Saturday, October 28, 2006

Club Onyxx = BOBO

I live in Fayetteville, GA. It is a small town to the south of Atlanta. Last year reports indicated that the Black people living in Fayetteville have a higher average income than do the White people. In truth there is a relatively small population of Blacks around town, though growing. The much larger and more economically spread White community has more wealthy people but the median number is brought down by the income diversity in their community. We Blacks have moved to this suburban community mostly to take advantage of the quality school system.

In 2005 I saw the building that initially housed the Shonney's Restaurant and later the "Hooters" but had been abandoned for more than a year receive a significant face lift. I saw stones being plastered on to the facade. Though the window I saw intimate lighting going in and a new bar that was stocked with wine and liquor. Finally I saw the brushed steel sign go up indicating the name of the new establishment "Onyxx"

I could read between the lines and figure that this place was the Black owned, high end dining venue that we had long dreamed of in our community that is rapidly changing.

Fayette county is bordered by both Clayton County and Fulton County to the north. The current "restaurant row" in Fayette is heavily populated with Black dinners driving down from the north which make up about 50% of their revenues. The challenge will be to get these diners to drive about 1/4 of a mile further south to keep this new restaurant afloat.

Onyxx had a delay in opening from the completion of their construction for about a year. Fayette is known for being strict with their liquor licenses. It was easy to see that this was the hold up. This is a hurdle that many new entrants can not cross because they are paying the lease on the property and any loans on the construction all the while the business is idle.

Last night took my wife and next door neighbor to the grand opening of Onyxx. It is an upscale restaurant with live jazz on Friday and Saturday. A total of 7 people sat at our table and we enjoyed the food and the music. A total of 20 guests supported the place. This was good for starters but will not be sufficient to keep all of the staff employed and the place running over the long term.

I called the owner over to talk to him. I had talked to him about 3 weeks ago after seeing signs of life at the place. He told me that his grand opening would be October 27. Last night I asked him "what does he need from us to keep this thing going". He said we needed to spread the word and tell people that this is a nice place to have an enjoyable evening within a quality atmosphere.

I enjoyed the fact that the jazz band was taking requests from the audience. I first got them to acknowledge my wife's birthday with a Reggae song. Later on they brought down the house with their rendition of "A Love Supreme" that I requested.

I am going to do my part to keep this Black Owned, Black Operated businessas a functioning concern as long as is possible.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

This Negro Needs To Be Taken Down A Notch

Today as I was riding home with with my kids in the car I reached a merge point in the main road where two lanes go into one. I was in the right hand merge lane and I merged over in a reasonable fashion. In no way did I cut the guy off behind me. I looked into my rear view mirror and I see a guy "flipping me the bird". Clearly the problem was with him because it was no big deal. I saw that it was a teen aged White boy driving alone in his momma's Mercedes that had given me the finger.

We got to the next block and I turned into left the shopping center. (The one that has the "Fantastic Sams" in it N8). I noticed that he too had turned into the center. When we approached the second stop sign I got out of my car and walked toward his. I did not come closer than 5 feet from the front of his car. I asked "Do you have a problem with me? Do you have a problem with me?". He shook his head "No". I asked "Well why did you give me the finger?" as I made the gesture. He shook his had and waved. I saw his heart come up to his throat. A 6'5" Black man in a suit can be as intimidating as one in "urban apparel".

At this point I remembered a story that I had heard yesterday about a Marine Captain in Iraq who was asked to go and meet with an Iraqi cleric at a local mosque to talk about the security arrangement for the area. Upon seeing the armed Americans headed toward the mosque the local villagers gathered in numbers because they thought that the Americans were sent to kill or arrest the cleric. At that point the captain ordered this men to get on one knee, point their guns to the ground and smile at the crowd. This was called "social capital" by the author of the book on the subject who told the story. So before I turned around I waived at him and smiled and told him to have a nice day.

All the while there was a sports bar behind me. There were about 3 different White couples who witnessed the entire thing.

Just as Dick Gregory noted that today a Black woman who once had her breasts fondled by a White man no longer had to fear telling her husband and risk him being arrested or killed for confronting the White male I also tested the state of affairs between the races as none of these White folks, males among them, came over to me to teach me a lesson that I can not "Punk" one of their White males who will one day have to lord over me.

In order to be a "Progressive" you have to also TEST THE WATERS.

That is until my wife who I had on the phone asked me what was going on. I told her to hold on when I got out of the car. She reminded me that this was dangerous in these times especially since I had our children in the car. I told her that it was just some punk kid and I kept my distance either way.

