Sunday, May 31, 2009
In the past 2 weeks I have had powerful debates with two individuals that I can surely accurately call "progressives". I am not sure if they would be admit to being called "Secular Progressives". This despite their theories as applied upon our culture would make them so.
AVOIDANCE Of The "God Said So, Its Final"
In the first debate that took place on "Conservative Black Woman's" blog concerning Gay Marriage, one strident defender of Gay Marriage as a RIGHT per the legalistic mantra as expressed in the US legal system repudiated any grounds used to defend "Traditional Marriage" that were based upon religiosity.
This particular combatant knew that if he allowed the "God said it. I believe it. That's final" argument to stand that he would not be able to have a rational debate based on facts because we are in the domain of religious faith.
I then went on to provide, what I believed to be, a strident argument for the defense of Traditional Marriage in the context of the "Judeo-Christian Cultural Tradition". My debate adversary attempted to reject the "Judeo-Christian" ethic (the one that we presently live within in America) mostly because of the name that it carries - Judeo meaning Jewish and Christian.
I argued that the basic facts of human relations do not change over time. Only the technology and our means for travel changes. The PRECEDENCE of the "Judeo-Christian Cultural order" has brought us this far as a human species and thus I am willing to continue with this framework.
When asked for his own justification of the radical changes that he had proposed he stuck to THE LAW of the United States that provided the RIGHT for 2 consenting adults to marry who they pleased. Thus he did not bother to go beyond this one life preserver that he clung to lest he have to justify his claim with a vibrant swim.
PREFERENCE of "The US Legal System Operates On Legal Precedence And Thus The Debate Has Been Settled"
In a second debate with a different person but this time on the"Booker Rising" blog the subject under discussion was about the justification for Judge Sonia Sotomayor to negate the promotions of the panel of fire fighters in New Haven CT because they lacked "racial diversity".
It was my view that the City of New Haven, having tossed the results of the battery of tests for the open lieutenants' positions not because there was ACTUAL "racism" found in the evaluation process but because someone MIGHT see RACISM because no Black candidate had made the cut was an abomination of our current state of law and labor relations. I further charged that the municipal officials, the lower court judge and judge Sotomayor applied "assumed inferiority" upon the Black candidates with the assumption that they are unable to be provided with a fair test and come out among the top ranking candidates, everything else being equal.
The response from my debate adversary, who is also an attorney, was based upon his claims about "legal precedence" to which Judge Sotomayor's ruling was in line with.
As this poster referenced the Civil Rights Act under which this ruling had taken place I challenged him and others to show in the text where this ruling is justified. In fact, the text could be more strongly used to show the ILLEGALITY of such an action.
It became clear to me that the claim of "legal precedence" binds people over in a fashion that is akin to "God said it. It is settled. I believe it".
How ironic that our history is full of White racists who cowered behind "legal precedence" in order to protect actions that they knew were unjust. It is ironic for an interest group that doggedly seeks to protect the integrity of voting outcomes would themselves seek to "throw out the results" of a process that they could not find any fault with....except the RESULTS that did not meet their expectations.
Clearly there was a point in time in which they cursed those who made use of precedence.
THE NEW PRECEDENCE OF BLACK EQUALITY
Is it too clear to me that at our present time as a people there is a need for the Black community to establish a "precedence of equality". Thus far we have fought to have the systems that govern and educate us show that we are seen as equals. This has resulted in an array of legal protections that can be executed against all who violate this trust.
The other side of the balance scale has not been focused upon. This side asks Black people to express our own EQUALITY. Thus when forces within the system attempt to "assume our inferiority" as a pretext of giving us some benefit - we REJECT this offer because with such an acceptance we compromise our own consciousness toward "equality".
If the precedence which assumed "Black Inferiority" can be put to death on the government provisioning side of the balance scale then most certainly we as a people can craft a body of precedence on the other side.
This is a precedent that I would blindly follow, cutting off all debate to the contrary.
As TI's pastor sends the convicted felon scriptures everyday - I wonder exactly what direction is given to Clifford Harris in regards to "departing the game"?
If the pastor knows that the member of his flock traffics in potty mouthed lyrics that are quite "Un-Christian-like" does he turn the other way, looking at the "community service" that Clifford does while leveraging the fame that he gained among the people by changing the potty mouthed lyrics?
This is the challenge of the century within the Black community. The prevailing culture - too often - accepts those who are corrosive to us and repudiates those who dare observe what is going on and comments about it. In our discombobulated world - those who's CRIMINAL RECORDS show that they stand AGAINST the community's interests will have these infractions DISMISSED as "those are the White man's laws" while those who are critics and who hope to see improvement are most times charged with "being an agent for the White man and thus must be isolated".
Clearly - Without Vision The People Perish.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Marketplace Money: A way to make drugs for poor countries
A public-private venture with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is being used to test a potential malaria vaccine. The collaboration may provide a viable business model for developing drugs for poor countries. Megan Williams reports.
Kai Ryssdal: Nearly a million people die of malaria every year, most of them young children in sub-Saharan Africa. A public-private venture that includes $200 million from the Gates Foundation is working on a vaccine. It's about to do its final tests. And if the vaccine works, the collaboration that produced it could offer a viable business model for developing drugs for poorer countries. Megan Williams reports now from Gabon, in central Africa.
MEGAN WILLIAMS: Dr. Maxime Agnandji peers into a microscope at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital lab in Lamberene, Gabon.
The 35-year-old who grew up in the country heads the research unit here, as part of the biggest medical trial ever held in Africa. A malaria vaccine test involving 16,000 kids and 11 different research centers across the continent.
MAXIME AGNANJDI: Basically I want to stay here to develop my career here.
Agnanjdi is one of the principal investigators for the final test of the vaccine, called RTSS. So far, it's been shown to cut the rate of severe malarial infection by half. Agnanjdi says it's not only exciting to work on a solution to a mainly African problem, but on a project that's changing the face of medical research in Africa.
AGNANJDI: Since the 10 last years there is improvement in training, to control diseases. I've met many, many doctors from different countries, all are from Africa. Young researchers from Africa.
The Gates foundation decided to invest in the malaria vaccine research after scientists at the drug company Glaxo-Smith-Kline showed it had real potential. But for big drug companies vaccines in Africa just aren't profitable. People are too poor to pay. Without the Gates funding, the malaria vaccine wouldn't have been developed.
Rip Ballou of the Gates Foundation has been part of the quest for a malaria vaccine for more than two decades.
Long past heyday, oldest black Ala. city in peril
By JAY REEVES –May 26, 2009
HOBSON CITY, Ala. (AP) — The cafes, the school and the roller rink are long gone from Alabama's oldest black city. Empty homes and businesses line the narrow streets.
Hobson City no longer has a police or fire department, and weeds have overgrown the oldest part of the cemetery and a park in this small town that once thrived as a rarity: a place where black people were in charge in the midst of the Jim Crow South.
Now, with the town on the verge of dying, preservationists have put the east Alabama landmark on the critical list. The Alabama Historical Commission this month included the community of 878 people on its annual inventory of "Places in Peril."
The commission's list typically includes historic structures, such as old homes and abandoned theaters. This year it takes in an entire town that in recent decades has seen its foundation collapse.
Incorporated in 1899, Hobson City was formed 12 years after Eatonville, Fla., which calls itself the nation's oldest black city.
In the decades after the Civil War, blacks formed scores of colonies and communities as they migrated to Kansas and Oklahoma and sought independence in locales around the South. Some, like Eatonville and Hobson City, formally incorporated.
"There was a lot of dissatisfaction and alienation among blacks by the 1890s because of the refusal of whites in the South to allow them any real role in civic life," said University of Tennessee history professor Robert J. Norrell, who has written extensively on race relations.
