Sunday, June 29, 2008

HIV Rate Up 12 Percent Among Young Gay Men

HIV Rate Up 12 Percent Among Young Gay Men
Steepest Rise Is in Black Males Ages 13 to 24

The number of young homosexual men being newly diagnosed with HIV infection is rising by 12 percent a year, with the steepest upward trend in young black men, according to a new report.


The new data cover 33 states. Whether they reflect the entire country is unknown, although the states include New York, Florida, New Jersey and Texas, all of which have large numbers of HIV-infected people.


The study found that homosexual men were the only risk group in which the number of new infections rose annually from 2001 through 2006.

In contrast, injecting-drug users, homosexual men who injected drugs, and heterosexuals each showed declines in new infections over that period.


In the youngest age bracket, the yearly rise averaged 8 percent among Hispanics, 9 percent among whites and 15 percent among blacks.

Previous studies have found that gay black men on average have fewer sex partners, are less likely to use drugs and are no more likely to have unprotected intercourse than gay white men. Consequently, their higher rate of infection does not appear to arise from riskier behavior.

Instead, it reflects the higher prevalence of HIV -- as well as syphilis and gonorrhea, which increase a person's susceptibility to HIV -- in the black population.

"When you see a 15 percent yearly increase, that is an epidemic that is out of control," said Phill Wilson, head of the Black AIDS Institute in Los Angeles. "And yet we don't see a response that recognizes it is an epidemic out of control."

Ron Simmons, president of Us Helping Us, an AIDS service organization for gay black men, said the revolution in antiretroviral therapy in the last decade appears to have lessened the fear of HIV infection.

"I can remember going to a funeral every four or five days. Now, if you talk to some of these young men, they say, 'If I do get infected, I will simply take the blue pill or the pink pill, like my friend,' " he said.

A study published online last month in the American Journal of Public Health showed that prevention messages tailored for gay black men can work.

Of course no report on AIDS in the Black community is complete without:

Researchers recruited "opinion leaders" in the gay communities of three cities in North Carolina. The people were trained to talk to their peers not only about ways to protect themselves from HIV but also about other issues, such as homophobia in some black churches and racism.

Clearly there is a problem here. In their grab for answers people are inclined to talk about everything but the bottom line. The bottom line is that HIV is spread from mixing the body fluids of the infected person with someone who was not previously infected. Stop this and you stop the growing infections.

Sadly some people are to taken by that which has greater control over their sensibilities that they will ignore the risks of using that HIV infected needle to deliver their drug of choice or they desire the tactile stimulation of the nerve endings in their anus by their boyfriend's penis, ignoring the possibility that he might be infected with HIV.

This is not what some people want to hear but it is what people need to hear. The blaming of people or institutions residing outside of this basic question must stop.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Inner-city Blacks Don't Have The Same Constitutional Rights As Civilized Americans In The View Of Some

The more that I think about the situation it becomes more clear to me that the debate held in the public square regarding the rights of African-Americans and against the violation of our constitutional rights IF these violations are in line with those held dearest by the usual suspects (or, I must add, if the entity doing the violating as such is a favored target of theirs.) Both of these points will be clearly demonstrated in a moment.

Today's Supreme Court decision to uphold the individual rights to gun ownership is a watershed moment for one's right to self defense. We have been treated to much intellectualizing and "English lessons" regarding how the amendment was constructed. If some academics had their way - we would be a mere placement of a comma away from losing our 2nd Amendment right to bear a firearm. This court ruling today affirmed this right.

Let's get a bit more detailed though because there are two police actions that must be looked at as a pair so that I can justify my opening salvo regarding the perceived reduced set of rights that Inner-city poor have in the eyes of some who are seen as their defenders.

In today's dissent - Supreme Court Justice Breyer said:

"In my view, there simply is no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to keep loaded handguns in the house in crime-ridden urban areas."

I assure you that during the weeks in which this ruling will be discussed the "usual suspects" will fall silent in their offense taken about this delineation about "crime ridden areas". I assure you that had Justice Scalia used similar language to defend a state police's action in support of a law enforcement body that was not of their own - again a state's or federal agency rather than one of their own - we would hear charges of "second class citizenship" being hoisted upon the Black poor by those who respond to these type of coded words.

I will continue to use the term "police force of their own" as I move into the second example for investigation. A few weeks ago I reported on the Washington DC Police setting up a road block to block access to an "urban, crime-ridden area" of the city which has seen a dramatic increase in homicide. Upon being inspected by the police while attempting to enter if you do not have a good reason to go into the community - you were turned away.

