in for Sean Hannity on Fox News, weighed in on Mike Vick's quest for redemption after paying a huge debt for his self-confessed morality lapse, stated that not only shouldn't Vick be forgiven, he should be executed:

I’m Christian. I’ve made mistakes. I believe fervently in second chances. Michael Vick killed dogs in a heartless and cruel way. I think, firstly, he should have been executed for that. The idea the president of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs is beyond the pale.

Tucker took umbrage that President Obama called the Philadelphia Eagles owner to praise his act of giving Vick a second chance.

This represents an appalling low for the over-the-top FOX News and it epitomizes the situational morality they promote. On the one hand, they are staunch supporters of the NRA and recreational hunting (think Sarah Palin hunting caribou for fun or Dick Cheney shooting his friend while quail hunting); while on the other hand, they discover their righteous indignation over Vick efforts to rehabilitate himself after losing over 20 million dollars and serving over two years in prison for his cruel crimes.

Not to even mention, their silence on Cheney cooking the books, in order to led us to a preemptive and protracted war in Iraq. This war resulted in no WMD, terrorist relocating to Iraq, an embolden Iran, thousands and thousands of causalities and lost lives. Yet the head on the platter demanded by FOX is Vick's. Like I said, situational morality...

The Bling-Bling of Mansa Musa

Ask the average person about Mansa Musa and they will probably respond with a blank look. This is because our western mis-education conveniently omits great non-European/American figures - in particular, Sub-Saharan Africans. We are erroneously taught that pre-colonial Sub-Saharan Africa had little or no outstanding contribution to world history. This could not be further from the truth.

The great Mansa Musa, king of the Mali empire from 1312 to 1337, is best known for his extravagant pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324; building Mosques and madrases from Western Africa to Egypt; and his intellectual and financial contributions to the University of Sankore located in Timbuktu. He was widely believed to be the wealthiest and most powerful man in his time.

Pilgrimage to Mecca

Musa made his pilgrimage in 1324, his procession reported to include 60,000 men, 12,000 slaves, heralds dressed in silks who bore gold staffs, organized horses and handled bags. Musa provided all necessities for the procession, feeding the entire company of men and animals. Also in the train were 80 camels, which varying reports claim carried 300 pounds of gold. Musa not only gave to the cities he passed on the way to Mecca, including Cairo and Medina, but also traded gold for souvenirs. Furthermore, it has been recorded that he built a mosque each and every Friday.

Contribution to Timbuktu:

Timbuktu soon became a center of trade, culture, and Islam; markets brought in merchants from Nigeria, Egypt, and other African kingdoms, a university was founded in the city (as well as in the Malian cities of Djenné and Ségou), and Islam was spread through the markets and university, making Timbuktu a new area for Islamic scholarship. News of the Malian empire’s city of wealth even traveled across the Mediterranean to southern Europe, where traders from Venice, Granada, and Genoa soon added Timbuktu to their maps to trade manufactured goods for gold. The University of Sankoré in Timbuktu was restaffed under Musa's reign, with jurists, astronomers, and mathematicians. The university became a center of learning and culture, drawing Muslim scholars from around Africa and the Middle East to Timbuktu.

Urban Report

Corey Booker, mayor of Newark, New Jersey and rising young star with national potential, discusses: Newark receiving a 100 million dollar education grant from Facebook, the recession's impact in urban America, reaching out to other big city mayors, President Obama's leadership and much more.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Kwanzaa celebrates and reaffirms the values important to African Americans. Created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, in 1966, the week-long event is based on seven principles (as established by Dr. Karenga):

Umoja(Unity): To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.

Kujichagulia(Self Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.

Ujima(Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and our sisters’ problems our problems and to solve them together.

Ujamaa(Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Nia(Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Kuumba(Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Imani(Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Beginning December 26th each year, the celebration is most notably symbolized by seven candles and the colors black, for the people; red for their struggles and green for the future. The candles are placed in a Kinara (candle holder), with one black candle centered between three red candles to the left and three green candles to the right.

On the first day of Kwanzaa the black candle is lit and the rest of the candles are lit during the remaining days, from left to right, symbolizing that people must come first, then the struggle and finally the hope for a better future that comes from the struggle.

Each of the seven principles represents the core values to improve and preserve the African American community. Celebrators are encouraged to use creativity instead of commercialism to convey the message of the Nguzo Saba (Seven Principles) in order to make home, community and the world a better place for all.

Top ten things you didn't know about more.

Obama: Man Most Admired

For the third straight year, President Obama has been polled Man Most Admired in more.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Christmas Feel Good Story; Mama Brown

In the true spirit of Christmas, I was impressed and challenged by Mama Brown of Oakland, California. As she is affectionately called, Mama Brown fulfilled her promise to send to college (no Bill Gates riches; she earned a salary of 45,000 a year when she made the promise) an entire class of first graders (now high school graduates)... read more

New York Times Reports: Kenyans Using Solar Power

KIPTUSURI, Kenya — For Sara Ruto, the desperate yearning for electricity began last year with the purchase of her first cellphone, a lifeline for receiving small money transfers, contacting relatives in the city or checking chicken prices at the nearest market.

Solar power for Ms. Ruto’s hut in Kiptusuri, Kenya, means her toddlers no longer risk burns from a smoky kerosene lamp. More Photos »
Charging the phone was no simple matter in this farming village far from Kenya’s electric grid.

Every week, Ms. Ruto walked two miles to hire a motorcycle taxi for the three-hour ride to Mogotio, the nearest town with electricity. There, she dropped off her cellphone at a store that recharges phones for 30 cents. Yet the service was in such demand that she had to leave it behind for three full days before returning.

That wearying routine ended in February when the family sold some animals to buy a small Chinese-made solar power system for about $80. Now balanced precariously atop their tin roof, a lone solar panel provides enough electricity to charge the phone and run four bright overhead lights with switches. For More...

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Miracle on Wall Street

In the celebratory aftermath of President Obama's stunning year-end legislation victories, one untold (or under-told) story has starkly and vividly emerged. The story:

Without a shred of equivocation the Republican party demonstrated to whom they are solely beholden to - the super rich.

They (GOP) were willing to obstruct, hold hostage or kill legislation that was hugely popular and necessary unless the super-rich got even more super-rich.

Case in Point:

Middle class tax relief, not until Mr. Wall Street go his cut;
Health Care for 911 First Responders, not until Mr. Rupert "FOXY NEWS" Murdoch got more billions;
Food Safety for American families, not until Mr. Bank Of America receives more of our tax dollars.

Other than the Obama Christmas Miracle, we continue to have, the Republican party miracle, how despite their actions, they are able to sell themselves to middle America as the party of Patriotism

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Comeback Kid: Part II

After admitting to taking a November mid-term election shellacking (his words), President Obama has led one of the most productive Lame Duck congressional sessions in the history of our country. The Tax Compromise, START Treaty, Food Safety Act, repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, 9/11 First Responders Health Bill - just to name a few major victories - have given Obama a boost in the polls as the following CNN article reports...

CNN Poll: 56 percent give Obama's lame duck a thumbs up
By: CNN Political Unit

Washington (CNN) - When it comes to public opinion, who's the biggest winner of one of the most productive congressional lame duck sessions in years?

According to a new national poll, it looks like President Barack Obama is that winner, and his strategy of cooperating with congressional Republican leaders may be the key to his success.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey indicates that 56 percent of Americans say they approve of the way Obama's handled the issues that Congress has considered during the lame duck sesssion, with 41 percent saying they disapprove.