Blacks also were subject to discrimination and abuse by law enforcement. "Together, these created a desire for separate municipalities," Norrell said.
Hobson City's residents created "a thriving municipality, which people at the time said couldn't be done because blacks couldn't govern," said Dorothy Walker, public outreach coordinator with the Alabama Historical Commission. "If it is someday absorbed into another city, it will lose that historic identity."
Roderick Boyd, a handyman and Hobson City resident, worries about his hometown's survival.
"I fear it's gone too far," said Boyd, 49.
A two-mile-long sliver about 60 miles east of Birmingham, Hobson City is as narrow as a few hundred yards in places. Wedged between two predominantly white cities, Oxford and Anniston, it has a few white residents.
During the 1800s, Walker said, it was an all-black section of Oxford called Mooree Quarter, a possible reference to old slave quarters in the area. Residents were allowed to vote, but whites maintained control.
The racial relationship shifted in the 1890s when the people of Mooree Quarter swayed an election, Walker said. The state had not yet disenfranchised blacks — that wouldn't happen until 1901. So, Walker said, whites petitioned state leaders to de-annex Mooree Quarter.
Kicked out of Oxford, blacks incorporated a new city and named it for Richmond P. Hobson, a white Spanish-American War hero from Alabama who was later elected to Congress. The 1900 Census put the new town's population at 292.
Hobson City grew to about 1,500 people by the mid-1900s, with restaurants, laundries, stores, a skating rink and other businesses. The town was poor, but had a vibrant culture centered on the all-black vocational school.
"It was never a rich town, but it was a good place to raise children," said Mayor Alberta McCrory.
Federal anti-poverty money flowed to Hobson City in the 1960s, and federal aid helped build a modern municipal complex in the 1970s. But in an ironic twist, McCrory said, the end of racial segregation sent the city into a tailspin around the same time.
"Sometimes I think I wouldn't have gone out and done all that marching if I realized how much we were going to lose," said McCrory, 61, who participated in civil rights protests as a young woman.
The all-black Calhoun County Training School became an integrated elementary school in 1972, and fair housing laws meant blacks could live elsewhere. Many who could afford to move away did so, costing Hobson City hundreds of residents.
With nearly one-third of its residents living below the poverty level, the town has only three businesses other than in-home operations: A small print shop, a barber shop and a convenience store.
Industries in nearby towns shut down in the 1980s, costing more jobs. The elementary school was moved from the center of town to the outskirts a few years ago, leaving a shell of a building where kids used to run and play.
City offices are now housed in the old school. The 1970s-era municipal complex stands abandoned. Unable to pay for maintenance, the city left it to the weeds and weather in 2006.
The city still has a police car and a fire truck, but it can't afford officers or firefighters. County deputies handle police calls, and neighboring cities help with fires.
Being tabbed a "Place in Peril" doesn't include any special funding, but McCrory hopes it will increase public awareness of the town's plight.
She dreams of a campaign to raise $1 million in donations, which could lead to federal and state matching grants.
Two civic groups, the Concerned Citizens of Hobson City and the Hobson City Community and Economic Development Corp., will participate in a two-day forum starting May 29 to discuss the town's future. The meeting was spurred in part by the state designation, but leaders have been talking for years about revitalizing the town with little success.
Boyd, a lifelong resident, has a hard time seeing past Hobson City's problems — the poverty, the crime, abandoned buildings, dead businesses. He's just trying to keep his grass cut and stay positive.
"Maybe all the turmoil we're going through now will lead to something," he said.
The contrast between the lost vision of Hobson City, AL and the strategic mistakes in New Haven, CT could not be more glaring.
In New Haven, CT we debate over a city and a judicial system who implicitly state that "Blacks are inferior and can't pass a promotion test if equally pitted against White men" and thus we must help them. Ironically in Hobson City was formed when the Whites in the neighboring city of Mooree Quarter "swayed an election" toward their favor. The Blacks in the unified town knew who had their best interests in mind and supported those who vied for the elective office accordingly in a fair election. The bigoted Whites operating in the context of the regional purge of Black and White Republicans in the South, "threw the election" toward a more favorable end for their interests.
With the blow of racism used to steal the possiblity of electoral achievement from their hands in Mooree Quarter (and other areas in the South via the "Red Shrits"), the conscious Black people in the town agreed to separate from the White citizens of Mooree Quarter so that they can PROVE TO THEIRSELVES that indeed "Black people are competent to run their own affairs".
Thus the town of Hobson City, Alabama was born.
At this time in America - "A Black man had no rights that a White man need respect". The bigoted thought that "Black people were inferior" had to be dismantled by the WORK of the Black community to PROVE TO THEMSELVES that this was NOT the case. Out of this quest to live to their God given potential, the potential that was expressed in their native lands in Africa since the beginning of their time, Hobson City was born as the expression of this competency and against all odds. Hobson City had its own fire department and a police department because the citizens saw the need to have a fire and police function for its very survival. Hobson City was born our of a need. The alternative was to live as inferior beings within the city of Mooree Quarter which showed that it had no respect for them.
The news events of New Haven CT shows the impact of a government which as also "thrown the results of a democratic process". While in this case Blacks were made to be the seeming beneficiary of the decision on the promotions, in truth the damage done to the psyche of Black people proves to be far more damaging and damning.
The bigoted Whites in the city of Mooree Quarter believed in Black inferiority as government leaders and then stole away an otherwise fair election. Bigoted city leaders in New Haven CT today thought that Blacks were inferior in their ability to compete head to head with 14 White men and thus the city stepped in to throw the results of the battery of tests given for the promotion to lieutenant. Race was injected into New Haven by the leaders. They leaned upon the old ghosts of Black inferiority as their basis. Today they dress up their bigotry as "diversity". It is spun as "micro-reparations" for the past.
The contention over the limited resources of open lieutenant seats, freshman seats in college and municipal contracts comes in the wake of the lack of vision that allowed towns like Hobson City and colleges like Morris Brown to erode into weed covered fortressess with historical ties to the past when they were needed and relevant.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Dambisa Moyo: Aid Ironies: A Response to Jeffrey Sachs
Prior to providing my commentary on the matter at hand I want to express the great difficulty that I have in syndicating any content from the "Huffington Post" on my blog. Their propaganda site is awash in yellow journalism. They are the home of people who seek to have the Black community remain as it is WITHIN, while seeking the outside world around it to change on behalf of the inhabitants.
This statement feeds nicely into my overall analysis about the positions that are argued by Mr. Sachs and Ms Moyo. Though I am inclined to be biased toward Dr Moyo I have to yield that Dr Sachs makes some strong points as well.
Having just read both of their arguments and then step back to apply it to the situation at hand - I conclude that the arguments made on "behalf of the Africa" is the consequence of allowing an external operative to pay your bills and thus he also feels inclined to argue what "YOU" should do.
In summary - Dr Moyo's position sits more comfortably with my own ideology BUT all is but theory until the Africa builds himself up and then REFUSES to take any more external funds that are not met with an equal exchange of something of benefit to the other party. The day when the African nations can say "Thanks for the offer of aid but NO THANKS. While your prima facie intentions were to help me, you have done great harm to my culture of industry. I can suffer no more from your injury".
As well the points raised by Dr Sachs prove compelling. He does what all "Affirmative Action" receipients are warned about: "Labels those who accept such gratis as hypocrites if they dare to refuse such aid offers to others down the line". Clearly the badge of inferiority which the "conservative critics" are damned for making use of is most frequently used by the White liberal as a means of reminding the Black person who dares attempt to stand up later on. One must wonder why only those who dared put on an "Affirmative Action Bake Sale" were attacked for projecting the inferiority of Blacks?