Please understand this - after years of hearing stories about how White police men in the 1950 used to stop Blacks walking in parts of the city where they didn't belong and turning them the other way - it is amazing to me that today when a 'favorable government' to the Black community of DC does the same thing the usual paragons of civil liberties are SILENT. When has the ACLU or NAACP chosen silence and complicity over vocal outrage even if the prima facia reaction from the public is that their actions are counter to what is popular sentiment?

Video: DC Roadblock Video

Which is more important, the right to security or the right to move freely? One neighbourhood in Washington D.C. is struggling with just that.

After a deadly spike in crime this spring in the Trinidad neighbourhood, the metropolitan police took an unusual step to curb the violence. For six days earlier this month, the police set up roadblocks in the streets of the northeast part of the capital city. These roving checkpoints, moving every few hours, were used to stop cars entering the neighbourhood.

Drivers were required to prove a legitimate reason for entrance and, if they could not, were not allowed to drive through this part of the city. Euphemistically termed a ‘neighbourhood safety zone', the checkpoints served as a gateway where policemen, with ‘reasonable cause' could search the vehicles for weapons.

As I watch the video above I must make note in the presence of two individuals in the violation of the 2nd and 4th Amendments - DC Mayor Fenty and DC Attorney General Nickles

These two men appear to operate with the notion that it is necessary to deny the people of the Trinidad section of the city and elsewhere in the city their rights to their full suit of constitutional guarantees simply because some of their neighbors are acting up. I thought that "mass incrimination" was played out in this country?

As I listened to AG Peter Nickels on PBS Newshour I could not help but notice his logic which says the constitutional right to own a gun is not the issue - the need for the police to secure the area trumps these concerns. Then the repeated reference used by Nickels and the police chief that the citizens are in agreement with these police sanctions only means that SOME people are willing to give away their rights. Again this is not material to the question of it what they are doing is legal.

I have long spoken about the "assumed inferiority" of some Black people,specifically POOR BLACK PEOPLE. In truth this is what we have in operation here. The logic goes that since "these people" have not always shown themselves to be capable of acting in a civilized manner the government needs to do the necessary acts to keep them in line. You get no argument from me that it is important for a people to be conscious and to carry themselves with the same dignity that they seek others to to deliver to them. At the same time we can't get past the painful truth of the situation. The government of Washington DC would never seek to implement such a policy in Georgetown or other elite areas of the city. It would never be tolerated.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Male Bonding In A Grocery Store

That is exactly what I needed. In a late night run to the grocery store to restock the pantry I ran first into one neighbor - about the same age as me with a lot in common. We stood in the wine section and talked for about 35 minutes. We talked about marriage, about relationships, about children and even about other women and how bring married is always a struggle. That struggle is between staying faithful in your commitment to your wife and to your family versus the temptation to exercise your options.

This was a right on time discussion for me. I had exited the house following a little dust up with the wife after I corrected one of my children and, as with every teacher has found out - you can't say nothing about Ms. X's children without hearing from her. Clearly she it too over protective at times. In managing our children we need to be on one accord and work out our differences in styles behind the scenes, not in front of the children. At least that is how I was raised.

It was good to talk to a fellow brother who is also a "head of the household" and who has to negotiate things with his better half just the same. I needed our conversation just for some perspective in my own life and my own marriage.

I am happy that I now live in a community of young, similar minded, male head of households that have similar values that I have. Interestingly enough my friend told me about how he has a lot of respect for other males who seem to have good relationships with their own wives. The wife remains the center of his attention and they still are connected both physically and emotionally after several years of marriage. I told him that this also has a lot to do with the peering situation that they are part of. As an example if I was still up North and around all of my siblings, my own parents and the extended family this would have an effect on me and I would no doubt "slow my roll" with respect to hanging out with the boys at times and such. I told him also that many times the type of people who he is referring to have extended church relationships that help to set togetherness as the pattern by which everyone seeks to maintain their end of the bargain.

In the back of my mind, however, I realized that it was time to actively start the summer time cookouts once again. We had gotten away from doing this last year and the begging part of this year. I know that having 3rd parties in our midst spices up the conversation and the bonding within my own marriage and affords more lasting memories. This is what I committed to do as a result of this bonding moment in the neighborhood grocery store.

On the way out of the store I ran into yet another male neighbor that makes up the 3rd leg of our little backyard barbecue group. It is definitely time to link up once again.

Father's Day Cards Banned In A School in Scotland

Dumbing down the culture so as not to offend.

Father's Day cards banned in Scottish schools
By Simon Johnson, Scottish Political Editor
Last Updated: 8:57AM BST 23/06/2008

Thousands of primary pupils were prevented from making Father's Day cards at school for fear of embarrassing classmates who live with single mothers and lesbians.

The politically correct policy was quietly adopted at schools "in the interests of sensitivity" over the growing number of lone-parent and same-sex households.