According to the poll, only 44 percent of the public approves of how congressional Republicans have handled the issues and that number drops to 42 percent for Republican leaders in Congress, with a majority of Americans saying they disapprove of how both congressional Democrats and Republicans are acting during the session.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Conclusion of Study: Fox News Makes You Dumb

The following is an article about a media study conducted by the University of Maryland. This study confirms what most non-FOX News watchers already know: The more FOX one watches, the more ignorant one becomes. Hell, we knew back in 2003, during the lead-up to the Iraq war, when Fox and Cheney/Bush morphed Bin Laden into Saddam (successfully in FOX country), that the average Foxalien was more than a bit Coco for Coco Puffs. Read on.

By Mark Howard Study Confirms That Fox News Makes You Stupid

A new survey of American voters shows that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources.

Yet another study has been released proving that watching Fox News is detrimental to your intelligence. World Public Opinion, a project managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, conducted a survey of American voters that shows that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources. What’s more, the study shows that greater exposure to Fox News increases misinformation.

So the more you watch, the less you know. Or to be precise, the more you think you know that is actually false. This study corroborates a previous PIPA study that focused on the Iraq war with similar results. And there was an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that demonstrated the break with reality on the part of Fox viewers with regard to health care. The body of evidence that Fox News is nothing but a propaganda machine dedicated to lies is growing by the day.

In eight of the nine questions below, Fox News placed first in the percentage of those who were misinformed (they placed second in the question on TARP). That’s a pretty high batting average for journalistic fraud. Here is a list of what Fox News viewers believe that just aint so:

•91 percent believe the stimulus legislation lost jobs
•72 percent believe the health reform law will increase the deficit
•72 percent believe the economy is getting worse
•60 percent believe climate change is not occurring
•49 percent believe income taxes have gone up
•63 percent believe the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts
•56 percent believe Obama initiated the GM/Chrysler bailout
•38 percent believe that most Republicans opposed TARP
•63 percent believe Obama was not born in the U.S. (or that it is unclear)

The conclusion is inescapable. Fox News is deliberately misinforming its viewers and it is doing so for a reason. Every issue above is one in which the Republican Party had a vested interest. The GOP benefited from the ignorance that Fox News helped to proliferate. The results were apparent in the election last month as voters based their decisions on demonstrably false information fed to them by Fox News.

By the way, the rest of the media was not blameless. CNN and the broadcast network news operations fared only slightly better in many cases. Even MSNBC, which had the best record of accurately informing viewers, has a ways to go before it can brag about it.

The conclusions in this study need to be disseminated as broadly as possible. Fox’s competitors need to report these results and produce ad campaigns featuring them. Newspapers and magazines need to publish the study across the country. This is big news and it is critical that the nation be advised that a major news enterprise is poisoning their minds.

This is not an isolated review of Fox’s performance. It has been corroborated time and time again. The fact that Fox News is so blatantly dishonest, and the effects of that dishonesty have become ingrained in an electorate that has been been purposefully deceived, needs to be made known to every American. Our democracy cannot function if voters are making choices based on lies. We have the evidence that Fox is tilting the scales and we must now make certain its corporate owners do not get away with it.

Mark Howard is an artist and author and the publisher of News Corpse.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

White Male Manifest Destiny Woes

I read the following column, written by Adrian Walker, this morning in the Boston Globe. I believe it epitomizes the fragile and deeply entrenched white male supremacy ego we see manifested in the alternative universe called FOX News World. A world that, outside of the sport's field, white males feel a certain inherent entitlement to be the top dog. And, anytime they are not the top dog it's because of Affirmative Action or some other nefarious action. In this universe, non-white male leadership or achievement has to be de-legitimized at all cost because it represents an antithesis to the manifest destiny (click manifest destiny link for full definition) narrative. Read on:

Frank G. Cousins Jr. freely admits that he has a hard time talking about the entrenched problems involving race and gender in his department.

That isn’t an easy admission for any sheriff. But then again, Cousins might be the only law enforcement boss to file a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination against a group of his own subordinates. For creating a workplace that was hostile — toward him.

The Essex County sheriff won an important measure of vindication a few days ago, when a Superior Court judge ruled in his favor against two employees Cousins had fired for their role in running an often racist and sexist union website. The ruling, by Judge David A. Lowy, overturned an arbitrators’ ruling that would have reinstated them.

Cousins, a former state representative from Newburyport, was appointed sheriff by Governor William F. Weld in 1996. Some employees quickly showed their displeasure with having a black boss. Problems escalated in 1998, when the Essex County Corrections Officers Association was formed.

A union website became home to often anonymous attacks and slurs against minorities and women in the department, including, frequently, Cousins.

“You hear a lot about the culture of law enforcement,’’ Cousins said yesterday. “The culture here has been very difficult.’’

Black male employees were called pimps; females were accused of winning promotions by sleeping with superiors. One person posted a list of ways to commit suicide, and suggested it would be a good idea for “sell-outs — and Frank.’’

The poster was later identified as Lieutenant Scott Thompson, who was successfully prosecuted for making threats against the sheriff. Thompson left the department. The operative posting: In a passage critical of Cousins’s management, one employee asked if there was anyone who could help the situation. “Yeah, there was someone who can help, but James Earl Ray is dead!’’ Thompson responded, alluding to the man convicted of killing the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

That was when Cousins finally became concerned for his own safety. He filed a complaint against the union with the MCAD, which has issued a preliminary finding in his favor. He got a driver. He began watching his back.

“I’ve been around a long time and I have a tough skin, but that was a bad chapter,’’ Cousins said. “What was hard was that you had people who knew who was doing these things and they never came forward.’’

The latest ruling involves Lieutenant Jerry Enos and Sergeant K. Ricky Thompson, who were fired in 2007 over their roles as webmasters for the site. But an arbitrator bought their arguments they were not fired in a timely fashion and were not aware that their actions could cost them their jobs. But the judge roundly rejected that thinking.

“Enos and Thompson’s conduct disrupted the operation of the department, violated multiple rules and regulations of the department, and endangered the safety of their co-workers and those in the custody of the department,’’ Lowy wrote. “Although arbitrator’s decisions are given great deference, they are not sacrosanct.’’

Cousins believes that this ruling, though likely to be appealed, will be a turning point for the department. He said a new union president has brought a more mature and inclusive attitude. He thinks that finally, after 14 years on the job, employees have finally gotten accustomed to the presence of a black boss.

“I’m not naïve,’’ Cousins said. “Change is very difficult. I felt when I went there that we would have to work through some of these issues, but I didn’t expect it to rise to the level that it did.’’

Cousins has just easily won another six-year term, and said he is excited about the prospect of working on issues like recidivism and prisoner reentry without the distraction of racial and gender strife.

“There are a lot of good people here,’’ he said. “At this point, everyone just wants to move forward.’’

Adrian Walker is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at

© Copyright 2010 Globe Newspaper Company.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Obama Compromise

This past week, President Obama and the Republican congressional leaders reached a compromise on the Bush tax cut extensions. The Republicans were successful in extending tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires; and, Obama was successful in extending tax cuts for the middle-class, extending unemployment benefits for another 13 months and lowering social security tax for middle-class workers.

As predicted, the progressive and liberal base of the Democratic party, already feeling uneasy about previous Obama compromises to the non-reciprocating Republicans, are outraged and feel betrayed.

On the purity of ideology and fairness, I understand their frustration. But step back from the vacuum of ideology and it becomes abundantly clear, the compromise was wise.

One, the tax cuts were about to expire for the middle-class and economist overwhelmingly believe that a higher tax rate would severely damage our tenuous recovery from the worst economic melt-down since the Great Depression.