Sachs equates the acceptance of an "academic scholarship" with "dependent aid". This is preposterous but telling of the man's agenda. An academic scholarship is given to a student that has shown promise in a previous venue. It is an investment that allows this flower to blossom. The subsistence aid that is under debate in Africa is provided with the sole qualification that the donor seeks to see these people live. Nothing is asked of the donor. The transference is due to his projection of worth upon the recipient, even if it surpasses the self-valuation that is evident. The donor can't possibly see an equal human beings in his eyes for he has no particular set of expectations of him.
The key problem with Dr Moyo is that for this grand plan for independence and consciousness to work for the Africa she is forced to actually WORK WITH the African and convince him of the need to sever the ambilical cord and then keep him looking upward toward his full potential. Recent history has shown that, absence good governance and transparency the very thing that Dr Sachs points out does indeed come true. Since the de facto state of man is poverty a SYSTEM that produces otherwise must be implemented.
ORGANIC MOVEMENTS NOT BASED ON RESENTMENT
Throughout the African Diaspora there has been an inclination to promote leaders who know how to get the people riled up via their concatenation of their individual resentment about the past enslavement and colonization at the hands of the European. Such sentiment proves to be an easier draw upon the masses than does a tie in upon their quest to obtain their own full potential in an organic fashion. Indeed HATRED is a more powerful intoxicant than is RESOLVE to become a fully actualized people.
It is clear to me that the only force that can prevent a "Mugabe-like" figure to exploit the resentments held by the masses which ultimately leads to their own economic suicide is a SYSTEM OF GOOD GOVERNANCE WITH TRANSPARENCY.
With the more exploitative route has the advantage of expediency it fails miserably with regard to its endurance. Once the adversary is removed from the midst of the masses - they severe flaws in their strategy for perpetual governance is shown for all to see. In effect one oppressor is exchanged for another.
The citizens of good will, who are looking out for the long term interests of the masses should insist all along that practices of transparency and good government be implemented from day one. With a firm commitment to these practices and the institutions that bring them forth a CULTURE of good governance will be born and has a chance to endure the changing tides of the situation within which the people find themselves.
Where as I am inclined to agree with Moyo about the long term need to pull the plug on dependency and that open ended commitments are the sure way to insure continued depencency, the only way that Sachs' fears won't be realized is for the African to hold himself responsible for defining the long term goals of his development movement, grow to that point and then REFUSE to accept any transference inward that is not backed by an exchange of equal value outward.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
We take a trip down memory lane and look at the history of the middle-class family summer vacation when the parents and kids piled into the car and traveled along the highways and byways of a post-WWII America. Our guest is SUSAN SESSIONS RUGH author of “Are We There Yet? The Golden Age of American Family Vacations.”
Upon listening to this report on Memorial day regarding the threats to Black vacation travelers as they rode through the South and elsewhere I was made to think about how much these threats are in the past. Black people of today do not have to deal with this.
For most people this would be a sign of great progress that we no longer have to publish a "guide for Black travelers", detailing Black friendly places to stop. Instead such news about the past is cause for continued grievances for those who leverage this past as a grievance for future entitlement.
Monday, May 25, 2009
This is a touching tribute to the dead veterans of war in America.
Hundreds of Boy Scouts came out to plant thousands of flags upon their graves.
From the Boy Scouts organization they derive a certain sense of honor and value. The BSA functions as a "rites of passage" program that channels the energy of these young men toward a more productive end and then demands that they commit to a higher standard in the process.
For any people seeking to "recreate" or "transform" their own culture such an organization is a worthy addition to the lot.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
I am presently running a 3 channeled debate with Black folks regarding what amounts to the conscious of Black America. The first channel is on the blog “Booker Rising” where there are individuals who I have been battling on nearly every subject are resisting what is otherwise so clear.
The other two channels are via my personal e-mail account. First there is a circle of my closest friends. They often do a one on 3 or 4 debates – where “I” am the “one” fighting off their charges. One of these friends forwarded me a radio interview with leftist operative Michael Eric Dyson where he criticized President Barack Obama for not paying enough attention to “black issues”. In the view of my liberal friend – THIS was proof that “Black Progressives do indeed criticize Barack Obama and the Democrats”. My rebuttal essential asked if the mission is to “rebut” the Democrats as proof that you are not “sold out” OR is our mission to ACTUALLY obtain our “Permanent Interests” by EFFECTIVELY managing those who purport to be in pursuit of them. I get the strange impression that my friend merely wanted to prove to me that he doesn't agree with all that Obama is doing. There was no hint of a plan to turn these grievances into action. Michael Eric Dyson already told of his intention of voting for Barack Obama and the Democrats in 2012. Clearly he has no “Permanent Interests” that the Democratic Party can short him on. His plan is to CHANGE THEM so that they can be made into the vehicle that he wants them to be. The perfect plan of many abused wives. “I can change him. I know he loves me”.
Upon reading my friend's note about “Black Progressives Critical Of Obama” I chose not to fall into the trap of criticizing Obama. This would have lead into a blow for blow debate. They would simply attempt to “Republican-ify” me and thus the debate would become the tradition “Don't talk about Obama until you can justify Bush” sort of debate. Sorry I am not biting.
Instead I challenged my friend to JUSTIFY MICHAEL ERIC DYSON!
Last summer – Dr Dyson and his preacher wife sold Black America on the notion that Barack Obama as President of the United States would bring forth a worldwind of CHANGE for the betterment of Black America. During this time in the sales process I heard of no negatives about the “Democratic Machine” lead by Barack Obama. Thus I suggested that Dr Dyson gave us INCOMPLETE is not “bad advice” to follow. I suggested that Dr. Dyson and other operatives were pursuing THEIR OWN interests rather than the “best interests” of the Black community. I asked my friend to explain the CHANGE in Dr Dyson and set this against their intention to never allow unchecked suggestions to influence them again.
This was the plan at least.
I then included a second set of friends and co-workers who I receive a stead stream of “Obama-ganda” from into the discussion. One of these friends told me that he had sent my words into another forum that he participates in. He did admit that this was a “Black Progressive” forum but that my words had received a positive response from his circle of friends.
Then this other friend said something that I found interesting. He noted that MY WORDS were more compelling than “Michael Steele's words”. He would be more inclined to listen to Michael Steele if he were to argue the points as I do.
THIS IS ODD!!!
Why was “Michele Steele” the first reference that came to mind? Michael Steele is the chair of the Republican National Committee, more than he is a Black Conservative. I have NEVER positioned myself as a Black Republican.
I centered my argument around the key reference that I have crafted which works to give PURPOSE TO the Black political activism:
Thriving Local Economy
I suggested that DESPITE the present domination by the machine upon which Barack Obama resides atop of – Michael Eric Dyson and other “Democrats who are Black” are still STRUGGLING to get their fundamental issues addressed to their own satisfaction.
With this as a permanent reference my friend responded in a way which effectively said “I would CHANGE form the Democratic Party to the Republican Party IF Michael Steele and other Republicans would address these issues within the Black community.”
I am not understanding this argument.
Why is it that my two sets of Black Progressive friends who know me as an individual (thus I don't throw bombs at them as I might do to adversaries during blog debates) are so bound to the notion that only the American political system and the political parties that are attached to it are the vehicles by which Black America can achieve its PERMANENT INTERESTS?
Why is it that the disconnected message from the Republican Party is a worse offense to my Black Progressive friends than the failures of the Democratic Party to deliver while they have ABSOLUTE CONTROL OVER EVERY SINGLE LOCAL INSTITUTION THAT IMPACTS BLACK AMERICA AND OUR INTERESTS?
Do you see the problem here folks?
We have a “BLACK PEOPLE AS CONSUMERS OF A SOLUTION” problem.