It only emerged after a large number of fathers failed to receive their traditional cards and handmade gifts.

Family rights campaigners last night condemned the policy as "absurd" and argued that it is marginalising fathers, but local authorities said teachers need to react to "the changing pattern of family life".


The politically correct policy was quietly adopted at schools "in the interests of sensitivity" over the growing number of lone-parent and same-sex households.

It only emerged after a large number of fathers failed to receive their traditional cards and handmade gifts.

Family rights campaigners last night condemned the policy as "absurd" and argued that it is marginalising fathers, but local authorities said teachers need to react to "the changing pattern of family life".
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An Office for National Statistics report in April found that one in four British children now lives with a lone parent - double the figure 20 years ago.

The Father's Day card ban has been introduced by schools in Glasgow, Edinburgh, East Renfrewshire, Dumfries and Galloway and Clackmannshire.

Tina Woolnough, 45, whose son Felix attends Edinburgh's Blackhall primary school, said several teachers there had not allowed children to make Father's Day cards this year.

Mrs Woolnough, a member of the school's parent-teacher council, said: "This is something I know they do on a class-by-class basis at my son Felix's school. Some classes send Father's Day cards and some do not.

"The teachers are aware of the family circumstances of the children in each class and if a child hasn't got a father living at home, the teacher will avoid getting the children to make a card."

The making of Mother's Day cards and crafts, in the run-up to Mothering Sunday, remains generally permitted.

But the Father's Day edict follows a series of other politically correct measures introduced in primary schools, including the removal of Christian references from festive greetings cards.

Matt O'Connor, founder of campaign group Fathers For Justice, said: "I'm astonished at this. It totally undermines the role and significance of fathers whether they are still with the child's mother or not.

"It also sends out a troubling message to young boys that fathers aren't important."

Alastair Noble, education officer with the charity Christian Action, Research and Education, said: "This seems to be an extreme and somewhat absurd reaction.

"I would have thought that the traditional family and marriage are still the majority lifestyles of people in Scotland. To deny the experience of the majority just does not seem sensible."

Local authorities defended the change, saying teachers needed to act "sensitively" at a time when many children were experiencing family breakdown and divorce.

A spokesman for East Renfrewshire Council said: "Increasingly, it is the case that there are children who haven't got fathers or haven't got fathers living with them and teachers are having to be sensitive about this.

"Teachers have always had to deal with some pupils not having fathers or mothers, but with marital breakdown it is accelerating."

Jim Goodall, head of education at Clackmannanshire Council, said teachers are expected to behave with common sense but be sensitive to "the changing pattern of family life."

South Ayrshire Council said children should not feel left out or unwanted, while City of Edinburgh Council said the practice on Father's Day cards was a matter for individual schools.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Great Floods of Iowa and New Orleans Contrasted

This will not be an oversimplified "right wing" analysis as to the differences in human events surrounding the great flood of New Orleans in 2005 compared to the great flooding in Iowa that is happening right now. From my readings both "right and left" have it wrong and are expressing the biased views that lead them to a certain predetermined end.

On the right there has been some references to race as if the perponderance of Black folks in and of itself is the cause for the differentiated outcomes. This doesn't stand as there was a good number of White folks who were caught up in the very same situation. Though no doubt the majority of huddled masses were Black - the White folks who were left in the same vulnerable state where just as stranded.

On the left I have heard repeated claims of "apples and orange" differences between the two situations but many of them have not bothered to detail the distinction. Because THEY SAY it is different it is so. Of the ones who do attempt to put forth an explanation they refer to the "time to prepare" as being the key difference between these two incidents. Upon deeper inspection I must reject this as an answer just as well.

Most people point to the Friday evening briefing that George W. Bush received as being the start of the clock for the warning for New Orleans. This is preposterous. First of all - how many times have you heard a president of the United States rather than the governor or mayor give an EVACUATION ORDER for a city? It doesn't happen. This is not their official sanction to do so without the permission of the state.

So what is the answer?
The answer from my perspective is that all of the difference of the world is seen not in the 96 hours from the breach of the levee walls in New Orleans to the point at which the federal response kicked in with full bore. Instead it is more interesting to note what was done during the 236,000 hours between Hurricane Betty and Hurricane Katrina. The people of New Orleans new in advance that they sat inside of a serious flood zone. This knowledge based on centuries of breached levees should have warned them of the power of the mightiest water way in North America which seeks to achieve a level of equilibrium between the containers that for its waters upward rather than outward per the wishes of man and the forces of nature that says that these man made objects must be strong enough to resist such an imposing force. Over the centuries it has been Mississippi River 20, Man 0. When the might river flexes - man loses all of the time.