Second, with unemployment at 9.8%, the continuation of unemployment insurance is vital for struggling, under-employed and unemployed American families - it's the humane thing to do.

Third, the Republicans were threatening to hold up all other legislation if no tax agreement was reached. With this lame duck session winding down and a new Republican majority House of Representatives (not to mention greater Republican Senate numbers) taking control in the new year, Obama and the Democrats' window of opportunity to effectively legislate is rapidly closing.

In a more perfect political environment, I too think the deal/compromise stinks. The income and wage divide between the wealthy and middle-class/working class is arguably the largest in the history of America. The corporate elites show only allegiance and patriotism to maximized profits, even at the expense of the American worker and economy. To add insult to injury, they want even more money at the least time our country can afford it.

On the other hand, as famed New York Time editorial writer, Frank Rich stated, the emotional outrage by the Democratic congressional leaders is a bit hypocritical. He further explains, the Dems had a pre-midterm election opportunity to push a middle-class only tax cut and campaign on how the Republicans were pushing tax cuts for the super rich. They didn't. Instead the Dems punted away this issue and now are angry that Obama - caught between a rock and a hard spot- made the best deal left on the table.

It is, what it is...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

KFC and the Emerging African Middle Class

(Wall Street Journal) — After spending two decades introducing fried chicken and pizza to Chinese consumers, Yum Brands Inc. now sees Africa as its next international jewel. By 2014, the Louisville, Ky., restaurant-holding company expects to double its number of KFC outlets in Africa to 1,200. In the next four years, it aims to more than double its revenue on the continent to $2 billion. “Africa wasn’t even on our radar screen 10 years ago, but now we see it exploding with opportunity,” says David Novak, Yum’s chairman and chief executive officer. The improved political stability of various African governments, the region’s vast population and a growing middle class in Africa—where chicken is a dietary staple—led Yum to set its sights on the continent.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Miseducation of Sarah Palin

Sometimes a verbal gaffe is just a verbal gaffe - a slip of a tongue misstatement we all make from time to time. But other times, when someone has a voluminous gaffe body of work, a verbal gaffe is a concrete indicator of cognitive shortcomings.

Sarah Palin falls into the latter category. In her over zealous attempt to criticize President Obama's response to North Korea's overtly aggressive attacks against our South Korean ally, she commits yet another verbal snafu that starkly reveal her incompetence. This time she implies, in her condescending snarky tone, that Obama is not standing resolutely enough with our North Korean ally.

This is the same person who mocked Obama's usage of a teleprompter while reading notes scribbled on the palm of her hand.

If this was only a Saturday Night Live Tina Fey parody of Palin it would be hilarious. But this is serious, because (for reasons beyond my grasp) she is in the conversation for either running for president or being a kingmaker in the 2012 election.

Barbara Bush on Sarah Palin

Asked what she thinks about Sarah Palin, the matriarch of the Bush family responded with characteristic diplomacy.

"I sat next to her once. Thought she was beautiful," Barbara Bush told CNN's Larry King. "And she's very happy in Alaska, and I hope she'll stay there."

The 85-year-old former first lady chuckled and smiled at her subtle sarcasm. Her comments come as Palin, former Alaska governor, revealed this week that she's considering a 2012 run for the White House, and said believes she could beat President Barack Obama.

I could not agree more with Ms Barbara Bush - now only if she could have kept W in Texas, as well!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Election 2010: Who Is The Blame?

The following poll was conducted and published by the Express, a free daily newspaper published by the Washington Post (Friday, November 9, 2010).

Question: Is Obama to blame for the GOP'S retaking the House majority?

Results: 60% No 40% Yes

The following comment printed best captured what I think is the true culprit for the 2010 election losses:

No, (doesn't blame Obama) that would be George W. Bush for sinking the economy, FOX(News Channel) for whipping up fear and hate, and the GOP for wanting power more than solutions to our nation's problems.

I could not agree more, however if we are to match and raise the energy level, we must now begin to organize and mobilize for 2012. We can not allow the crazies from the far right to out hustle us. Get on board.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Kanye West and George Bush

For the record, I am not a Kanye West fan. I think the brother is talented, but his talent is dwarfed by his oversized ego. Furthermore, his ill tempered rants (in particular, grabbing the mic from Taylor Swift in order to express his deluded thoughts on why she did not deserve to win over Beyonce at the 2009 VMAs) are reprehensible.

In acknowledgement of the above, I was absolutely floored by former President Bush's revelation, in his soon to be released memoir, exclaiming that West's off script rant in the aftermath of Katrina (during a televised fundraiser) - "President Bush don't care about black people" - was his "all time" lowest moment in his presidency.


His all time low wasn't 911, the worst terrorist attack on American soil that happened on his watch.

It wasn't his failure in Iraq, in which thousands lost their life in a futile effort to find manufactured WMD.

It wasn't even the suffering people endured post Katrina while waiting for a virtually non-responsive federal government.

It wasn't even the near collapse of the American economy/banking system that resulted in trillions of lost investment dollars, millions of lost jobs and millions of families losing their homes.

Nope...former President Bush's low point was when Kanye "Never Miss a Grand Opportunity to Embarrass Himself" West, hurt his feelings.

Wow, Mr. Bush, stay a private citizen and please don't leave your ranch. President Obama is currently catching hell because the country is pissed off about the mess you left and because he can't fix in two years what took you and your cronies eight years to mess up.

We do not need your memoirs to remind us about low moments in your failed presidency...we are currently still suffering through them.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Voter Rage

You would have to be living in a cave to not have heard about the political whooping received by President Obama and the Congressional Democrats. The GOP reclaimed the majority in the House and almost gained control of the Senate.

Many pundits are asking who is the blame or just flat out blaming Obama for this voter repudiation. However, my perspective or take on this recent turn of events (one that I share with my many progressive friends and associates) is quite different.

After two years of passing historic legislation (for the middle-class) on Health Care Reform, Stimulus Package, Wall Street Reform; and, saving the American car industry as well as our economy from a Great Depression - I believed that confidence in President Obama would be soaring.

I mistakenly thought middle America would reward the Democrats and Obama for reversing eight years of Bush/Cheney failures. My commonsense lead me to take for granted that the average American citizens understood we would not reap overnight the benefits from programs and legislation championed by Obama and the Dems.

My bad...I stand corrected.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Out of Africa

I found this story on regarding a remarkable artifact discovery in Africa. This article gives insight to the Euro centric mentality regarding the development of civilization. The mindset that consistently minimizes the role of historical Africa. Even today, this mindset is pervasive; for instance, as a frequently viewer of the History channel, I rarely see a story on ancient Africa that depict the contributions of black Africans.

The African sculptures mistaken for remains of Atlantis

A hundred years ago when German explorer Leo Frobenius visited West Africa and came across some sculpted bronze heads and terracotta figures, he was sure he had discovered remains of the mythical lost city of Atlantis.

He refused to believe that the sophisticated and ornately carved bronze sculptures were made in Africa.

In his book, Voice of Africa, Frobenius wrote: "Before us stood a head of marvellous beauty, wonderfully cast in antique bronze, true to the life, incrusted with a patina of glorious dark green. This was, in very deed, the Olokun, Atlantic Africa's Poseidon."

"I was moved to silent melancholy at the thought that this assembly of degenerate and feeble-minded posterity should be the legitimate guardians of so much loveliness," he added.

Frobenius was referring to the people who lived in the Kingdom of Ife and whose artists, in fact, created the sculptures over the course of some four centuries. Leading art experts believe they are among the most aesthetically striking and technically sophisticated in the world.

The Ife kingdom was believed to have flourished from the 12th to the 15th centuries in the lush forests of the lower Niger in West Africa in what is today the south western region of Nigeria.