Maybe since I have been working as a peer to White folks for so long......I forgot my place. (What do you think blaxxx?)

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Minor Leagues Feed The Professional League

Today as part of my job I was invited to a kick off of a major technology project at a local university that is known for it's capabilities to churn out engineers and technologists. Several large corporations in the communications technology field worked in partnership with this school to install a lab that will be used by students to develop applications that will see use in the next generation of wireless services that will be offered to the consumer and business market place in the short future. A competition will be opened to qualified students to create a next generation application that fully utilizes this new architecture that is based on Internet Protocol transport, doing away with the circuit switched communications that we know of today. A significant jackpot in prize money awaits the winning team and the runner ups. In addition the lab will be integrated into a new class that has been developed that will introduce students to the details surrounding the IMS architecture that is being adopted by wireless, wireline and cable companies - in addition to enterprise software companies such as Oracle and Microsoft as they enhance the computer telephony integration capabilities of their software, resulting in a greatly enhanced end user experience and value added services.

Behind the scenes as we did the project planning for the event our partner companies told of their interest to use this entire project as a means of identifying promising and talented students that they could cherry pick from the competition for future employment with their firms.


This is a tale of farming and cultivating. Today I saw first hand how a group of interested parties collaborated to create an ecosystem that will one day yield a harvest for all parties to consume and prosper. Upon seeing this platform for operations if a student who had exposure to these resources said "I want to be a communications engineer in 10 years" I would have a high amount of confidence that this will one day be so because he is at least on the pathway that will take him there. As I took the tour I listened as the lab assistant detailed the function of each of the boxes that were in the room. I witness two tour guests quizzing him on various aspects of the system. They were young (all of them look young) but I was impressed about how much they knew about the modern day telecommunications system. When they stumped the lab assistant about IMS I filled in to help him out since this is what I educate my own customers on with regards to our future plans. It felt good to "school a smart ass young boy" in any event.

So frequently we hear the young kid who has little going for him say "I want to be a doctor when I grow up", "I want to be a lawyer" or "I want to play in the NFL". Too frequently also we make note of what this child or his parents are doing to prepare him for this journey to which there is no such time as "too early" to be considering such a thing and realize that what is already a long shot is getting more distant as the years stream by.

The basic point of this post is that for those who are so predisposed to talk about the future and how things are going to be so radically different - credibility being established on this ever coming to fruition is established based on what is being done right now to ever achieve this end.

What type of ecosystem is being constructed that will serve as a space for these young minds to be molded in the way that you hope them to? Is this going to magically come to be some time in the future? Is some event done by an outsider going to allow you to create this environment at the flip of a switch?

What sort of discipline are you channeling upon these young people who you are attempting to guide down this path so that their efforts can be a net asset to your cause rather than a drain upon it?

If you are the ultimate consumer and beneficiary of all that can be created from this grand collaboration should you be focusing on how much some other entity has underfunded your effort or should you be primarily focusing on how you and your interested group should be prioritizing the money that you do have at your disposal to this effort, all the while foregoing other alternatives because you value this choice for your future more than you could ever expect another to do so? Thus shouldn't the focus be on what you are doing rather than what others who may have something to lose in your forward progress are not doing?

Finally and most importantly what about the concept of "squandered potential"? It's it up to you to claim your collective self worth and express the value that it contains based on the product that you put out for your own kind and others to view? You constantly run on the notion of equality. If this greater society has failed you and does not respect you - what means do you pursue to allow that great human potential to fully blossom and be of full use to "your people" - those who will appreciate all that you are rather than attempt to use your unquenched thirst against you, allowing you to trap yourself due to your reaction while you are under their rule?

Today I saw a functional ecosystem that has plotted the course for all of these intelligent minds to pursue for 10, 20, 40 years that their productive careers will represent. I saw a pipeline which will feed this select group. This group will walk this path - with the exceptions of whom will fall a stray and break the gravitational pull there in.

Sadly for many who don't operate within this ecosystem and who's minds won't be trained as such - the EXCEPTIONS in their group have managed to escape the gravitational pull that is bearing down upon them, destroying lives and are now playing a part in the development project that I witnessed today. There is a need to reorient the ecosystem in this case.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Don't Have Standards, You Won't Be Attacked

A few days ago a long time debate opponent of mine was asked by another poster why he attacked Bill Cosby so frequently yet was so silent upon the more frequent insults stemming from hip hop artists. His answer was something to the effect of "the rappers don't set themselves up as role models, placing judgment upon other people as a key part of their message.