Water weighs 62.42796 pounds per cubic foot. Anything that man creates must be able to withstand this weigh and the force that the momentum of moving water asserts upon the structures built to contain it.

In my view New Orleans is a plot of land that is in a manicured state because man has built flood control structures to prevent water from going where gravity and equilibrium wishes it to go.

The key difference is that the people and principalities who were fully aware of the conditions upon which New Orleans was in - decided to both ignore the impending threat that these people were allowed to live within and to outsource their concerns to the larger federal government that has far more parcels of land to focus on in general than this one specific area. With all of that said - flood control on the Mississippi river is the largest single expenditure made by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Please keep in mind as well that many of the towns in Iowa are some distance away from the Mississippi River. They are experiencing a 500 year flood at present and thus a major exception to the rule of nature's order.

I have point out previously the notion of referring to the levees as "the Federal Government Levees". This is cute for the sake of getting ones point across but it also casts a shadow upon the level of consciousness that is present among the operatives as to just how much they have "Turned their problems over to [strike]Jesus[/strike] the Federal government" rather than being on point with regard to the importance of their own management or at least awareness of all that threatens them.

During these 236,000 hours in question clearly a more EFFECTIVE evacuation plan should have been rendered. Just imagine the differentiated results if every head of household was expected to maintain an inflatable raft in their own places of residency after having knowledge that many parts of New Orleans is a flood zone? The 4 days wait on dry land for a rescue would have turned into a water based transport to some land that is connected with the continental United States and thus an easier rescue would have been at hand.

Drilling down to the people - of course the mentality between property owners and consumers of residential units could not be more different. The people staying behind in Iowa to place sandbags around their vital property are expressing their knowledge that all that they possess will be saved by their own actions.

New Orleans, with parts starting out being 25 feet below sea level had no chance to wage such a fight. One would have to pile sand bags higher than their own houses to stand a chance at fending off the flood waters. Thus once again we must focus on the condition upon which the people were place in in the first place and not just the resulting outcomes which are different.

If indeed the situation in Iowa which is 500 years in interval has shifted to being 5 years in the making their housing patterns and their choice of flood control mechanisms must change to meet this new threat. At the same time - the city of New Orleans has known about their threat for centuries. Now it is time to adopt public policies that seek to reduce the level of threat that these people who are in a known flood plane face.

Assumed Inferiority - Defined

I have no problem articulating specific details of the terms that I use as I analyze the antics of the "Black Quasi-Socialist Progressive-Fundamentalist Racism Chaser" and the "Snarling Foxes" that are their commissaries.


When an EXTERNAL OPERATIVE gives another person or group of people a preemptive benefit of the doubt as to the reasons why their performance has been less than those of another person or group of people per the external operative's choice to 'expand the police tape' far beyond the scene of the crime (ie: the primary but minimum set of competences that are to be expected from EQUAL HUMAN BEINGS who are considered civilized).

These operatives chose to include tertiary elements to the crime scene in question which are said to have prevailing negative influence upon the subject. Never will the operative ask the inferiorized individual to take primary management interest in eradicating these tertiary forces because in the circular reference that is contained within his reference - the subject is seen as INCAPABLE of acting in a way that is of his own BEST INTERESTS.

This entire cycle of inserting centralized influence among these masses is an attempt to keep them in check. To develop skill and mastery at the periphery is a threat to the goals of the external operative.

The thought of "allowing one's own actions to determine one's ultimate outcome" is a THREAT in that, as when the peoples' competency to do so is judged with the filter of ASSUMED INFERIORITY the assumption is made by this operative that THEY WILL CRASH TO THE GROUND after having fallen out of the nest sans their assistance. The thought that the inferiorized person in living up to God's intended nature for them must SPREAD THEIR WINGS AND FLY as an anathema to the interests of the external agent.

Assumed Inferiority of otherwise physically undamaged individual should be seen as a PERVERSION OF GOD'S WILL and those practicing such should be DISTANCED from any influence upon these vulnerable people. As the great Fredrick Douglass said "your help has already done MUCH INJURY"!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief

Directly helping 1.5 million Africans with their AIDS treatments.

The President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR/Emergency Plan) was a commitment of $15 billion over five years (2003–2008) from United States President George W. Bush to fight the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. As the largest international health initiative ever initiated by one nation to address a single disease, the program hopes to provide antiretroviral treatment (ART) to 2 million HIV-infected people in resource-limited settings, to prevent 7 million new infections, and to support care for 10 million people (the "2-7-10 goals").