Frobenius' assertions helped reinforce long held assumptions of African art as primitive and inferior to European art.

However, 30 years later, Europeans were forced to revise these previously held assumptions when 18 brass and copper sculptures were discovered in the Ife kingdom. The works were later brought to London, where they were enthusiastically received.

A 1948 article in the Illustrated London News was headlined: "African art worthy to rank with the finest works of Italy and Greece" and "Donatellos of medieval Africa."

As critic Michael Glover notes in the UK's Independent newspaper, "At the same historical moment that Andrea del Verrocchio was doing his wonderfully painstaking, high-Renaissance drawing of a female head, anonymous artisans in Ife were working with brass, bronze, copper and terracotta to produce a series of exquisite heads that are not only the equal of Donatello in technical brilliance, but also just as naturalistic in their refinement. So much for African primitivism."

Now, a worldwide touring exhibition is bringing the show to modern audiences in the first-ever show dedicated to the Ife sculptures.

The exhibition features more than 100 bronze, terracotta and stone sculptures, ranging in date from the ninth to the fifteenth centuries.

Many of these have never been on display outside Nigeria. Most of the works are on loan from the Nigerian National Commission for Museums and Monuments.

The sculptures are currently on display at the British Museum in London until 4th July and will move to various states in the United States from September.

According to Neil Macgregor, Director of the British Museum, there was a conscious effort to display the Ife sculptures at the same time as an exhibition of Italian Renaissance drawings at the museum because he wanted to highlight the "relationship between Nigerian culture and the rest of the world."

"We wanted to make the point that nobody, when they learn European art history, studying Italy and Renaissance in the fourteenth, fifteenth centuries, is taught that at exactly the same time in West Africa, artistic production of the same level and the same quality is going on," he said during a talk on Nigeria at the museum.

The sculptures depict human figures from a cross-section of Ife society and provide a fascinating insight into local customs and beliefs of the time.

However, not much is known about the origins of the Ife casts or who they were made for or for what purpose.

Macgregor said: "This is a history that is still very much in the making. And it's not, of course, just the history of Ife. The bronze casting world of West Africa is an astonishingly large and rich one.

"The quality of the objects continues to astound and particularly the objects that have never been seen before," Macgregor continued. "On any view they are a masterpiece, not just of observation but of sculpting and casting."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Left Wing: Friendly Fire

After years of being out of power and relegated to the fringe sideline within their own party, the far-right wing of the Republican party found a home in the Ronald Reagan White House. Finally invited to the big table, the far right did not demand 100% implementation of their agenda over night.

Quite the contrary, they continued to incrementally fight for their issues. They built Think Tanks, magazines, news stations and radio talk shows aimed at making their case to the American public. The Republican far right stayed disciplined and on message until they were able to flex their political muscle.

On the other hand, I have been somewhat disappointed by the impatience of the more progressive wing in the Democratic party. An article in this month's Rolling Stone, called Making the Case for Obama, accurately points out that the landmark legislation victories by team Obama surpasses Bush I and II, Clinton, Reagan and Carter. In fact, only LBJ and FDR had more legislative victories. And the article notes they both had huge super majorities in the senate - which Obama barely has.

Even with historic legislative victories, the progressives are rapidly souring on the Obama administration - to the extent that there is a wide enthusiasm gap between GOP voters and Democratic voters; and this may contribute to the GOP winning back the House and the Senate in the 2010 mid-term election.

The following observation was in today's New York Times:

Melody Barnes, the president’s domestic-policy adviser, says the biggest problem was that after eight years of Bush, Obama’s supporters were very eager to change everything right away. “The pent-up demand across every issue area — around science, around education, around health care, immigration, you name it — there was a lot of desire to finally get these things done,” she told me. “Every segment of the population had something that was very important to them that they really wanted to put over the finish line.”

I thought I would never encourage stealing a page from the GOP playbook, however adopting their more strategic approach to politics beats standing around shooting ourselves in the foot with friendly fire.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Obama and Our Messiah Complex

Jon Stewart says he is disappointed in President Obama. Yes, Stewart, champion of rational politics over the zany and crazy politics of right wingers in the Republican party. The same Jon Stewart that has brilliantly used comedy on his Daily News Show to highlight the absurdity and hypocrisy of Fox News and company.

Well, on the Fox's Bill O'Reilly show, Stewart confessed that he is disappointed in the performance of President Obama. Get this...Stewart, usually pragmatic and rational, exclaims he thought he voted for a man that could walk on water, a man that could change water to wine. In other words, he is disappointed that mere mortal President Obama is not the messiah. Disappointed that Obama does not have a magic wand to instantly repair the damage of 8 years of Bush/Cheney, corporate unchecked greed and Wall Street ponzi schemes.

To further add insult to the already injured (middle America of all hues), the Republicans that created this mess will not lift one finger to help make the American public whole again. Their mantra has been, Just Say No. These hypocritical obstructionist will say no and filibuster even their own ideas if Obama adopts them. As a matter of fact, former president Jimmy Carter - who gives Obama high marks for Universal Health care and Wall Street reform, etc - observed, when interviewed by Charlie Rose, that Obama has faced the most hostile oppositional congress since pre-civil war Abraham Lincoln.

So I say to John Stewart, grow up, Tooth Fairies, Santa Claus, Super Action figures are for kids. Real structural change is hard and it requires coordination between elected leaders and the electorate. If we, supporters of President Obama, elected a man and just sat back because we believe he could magically fix things all by himself; if we sat back and wanted all our special interests legislated overnight while the roar of the Tea Party became louder and louder; if this is the case, then the object of disappointment falls directly on our shoulders.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Editorial of the Week

After reading this New York Times editorial by Bob Herbert (Saturday, August 28, 2010) on bottom feeder, Glen Beck, I knew I had to post a link. It's a must read, here's a taste:

America is better than Glenn Beck. For all of his celebrity, Mr. Beck is an ignorant, divisive, pathetic figure. On the anniversary of the great 1963 March on Washington he will stand in the shadows of giants — Abraham Lincoln and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Who do you think is more representative of this nation?
Consider a brief sampling of their rhetoric.

Lincoln: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
King: “Never succumb to the temptation of becoming bitter.”
Beck: “I think the president is a racist.”

For more click Herbert

Kenya Report: New Constitution

This past week, the eastern African country, Kenya has ratified and signed a new constitution. The truly historic document, that decentralizes power from the president to local community governments, will serve as a check and balance against tyrannical corruption.

This new document, hailed as the most significant political event since Kenya’s independence nearly a half-century ago: (as reported by the AP) part of a reform package that President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga committed themselves to after signing a power-sharing deal in February 2008. That deal ended violence that killed more than 1,000 people after Kenya’s disputed December 2007 presidential vote. (AP)

Thousands and thousands of Kenyans and VIP international guests celebrated in Kenyan capital, Nairobi's Uhuru Park.

With this development, Kenya, already one of the world's fastest growing economies, will only attract more international investment because of less corruption and better governance. Additionally, this will serve as a template for other African nations.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Junk Food For The Mind

News Flash, Breaking News, This Just In or Happening now...!

Day in and day out, we are fed mental junk food by the 24 hour news channels. They bombard us with negative news, sensationalized stories and toxic images. Most of the stories are Much to do about nothing, and are presented in a format of Us against Them: left v right, poor v rich, black v white, urban v rural, immigrant v citizen and on and on.

My personal theory is that these stories skewer our perception of reality, desensitizes, polarizes and flat out depresses the watchers. Understand, the mind can not be in a perpetual crisis mode 24/7 without having negative side-effects.