In so many words - If you set no standards that you operate in regards to you will not be held up to account for any particular set of standards by the Black community.

Missing in this illogical reference is the measure of one's influence upon the Black community and one's ability to communicate an image of Black people to others. The fact is that this form of music and culture has a very extensive reach upon our people and others. It is patently foolish to abandon any notion of responsibility and accountability to be placed upon these people who are working hard to shape the minds of others in exchange for profits and favor.

You have just effectively handed over the group consciousness of your people without a fight if you pursue this strategy.

I believe that the collective conscious should enforce a set of cultural standards upon the people who are represented within the group. With these standards enforced by the collective rather than by an individual - the personal failings of that individual can not be used by the "hypocrisy hunters" to undermine the enforcement of any standards - to the detriment of the whole.

Once again we are hovering around the question of "outsourcing within the Black community". If the community does not take primary claim to the RESULTS that flow from their collective set of policies and initiatives then no new ideas that might improve these outcomes will ever take root.

Thus to correct my long time debate opponent - it should not be up to the INDIVIDUAL Hip Hop artist to decide if he is going to put forth standards and thus not risk being in violation of them. It must be the COLLECTIVE that is clear about their standards and imposed them upon the entity that is attempting to influence them with his message.

Africans In Mexico

Yesterday while listening to "Africa Experience World-wide" on local station WRFG I was treated to more details than I had ever heard previously about the presence of Africans in the lands of what is now knows as Mexico. I had heard previously that there were certain statues and paintings that depicted Africans as being present. I had known about African-Mexicans that were confined to certain areas within the country.

This broadcast, however, expanded the information on the subject. There is currently a museum collection that is touring a select few venues around the country (Chicago & New Mexico) before returning to Mexico. "The African Presence In Mexico" exhibit details the historical record on the subject.

The point that was most enlightening was the fact that a Mexican hero who stood against the Spanish during an uprising (I don't remember his name) was later "white washed" in later drawings that took away his African features.

Africa has now been accepted as the "Third Root" of Mexican ancestry, joining Indigenous Indians and Spanish.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Popular Black Political Ideology IS "A Poster Child Of Left Wing Politics"

I must start out this message with an apology to a friend of mine named "Noah". Noah is a "virtual African". During a debate on another message board about liberalism surrounding the "Copperhead Democrats" who opposed the US Civil War and who's sentiment carried forth into the policies that are detailed in the book "When Affirmative Action Was White" in which White liberals allowed policies that negatively impacted Black people per the request of Southern Democrats so that their "progressive policies" would not be derailed if they stood up for the equality of Black people".

During this debate my friend Noah made the statement that "Black Americans are 'Poster Children for Left Wing Ideology' ". I was outraged at the statement and called him a name. After thinking about his statement I must now retract my objection to his words.

I now agree with the general sentiment of his words but with a bit of a clarification. The Popular Black Ideology that has taken root within Black America for the past 40 years is indeed the handiwork of Liberal/Progressive/Quasi-Socialist caretakers.

I accept this as part of a conditional conjunction. That condition being that my friend also accept the conditions WITHIN Black America and the failure to transform the people.

Today the Black community stands as a victim of "outsourcing". The majority of our important issues have been handed over to the government and political operatives for resolution. Over the past 40 years we have been told that salvation for the Black man will come through changes in Washington DC rather than through independent, grassroots initiatives that retained our culture and consciousness - our YOLK remaining under our control.

Evidence of this outsourcing was seen a few weeks ago in Philadelphia. Activists within the Black community seeking a cure to the growing gun violence that is shedding the blood of too many Black males upon the streets of the "City of Brotherly Love" initiated a march out of the borders of their fair city to go 107 miles westward to the state capital. Their goal was to TALK to the powers that be in the state capital to impose laws that take guns out of the hands of their sons so they can no longer have access to this tool that has been misused to kill one another. Rather than having a message for their sons, talking to them while under their own roofs or, for those who had no person who as 'head of the household' to deliver such a message - formulate a community based initiative that will provide such a message to the sons that are produced within the community.

The solution as seen by the community leaders resides in Harrisburg and in clamping down on US Constitutional rights, rather than considering the failures that have taken place closer to home.

The police line that protects the evidence around the crime scene from tamping as the police investigators seek to identify the guilty party will be expanded to include all types issues related to the conditions that caused one Black man to kill each other in the context of a "forgotten" and ignored community. At least this is the story that they tell.