If some external force does not come along and decouple us from this CURRENT EXTENRAL FORCE, we will continue down this suboptimal pathway and focus most of our angst against the OTHER external force. The external force who has no traction will be attacked more than the force that has the overwhelming monopoly force.
DISASSOCIATE YOURSELF AND I WILL LISTEN TO YOU
A second friend from the first group of e-mail debaters mentioned above said that my words often make sense BUT that he can't accept what I have to say because I don't attack Republicans and their lies.
So basically UNTIL I join them on their attacks on Republicans/ Conservatives they are not going to trust my words which are set at a level OUTSIDE OF the American political spectrum – where the Democrats and Republicans reside.
I see myself as the NPR “On The Media” , “Fox News Watch” and CNN “Reliable Sources” for Black America political and cultural and media exchange. YES I AM BIASED toward the RIGHT. I make no bones about that.
At the same time my “bias” pales in comparison to the machine of bias that is the Black Political Establishment. In their view my position as a “small minority voice among a political minority” is a bigger threat to their interests than are the people in the seat of power who are shorting them. I struggle to understand how they allow themselves to be so aligned with the machine that they favor that they attack a critic who is watching their every move and calling them out on their own “sellout behavior”. If they are more committed to their permanent interest than their ideology – they would make note of their general grievances and consider that the CRITICISM is NOT being done to advantage their long time adversary – the Republicans. Instead it is done to have THEM to recommit to their own stated permanent interests.
Our community was sold on the promise that if we staid UNIFIED behind THEIR presribed strategy that we would see certain benefits
Friday, May 22, 2009
I just heard my father give another woman his business card and tell her to call him at any time in earshot of my mother without raising any suspicions about his intentions.
Because my mother knows that she has nothing to worry about his intentions.
My father went from telling this woman about his health care products line on his web site. To talking about his unlimited long distance service over to his favorite subject.........................SAVING HER SOUL.
In less than 45 minutes of my family's arrival to my grandmother's house and getting into the conversation - my father had his bible out.
I am now having a quality conversation about my father. NOT ABOUT RELIGIOSITY but about how it all applies to how we are living.
I made the point that beyond the "Magical Jesus" our Judeo-Christian cultural framework has served our society well. This is currently under threat.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
“A Fetus is Not a Baby, Abortion is Not Murder and Women are Not Incubators”
Do you know who your ideological soul mates are and what they believe?
Revolutionary Worker Online
Some people have argued that the pro-choice movement should compromise on this issue. They agree with Bill Clinton that it is alright to ban intact d&e procedures in cases where a woman's life and general health are not in danger. (Clinton has said he would sign a ban if it included such exceptions) This position reflects Clinton's view that abortion should be "legal but rare." Some people think this position is "pro-choice." But in reality it is not and helps to spread the anti-choice view that abortion is wrong and that women should apologize for terminating an unwanted pregnancy.
No matter how far along a pregnancy is, a fetus does not become a baby until it is born, and abortion, no matter how late, is not murder. This is why there is nothing wrong whatsoever with women choosing to end a pregnancy for whatever reason and using medical procedures like intact d&e for late term abortions.
Some people have even argued that the pro-choice movement should concede to the antis on this issue. They say the pro-choice movement can't win this round because the antis have successfully created an emotional debate where many people think that this procedure is the "murder of babies." But the stakes of this battle are very high--women's very lives are at stake. Such a ban would represent a further "eating away" at the right to choose. And the pro-choice movement has a responsibility to educate people, combat all the lies and tell people the truth! The struggle around late term abortions can actually be an opportunity to go on the offensive, raise the level of debate and understanding so that more people understand why fetuses are NOT children, abortion is NOT murder, and women are NOT incubators.
So Much For The Rhetoric About "The Importance Of FUNDING The Education Of Our Children" Amongst These Dekalb County Property Tax Payers
95,000 in DeKalb to get lower assessment
I am NOT claiming that the demand for reappraisal of property values by the government is unique to Dekalb County. It is not. It is happening in many places as the market value of the underlying property declines for a number of reasons.
MY ARGUMENT is that, after all of these years in which we have heard that PROPERTY TAXES are an unfair (and racist) means of funding local school systems because of the imbalance in the tax digest between various counties - this situation right hear shows that among these citizens of Dekalb County - the funding of their local school system is not in the top 5 list of their concerns.
All of this provides me an opportunity to communicate my theory about FUNDING YOUR OWN BEST INTERESTS.
I am of the opinion that YOUR BEST INTERESTS need to be pushed to the periphery. A group of people are going to make certain decisions that allow them to end up at a certain destination. Some of these destinations will be favorable. Some other groups will be lead to a suboptimal location. Yet and still - IT WAS THEIR CHOICE based on that which they PRIORITIZED.
What better way to improve a people than to allow them to be made aware of the IMPORTANCE of their actions and thoughts and then impress upon them to promote some actions and suppress others? From this a CULTURE is crafted and this culture can be communicated to the next generation due to the empirical evidence that has been provided as to its worthiness.
The people of Dekalb County had a chance to VOTE WITH THEIR DOLLARS on the fund of their schools. They chose to keep the money in their own pockets. (Do you see why the promises of Obamanomics is so popular? SOMEONE ELSE is going to be taxed and YOU will receive more benefit.)
It is strange how people seek to MAXIMIZE the valuation of their homes when it comes to their relationship with the bank. The more that it is worth the more they can sell it for or obtain a Home Equity loan against.
On the "put out" side - the more this home is worth, the more the TAX MAN is going to get his share of the proceeds.
All of this valuation is largely "funny money" anyway.
Where are the community activists who proclaim that OUR SCHOOLS NEED MORE MONEY if they are to compete with the 'lily White suburbs'?
The key difference is that when it does come to this funding gap - those who argue this point want THESE OTHER PEOPLE to "share" their proceeds from taxes collected so that they get nothing but net gain out of the situation.
How does a PEOPLE progress with this sort of short sightedness?
DeKalb County’s efforts to correct its tax values for 2009 roll out today with the mailing of about 100,000 tax revaluations — this time taking foreclosures into account.
Tax officials say the do-over will benefit thousands of property owners across the county who will see their county tax appraisals, and possibly their tax bills, fall in reaction to the ongoing real estate slide.
DeKalb’s first mailing, last month, did not include distressed sales despite a new state law requiring that such sales be used in setting values for 2009.
The first mailing, tax officials said, lowered values on about 13,500 parcels. This one will drop the assessments on 95,000.
“The number of sales we included in our sales ratio studies doubled when we included distressed sales,” said Hank Ruffin, interim chief appraiser.
Ruffin said at least 40,000 properties will fall by more than 25 percent.
“It’s safe to say the southern part of the county took the biggest hit,” Ruffin said. “The northern part was not affected as much. That’s no surprise.”
The work completed by DeKalb assessors over the past 30 days has sliced the county’s tax digest by more than $1 billion and means local governments across DeKalb will be forced to account for lower values in setting their tax rates for 2009-10.
Also, the new values will land this week in the hands of wary residents, some of whom got notices last month they felt didn’t go far enough and more whose property values didn’t get lowered but felt they should have.
“I’m concerned and skeptical,” said Trey Glover, who lives in East Atlanta. “I really don’t think they are going to be sending me anything. But they should. If they don’t send me a notice, I’m going to be overpaying.”
Glover did not get a notice from DeKalb when assessors mailed out about 28,000 notices for 2009 last month. The county has his home valued at $350,100. Glover said he’s been trying to refinance, and banks say it’s worth about $50,000 less. He has no right to challenge the value unless he gets a notice in this round.
“The banks obviously think the values have come down,” Glover said.