These stations have huge budgets and a relentless need to sell commercials time in order to generate revenue. Therefore, we are constantly fed stories that prey on our emotions to keep us watching.

My personal remedy:

1. Turn off the TV and interact with real folks.
2. Participate in Book/Novel Clubs.
3. Join political action groups and become a part of the process.
4. Enjoy long walks - or the exercise of your choice.
5. When I watch TV, I substitute the healthier HGTV (Home and Garden TV)

Finally, to avoid that craving of being denied my 24 hour news fix, I allow myself to indulge twice a month. The net affects of my 24/7 news diet - restored peace of mind.

P.S.: Other huge benefits of my TV diet and watching HGTV are newly painted kitchen and bathroom, resurfaced oven and newly installed closet doors. I could get use to this. lol

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pick Your Battle

This is a follow up to my NAACP V Teabagger's post.

The older I get, the more events seem to confirm my philosophy regarding race and racism.

I fervently believe racism (or some other type of ism) will be with us to the end of time. For that stated reason, I believe the NAACP, and us in the African-American community, are faced with the reality of which front should we invest most of our resources:

A. Fighting racism legally, socially, and politically whenever it raises its ugly head.


B. Improving education in our schools, addressing criminal/dysfunctional behavior within our community, and providing support (non-government) for families in crisis.

Obviously, for me, this is a rhetorical exercise; because I strongly believe instead of focusing on ending racism, we should focus more of our resources on not being victims of racism (there is a difference).

And surprise, surprise, when our community is strengthen one enormous by-product will emerge - many non-black people will discover, it's no longer in their best interest to be racist.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Shrinking Middle-Class

After years of the NAFTA Treaty, globalization of the American economy (both causing wage deflation and outsourcing of higher paying jobs abroad to cheaper labor markets) and Bush tax breaks for the wealthiest (and overall policy focus), our middle-class is disappearing at a staggering rate. Read the below from a Yahoo article.

The 22 statistics detailed here prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the middle class is being systematically wiped out of existence in America.

The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer at a staggering rate. Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world, but now that is changing at a blinding pace.

So why are we witnessing such fundamental changes? Well, the globalism and "free trade" that our politicians and business leaders insisted would be so good for us have had some rather nasty side effects. It turns out that they didn't tell us that the "global economy" would mean that middle class American workers would eventually have to directly compete for jobs with people on the other side of the world where there is no minimum wage and very few regulations. The big global corporations have greatly benefited by exploiting third world labor pools over the last several decades, but middle class American workers have increasingly found things to be very tough.

Here are the statistics to prove it:

• 83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.
• 61 percent of Americans "always or usually" live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
• 66 percent of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.
• 36 percent of Americans say that they don't contribute anything to retirement savings.
• A staggering 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.
• 24 percent of American workers say that they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year.

To read more click link Midde-Class:

Source: The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it
Posted Jul 15, 2010 02:25pm EDT by Michael Snyder in Recession

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


In conversations with friends and family, we all concurred it was ill-advised for the NAACP to draft a resolution calling upon the Tea Party to condemn the racist fringe of its organization.

In our collective reasoning, we all acknowledged that the Tea Party does have an ugly and racist under-belly. In fact, the election of President Obama seems to have served as a rallying call to protest action for this element. However, as the proverbial grandmom use to say, pick your battles wisely.

Therefore, the questions are, what are the tangible benefits of this battle? Will it improve, advance or address the urgent needs of the black community or is it just a side show that wastes energy, time and resources?

The answer is a resounding no - it doesn't help us. Winning a public debate with Tea Baggers does absolutely nothing to help people of color. In fact, it just inflames their core demographics and calcifies their racism. It makes good TV but it doesn't move us forward.

After this week's flap over Shirley Sherrod of the USDA - her out of context and edited comments at a NAACP event that were supposed to prove that the NAACP tolerated reverse racism - served as an example of the tit for tat fight we can expect.

Once again, grandmom also said: Don't get in a mud fight with a pig. You both come out muddy and dirty and the pig likes it.

Friday, July 2, 2010


The first step down the road of finding your inner voice is to construct boundaries - in short, find your safety zone. Find that place away from the constant chatter and noise; a place where you can go to reflect on your past (non-judgemental) and contemplate where you want life to take you.

Next, organize a practical plan of action; and, move into action with all deliberate speed. Be aware that progress is painstaking and not without ups and downs or zigs and zags. Miss-steps are not a sign of failure. As a matter of fact, failure is not a sign of failure.

In the journey, let us avoid or keep at bay people with sloppy lives. For whatever reason, misery likes company. Learn to detect the woe is me crowd because they will sabotage (if you let them in your safety zone) your journey.

Lastly, in your plan of action, make sure you have benchmarks that identify incremental progress. Reaching or surpassing our benchmarks helps reassure that we are on the right path; or it informs us we need a better strategy. We should celebrate, reflect and rededicate each benchmark victory - even, or especially, the so-called baby steps. Peace

Monday, June 21, 2010

That Inner Voice

From time to time, I catch myself being a people pleaser. I am learning to check myself when I fall into this mode because I believe it blocks my purpose or journey.

Regardless of how hard we try, to say or do the right thing to please everyone around us, we are bound to disappoint or piss off someone. So why even try?

By that I don't mean become a cold-blooded person that lacks compassion. No, I mean we need to strive to follow that inner voice - that divine voice we all have within.

Additionally, when we live to please everyone (in a misguided effort to have everyone approve of us or like us) we are suppressing our emotions and living a lie.

Now, we all have that one person, friend or family member that by placating to their demands, we lose ourself in the process. Ironically, these people rarely show appreciation or reciprocation. They begin to believe it's their god given right to intrude upon your peace.

Reject the impulse and follow your instinct - peace of mind is on this road.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cheney and the Oil Spill

As you may have read, I question why Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin and the Teabaggers were not outraged by the BP oil leak in the gulf - now it Newsweek is asking some pretty tough questions as well. Read on and click the link...

When the Obama administration, or the media, or just about anybody contradicts Dick Cheney's views on national security, he is far from shy about responding. But, facing a firestorm of criticism over the oil spill, he's been notably silent.

More than national security, energy policy and the oil industry might be considered Cheney's real areas of expertise. He was chairman and CEO of oil services company Halliburton between 1995 and 2000. And, of course, he worked prominently on energy policy as vice president from 2000 to 2008.

Click Haliburton

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Who won at the Alamo?

In Texas, a state in which a sitting governor proclaims intentions of seceding from the nation, it is hard to be shocked by news from there. Oh, but, the lone star state is at it again.

Yes, the supersized state that gave us W or by his full name George Walker Bush, can still produce shocking news that has us sane folk saying WTF?!

Texas has decided to rewrite American History, and here are a few tidbits:

The American Slave trade morphs into The Atlantic Triangular Trade.

Martin Luther King and the Black Panthers grouped together as dangerous radicals.

Southern Confederate leaders have their contributions hyped.

Thomas Jefferson is virtually ignored for being too liberal - especially for declaring separation of state and church.

Witch hunter Senator Joseph McCarthy is presented as a hero for his, I see commies everywhere hearings.

Japanese Americans, interned during WWII, were not unfairly targeted.

This bizarre manifesto, authored by ultra-conservatives whom have hijacked the Texas Department of Education, would only be harmless fodder for late night comics if the impact wasn't so widely felt. But, as MSNBC news reports:

Texas is the second-largest textbook buyer in the nation. Because of its prominence, many textbooks are written to meet that state's standards — books that are in turn frequently used in other states.