The same right for gun ownership that was once used to provide deadly consequence to the Klansman who dared attempt to torch the house within a Black community or drag out of that house a Black man who was vocal in support of his own rights is now being used to snuff out the potential of young Black males. In the past the people who sought to keep Black people in their place worked feverishly to keep guns and ammunition out of the hands of Black people so that their task of suppression would be easier. Today the people who have failed to provide a PURPOSE to their sons seek to take tools that could be used as defensive o offensive weapons seek to remove these guns from the hands of all because their sons don't know how to use them.

When will the policies that dominate the Black community today be held up for inspection? We are told that the legacy of slavery and the racism of today are the reason for the outcomes that fall short today. Some type of amorphous force lurks around each corner, thwarting any forward movement simply based on the color of their skin.

Few will ever dig deeper and ask if today's climate where Civil Rights protections are present will still thwart the actions of a group of Black people, properly focused on a certain end and supply the adequate man-power to sustain his progress.

In my view the "poster" that my friend had in mind had the Black man sitting down with some sort of leg braces assisting his propulsion should he decide to stand up.

The real question for my friend is - "Will that Black Poster Child ever choose to remove these braces that have grown too small to for his legs that have grown and that threaten to cut off his circulation if action is not taken?"

These aids which once helped him now threaten to cause his legs to atrophy.

Gas Prices And The American Consumer,2933,222681,00.html
OPEC Cuts Oil Production By 1.2 Million Barrels a Day

A significant number of Americans say that Bush and the Republicans are responsible for raising and now lowering the price of gasoline just in time for the mid-term elections. As the story goes Bush, being an oil man, is looking out for his buddies in the industry.

Interestingly enough, however, many of the same people have little to say about the news that OPEC is cutting production in response to the falling gasoline prices. In taking oil off of the market the scarcity will drive up the prices once gain. We heard news that Hugo Chavez would come to the rescue of many poor Americans by supplying them with cut rate energy. The unspoken news is that Chavez was in the lead in demanding production cuts in order to retain the high prices for oil and gasoline. Some American's loyalty is forsale to the highest bidder, indeed.

Show Me The Numbers That Prove Your Case!

It is interesting when I talk to people of a certain ideological persuasion that you get the picture that we are in an economic depression today and that 10 years ago (read between the lines - When Clinton was president) the streets were paved with gold. As I recall the time period 10 years ago I recall the very same amount of bifurcated economic advancement, layoffs and complaints by the poverty advocates as are happening today. Interestingly enough - back then they mostly blamed "the system" and sought to change it, thinking that they had a president who "felt their pain", mostly because he told them so.

Today has a much different aura surrounding these economic times. There are few dramatic economic measures that are negative as compared to this time 10 years ago but we hear constant attacks on the current presidential administration as if all of these negatives started 6 years ago (read between the lines - when Bush got into office).

Many of these ideologues will bring up the "federal budget" as a measure between then and now. They point to the surplus that was had in 1998 and then the deficit that is occurring today. I reject this as a measure of personal economic health for the average individual. Clearly the past surplus was generated by the highly accelerated rise (and later fall) of the financial markets. Last night I ate dinner with yet another set of individuals than before. They talked about how they worked for an equipment manufacturer during the 1990's and the commission checks that they were receiving that blew their minds. Little did they know that only a few short years later when the financial markets crashed that their company would see a dramatic decline in their stock price (in this case from $130 down to $2). I was told of a $240 million equipment sale where the customer paid $40 million in cash up front. A short time later the customer went out of business and had only paid $60 million on the $240 million balance. From a pure economic measure the GDP of the USA was increased by $240 million upon reporting of the sale of the equipment. The customer received benefit of the use of the equipment for the quarters that they were in business and their bottom line was impacted. The untold story, however, is about the economic loss that were registered in the intervening quarters with the company filing bankruptcy as the $180 million write down was recognized by the firm that originally sold the equipment. All of the commission checks were already written to the sales team upon producing a signed contract. The financing of the $240 million over time is a matter for a different group than the one that sold the equipment.

An objective look at the numbers shows that the year 1998 was a RECORD year for corporate layoffs in the past 10 years prior.

Merry Christmas! Now, About the New Year

Posted Monday, Dec. 14, 1998
Will today's giddy economic boom give way to a brutal post holiday hangover? Last week the Dow Jones stock average slipped on confusing news of megamergers by some companies and thousands of layoffs at others. It then recovered slightly after the Department of Labor announced that the November unemployment rate dipped to 4.4%.