For those who do get notices, they next must decide whether DeKalb assessors accurately reflected the market as of Jan. 1 or failed to lower taxable values enough. Those who don’t likely will appeal and challenge the county to lower values even more. Appeals must be filed by June 19.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
what should be done for our Urban Terrorist problem?
So asked Rikyrah on the blog "Booker Rising" - a person that I have disagreements with ideologically but who I hold out hope for because I know that she has a good heart and good intentions (despite some of her friends that she chooses to break bread with - I had to get that in because I am thinking of one character assassin as I write this).
I am forced to respond to Rikyrah's question because I want to show that I am seriously committed to addressing the problems that I always write about and that above my heavy use of sarcasm to strike back at the riptide that dominates our community with seemingly no repudiation for their failures - is a person who cares about the future of the people within.
I will answer this question on the condition that I will not be made to waste my time. IF one's mind is already made up on the solution being "get more Progressives in control as Democrats" then I should not even bother. This is a METHODOLOGY rather than a DESTINATION. One hopes that if she KEEPS TRYING to fortify this intermediate agenda item that these "people of good will" or at least her type of "good will" will naturally lead the vessel toward the destination that I spoke of.
I reject this because it puts the specificity of the METHODOLOGY above the changing conditions that might require a new set of tactics. Indeed when one has no control over the community institutions that are oppressing his people then seeking to break them down so they can be built back up is a sound strategy. HOWEVER when one finds himself in control over these institutions AND they are now properly oriented - the former rebel and revolutionary had better turn into a teacher and a CONSERVATOR of those institutions IF she intends to have them perpetuated into the future for others to partake of. Thus, again, methodologies are fluid in the face of PERMANENT INTERESTS. Only those who are "methodology bigots" cleave to their own for it is best - despite the evidence to the contrary.
If my arguments will be given an open hearing - I will submit them for consideration.
What Should Be Done About Those Who Commit Acts of Piracy Within The Black Community?
Yesterday I heard someone on the radio say "people aren't born to do destructive things - they are taught to do these things over time." This argument is nothing new to the Black community. The key point that distinguishes where I stand as compared to some others is rooted in our concept of WHO has the obligation to "teach" our people, delivering more "directed behaviors" that are favorable to our interests.
I plan to keep this piece constructive rather than accusatory. I must say in the construction of my argument, however, that some Black people and their White Liberal counterparts believe that the present state of the Black man is exclusively rooted in our past Slavery and racial marginalization. With such a thought begets the notion of "The book of our lives has been written before we were born, we are slaves to this narrative, making only marginal edits all along".
Even among those who believe that we can alter what has been written - there is an attempt to execute a massive readjustment on a grand and global scale BEFORE anyone can even think about demanding results from those who are now in power. I have called this "expanding the police tape around the crime scene". The truth of this strategy is that, just at the point of upheaval and grievance among the people who have otherwise favorable individuals running their institutions - the operatives seeking to retain their incumbency will simply EXPAND THE SCOPE OF THE DOMAIN and make the case that THEIR FAILURES are the failures of the greater society!! Thus we can continue our struggle toward the attainment of equality by focusing not on "ME" - the incumbent - but on "THEY" - the adversary who moved away - affording you the opportunity to practice the "Self Determination" minus the boot on one's neck that had been demanded.
Like it or not - I am a product of my educational and professional exposure. I work with large corporate entities who are seeking to direct their human, capital and information technology resources toward a certain end. I am called into have them optimize these practices, realigning these resources so better results can be had.
Before we even talk about tactics and actions - I've learned to talk about "values" and "mission statements" upon which everything else rests atop of.
The key point that I have learned is the importance of defining the territory upon which one's governance is to be applied. NO - this does not guarantee that each and every one of the variables that bear down upon the domain will be under the management's control. What I can say is that 9 times out of 10 the entity that chooses to stake out and manage a defined territory is going to have far better results than the expansionist group how has no sound surveyors stakes planted.
I see the "Domestic Piracy" problem as a series of failed management policies and practices. These are otherwise PRODUCTIVE young (mostly) Black males who's life experiences have channeled them into the enterprise of robbing and terrorizing others in support of their own need for material upkeep.
Once again - even this point of potential universal agreement might serve as a point of departure as some of you will argue that it is SOCIETY AT LARGE which has marginalize this young man according to their prescription for turning him into an outlaw and then a criminal. I will resist any departure from the main line focus of this blog entry.
Let's agree for a second that the society does not have the best interests of these individuals in mind. WHO DOES? WHO SHOULD?
I live my life in a structure that is made of cascading rings streaming from my household in the core and then stretching out to include my community, my city, my county, my state, my nation, the world. While this speaks to the man made "political boundaries" that are at play, indeed there are "people" related elements as well. Thus my immediate family, extended family, close family friends, circle of associates, fellow country-men form a similar cascade.
RACIAL COMMONALITY, however, does not insure that a person has my best interests in mind. In fact some of the people who will cut your throat the fastest are of your own race - REGARDLESS of which race you are a member of.
Here is an idea - convert those who seek to leverage your "racial commonality" with them into STEWARDS OF YOUR OWN BEST INTERESTS!!!
In the modern iteration of "The Negro Problem" which was present in W.E.B. DuBois' "The Race Problem" and the question of "What shall we do with the Negro" during the day of the great Fredrick Douglass the question of "How shall we employ the Negro" is a question that we are struggling with today.
THE SOLUTION - RIKYRAH
My answer to your question is rooted into GIVING those who's defacto path is toward "Domestic Piracy" a greater MISSION within their own community so that those would be Pirates will become the professional service providers to deliver the services that the community activists so struggle to obtain.
I have noted previously how "being in RECEIPT OF a benefit" is not the forward advancement that some sell it to be. This creates a consumer class. Instead the consciousness in which a group develops its organic ability to be SERVICE PROVIDERS, directing their people to obtain the skills and knowledge to deliver for their own community that which it needs - THEN the people become whole.
At this point I have indicated little that distinguishes my vision from that which most will claim to their the intentions that they now hold.
The key distinction, in my opinion, is that I see the mandate for the community who stands to benefit the most from this new arrangement to also be the community that DIRECTS its own residents down this SINGULARLY FOCUSED PATH - severing all other paths - during this time of crisis.
When we actively dissuade the 40% of young boys in a classroom from striving toward the NFL because we tell them that we need them as financial planners to act as consultants against "predatory lenders" or as HONEST police men who will defend the integrity of the community along with the enforcement of the laws of the legislature - we step in the right direction.
Presently too much of our attention is focused upon external grievance chasing about the assaults upon us AND external resource chasing so that we might be healed. This external, expansionary thought must be turned inward. Even if I look past my growing doubt that the United States of America as an ongoing financial concern has its days numbered - the negative hit upon our community cultural confidence is an even greater reason to manage ourselves by strengthening the periphery.
Our people will find their way when they are made to see that their individual contribution is needed to keep the community moving forward, regardless of what other individuals with competing interests who live outside of our domain might will for our community unit. Yes demand your that your RIGHTS be respected. Yet know the difference between "rights" and "entitlements" and also know that others who look like you are capable of violating your RIGHTS as well, pursuing their violations as aggressively.
In this virtual self governance model those who commit acts of piracy against the community are the main threat to the key objectives of the community:
- Safe Streets
- Thriving Local Economy
The solution - Rikyrah - is less about METHODOLGY and TACTICS but instead about the imposition of a new set of ASSUMPTIONS, upon the people WITHIN THE COMMUNITY and their obligations there in.
Yes we are clear about what America owes to each of its citizens as a condition of membership. I think we have lost our footing in our ability to articulate exactly what each of us who reside within both the nation and the community of interests OWE for the greater good. Neither poverty nor prior negative conditioning serve as a discharge from these obligations.
The entity that constructs a set of solutions that gets the most out of the people as they operate at the periphery - wins the prize.
