Friday, January 13, 2006

What are you prepared to do?

"The Negro is not struggling for some abstract vague rights but for concrete improvement in his way of life. Special measures for the deprived have always been accepted in principle by the U.S. It was the principle behind land grants to farmers who fought in the Revolutionary Army and other measures that the nation accepted as logical and moral." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

As we approach yet another so-called King holiday, I sit here on a slow simmer watching the buildup.

Monday, some will gather together, sing that repulsive song as they make that short symbolic march. Listen to a few speeches. And then go back and participate in the very thing that he was fighting.

This past week in Cincinnati, we had a young black man shoot a police officer. And while no one is condoning his actions, many so-called negroes in this city immediately started the "Let's lock them all up" talk within hours of the incident. One City Council member, a former officer himself, said "WE WILL SHOOT BACK". "If somebody is to the point where they are going to take pot shots at officers and not care, the only thing you can do about that is much more aggressive enforcement. If I approach that car, and I feel uncomfortable, I put my gun down by my leg until I feel comfortable," he said. "It's those veteran kind of tactics." said City Councilman Cecil Thomas, himself a former city officer. Cops: We'll shoot back And the very next day accepted an award in conjunction with King day celebrations. Honoree: Few feel King's 'dream'

I never met Dr. King but, I doubt he would advocate shooting back as the solution to the root causes that got that young man to that point. It is definately too late for that particular young man but "agressive enforcement" is a police reaction and tactic that will solve nothing and possibly led to another Roger Owensby. Outside Expert: Police Officer Killed Roger Owensby

The Dr. King that I watched and read about would probably have had issues with a covert government operation that was responsible for the crack cocaine epidemic that we face. The Dr. King that I admired would have issues with a government that does everything it can to take from its citizenry and give nothing in return. A government that is complicite in closing off most avenues for a person to rise up from despair. A nation that now uses the codeword of "being tough on crime" for what it wants to do to black and poor people. He would be out there doing something to bring about change, not saying lock their asses up and throw away the key. He would have been on the forefront of true economic change which would have included reparations.

Don't think so? Well consider this. I have a dream was the conclusion of the speech. He went to Washington to cash a check written to the desendants of slaves that this nation bounced. And before you say that was so long ago, there are still folks alive today whose parents WERE slaves. Daughter of Freed Slave Celebrates 100th Birthday

So go and march, sing that song and accept the awards. But at some point realize that action will be required. He did. What are you prepared to do?

All I'm trying to say is, our world hinges on moral foundations. God has made it so! God has made the universe to be based on a moral law. So long as man disobeys it he is revolting against God. That's what we need in the world today--people who will stand for right and goodness. It's not enough to know the intricacies of zoology and biology. But we must know the intricacies of law. It is not enough to know that two and two makes four. But we've got to know somehow that it's right to be honest and just with our brothers. It's not enough to know all about our philosophical and mathematical disciplines. But we've got to know the simple disciplines, of being honest and loving and just with all humanity. If we don't learn it, we will destroy ourselves, by the misuse of our own powers. "Rediscovering Lost Values"

Another Angle 13 - January - 2006

News others won't tell you


In a case involving a private citizen and police authorities of the Midwestern state of Michigan, a team of civil rights lawyers appeared before the Supreme Court this week to challenge the police practice of storming into homes to look for whatever they want as evidence of a crime.

Bush could seize absolute control of U.S. government
President George W. Bush has signed executive orders giving him sole authority to impose martial law, suspend habeas corpus and ignore the Posse Comitatus Act that prohibits deployment of U.S. troops on American streets. This would give him absolute dictatorial power over the government with no checks and balances. John Brinkerhoff, deputy director of FEMA, developed the martial law implementation plan, following a template originally developed by former FEMA director Louis Guiffrida to battle a “national uprising of black militants.” Gifuffrida’s implementation of martial law called for jailing at least 21 million African Americans in “relocation camps.” Brinkerhoff later admitted in an interview with the Miami Herald that President Reagan signed off on the initiatives and they remained in place, dormant, until George W. Bush took office.

(More) Loss and Displacement in New Orleans
For years, developers have coveted the city's public housing projects, many of which occupy prime real estate. New Orleans real estate mogul Pres Kabacoff, who currently sits on Mayor Nagin's rebuilding Commission, transformed the St. Thomas projects into condos and a Wal-Mart. Kabacoff has made clear his designs on the Iberville housing projects, which occupy prime real estate near the French Quarter.