But when it comes to jobs, the bad news may outweigh the good. Challenger, Gray and Christmas, a Chicago-based outplacement firm, estimates that 1998 may set the decade's record for layoffs. It reported that U.S. firms eliminated 574,629 jobs this year--32% more than in 1997 and within reach of the 1993 high of 615,185. Some economists argue that job gains will continue to offset job losses. But economic turmoil in Asia and Latin America may make things worse.

"We are on the edge of deflation here," says Edward Yardeni, chief economist at Deutsche Bank Securities N.A. "Companies are under enormous pressure, and that means more mergers and layoffs." If that's true, the party will be over in 1999.

--By Frank Gibney Jr.
From the Dec. 14, 1998 issue of TIME magazine

Why is our collective memory so short - depending on the ideological point that is attempted to be put forth?

I recently read a post by a Black person which said "the current congress is the worst ever" - a hit upon the current Republican congress. If there was any perspective on hand this person would go back to the 1960's in which her basic rights as a Black person were being "negotiated". The past decades worth of congresses using procedural measures to reject any meaningful civil rights legislation from being put forth. In my book, as a Black person, these congresses and those before who chose to ignore the US Constitution as it applied to my people win this award by far.

My overall point is that Black people too often carry the flag for some national political interest without noting the short shaft that is received in exchange. There are few points of evidence that show that the Black community were prime recipients of the highly accelerated financial market activity of the late 1990's. It is true that those of us who are computer savvy were able to make use of the new access to the stock market that was provided by the World Wide Web. I personally saw several investment clubs that had Black membership being created during this time. This was a response to the overall increase in stock values. There were few duds to be had at this time. Sadly when the market soured many of these groups lost money and disbanded at the sight of these losses. In truth the choppy waters was the time in which collective research was needed most.

The claim today is that the policies of this current president has lead to an increase in the loss of manufacturing jobs. Interestingly enough the data shows that this is a 20+ year trend based mostly on global economic changes.

And CEO pay? This did not start increasing recently either:
Between 1980 and 1995, factory wages rose 70 percent, while consumer prices increased 85 percent. In contrast, during the same period, corporate profits jumped 145 percent and executive pay skyrocketed 499 percent.

Same data over the two periods, same trends - DIFFERENT ANALYSIS by the operatives.

How else do we explain the differences in outlooks?

Let us bring it home for a minute.
Dr Ronald Mincy of Columbia University recently released a book detailing the plight of Black males during the economic expansion of the 1990's.

Why is it that there is an abundance of Black elected officials who will cheerlead about the 1990's yet won't talk about the realities that took placed during this time? I recall this year's Alpha Phi Alpha convention in which Democrat Bobby Scott put up a PowerPoint presentation that detailed the federal surplus and now deficit in a room full of Black men. He seemingly carried the water for his party. He made no mention of the constant flat line of economic and academic achievement for the Black male in particular between both of these time periods.

Ultimately those leaders who represent these individuals being left behind must be held accountable for the strategy that is perpetuating this condition. They typically get a pass because they are "activists" for those without a voice. The policies that they support, however, are rarely put up for inspection on their efficacy in changing this condition. The notion of "good intentions" is enough to redirect any criticism. The notion of ever present "racism" seals the deal in having the policy makers escaping all accountability.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

What Is The "Common Interest" As Expressed By The "Little Guy"

Recently it was brought to my attention by a certain pro-Clinton ideologue that President Clinton had called for corporations to focus on "the common interests" of American and America in all that they do. As I thought about the financial environment that was in place during his presidency which was expressed in a unsustainable run up in the stock market and venture capital markets I asked "Mr. Former President - when did you get such religion"? In a gathering of co-workers yesterday several of them detailed the great amount of "stock options" they received during the "go-go 90's". One guy translated this into the purchase of a new home. He was able to sell this house at $100,000 above the asking price when he moved out of San Francisco because of the craziness. He later lost his job at the start up that had put so much money into his pocket once the revenues died in this highly volatile industry that served as the underpinning of the economic expansion. Funny how none of these people were asked to spend their money with the "common interest" of the nation in mind. Now if the former president had such a spirit during the time that he actually had authority he would have used the heavy hand of the regulatory forces that he had under his control to throw ice water on the overheated financial markets. This would have reduced the level of the Price/Earnings ratio that measures an investor's willingness to pay for a stock as a ratio of the amount of revenues that this firm has brought in. In the hyperextended speculation during the time the normal evaluation of a firm's worthiness was thrown out of the window as the e-commerce boom adopted the mantra of "if you are not in position for future gains then you will be sitting on the sidelines watching when they come about due to this major inflection point in the economy".