I am not opposed to "Socialism".
I am only strongly opposed to "socialism that attempts to corral people of incompatible interests into one large 'circle of friends' at the national level, always compelling those who want not to be with me to do so under duress". Clearly we are put in a position of NEEDING THEM more than they need us. This is especially the case now that the labor market has shifted so drastically from the time period when my ancestors were brought in.
The African-American is facing nothing short of a needed REBRANDING OF OUR PURPOSE both in this nation and the world.
Who will deliver the needed definitions?
On the local "Fight The Power" radio station this morning I listened to the morning host give alms to Obama for his speech at Notre Dame this past weekend.
Despite being the first lady within a large Christian church in which her husband is the preacher - she proclaimed herself as "pro-choice". She noted that she believes that it is a woman's choice to control her own body. I am not unraveled by anything thus far even though I had hoped that she would hold herself to a higher standard because she is a woman of faith. I would love to see the biblical scripture from which her views on abortion and a woman's control of her own body trumping the gift from God that she carries within her womb are derived from? If there was ever a time where I had hoped for "clean hands moralism" - this would be that time. More on this later though.
Then she did what is so frequently done - she made a fraudulent equivalence as a means of covering her own tracks.
She noted how so many conservative Christian anti-abortion activists are HYPOCRITES because so many of them support the DEATH PENALTY. They don't believe in the sanctity of life as they claim.
As I tried to understand her argument I drew a blank. Clearly their hypocrisy is ONLY rooted in them "hating" upon one of the two controversial modalities of death that are under discussion. She, as a liberal, can't be said to be a HYPOCRITE as she is opposed to the death penalty yet pro-abortion.
We must understand her reasoning against the Death Penalty though. The practice has "racial overtones" as Blacks are targeted for death. In addition it is "too permanent" as the wrong man might be put to death by the state. Thus she is duly covered in her opposition to "death by government" authority.
When the entirety of her argument is distilled - score one for the principle of "DON'T JUDGE, DON'T HATE and YOU'LL BE STRAIGHT".
Now let me ask you: Do you think that she respects the views of a person who is against ABORTION and THE DEATH PENALTY? If you do - please go stand in the corner.
Aren't these people CONSISTENT and not HYPOCRITES in her view?
Well you'd have to believe that her motivations are about these critical issues rather than DEBATE FOR THE SAKE OF DEBATE in the context of the perpetual Left vs Right Battle of which she is a gunner for the left.
Her problem is that she is able to cleave to such lofty theories because they are in the realm of theory rather than being personally impacting upon her. Let's ask her about the death and bloodshed surrounding the Civil War which freed her ancestors. Does anyone believe that she is against war if the death of her enemy afforded her freedom? No need to ask.
Some may believe that I am nothing more than the photographic negative of this person and those on the left as I do frequent battle with them. This is an incorrect assessment.
Above all - I see these debates as "Management Issues" within our domain. As we are frustrated about certain elements of our present situation and we desire to put forth modified policies to make the future better - clearly an inspection on the prevailing order that guide us should be considered. Too many people like the subject in question punt on their duties to hold the ground on our cultural authority in the name of maintaining their "clean hands" and not casting judgment upon anyone (except their ideological adversaries). They seem unable to see the connection between their previous failure to regulate behavior via cultural strictures and the present disorder that they complain about.
In my estimation there is no measure of "cultural conservation" that will render all occurrences of a certain unfavorable outcome moot. One can stand for IDEALS that the society is held up to and thus deal with the exceptions. Today we see those who disassemble these standards and then are forced to point to some ubiquitous force of societal unfairness that is the cause of the issues that they are unhappy about.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Fundamental Constructs About Human Behavior and Interactions Are Timeless
Those who think that they can change this fact surely care more about their own will than about the importance of the constructs that have brought others who delivered to the point where they have an ORDER to debate in the first place.
(My response as given on the Conservative Black Woman Blog Site on the use of "Legalism Over Religiosity" In regards to the debate over defending Traditional Marriage from a radical redefinition)
It is clear to me that RELIGIOUS ORDER is a key threat to the SECULARIST
(And you wonder how we ever got to a time where Christians were fed to the lions as entertainment)
DJ Black Adam:
Nothing to justify, I made a statement of fact, rather you are aware of or accepting of such actuality is not my concern.
Could you ENUMERATE all of the other ILLEGAL DISCRIMINATION that is going on RIGHT NOW which will one day come and hit us with a lawsuit?
Who would have thought that for thousands of years the culture that this society has agreed upon chose to ILLEGALLY DISCRIMINATE by looking at a penis and a vagina and then make note of the distinction between the human reproduction system and the human digestive system and making INFERENCES from this.Commentator Ben Stein is becoming more brilliant with each passing day - he suggested that it is a WASTE OF TIME to bother with debating on the subject ABSOLUTES IN THE AREA OF CULTURE AND MORALITY when the person believes that humans were not created by INTELLIGENT DESIGN into a specific FUNCTIONAL FORM but instead were morphed from a series of evolutionary accidents over millions of years into our present form.Fear not DJ Black Adam and Steve - one day the male homosexual's anus will begin to lubricate itself in preparation for receiving its COMPLEMENT and thus reduce the lacerations that such penetration yields today and the female's reproductive and mammary glands will cease to function once EVOLUTION trues up their physiological form with their sexual preference. Maxipads for Lesbians once they achieve their EVOLVED STATE!!!
Let us all concentrated and then become ASEXUAL BEINGS over time!!! Then the point will be MOOT!!
(Note: for some of you this above statement will be seen as OFFENSIVE. In truth it cuts to the chase about what we are dealing with.
One side pushes for the WILL OF MAN and makes use of LEGALISMS to justify their claims. Any "religiosity" is a threat because the notion of "Because GOD made us in this form" stifles their attempts at promoting MAN's WILL as the final arbiter. We can only guess what he'll fight for next since everything is NEGOTIABLE.
The side that I stand on has the AUDACITY to make reference to:
* The Human Physiological form to make inferences about our natural order as human beings and mammals.
* A THOUSANDS YEAR HISTORY by which societies have ORDERED themselves in this manner which is under debate, thus avoiding chaos and building up great civilizations (who's legal framework they ironically leverage to DECONSTRUCT this one fundamental construct).
* The fact that this DEBATE is but a SUBSECTION of the broader, more FUNDAMENTAL debate regarding how the LOSS OF CONSCIOUSNESS about the FUNCTION of TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE has done material harm to our society and the crafting of our people within. In the unconscious period that we are devolving toward - same sex marriage is now being considered because TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE has been allowed to lose its honor and sanctity.
(See DJ Black Adam - No "Jesus References" still)
Saturday, May 09, 2009
The Origins of The Boycott/Ban
NAIROBI, Kenya (CNN) -- A Kenyan man has sued activists who called on women to boycott sex to protest the growing divide in the nation's coalition government.
James Kimondo said the seven-day sex ban, which ended this week, resulted in stress, mental anguish, backaches and lack of sleep, his lawyer told the state-run Kenya Broadcasting Corp.
The lawsuit filed Friday claims lack of conjugal rights affected Kimondo's marriage and seeks undisclosed damages from the G-10, an umbrella group for women's activists, KBC said.
The women's caucus caused a national debate when it urged women to withhold sex to protest increasingly frosty relations between President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Citizens of the east African nation are frustrated by a shaky coalition government, which was formed after post-election violence killed more than 1,000 people in 2008. The wrangling between Kibaki and Odinga has sparked fears of more violence.
Gender activists say they are not worried about the lawsuit.
"I have not been served with the papers, but I was told they are coming and I am eagerly waiting," said Ann Njogu, executive, director of Centers for Rights Education and Awareness. "It will be interesting to see the face of a man who is not willing to abstain for the sake of his country."