The U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003 (or the Global AIDS Act) established the State Department Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator to oversee all international AIDS funding and programming. Ambassador Mark R. Dybul has been the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator since July 2006.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

External Chase Versus Internal Demons, Part II

Consider part 1 to be a basic framing of my argument. The context being our collective consideration of where we stand on history's time line and where do we go as a people from here.

As I listened to the grand scheme for correction as put forth by the panelists at the assembly gathered to discuss the 50 year anniversary of the Brown v Board ruling their plan was made clear. They positioned themselves as missionaries but this time with good intentions. They are going to set up a fortress of structure and order that the Black people who are now shuttered outside of society's mainstream will be able to consume as a means of exorcising their current habits of ignorance and assume a more directed role in society as part of our nation's need to compete with other nations as the world becomes smaller. An "Urban Marshall Plan" no less. All of this sounds good....on paper and when spoken.

As I distill the essential elements of what they propose versus what I am proposing clearly the common denominator is education among others. This is no surprise because again - our end game is the same it is only the methodology and resulting consequences upon which we disagree.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that a major void in their strategy is the one in which they finally come to grips with certain popularly accepted practices within our community that are currently defended but which ultimately stand as an obstacle to the successful attainment of that which is commonly aspired for. You know what I am talking about - the things that should be significant but which end up consuming a good portion of time and attention: discipline problems and the reactions to them; standards of dress; consequences of failure. Ultimately all of these things are the cadre of choices that are made which define the environment upon which the people live. I have been to enough schools in a variety of differing communities to make note that the prevailing cultural environment contained with in is directly associated with that which the students, teachers, administrators and extended community bring into the school doors each day. It comes as no surprise that some are proven to be more effective than others at delivering the goods - quality education.

The people who have the "raining down" of resources theory to fix the problem are loathed to confront this key issue. They will take an "expand the police tape beyond the crime scene approach" - the consciousness that the young people bring to school with them are nothing more than the residual effects of that which the society has hoisted upon them. Their discarded state within the society there for has expressed itself in that which we see in the school. This serves to buffer these students themselves from assuming the order of the school as this has proven to be a necessary foundation for education to be consummated. Instead it serves as the mandate for yet another "boil the ocean" venture which says these children can't be expected to perform up to a certain level and most especially not to the level of their White suburban counterparts until they have not only equal resources as presented within the context of the school building which the government controls but also by some crafty intervention in their entire lives outside of school. Anything from the question of the types of restaurants that are in their communities to the types of jobs that their parents have which in turn serves to fortify the grammatical choices and their propensity to intellectualize certain matters or have them inclined to do things as they do it on the streets.

Notice again the expansive nature of their plans. (Please note - some people believe that I have a habit of setting up a 'straw man' in which I define how others see things and then I go about attacking that which I HAVE CREATED rather than that which is legitimately their position. I reject this claim. I believe that I spend enough time talking, watching, listening and other wise consuming the views of the masses as a means of fully understanding how the winds are blowing. I know that I am more right and fair in my analysis than I am wrong.)

They spend more time working to change the CONDITIONS surrounding the subject at hand than they do working directly with this person, having him to be the agent of change as the primary means by which he will be educated. In my view the call to drop those incidental things that ultimately mean little to the cause of education and in fact which might work against achieving one is the overriding attribute that needs to be executed on. Is that student in the mindset and discipline of LEARNING so that learning could even possibly take place in the first place?

After listening to some audio about the election season that is now in full bloom I had my beliefs advanced that Black people are in the mindset that it is society and America that must show that it sees Blacks as EQUALS. Along these same lines the purveyors of such sentiments don't seem to be able to detail what it is Black people who are on the other side of the "=" sign must bring to the table to show that we are equals as well. I fail to see how, for example mandating that Black children be bused to majority White schools proves that we are "equal". I can see that such a program shows our children that our CULTURE is inferior to that of White societies. We all know that while many Blacks went to White schools.....the notification that the Whites were to report to a majority Black school usually resulted in the White exiting the school system all together and going to a Catholic school or a private school.

Now fast forward to 2008 and let me use a personal story that has key relevance. Where as the high school that I attended was racially balanced about 25 years ago as it had originally opened decades prior as a means of allowing White kids an option to avoid having to go to an all Black school - in 2008 - this school BUILDING now houses a near 100% Black student body. We now see that it was not the FACILITIES or LOCATION that made it a quality school that who sent an above average amount of students off to college.

I recall during my days as a basketball player there - I would go into the gym all alone. I would go to the foul line and pretend that I was in a game with my team, the opposing team and the cheering crowds looking on. These EXTERNAL influences when present in real life no doubt were accepted in through my senses - hearing the crowd, seeing the 9 other people on the floor, smelling the sweat, feeling my heart beat from the though that the shot that I must make is so important to winning the game. At the end of it all - with about 200 other people adding their animation to my senses or me opening my eyes and realizing that I am standing there all alone......IT WAS STILL UP TO ME TO MAKE THE SHOT. This is an INTERNAL thing that I had to do in the end. Assuming that the referees managed the game that that which closely approximates basketball as much as possible - the burden is on my shoulders.