The result of this accelerated economic activity saw the government extracting it's "2 cents" out of every economic transaction and thus a surplus was created. The administration at the time decided to table any notions of "the common good" at having a stable, foundationally sound financial markets environments for the sake of posting great numbers for a given internal of time as measured by economic statistics.

Sadly the "Goose That Laid The Golden Egg" died of liver failure due to all of the steroids that were pumped into her. There was a mutl-trillion dollar loss in valuation in the markets. While those who had position had long before cashed out - the individual investors, 401k holders, pension funds and state & municipal treasuries that had loaded up into the market that was previous growing out of bounds and thus they bore the brunt of the collapse. Clearly the "common good" was not served as seen in the loss of personal savings among "the little guy".

Sadly there remains a large group of individuals that can hold up the so called surplus as evidence of "great government policy". Ask these same people WHERE IT CAME FROM and you will hear cricketts chirping as so much of its origins are in violation of their luke warm support toward capitalism.

So frequently the words of sacrifice and compromise are directed toward "the powerful" upon the powerless. They are the rich, they are in control. They are expected to provided relief to the masses.

Frequently overlooked, however, is the message to the "little man". Why is it that the collective powerful force known as the "little man" are told WHAT THEY CAN HAVE from the politician in the spirit of consumerism but so frequently told what they must offer up "for the common good"?

*Will their purchasing decisions have them to purchase that American car built by American unionized labor instead of the Japanese car built overseas or in America by non-union employees?

*Will those who are unemployed ever be asked to apply their underutilized labor for the COMMON GOOD?
- There is a need for child care in support of single mothers who go to work, academic tutoring after school to supplement what many failed schools are not providing between 8:30 and 2:30pm.
-There is a need for community patrols that act as a gateway between the police and the community.
-Many communities have broken bottles and trash that cover their natural landscapes. These same people live within and thus they would be the beneficiaries of these "common good" practices.

INSTEAD of looking "within" in addressing this list (and many others) the same people advocating the "common good" will look upon THE EXTERNAL GOVERNMENT to provide these services to their own community. Any failing to do so, and the resulting environment that is produced will said to be some sort of discrimination, class warfare or RACISM (if the community is Black).

Why is it that "the common good" is only a set of words spoken to the corporate powers but rarely to the "little guy"? There is much more untapped power within the little guy to produce change than any other reservoir.

Sorry Mr. Jackson.....It Was Not "Tax Policy" That Built Detroit

On Monday, October 23, 2006, the
Detroit Economic Club (DEC) is pleased to welcome the Reverend Jesse
Jackson, Sr., founder and president, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Inc. to the
Rev. Jackson will share his ideas on providing a tax incentive-based
formula for reinvesting in America. This will be his third appearance at
the Detroit Economic Club, dating back to 1984.

The thing that frustrates me the most about Rev. Jesse Jackson and other Black Quasi-Socialist Progressive Fundamentalists is that they are seen as "having good intentions" in their quest to provide increase to Black America, a people who have long faced oppression. Thus they are judged by their "attempts" and words of focus on the poor........instead of their actual results or effectiveness.

No one bothers to measure the "squandered potential", that which COULD HAVE BEEN achieved had a better strategy and a message TO BLACK PEOPLE had been operated upon. All shortfalls today as compared to other races is blamed on that blanket catch-all.....RACISM. In plastering everything as "racism" one fails to do objective inspection of what others did to create the living standard that is used as the reference point. The corollary to this is that within the Black community the focus is put on what "the entire society" has FAILED to do for Blacks.

So often we hear "We are the wealthiest nation in the world". This is used to call for some mythical common standard of living to be applied to everyone "who's father inseminated their mother in the qualifying parcel of land". What this speaks of is that there is an assumed RIGHT TO RESOURCES and not just the right to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness". By the way the phrase originally said "Pursuit of Property" rather than "happiness" but was changed via debate. In taking this disposition those that chose this course set themselves up as CONSUMERS of what America has to offer. Their notation about America's wealth says NOTHING about how it got that way. Indeed many of the policies and actions that created the abundant wealth in America was repugnant to many of the people who now seek to draw upon it for the "COMMON GOOD". Environmental destruction, exploitation of labor, pursuit of greed and the production of products that later causes harm to the consumer - are all legacies that brought us to where we are today.

Though those on the activist side of the equation fought and squealed along the way at every step, the corporate power being their enemy, they now bemoan the decline of the American industrial base.....their long time adversary.