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
It is no secret that Black men and boys in the United States continue to face tremendous obstacles. This remains true despite the presence of the nation’s first Black President, an African-American male.
There is perhaps no clearer evidence than monthly employment statistics that regularly expose the degree to which Black males are detached from economic opportunity.
There are other issues, ranging from mass imprisonment to chronic illnesses, which pose a threat to Black males to a far greater degree than their White peers. Yet, there is very little by way of focused policy interventions aimed at improving the quality of life for Black males. It is a fact that has not escaped the attention of the nation’s oldest Black fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Alpha, founded on December 4, 1906 on the campus of Cornell University, and boasting members such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Professor John Hope Franklin, Thurgood Marshall and others, has gone on record, calling on President Obama to launch a special initiative on Black men and boys. In a letter dated April 17 to President Obama, the General President of Alpha Phi Alpha, Herman Mason, Jr., points to the need for Presidential action. Mason notes “Mr. President, we are keenly aware of the challenges that face women and girls. However, we believe a focus must also be placed on men and boys.” He goes on to cite a 2006 Schott Foundation study that revealed only 35 percent of Black males graduated from high school in Chicago and 26 percent in New York City, and low college completion rates for those who do pursue higher education.
The Alphas are not alone in their focus on Black males. Just a few years ago, the Congressional Black Caucus, under the prodding of Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL), launched the State of the African American Male (SAAM) initiative that explored the challenges facing Black men in communities represented by Caucus members. In the late 1980’s there were a number of state initiated Black male commissions that sought to define the challenges facing Black men and determine the appropriate policy responses to alleviate conditions identified as impacting their quality of life. These efforts and others helped raise awareness but many of the same conditions persist today that have been well documented over the years.
In his letter to the President, Mr. Mason, representing more than 200,000 Alpha men, said, “We strongly believe to adequately address the needs of men and boys on a national level, a White House Council on Men and Boys must be ordered. We are prepared to partner with the White House on this goal and look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible to provide our ideas.”
The letter from Alpha Phi Alpha came just days before President Obama is set o mark his first 100 days in office, a symbolic milestone that has come to be used as a barometer of a President’s progress in setting an agenda. Much of Mr. Obama’s early efforts have focused on resuscitating the nation’s ailing economy as a global recession has taken its toll on all sectors. The push by Alpha Phi Alpha is significant given the degree to which Black men have been injured by the current recession and the fact that, to date, Black advocacy groups have placed few demands on the nation’s first Black president.
The latter has been a point of much “quiet” debate in some corners but will likely become a point of a more rigorous discussion in the months to come as the “novelty” of the Obama presidency wears off.
With all due respect, Alpha Phi Alpha, you and others are making note of the symptoms of a problem. I fail to see why there is a need for the federal government to tell us about a problem with our young Black males when it all seems pretty obvious to those who care to ponder the truth.
I recall a government report from the past which Daniel Patrick Moynehan delivered a prediction that was written on government letterhead with all due legitimacy. We all know that this particular report was not received too well by the targets of study. They chose to attack the messenger. Today that which Moynehan warned about has come to pass and then tripled.
Instead of going national and thus further away from the problem - I propose that we fine tune the microscope and look closer to home. This is where the problem resides. So much of the Black community's focus is spent on playing "gotcha" against those who critically inspect our flaws. Some people are contented that such an inspection has been neutralized by the fact that some elements of the popular adversary of Black folks are 'down in the mud with us'.
Thus the knowledge that "More Whites are on Welfare" or "More Whites use Crack" draws comfort that our condition is validated. It is the system that enforces upon us differently. Just don't talk about the greater violence of urban drug dealing and the volley seems to stand.
It is ironic that Alpha Phi Alpha, preceiving that they now have a "friend of Black interests" in the highest government office in the land, that they look toward this government official who reprents the entire United States to apply more structured focus to this issue. To Alpha Phi Alpha and other Black organizations the election of a Black president represents their crowning achievement. To some Blacks the EVIDENCE that Black people have advanced as a people should be seen in Barack Obama.
I argued for a long time that Black advancement should be measured at the periphery. In truth the presence of favorable elected officials while the conditons for young Black males continues to degrade should be used as further evidence that this is more of a political strategy that one that has been orchestrated and pursued in earnest for the advancement of our wellbeing and best interests. Clearly there has been a diversion from the core issues that impact our community. Those who "speak truth to power" are now "IN POWER" yet the problems persist.
This needs to be an open debate that is NOT focused upon 'what we have obtained' in the way of elected headcount along the way. This is but evidence of the POPULARITY of a given pathway.
What greater evidence of the need for a new strategy when a people have achieved favorable standing on paper via their political focus yet the reality that is present when they shift their eyes off of the paper up to the real world and it looks so drastically different from the model and the promises that built the image in our minds?
Superior to the question of "Have our PERMANENT INTERESTS been achieve?" is the question:
WERE WE PURSUING OUR PERMANENT INTERESTS OR SOMEONE ELSE'S ALL ALONG?
Saturday, May 02, 2009
With all due respect, per the article I fail to see how Barack Obama's election victory is going to motivate an individual who is 17 to learn how to read. Indeed I am accused of being "negative" but the hard truth of the matter is that in drawing upon these sort of gravitational pull type strategies our community has too often failed to build an infrastructure that is necessary to accomplish that which we long for.
In addition, if you notice, so much of the community socialcorrection programs involve "after the fact" interdiction. When will the message streaming loudly from the Black community become one of "DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME AND WE WON'T NEED TO HAVE SO MANY REMEDIAL ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMS"?
The missing piece that few like to talk about is the permissiveness of the Black culture and how it allows the most vulerable of us that have fallen through the cracks to wallow there. At a time where we need discipline and CHANNELED ATTENTION in order to achieve these DIRECTED OUTCOMES - too many individuals with power over our people view these frame works as "judgmental" and anti-libertine.
Barack Obama represents the top of the mountain for the Black Political Machine. There is no higher aspiration. Instead they will work to spread out and control the field along with the Progressives. Missing in their analysis is the impact of their policies on the places where they already dominate. They advocate for government aid as a means of patching over the social control and limits that they loath to put on the masses.
I fail to see how an increase in walking the same path is going to lead to different outcomes in the future. The nation's financies have never been in a more perilous state. The projections that were made before anyone thought about the "Crash of 2008" are that it is only going to get worse as the bills for the big entitlement programs come due.
There has never been a greater time for the Black community to become more economically productive at the periphery and achieve its standard of living goals within the smaller nodes at the edge rather than having these resources flow through a network that has been established from Washington DC.
- As an individual man living on top of the world and not wanting to be tethered
- As a social theorist that has certain views on society and how his theories might work if they were ever popularly implemented
Let me be clear - Kanye West is only an individual and he has a right to his own views. He also has a right to make social commentary which he has done so frequently.
In my assessment of his words below, however, I believe that he fails as a person containing a set of believes, which if implemented upon a society, would have a corrective effect. Like it or not religious dogma is an important framework by which a society must be constructed. I must note that I am of the belief that "secularism" functions as a religion in its framing of 'morality' and behavior.
Too many people who might be inclined to agree with the social laissez-faire as expressed by Kanye West will fail to see that what works for an unhinged mutli-millionaire, jet setting single man will work for society at large. While they may seek to live vicariously through his success - his lifestyle does not translate into rational social policy for all.
Religion and social order is vital for a society of people. To argue that since some people over time have used the institutions of religion to violate others as the reason for his rejection of this order is preposterous. Would we say the same thing with regard to government which has done the same?
We are living in a celebrity culture where the latest "American Idol" has more pull than ever. Some people will learn to appreciate the value of the FUNCTION of societal framework but will do so only after it has been dismantled.