The same is the case with us as a people.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Missed Exit Ramp - Fighting The Perpetual External Threat Rather Than The Internal Demons

The Missed Exit Ramp - Fighting The Perpetual External Threat Rather Than The Internal Demons

I believe that I am a reasonable man who goes out of my way to sample various perspectives and who has access to the "dual life" of the Black Community and others - White, Asian (Indian/Pakistani and Chinese/Korean) and Hispanic. I also understand that the history of the African while in America is like none other. From first being "brought here" to do the bidding of another as part of his scheme of commerce on to the struggle for equal treatment as a full US citizen. It thus is fully understandable as to how the activism that is most visible in the Black community is inclined to be externally focused. It was from the outside that the forces that threatened us the most had come from. It did not matter if one was civil with the highest order of social skills 100 years ago - if as a Black man he dared to walk in the front door of some of the finest hotels in America he was subject to physical attack and arrest. Both were used as extension of White supremacy to keep Blacks in our place. Thus the orientation was most attuned that that which threatened us indiscriminately as a people.

Within the context of this external focus came organizations such as the NAACP that was an organization of individuals working in unison to systematically confront this external threat using the court system as their main channel for having the rights of Black people expressed and defended when necessary. I have documented problems with the NAACP version 2008 but I have no problem in stating that they were an essential force in having Black Americans and other minority groups to have their rights protected. The framework per the legal precedents established by the NAACP is what these others are using.

We are all used to picking up history books and seeing certain periods of time clearly delineated for us. The "The Dark Ages", "The Colonial Era", "Industrial Age", "Reconstruction" - all of them can be plotted on a time line that the average history book has graphically presented to its readers. I wonder - did the people who were living in these specific eras make note when one period ended and a new one took its place? Clearly the answer is "no". These intervals of time are labeled as such after the fact to assist the observers of history to easily understand the period per the summation added by the historians.

In my own perception as a Black American it is clear to me that we are in the gray area that resides between two distinct intervals and are in fact clearly over new and uncharted territory. The period that has been exited which would no doubt be labeled as the "Civil Rights Era" was defined by the fight to obtain rights for our people in response to some assault upon our person which in the past was permitted with impunity per implicit government sanction. The gray area was the time period in which it was necessary to go on a "racism chase" as portions of the country did not realize "what time it is" and thus tested the fortitude of the government to enforce its own laws accordingly. Despite a list of examples that might be thrown up by individuals who disagree - the fact remains that in 2008 a racial assault upon a Black person or evidence of systematic discrimination in the workforce does not go unchecked. There is both active legal recourse available to the aggrieved Black person as well as comprehensive government sanction performed by governments at all levels against such actions. Even the Federal Department of Justice under the management of the oft scorned "conservatives" enforce these Civil Rights laws. The debate only being about the threshold at which government intervention and sanction is required with liberal Blacks having a trigger that is more sensitive than that of the conservatives who are more inclined to give deference to the corporate entity, the usual target of sanction. Most can be lead to agree - despite having rulings not go their way per the ideological bias that is present - their access to the legal system to have their "day in court" is more assured today than ever before in America when these matters come up for debate.

As for me - I consider myself to be an "analyst of Black people in society". Again drawing upon what I am asked to do on the professional side of my life - I am able to make observations of the way people channel their activities toward a certain end and then comment about them with reference to their stated objectives. I have learned through self maturity and via my exposure to leaders charged with managing people in order to achieve a certain result that the essence of their success is not just the mechanical steps that all who they are responsible for take as part of their duties. Greater than this is the need for a common set of objectives from which all of their actions ultimately roll up to. In recent parlance the notion of "the mission statement" has been coined as a means of unifying all of the actions and have all directives emanate from. "Quality", "Customer Satisfaction", "Safety" - all of these operative words can be found in these mission statements.

When I talk like this I inevitably get the push back artist telling me that "a race of people is very different from a group of people operating in the auspices of company". I could not disagree with them any more than I do. If you'll note - in today's society "what we do" is the fundamental portion from which much else flows - our wealth, our need for education, where we live, health care, who we socialize with. You had better believe that many of the concepts applied to individuals working in unison with a corporate entity is directly transferable in addressing some of the societal and community problems of today. The concept of establishing a goal, detailing the methodology for obtaining that goal and then getting specific as to what each member of the community MUST DO for these goals to be achieved is directly applicable to any group.