To Rev. Jackson I say "tax policy" was NOT the main driver for the development of Detroit as the centerpiece of the US automotive industry. My review of documentary footage tells me that plain old CAPITALISM was the driver. Those who had the vision to change America by making her mobile as they pursued their quest for profits is what built up the city which Jesse Jackson plans to lay the ground work for its revival. The most rapid growth of the city took place at a time at which the average worker had a mere fraction of the pay and benefits they would later receive after the union powers took hold as powerful adversaries to the industrial powers. There is no doubt that a counter balance was needed to represent the interests of the works as a collective rather than as an individual but perspective was lost once the labor-management conflict exceeded the focus on the competition in the marketplace that would turn out better quality products.

The fall of Detroit from the early 70's on was had because Detroit and the region became too expensive of a place to conduct business. The "big automobile industrial complex" looked southward to construct their next generation of auto plants. These plants were more efficient because state of the art industrial processes were deployed and the corporations faced a lower base of expenses due to less regulation, less development as compared to urban industrial locations and lower costs of living that afforded lower salaries compared to their northern, union dominated counterparts.

The United Auto Workers would have none of this. Over time national labor agreements with the auto manufacturers was seen as the key means of defending the COMMON INTERESTS of all of the employees. This national contract worked to make the southern labor nearly as expensive as that in the north, sans a cost of living multiplier. The UAW also demanded to have a say in the corporation's production targets, plant retooling schedules and construction of new plants and facilities. Anything that impacted the employee - the UAW wanted a virtual seat on the board to make the call along with management. Several wildcat strikes ensued over the years that brought production to its knees.

The nail was put in Detroit's coffin and the US Auto Industry when the Japanese began to improve their first generation of underpowered, "junk cars" into attractive vehicles that were known for quality and relatively affordable costs. The key protection of the American auto industry was had at the federal level with the US's protectionism with tariffs and caps on the number of units that were allowed to be imported in a given year. This should have given Detroit a breather to reorient itself prior to being slaughtered. Instead the relatively entrenched powers on both sides (management and labor) squandered the opportunity and kept doing the same old same.

Years later trade liberalization as well as the increased construction of Japanese plants within the United States (using non-unionized labor) allowed the Japanese to skirt the trade policies that previously capped their growth. Today's massive restructuring and layoffs within the American owned companies is nothing more than a long overdue reformat, putting them in line with their painful realities. As with the airline industry, steel industry, and manufacturing in general - in order to establish a bottom as a basis for an upward incline - hard choices had to be made. Severe cost cutting and a true up of production with market realities was at hand.

So you see Rev. Jackson - the story of Detroit was NOT crafted in the was crafted in the boardrooms, the negotiating tables between management and labor and the sales desk between consumer and auto saleman.

OF COURSE government had a strong hand in accommodating the environment in which all of these forces played within. Rev. Jackson, however, is not an objective broker in the entire scheme of things. Though his Rainbow Push organization was forced to lay off staff members in the face of a dramatic decrease in donations (mostly corporate) during the recession of the early 2000's this policy is unacceptable for the major corporations as they attempt to reorient themselves.

Mr. Jackson stands for "Living Wage Laws", high punitive damage lawsuits against corporations, strong government regulation and a general "common governance" of corporations. This IS NOT an environment that will resurrect the Detroit that once was.

My question is - When will REVEREND JACKSON have the "reformatting" that was forced upon America corporations and labor in the face of REALITY?

If there is no ACCOUNTABILITY to the bottom line results then Mr. Jackson will not face up to such a fundamental transformation. How do we MEASURE Mr. Jackson and his cohorts?

This brings me to the title of the.

Wow here is a clip from an article about the new Kia plant planned for Georgia (which is in the South by the way. :-) )

The addition of the Kia plant will add auto production capacity at a time when the Big Three Detroit auto makers are struggling to reduce capacity and compete with foreign auto makers who have opened plants in the South and have a cost-advantage because they use nonunion workers and have virtually no retirees to support with health-care and pension plans. General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. are both in the process of closing several plants.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Echoes Of Idi Amin Heard Today

This evening I had the pleasure of seeing the movie "The Last King of Scotland" with Forest Whitaker. It was the story of Idi Amin's brutal rule in Uganda during the 1970's. At the end of Amin's rule over 300,000 Africans lay dead as he let blood flow in order maintain control over his empire that destined to derail.

The movie captured important elements of "rule by terrorism", group think and purging of one's enemies. The life of the African was disposable. Sadly it was the Africans who were doing the killing in the movie.