NYC Transit Strike: Union Power vs. Class Collaboration
The 2005 New York City transit strike stunned the obscenely rich capitalist rulers of this society and gave a shot in the arm to all working people. For three days, 33,700 members of Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 defied the state Taylor Law banning public workers strikes and shut down the city.

Mystery of the Negro Conservative
Negro conservatives have always been with us, starting with old Tom on the plantation (“Massa, we sick?”). To be fair, some have been honest in having a different approach to the road to freedom; Booker T. Washington comes to mind. Others have been charlatans. (I won’t call any names here, you know who they are.) Others have just been inexplicable; Zora Neale Hurston comes to mind. Pardon me, but it must also be said that even though I have not met a black person over 40 who didn’t “march with Dr. Kang,” I remember the black preachers and churches that ran away from him. I remember scary Negroes saying Dr. King should “just oughta hush and go somewhere and sit down.”


US blocks aircraft sale to Venezuela

Doomsday vault to avert world famine
The room is designed to hold around 2 million seeds, representing all known varieties of the world's crops. It is being built to safeguard the world's food supply against nuclear war, climate change, terrorism, rising sea levels, earthquakes and the ensuing collapse of electricity supplies. "If the worst came to the worst, this would allow the world to reconstruct agriculture on this planet," says Cary Fowler, director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust.

Bolivia to Seize Oil and Gas Reserves, President-Elect Says
"The state will exercise its right of ownership, and that means it will decide on the use of those resources," Evo Morales told reporters yesterday in Pretoria, South Africa, where he is visiting the country's President Thabo Mbeki. Oil companies "will be partners, not owners."


Situation in Iraq Is Civil War
According to the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Second Edition, the definition of a civil war is a "war between political factions or regions within the same country." 93 percent of those fighting in Iraq are Iraqis. A very small percentage of the fighting is being done by foreign fighters. Our troops are caught in between the fighting. 80 percent of Iraqis want us out of there and 45 percent think it is justified to kill American troops.

Why US 'precision bombing' kills 1000's
Consider this gruesome arithmetic: if the US fulfills its expectation of surpassing 150 air attacks per month, and if the average air strike produces the (gruesomely) modest total of 10 fatalities, air power alone could kill well over 20,000 Iraqi civilians in 2006. Add the ongoing (but reduced) mortality due to other military causes on all sides, and the 1,000 civilian deaths per week rate recorded by the Hopkins study could be dwarfed in the coming year.


Bush Authorized Domestic Spying Before 9/11
The National Security Agency advised President Bush in early 2001 that it had been eavesdropping on Americans during the course of its work monitoring suspected terrorists and foreigners believed to have ties to terrorist groups, according to a declassified document. The NSA's vast data-mining activities began shortly after Bush was sworn in as president and the document contradicts his assertion that the 9/11 attacks prompted him to take the unprecedented step of signing a secret executive order authorizing the NSA to monitor a select number of American citizens thought to have ties to terrorist groups.

Bush Visits New Orleans, Avoiding Protesters
President Bush toured the Gulf Coast Thursday, noting improvements since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. In New Orleans, the president did not tour any of the city's still-deserted neighborhoods.


Predictions of an Economic Hit Man
Unrest in New York and Latin America, as well as in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East are harbingers of the difficulties that will haunt future generations -- unless we take heed. They serve notice that if we want a peaceful and prosperous future for our children, we must recognize basic human needs; we must insist that all people -- not just those at the top -- have the right to justice and dignity. Bolivian voters, NYC transit workers and democratically elected presidents of other countries are warning us that the bottom line of the corporate balance sheet is not the final statement upon which our society will ultimately be graded.


Mexican-Style Cheese and Sausage Casserole
For an easy and informal dinner, make a salad and some rice to go alongside this bubbling cheese mixture known as queso fundido. Each diner spoons some of the cheese into warm tortillas. This can also be served as an appetizer at parties. Mix up some Margaritas to add to the fun.


A Founder of CORE Recalls Freedom Rides
James Farmer was a co-founder of CORE, the Congress On Racial Equality. He served as its National Director from 1961-1966. Farmer's long life as an advocate of civil rights was detailed in his autobiography, Lay Bare the Heart. Farmer died in 1999. This interview was originally broadcast in 1985.


In Living Color - Fire Marshal Bill