The reason for this faux sanitized history is explained by Cynthia Dunbar, leader of the defacto re-education movement:

We are fighting for our children's education and our nation's future. In Texas, we have certain statutory obligations to promote patriotism and to promote the free enterprise system. There seems to have been a move away from a patriotic ideology. There seems to be a denial that this was a nation founded under God. We had to go back and make some corrections.

Yes, she used the word denial!

Once again, who won the Alamo? I guess Texas did.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Drill Baby, Drill Baby

In the midst of a major oil spill in the gulf, what is the reaction from Sarah Palin, Tea Baggers, Glen Beck and the other Fix News members?


Yes, silence, the same as during the Cheney/Bush years (yes, Cheney/Bush) when our economic surplus was squandered, plunging our country into a historic recession.

And once again, as the devastation from BP's Deepwater Horizon oil diaster wrecks enormous ecological havoc in the Gulf of Mexico, not a scintilla of outrage. No rallies. No blustery Town Hall meetings. No marches in the street. No name calling. Nada!

And once again, Cheney's Halliburton (they were contracted to build the oil drilling rig) - the non-bid government contractor that admitted to overcharging American taxpayers billions of dollars - is smack dab in the middle of another enormous sandal.

This clean up will ultimately cost American taxpayers billions of dollars. However, the so-called tax conscious Tea Bagger's silence, is exactly what delegitimizes their contrived movement. It displays their selective outrage. The only times they seemed to be outraged and demand accountability is when Democrats are in control of government or when a republican (no matter how conservative his/her voting record is), legislatively reaches out to the other party.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Quote of the week

He who controls the past controls the future, he who controls the present controls the past... George Orwell

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Post Racism Age

The great pithy one, Bill O'Reilly, was booed at Al Sharpton's convention the other week, for suggesting that racism is no longer a factor in our society and African-Americans need to shut up and stop whining or playing the race card.

My question: Is he right?

My answer: Yes and no.

First, I say resoundingly, Hell No Bill.

Just review the content of your own Fix News. Your station subtly and overtly panders to the racism of so-called middle-American viewers. On record, in the last few weeks we have two southern governors issue positive proclamations about celebrating Confederate month.

During the health care vote, angry mobs of Tea Baggers shouted racial epitaphs at black legislators. Last week, in Los Angeles, a white-supremacy group held an anti-immigration rally.

Finally the obvious, just listen to five minutes of Rush Windbag's high rated daily dose of hate radio and you tell me with a straight face race does not matter!

But, Bill I agree with you about this: Race is still a major hurdle, but it is not and should not be an insurmountable obstacle to the economic, social, and educational success of African-Americans.

I say this because, racism does not stop us from being a good parents, reviewing our children's homework, visiting our children's school.

Racism does not force parents to curse and act ignorant in front of our youth, Racism does not make us trash our own community.

Racism does not force us to exalt material things over spiritual things. Racism does not force us to diss and not respect and cherish our women, mothers, sisters and daughters.

In plain words, the existence of racism does not mean we can not invest in our community!

Rest In Peace: Dorthy Heights and Benjamin Hooks - Two stalwart and outstanding warriors for human rights for all people. Thank you!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rescued: While Kicking and Screaming...

Is middle America being rescued despite it's self?

Do you remember how dire the economic climate was in fall 2008 and winter 2008/2009?

Do you recall how many economic experts - from all political persuasions - were predicting a worldwide economic collapse perhaps more severe then the Great Depression of the 1930's?

Well, this just in:

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress Wednesday that the economy began to recover from its long recession in the second half of last year, and he predicted a moderate economic recovery in the months to come.

Bernanke, an appointment by Republican George W. Bush, credits President Obama's stimulus package for helping our country stave off economic disaster. In fact, in March, for the first time in three years, the economy added jobs instead of losing jobs - 162,000 to be exact.

As Newsweek reported this past week:

America is coming back stronger, better, and faster than nearly anyone expected—and faster than most of its international rivals. The Dow Jones industrial average, hovering near 11,000, is up 70 percent in the past 13 months, and auto sales in the first quarter were up 16 percent from 2009. The economy added 162,000 jobs in March, including 17,000 in manufacturing. The dollar has gained strength, and the U.S. is back to its familiar position of lapping Europe and Japan in growth.

And to think, the GOP - that created this mess - has convinced hoards of herd mentality middle Americans, that President Obama's economic policies are hurting our country.

Hence, instead of supporting these economic commonsense policies, they are calling for a revolution to reinstall the same ship of fools that almost sunk our boat.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April: Confederate History Month

Sometimes no extra words are necessary to convey a point.
Virginia governor Bob Mcconnell issued a proclamation naming April as Confederate History Month - read on:

Confederate History Month is a month annually designated by several state governments in the Southern United States for the purpose of recognizing and honoring the history of the Confederate States of America. The month is especially designed to celebrate what Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens famously described as a "new government . . . founded upon exactly the opposite idea [from that of the United States in 1776]; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth." April has traditionally been chosen, as Confederate Memorial Day falls during that month in many of these states.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Game

"You have to understand that many people are not ready to be unplugged, and many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it." Matrix

An oligarchy is a form of government in which power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, military might, or religious hegemony.

The powerful corporate elite have always exercised an inordinate share of power in America. They leverage their power to influence and shape domestic and foreign policy through political contributions and lobbying. This is nothing new.

Historically, most Americans have understood and complied with the Golden Rule - he who has the gold rules - just as long as the average guy can get a piece of the American pie.

However, in recent decades, the average Joe/Jane middle-class has been getting the squeeze. Economic globalization means bye-bye to many living wage jobs and hello to a cheaper labor force.

Amid rising frustration among middle-class America of all hues, recent propaganda has pitted red state v. blue, rural against urban, black v. white, immigrant v. citizen and so on and so on.

Appeal for Wisdom:

When someone tries to whip me up into an emotional frenzy, I try to step back and peep the game. I try to step back and allow for some critical thinking. I check out and identify who wins in this arrangement.

Then, I try to drop some science...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A New - New Deal

The average Tea Bagger, who is woofing and yapping loudly against Obamacare, will greatly benefit from Health Care Reform. While the bill is not perfect, even President Obama admits as much, it is a great step forward in strengthening our country, economy and the much overlooked middle-class.

In Dude, Where's My Country, Michael Moore points out, Roosevelt's New Deal had created a massive middle class and the gap between rich and poor had actually decreased 7.4 percent form 1947 to 1968.

By contrast, the income disparity between poor/middle-class and rich has exponentially grown in the last 30 years. In fact, a recent study done by University of California Berkley reports the income gap is at an all time high:

Income inequality in the United States is at an all-time high, surpassing even levels seen during the Great the economic expansion of 2002-2007, the top 1 percent captured two thirds of income growth.

Why are the Tea Baggers so blindly following Republican rhetoric, once again, Michael Moore states:

I believe that many are lost in their own anger and have been manipulated by propaganda intended to get their blood boiling. The corporate, religious, and political chieftains know just which buttons to push to get otherwise decent and well-meaning people on their side.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Coffee Party: Issue Summit

Earlier today, Rob Nelb and I co-hosted a Coffee Party meeting at Bus Boys and Poets (BBP) restaurant in Washington, DC.

However, after two weeks of planning the Issue Summit meeting at BBP's 5th and K Street location, we discovered that at the exact same day and time, at BBP's 14th and V Street location, another Coffee Party Issue Summit meeting was planned with the organization's founder (Annabel Park) attending.

At this meeting CSPAN, FOX, and CNN were present. Needless to say, Rob and I were very discouraged about the fate of our meeting. In fact, in a moment of panic, I called BBP's event planner to cancel. I was informed that we could opt out as co-host but, since they advertised the program, they were going ahead as planned with or without us.