Idi Amin realized that he had to develop a media presence as a means of turning back the sting of the truth about what was happening in the countryside under his rule. He understood the importance of making Britain the enemy as a means of gathering sympathy from the rest of the world. He joked that he would provide food aid to Britain as they were going through tough times. In the news conference the African journalists in the room laughed as the European journalists initially thought the man to be crazy for his antics that they knew were not the case. Sadly it was the Africans who laughed that bore the brunt of the brutality of the man they were laughing with as he made their common adversary look foolish just for that one moment.

I could not help but to think about Robert Mugabe as Amin booted the "bloodsucking" Asians out of the country. When the economy crashed from the abrupt move - he blamed his "advisor" who had warned him against such a move for "telling him but not convincing him". At no point did Amin blame himself for the harm that his abrupt move did to his people's ability to put food on their tables. It was only important to purge an enemy that was in focus at the time.

Hugo Chavez took a queue from Amin in finding a boogie man to link to as the potential source of his assassination.

Sadly I did not see "300 years of colonial oppression" at work in the film. I saw bullets and brutality from Africans alive and well at the time, who's lack of respect for their fellow African brother paralleled the demotion of human respect that the European displayed for them.

The Consumer Americans

Fake Black Nationalist #1 (FBN1), Fake Black Nationalist #2 (FBN2) and A Brother who is a Realist (Realist) are BLACK, 3 Star generals for the US Army. They all were initiated into the service at the same time and their careers followed similar paths.

While on a military mission on behalf of the USA they are captured by the enemy along with three WHITE Army sergeants who are assigned as their driver, intelligence officer and field briefer.

After being held for 5 days the foreign enemy offers to RELEASE FBN1, FBN2 and Realist because (as they said in broken English) "your people have suffered greatly at the hands of the White oppressors. We know America is very coercive and that you were forced into fighting because YOU WERE DENIED MONEY FOR SCHOOLING. You may go while we kill this other white trash Americans for killing so many of our people. We know that the US Military would not have 'people like you' to decide the death of my people."

The three Black generals begin to talk amongst each other. FBN1 and FBN2 think - "This offer is not going to come around ever again. We need to take it while the offer is still on the table".

Realist reminds them that it was FBN1 who is responsible for designing the ground attack for 40,000 men in his infantry battalion of the country. FBN2 was responsible for all military air craft having the munitions that were used to conduct the war and Realist was responsible for field communications equipment without which the war could not be conducted.

FBN1 and FBN2, having already disrobed from their American military stripes that they acquired by being the "right Black at the right time". They wanted to hid the fact that they were important players in the conduct of the war so they could live. Deny who you are to survive - was their motto.

They decide to take the release offer - walking out and leaving thinking "THANK GOD I AM ALIVE. My SKIN COLOR CAME IN HANDY this time."

Realist stands up and SPITS IN THE FACE OF the lead hostage holder. He tells the captor that HE IS IN COMMAND of all of the technology assist efforts to make you visit your 72 virgins sooner rather than later. "I DON'T NEED YOUR CHARITY. I EARNED EVERY STRIPE ON MY ARM BECAUSE I BELIEVED WHAT I WAS FIGHTING FOR. FULL CONSCIOUSNESS AND MY FULL INTELLIGENCE INTACT".

Realist is killed on the spot for INSULTING the dignity of the hostage holder.

The remaining White men are beaten and eventually let go in 2 weeks - (So much for the Anti-Torture measures signed by the US Congress).

Later on the Congressional Black Caucus presents FBN1 and FBN2 a heroism award for bravery while in command. Realist is awarded posthumously. FBN2 and FBN1 each give 1 hour long speeches as to how they fought like hell against their captors and eventually overpowered them. They told that Realist was sadly shot in the back while trying to escape as well. They attempted to drag his body out to have a proper burial but it was not possible.

Their closing line is that "When man stops planning for wars there will be no more wars".

FBN1 AND FBN2 are allowed to retire will FULL honorable discharge and a full pension.


The world never knew the real truth.

FBN1 used his "war hero" status to secure a job with Lockheed Martin. There is not a month goes by in which FBN1 is not asked to tell a room full of old White men the story about how he and N8 fought to the death to get out of that room. He calls the hostage holders "Sand Nig ger" for effect since the White break out in a big laugh right at the moment in the story.

FBN2 got a sweet gig with Raytheon testing the next generation precision guided missile systems. To this day FBN2 claims that he did not violate his closing comments about "planning for war". He says that all he is doing is testing tracking systems. The White man can use this system to deliver bombs or to spray DDT over Africa to stop malaria. THEY are the ones who are misusing his applied knowledge. Besides this.....he has to feed his family.