In my debates with many people of my race I find that they are so oriented toward fighting the EXTERNAL FIGHT that such talk as I have laid out above gets pushed aside as irrelevant to that which is attacking us. Only by "speaking truth to power" can we progress as a people. That one day "that LAST WORD SPOKEN to tell them about themselves" as we show that we are REALLY, REALLY angry this time is going to lead to the changes that have been long sought after. In fact I am but a "corporate indoctrinated shill" in service to our enemies. (Of course their use of the Democratic party to achieve their ends should not be seen in kind). Sadly their ideological bias and quite frankly their ignorance prevents them from seeing how the comprehensive and enduring power as expressed by these very firms that they vote for each month per the money sent into them each month in exchange for a good or service they consume is a testament to how the efforts of individual people can be bonded together for the purposes of actually obtaining all that was listed above as benefits (application of one's education, etc). The "revolutionary" doctrine has far outlasted its utility at this stage in our development as a people.

As we consider some of the key problems that we have in the Black community - disproportionately high incarceration rates, inferior educational facilities, unemployed minds and disconnectedness from the system of wealth creation - there has been a standard and popular framework for analysis as to WHY all of these things are as they are in 2008. RACISM!!!

Racism is the great "summary statement" that is applied when we just can't figure out WHY there is two groups of people - one White and one Black yet different set of results are had - with all else seemingly being equal. Our response? ATTACK THE RACISM! If we can get those folks on the outside to stop using their power over us to give us a differentiated set of services (or to spread THEIR money over to our town because of our shared Americanism) then our problems will be solved.

What about our internal problems? Unruly Black teens? - they grew up in disposed of communities. What we see today is what THEY (this external force) has planted in the ground for them to become. Unfavorable outcomes in Health? Those menthol cigarettes are working as they were intended. High Incarceration Rates? You know the Prison Industrial Complex - the new slavery - must make their money per the bounty that is on the head of every Black man entering into their midst.

What is the common thread to all of these?
We must work "ON BEHALF OF BLACK PEOPLE", having the SYSTEM to change its ways so that that which it rains upon Black America will cleanse us. The activism has the mindset of lobbying on our behalf in the legislative chambers of America for these long sought after benefits. Even when we talk about the EDUCATION that is critical for us to become SELF-SUFFICIENT and INDEPENDENT - the pathway to obtaining this has an external passageway prior to us ever walking into the land of independence. It is said to be UNFAIR that the aggregate economic output that is expressed via the community's policies are used as the primary means of funding these important services. Anyone who does not see that the anti-gentrification policies that are popular also have the effect of suppressing property values and thus taxes collected upon them needs to return to Economics 101.

What is the means by which these consequences can be worked around? GOVERNMENT POLICIES of redistribution. Rather than go through the standard name calling exercise that is often associated with such a statement let's just lay out plainly the fact that in such a strategy greater society's economic output is used to subsidize the system within these communities which have proven to be unable to fund the standard of living that is desired by the residents despite their own economic ability to generate such wealth. The society thus expresses its valuation of the residents within living up to this certain standard and thus a net transfer of "goodwill" takes place with the transaction. The question for those who are interested in the benefit of this community MUST BE - "Will your efforts to NATIONALIZE the benefit assumed by the people of most interest to you ever attain the state of EQUALITY that you seek or are you are on a perpetual EQUALITY CHASE with the hopes that it one day will?

Let's revert back to the concept of "intervals" in time. I believe that it is reasonable to believe that we are standing in a "clearing in the field". The jungle through which we once walked which had vines, trees and thorns preventing us from standing up or moving forward as a people have been replaced by the creeping tentacles that are seen on the forward growth of vine as it crawls up a wall or fence. Indeed it is a bind but an upward thrust of one leg at a time is enough to free ourselves from its grasp, allowing us to move forward unencumbered.

Indeed "organizational" memory is an equally powerful force. The memory of that impenetrable jungle is a strong one. It has been passed down throughout history and remains as an important part of our folklore. In fact an important part of our hero making are the details of how we fought against these forces.

Thus we have two competing theories at hand. One is the top level fight - Battle for NATIONAL EQUALITY for all as the pretext of having equal benefit rain down upon us. Second is the notion that I am advancing - the propagation of the "Wez Free" message onto the masses. The promotion that the greatest force to determine our ultimate outcome IS US. That we have enough of a clearing afoot that INTERNAL ORDER is force enough to make that which is lingering irrelevant in proportion to the whole. These two strategies could not be more fundamentally different as we consider the PEOPLE upon who these efforts are focused. The essence of the "External" versus "Internal" debate is thus.