Long story short, we decided to proceed as planned. And no, we did not have a huge turn-out; but to my surprise, the meeting's attendance and intensity exceeded expectation. The group size was perfect for our topic. We substantively, coherently and rigorously discussed the topic of hand - mission accomplished.

What we lacked in glamour, we made up with grit. I am certain the other meeting was a resounding success; however, I re-learned a valuable lesson this morning.

It's not the size, it's the intensity that matters!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Comprehensive Health Care Reform at last!

Congratulations, President Obama for the historic and monumental political victory.

You placed your young presidency on the line and the congress, controlled by Democrats, delivered. With a presidential pen stroke, the USA joined the following countries who have Universal Health Care, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Columbia, Greenland, Mexico, United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales), Italy, Germany, Poland, Denmark, Finland, India, Israel, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and the list goes on...

Yet, incredulously, the GOP (hijacked by the far right fringe) are still yelling terms like Armageddon in their continuing efforts to scare middle-America! Such wonton fear has led to death threats aimed at pro-life Democratic Bart Stupak and others.

All of this because we joined all the before mentioned industrial countries in providing our citizens the right to health care.

That sound is me scratching my head...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

2010: Southern Strategy Remix

The following was reported by the this morning:

Abusive, derogatory and even racist behavior directed at House Democrats by Tea Party protesters on Saturday left several lawmakers in shock.

Preceding the president's speech to a gathering of House Democrats, thousands of protesters descended around the Capitol to protest the passage of health care reform. The gathering quickly turned into abusive heckling, as members of Congress passing through Longworth House office building were subjected to epithets and even mild physical abuse.

I do not find this behavior by Tea Party members the least bit surprising because many of us suspected that racism lurked just beneath the surface of their outrage. Many of us were fully cognizant that GOP operatives were covertly and sometimes overtly fanning the flames of hatred.

How else can you explain their lack of indignation at eight years of Bush/Cheney big government, record deficit spending, lack of transparency, no bid contracts, lies to promote war, squandering of our surplus, lack of corporate/Wall Street oversight?

Many of us get it when Rush Limbaugh calls President Obama a Third World president. We know what Sarah Palin means when she calls parts of our country the real America. We understand the coded language of Glen Beck, Sean Hannity and Fox news - they prey on the ignorance and hatred of their audience.

It's called the Southern Strategy - exploiting the racism of white voters in order to obtain power. As stated before, former RNC chief Ken Mehlman acknowledge that the GOP used this strategy and he apologized to the NAACP.

Tough to teach old dogs new tricks; especially when they work so well.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Finally, someone in mainstream press standing up and speaking the obvious, FOX AIN'T FAIR.

Howard Raines, former editor of the New York Times, writes in the Washington Post:

Why haven't America's old-school news organizations blown the whistle on Roger Ailes, chief of Fox News, for using the network to conduct a propaganda campaign against the Obama administration -- a campaign without precedent in our modern political history? Through clever use of the Fox News Channel and its cadre of raucous commentators, Ailes has overturned standards of fairness and objectivity that have guided American print and broadcast journalists since World War II. Yet, many members of my profession seem to stand by in silence as Ailes tears up the rulebook that served this country well as we covered the major stories of the past three generations, from the civil rights revolution to Watergate to the Wall Street scandals. This is not a liberal-versus-conservative issue. It is a matter of Fox turning reality on its head with...

He adds:

Why has our profession, through its general silence -- or only spasmodic protest -- helped Fox legitimize a style of journalism that is dishonest in its intellectual process, untrustworthy in its conclusions and biased in its gestalt?

For the complete story click Fox ain't fair.

Monday, March 15, 2010

When Do You Lose The Right To Complain?

I have nothing elaborate, complicated or profound to say. I am just curious on how many feel as I do. We all know people that if complaining were a job, they would be a top earner.

Well, how many people think that if you fail to contribute or participate socially, politically or economically to problem solving you lose the right to complain?

I personally think it's either put up or shut up! If you are not willing to roll up the sleeves to work for change, leave my ears alone. Am I wrong for feeling this way? Is idle complaining how some people vent?

Or, am I correct, and we need to place a community moratorium on empty complaining? A wise man once said: Don't Curse the Darkness; Light a Candle.Cast your ballots.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Justice is Blind or Blind Justice

This just in: Virginia Thomas, wife of ultra-conservative and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has launched a Tea Party non-profit group. She cites President Obama's, "hard-left agenda" as the reason for her activism.

Her Tea Party-linked organization, Liberty Central, Inc, as the LA Times reports, will be advocating for conservative core principles.

Funny thing, she decries anyone that complains about a conflict in interest as having a double standard because they do not question Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell - whose wife is a prosecutor.

Ms. Thomas, please, Ms. Rendell rules on criminal cases, in contrast, your husband votes on what laws and policies of our land are constitutional. In plain simple terms, he decides about issues you directly advocate for or against.

For the complete story, follow the link LA Times

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Conservative Perspective

The following views are expressed by a conservative associate of mine from the social network called In the true spirit of civil discourse, I invited him to share some of his politicals views on the current hot button issues. Hit me up and share what you think.


As a conservative, I thought I would shed some light on my points of view. (Remember I speak for me and not the conservatives)

To begin, let us put aside the labels of Republican and Democrat because they are misleading when talking about Liberals and Conservatives. There are many conservative democrats and some liberal republicans.

I want to cover a few of the topics of the day from a conservative point of view.

Lets start with Healthcare. We really should call it insurance reform because our system of medicine and doctors is the best in the world. I agree that something needs to be done with health insurance. Obviously everyone should be able to be covered. I do not think you will find anyone who disagrees with this point. The disagreement comes in the approach to doing it.

The conservatives you see who are against the proposed bill are so for certain reasons. If you look at our government run programs, fact is they are running at huge deficits. We need to get people who have preexisting conditions covered. I think we should pass a bill that mandates all insurance companies cover everyone regardless of conditions. This bill should take regulation away from the states (blue sky laws) and give it to the federal government and allow competition across state lines. Why is it that in NJ where I live, I have my choice of 6 health insurance providers, however there are thousands of insurance companies in the US? The other thing I would put in the bill is tort reform. Not total, but eliminating the frivolous suits would in all effect help with the costs.

This is something that could be implemented tomorrow and cost very little if anything. Now to everyone who says this wouldn't work, I say, then if it doesn't we implement some of the other ideas. This would be much better than the monstrosity of a bill they have now.

Abortion is another issue and reasonable people can debate it all day long and never agree. There are many other forms of birth control readily available which are much cheaper. The issue of Roe vs. Wade is pointless as well because if overturned (and I do not feel it ever will be), it just means that the decision goes back to the states, it doesn't prohibit the procedure entirely. As for it's application in health care, It should be treated as an elective procedure.

Jobs are at the top of most peoples concerns and what I feel is what we should be spending our time as a government on. We need initiatives that will help to create jobs. Not just temporary jobs, but lasting ones. This is something that the private sector has done over the years and with some help can do again. Initiatives such as tax deductions for expansion of business.

I am not a big proponent of bailouts. No business is too big to fail. That is how our free market system works.

Lastly I believe we need to learn to be self sufficient. In these tough economic times we need to learn self restraint. I know we always want the newest gadget but sometimes e are better served saving our pennies for a rainy day.

Benjamin. I want to thank you for inviting me to post my views and if anyone wants to comment or talk to me please feel free.

Thank you,


Tea or Coffee?