From the "Bossip" web site:
Bossip: We recently saw your quote “I don’t believe in religion, and I don’t believe in giving it all up to Jesus.” Does this mean that you’re no longer a Christian?
Yeezy: I believe in God. Christianity wasn’t an option when I was growing up, it was the only thing. It wasn’t like I was given the decision at the time. You know how you decide that you want to be a Doctor or a Lawyer or a painter or a basketball player or whatever? You’re not given a decision of what religion you want. Your parents just give it to you. Like, you’re a Jew or you’re a Muslim or you’re a Christian. I feel like religion is more about separation and judgment than bringing people together and understanding. That’s all I’m about. I’m about accepting people for who they are. Live and let live. I fully embrace every culture there is. I love when people are who they are to the fullest. Like, I think that Cam’ron is just as much a fashion icon as Stefano Pilati, who is basically the best dressed person on Earth. That’s the head designer of YSL. (Yves Saint Laurent)
Bossip: If you had to give yourself a specific religious title, like are you studying anything new now?
Yeezy: I would never go into a religion. I guess my religion is just what I do religiously when I wake up in the morning. I had a conversation with my Dad when I was twenty years old and I don’t believe in this everybody’s going to hell thing; everyone who isn’t a Christian is in the wrong. His response at that time was, ‘Well I’d hate to see you not spend eternity with me and burn in the depths of hell.’ I was like well hell, I don’t want that to happen, so let me set up this insurance plan and just do this. (he laughs) . My father is much more open-minded about that now, though.
Bossip: So do you believe in Jesus at all?
Yeezy: I believe in Jesus as an icon, but I don’t feel the responsibility to put my life on Jesus. I feel I need to take responsibility for my own successes and failures. Why I say, ‘I don’t give it all up to Jesus’ is because there are a lot of people who don’t take responsibility for their lives, and always think Jesus is gonna handle it. And, that’s what I refuse to do. Christianity is embedded in who I am, so I will still say things like this is a blessing, amen, and still say prayers; things that your Grandmother embedded in you. I’m always gonna have a little Chicago in me, a little hood in me, and a little Christianity in me. Just because it’s what I know. But, I do not believe that other religions are going to hell, I do not believe in a lot of elements of it. I want to express to people that I do believe in God, but I also have friends whom are atheists. I have friends that are super duper Christians. If I come to a person that’s a super Christian and I tell them what I believe in and they tell me what they believe, I super respect that. I like when people are into what they’re into. If that’s your thing, and you break it down and you’re really into the bible and you believe everything about it, and you believe in immaculate conception and stuff like that. Like, you believe in the “rib” and all that, I’m just like, man, that’s dope for you. People will say ‘Aw, man he wasn’t saying that Jesus thing when he made the song!’ But, when I made the song, that’s how I felt, but this is six years later. This is how I feel now. The whole thing about religion, other people’s religion and other things that they shell out, I have my own opinion on everything. Anything that I take, I’m going to do it my way. Like, if I take a car, I’m going to paint it the way I want to paint it. My thing was, after my mom passed, it wasn’t a thing where I lost my mind or anything. I was less scared to speak my mind. Cause there’s nothing I could lose. There’s nothing that could be taken away from me. Soon as you’re not willing to change and go off of what you feel that morning, your life starts moving in reverse like Benjamin Button or something. Now, you’re moving backwards, you’re not growing anymore. Life is about change and if you’re not willing to change you’re not really willing to live your life, and soak in the amount of new information that’s given to you. Since day one, I knew the difference between right and wrong. I could predict what was happening. I had karma and anyone who’s ever had beef with me, something happened to them, like it’s really just been in God’s hands.
Religion is like clothing. People want comfort. People don’t want to have to take that off. People don’t want to accept the concept of there not being a heaven possibly, or the concept of losing someone and not seeing them again. The only thing that keeps you going is the idea that you will see them again.
It’s [religion] also like branding. Some people go Bapes head to toe, some people do Polo head to toe. Some people go Rocawear head to toe. Me, I kind of just go into the store and take the piece that I like the most. I’m no poster child for any particular brand. What I have to realize and what shocks people, or polarizes people is that I’m actually a brand. I’m something that people build up and believe in. They name their kids because they believe Kanye believes this. But I’m also a real person; a growing person and an artist. I don’t want the responsibility of waiting to move because this many people believe this. Like, if you believe in Kanye, if you believe in me, then just believe that I’m going to be honest with you and express to you what I believe that day. I’m not gonna be holding a congregation and fucking prostitutes and it come out to them years later. I’m gonna come to the congregation like man, last Friday I got some head from a prostitute, I’m just gon’ go head and let y’all know.
Joseph Sitati grew up as a Quaker in Nairobi, Kenya, but felt no great affection for the faith. Its sermons were too political, he felt, leaving him thirsty for spiritual satisfaction.
When Sitati attended his first Mormon service in 1985, something new stirred in his soul.
"There was a very good spirit there," Sitati said. "That was something I was unfamiliar with."
John Carmack, a visiting LDS general authority who is now an emeritus member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, impressed him.
"The words that he spoke sent the spirit right through me," he told his friend. "This kind of held me spellbound."
He believed he was feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit.
"When I was baptized into the LDS Church in March 1986, I was overwhelmed by the feeling of love," Sitati recalled. "I loved everybody and everything. It invigorated me.
Some 23 years later, Sitati, a Mormon superstar in Kenya, has now arrived where Carmack was -- in the First Quorum of Seventy. He is the first black African to join that august body, the church's second most important tier of leaders.
"The calling is quite intimidating," Sitati said last week before returning to Nigeria, where he is currently supervising a corps of Mormon missionaries. "I never thought of being a member of this high council. I consider it a great honor, but heavy responsibility."
Regional integration will liberate Africa from poverty — Museveni
President Yoweri Museveni recently attended the North-South Corridor Conference organised under the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Framework in Lusaka, Zambia. Below is the speech he gave...
May I begin by thanking you, President Rupiah Banda, for inviting us to this historic North-South Corridor Conference organised under the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Framework. Thank you also for the kind hospitality extended to me and to my delegation.
The chair of the EAC Summit of Heads of State, His Excellency President Paul Kagame, was unable to come because the dates of this conference coincide with the Genocide Memorial occasion. He sends his regards and wishes this conference every success. I am representing him as the immediate past chair.
Excellencies, the central challenge of African development is the transformation of the continent from a largely primary commodity and peasant driven agriculture to an industrial and service-based economy. This transformation will only happen when our countries and our regions take the bold step of developing a large single market that can stimulate and absorb the products of robust industrialisation, spur investments and promote production and trade.
The key driver for this transformation is the development of national and regional infrastructure that is both reliable and efficient. Such infrastructure constitutes the solid foundation upon which the African Economic Community can successfully be built.
This adequate infrastructure in the areas of energy, road transport and rail transport will lower the costs of doing business in East Africa by making her more competitive. It is in this light that I salute and commend the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Arrangement for taking the initial, but crucial steps towards making the realisation of the African Economic Community possible.
For too long, now over four decades of African independence, our countries and regional organisations have strived to get our act together on the infrastructure front.
Often, our over-reliance on external funding for implementing different projects has been the main source of inaction and delayed response to effecting much needed and timely interventions that promote development. Infrastructure development has particularly fallen prey to this dependency syndrome. And as a consequence, economic transformation has suffered.
Indeed, regional integration, with its focus on opening up vast economic spaces and tapping on bigger markets, has failed to realise the potential that underpins it because poor infrastructure has bedevilled it. Yet it is through deeper regional integration that the potential to liberate our economies from the ravages of poverty, socio-economic transformation and to create wealth and sustainable prosperity crucially lies.
Continued @ link above