Those favoring the "External" strategy call upon our SHARED NATIONALISM to be the ticket by which we will receive EQUALITY as expressed by the government. The day a constitutional amendment is passed guaranteeing "equal access to quality education" is going to bring this forth and if not.....the string of lawsuits to that effect will do so. At minimum every school will have a swimming pool afforded to them. The question of WHO will win the contract for the construction of this pool no doubt will be a point of contention. This is how things go though, when it is not YOUR MONEY doing the buying and you are more interested in being in RECEIPT OF BENEFIT rather than the production of such.

Of course - the counter stance to the INTERNAL strategy will be the oft heard slam that one needs "BOOT STRAPS" in the first place to be able to pull one's self up by them. They only need to do comparative analysis between the resources that the poorest of Americans have to that of at least 3 billion other citizens on this Earth. In doing so they might note that the bootstraps that they do have while not as thick as the affluent in America certainly function significantly better than those available to the rest of the world.

Another serious flaw in the REJECTION of the INTERNAL strategy is the national debt of the United States and the impending growth of other nations around the world. This "world's richest nation" is poised to move closer to "room temperature" with the rest of the world as these other nations stand up on their feet and increase their productive capacity. For one's constitutional right to equal education funding to be possible - the money has to be available in the first place. Increased immigration into this nation will only add to the pressures upon the national resource well. It is a serious strategic mistake to have this external dependency rather than preparing for the independence that might be force upon us due to circumstances beyond our control.

For me - that which was theorized as the ascent into local offices proves enlightening to the chances that a more national effort will one day succeed. If they "flew away" from you at the local level do you really figure they'll stay put once you try to trap them nationally?

A Timely Comment On The WSJ Blog About Reverend Jeremiah Wright

This entry has not been authentically proven to be a post by the "Bill Cosby" that we all know - and respect (at least some of us).

It was posted on the Wall Street Journal blog as follows:

I read the article and then assumed that the poster had to be a registered subscriber - as I am and thus the name was more valid than it actually is in real life.

I apologize for the confusion. I may not aspire to be "Balanced" on my circle of blogs but indeed I type to be FAIR and intellectually honest.

Thank you to THEBIGDODDY for pointing out my oversight - even though you went about the notification in an "assholious" manner - I appreciate your response.

A BLOGGER using the screen name of "Bill Cosby" commenting about Rev. Wright

Rev. Wright epitomizes the thoughts and actions that have prevented and continue to prevent black America from moving ahead and achieving their potential as a people. He suggests that this United States of America made up of sons and daughters of immigrants (I'm talking of the millions of 1st, 2nd, 3rd generation immigrants in this country) of every race, creed, color and religion each and everyone of them who had nothing to do with slavery, some how owe something to a group of people who have never been slaves? Its amazing. It seems everyone is to blame for the shambles black society is in with its violence, drugs, high school drop out rates, misogyny, and a host of other real and virulent problems, except for the very people who engage in such behavior. Enough. As a society, culture or people, they should look within themselves and fix their problems. When did this man become the spokesman for the 'black church'? And of course his church is different, but that doesn't mean his message and philosophy is acceptable, or productive or non-offensive or not-racist or indicative or our greater cultural behaviors, values and norms Americans. And yes, the link between this man and Obama really does matter. At a very minimum, it provides insight into the political and philosophical strain that Obama adheres to.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Bo Diddley - A Great One Has Passed

Rock 'n roll legend Bo Diddley dies in Florida

MIAMI (Reuters) - Rock 'n' roll pioneer Bo Diddley, who banged out hit songs powered by the relentless "Bo Diddley beat" that influenced rockers from Buddy Holly to U2, died on Monday at the age of 79.

Diddley died of heart failure at his home in Archer, Florida, his management agency, Talent Consultants International, said in a statement.

"One of the founding fathers of rock 'n' roll has left the building he helped construct," the statement said.

Diddley suffered a stroke during a concert in Iowa in May 2007 and was hospitalized in Omaha, Nebraska. In August 2007 he had a heart attack in Florida.


Imagine if a hip hop artist of today talked about the same subject using their words of today?
"I'm a man"

(Ellas McDaniel) 1955

Now when I was a little boy,
At the age of five,
I had somethin' in my pocket,
Keep a lot of folks alive.

Now I'm a man,
Made twenty-one,
You know baby,
We can have a lot of fun.

I'm a man,
I spell

All you pretty women,
Stand in line,
I can make love to you baby,
In an hour's time.

I'm a man,
I spell

I goin' back down,
To Kansas to
Bring back the second cousin,
Little John the conqueroo.

I'm a man,
I spell

The line I shoot,
Will never miss,
The way I make love to 'em,
They can't resist.

I'm a man,
I spell

By the way "Bad to the Bone" was bitten off of this track.