Today, I had the most exhilarating experience since the inauguration of President Barack Obama. I attended the national launching of the Coffee Party at Bus Boy and Poets in Washington, DC. After months of watching other groups, radio hosts, TV news and pundits, on the far right, hijack the political discussion, it was refreshing to listen to a cogent and civil discussion regarding the pressing issues of our time - even when I vehemently disagreed.

There was no shouting nor name calling. There were no signs demonizing other groups of people nor any one's image disfigured to resemble a Nazi or Klansman. No, it was civil discourse - an element missing in our current political arena. It was a gathering of grown-up concerned citizen.

In the era of 24 hour news cycles, it is too easy to get caught up in the, us vs. them, fervor. So, I caution, beware of those that practice the politics of subtraction - in other words, divide and conquer.

Once again, we can not expect our leaders to be saviors - let's be We The People. The next Coffee Party meeting is Saturday, March 27th at 10:30 am. Goggle and find a location close to you.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Wake Up And Smell The COFFEE!

Finally, after months and months of watching the Insurance Lobby creation, Tea Party, control and shape the Washington agenda; show up and shout down Health Care Town Hall meetings; and, spread misinformation and lies (remember death panals) about Health Care reform, we have the Progressive's answer - the Coffee Party.

Yes, coming to you (March 13th) at your local coffee shop,the National kick-off of the Coffee Party.

Follow the link for more information - Coffe Party.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Counter the Nonsense

I get sick and tired of fuddy duddy, devious and disingenuous Republicans posing the question, Why do blacks treat black conservatives so badly?

Then they trot out good ole Clarence Thomas types as examples. Not J.C. Watts, Colin Powell, Condi Rice nor pre-RNC leader Michael Steele (he was warmly received as a black conservative at Tavis Smiley's State of Black America forum).

I suggest when asked, flipped the question and ask, Why do white conservative Republicans treat and demonize white liberals so much?

Historically, white liberals, especially down south, were called race traitors and ni**@# lovers! Doing the civil rights movement, white liberals were in danger of being lynched, killed and bombed, just like black folks.

In contemporary politics, the Kennedys, Franks, Reids, Pelosis, Gores and Clintons of the world are demonized beyond any fair political play - just read Rush and the gangs demogoguery on the before mentioned white progressives (some are not even liberal).

Just look, the Republican Senator from Massachuetts, Scott Brown has already been labeled a traitor from white conservatives because of his Jobs bill vote with the Dems.

So my conservative friends, before you ask me about black conservatives answer me about white liberals.

The Fear Factor


Barack is Hitler. Barack is a socialist. Barack is going to take away your gun. Obama is a Muslim. Obama was not born in the USA. Obama wants ownership of the banks and the auto industry. Obamacare equals socialized medicine. Obama has made the country unsafe. It goes on, and on, and on

Now its official, this is the actual Republican political strategy for 2010. They want to scare the bejevies out of you, especially the lunatics on the far right -can you say teabaggers. We have been telling you this for months.

For obvious reasons, it's a very dangerous game they are playing. Remember the nut from Pittsburg who killed three cops because he feared a gun ban by President Obama. (link)

Now follow the link to read the truth.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Recession & Republicans...Peanut Butter & Jelly

I truly marvel at how conservative Republicans rant on and on about fiscal restraint - especially when out of power. They convince their base that Democratic economic policies hinder our economy and are nothing but entitlement handouts - which is code speak for they help minorities.

As a matter of fact, by now, their script is pretty predictable: Run to a conservative think tank; create a political manifesto - ala, Contract For America (what happen to term limits?); sell the American public on the virtues of conservatism.

Conservatism In Practice

Upon scanning the List of Recessions by, I confirmed what I suspected, since 1969 all of the major recessions in USA have occurred under Republican presidents.

And let's not forget our country's greatest economic catastrophe, The Great Depression, happened under the Republican economic policies of the late 1920's.

And for those that buy conservative - economic restraint - rhetoric, let us review the biggest economic and political scandals of the last 100 years:

Roll the Credits

1. Teapot Dome 1921 - avowed conservative, Warren G Harding.

2. Stock Market Crash 1929 - conservative, Herbert Hoover.

3. Watergate - conservative, Richard Nixon.

4. Irangate, Junk bond scandal, Stock Market Crash 1987 - iconic conservative, Ronald Reagan.

5. Savings and Loan corruption - conservative, George H. Bush.

6. Mortgage Scandal 2007 - conservative, George W. Bush.

The pattern: Republican conservative bait and switch, they preach one thing and practice another.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Donna's Tweet

Democratic strategist and political commentator for ABC and CNN, Donna Brazile, tweeted suggestive reading for the Health Care Reform (HCR) feint of heart Democrats.

In the article, Poll Tax
Why politicians don’t always know what’s good for them,
author, Neera Tanden, warns Dems, the ones a little weak at the knees, that running away from HCR because of polling fears (polling data misconstrued) would show them to be weak - and voters really hate weak.

Follow the link and read for yourself HCR

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Deja Vu All Over Again

In his 1964 seminal speech, Ballot or the Bullet, Malcolm X defines and describes the southern Dixiecrat. He calls them southern obstructionist who were determined to filibuster or block any and all civil rights legislation.

Malcolm even noted, that in 1964 the Dixiecrat were beginning to bolt away to join the Republicans.

Well..., mission accomplished. The neo-Dixiecrats are now all Republicans, but once again back to old tricks. They are determined to block anything President Obama proposes - even if prior they believed it would help the American people.

A rose by any name is still a rose; or, should we say a pig by any name, still smells like a pig...

Politics Makes For Strange Bedfellows

After Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown voted to end the GOP filibuster on the Job's bill in the senate, one has to wonder, is President Obama, strategically speaking, in a better position with moderate Republicans than with liberal Democrats?

First, with a super majority the Dems have to take all the responsibility for governing - the good, bad and ugly.

Second, with a few more moderate Republicans, this would create an environment for more bipartisanship. Remember, if the Republicans gain more seats it will most likely be in swing districts, hence, they would be apt to be more centrist than right-wing.

Third, a stronger presence of moderate Republicans would probably quell the extreme demands from the most liberal wing of the Dems.

Once again, Politics Makes For Strange Bedfellows.

Do you think Obama, Inc. has already surveyed this truism?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tale Of Two Africas

It is common knowledge that many countries in Africa are beset with crippling poverty, disease and corruption. The western media, as they should, reports this Africa night and day.

Whether reporting on Nigeria, Angola, Republic of Congo, Uganda, Ghana or South African the storyline remains the same - poor dysfuntional Africa. As one that never accepts the prevailing narrative of the western press on face value, I probed further and discovered, via alternative medias, that there is more to the African experience than is reported by western media. Read on and decide for yourself.

Among the world's 12 fastest growing economies five of them are African countries. As a matter of fact, Ghana is projected to be the world's fastest growing economy by 2012. See link...Africa

Read On(link):

China will overtake the US to become the world's largest construction market in 2018, a new report has predicted. The report launched today forecasts global construction trends over the next 10 years. Its key predictions include Nigeria becoming the world's fastest growing construction market by 2020, followed by India and then Poland. China will be the largest market by 2020, the research found, with the US being the second largest, followed by India.

The Global Construction 2020 report found that Nigeria's construction spending will grow by at least 9% every year over the next decade, driven by rapid urbanisation. China's construction market will be worth almost £2.5 trillion in 2020 and will represent an immense 19% of global construction output.

A spokesman for Oxford Economics, which produced the report, said: "Overall the report shows that over the next 10 years the busiest markets will be in emerging economies and the emphasis will be on infrastructure."New world orders: Construction's latest global hotspots
13 November 2009

Now what do you think?