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Black America NewsThursday 5/21/2009
FBI Agent on Synagogue Case Has Questionable Record 5/21/2009 Village Voice: 'The FBI agent with a high-profile role in yesterday's arrests of four men for plotting a terror attack in New York has a pretty interesting -- and controversial -- track record. Special Agent Robert Fuller, whose name appears at the top of the federal criminal complaint in the case, had a hand in the FBI's failure to nab two of the 9/11 hijackers, had one of his informants set himself on fire in front of the White House, and was involved in misidentifying a Canadian man as a terrorist leading to his secret arrest and torture -- a case that is now the subject of a major lawsuit."
US Blames Eritrea for Somali Instability 5/15/2009 AntiWar: "Eritrea appears to be America’s scapegoat of choice as the situation in Somalia continues to deteriorate, and only last month it was reported that the Obama Administration had threatened a US invasion of Eritrea over its support for the Islamist al-Shabaab faction."
The hidden hand of Dick Cheney by Juan Cole 5/15/2009 Salon: "In the government's commitment to a doctrine of "state secrets" that protect the executive from the scrutiny of other branches of government, in the continued attempt to block lawsuits and release of important documents, and in the shielding of secret programs of torture, unlawful kidnapping and warrantless wiretapping, Obama is preserving policies to which Cheney is deeply committed. In configuring Pushtun fundamentalists in southern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan as a mortal threat to the U.S. and potentially even a nuclear power, the Obama administration is picking up themes from Cheney's old speeches and running with them. Cheney may or may not win his struggle for the soul of the Republican Party. If we are not careful, he will win the struggle for the soul of the country as a whole."
Oswald, the CIA, and Mexico City 5/13/2009 Front Line: "Arguably, the most startling information so far brought to light by the release of these intelligence records is the CIA cover-up relating to Oswald's visit to Mexico City. Oswald was in Mexico City in late September and early October of 1963. During his one-week stay, he tried to obtain visas from the Cuban consulate and Soviet embassy. But intelligence documents released in 1999 establish that, after Oswald failed to get the visas, CIA intercepts showed that someone impersonated Oswald in phone calls made to the Soviet embassy and the Cuban consulate and linked Oswald to a known KGB assassin - Valery Kostikov - whom the CIA and FBI had been following for over a year.1 The news of this impersonation and the link to Kostikov, learned within hours of President Kennedy's assassination, electrified top government and intelligence officials and dominated their discussion in the immediate weeks following the assassination. It also became during the next 40 years one of the CIA's most closely guarded secrets on the Oswald case."
This is London – the capital of Somali pirates' secret intelligence operation 5/11/2009 Guardian
Mexican farm swine flu's 'ground zero': residents 5/9/2009 AP
Stanford drug informer role claim 5/9/2009 BBC
Arctic Groups Demand Global Chemicals' Ban 5/9/2009 Common Dreams
Congo Ignored, Not Forgotten - When 5 million dead aren’t worth two stories a year 5/9/2009 Extra!: "But conflict and the humanitarian crisis continue. The most recent survey (IRC, 1/08) estimated that 45,000 people are dying each month from conflict-related causes (primarily hunger and disease), nearly the same shocking rate as during the war itself. And with the recent flare-up of violence in Congo's volatile east, things don't seem to be getting any better. To put the death rate in perspective, at the peak of the Darfur crisis, the conflict-related death rate there was less than a third of the Congo's, and by 2005 it had dropped to less than 4,000 per month (CRED, 5/26/05). The United Nations has estimated some 300,000 may have died in total as a result of the years of conflict in Darfur (CRED, 4/24/08, SSRC.org, 3/25/09); the same number die from the Congo conflict every six and a half months."
Sister of Cuban dissident 'Antunez' looks to sway lawmakers 5/7/2009 Miami Herald: "The sister of a prominent black Cuban activist delivered a sharply worded letter from her brother Wednesday to three members of the Congressional Black Caucus who met last month in Cuba with Fidel and Raúl Castro -- but no dissidents. Berta Antúnez's visit comes as efforts to open Cuba to travel and trade heat up on Capitol Hill, and Antúnez said through an interpreter she didn't want Cuban democracy activists to be overlooked. ''They were indifferent to the suffering of the Cuban people, but now the world gets to know who these people are,'' said Antúnez, who was accompanied to the Capitol by Anolan Ponce, a Miami board member of the U.S.-Cuba Democracy Political Action Committee, the leading lobby in support of the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba."
Fed Dread - The New York Fed is the most powerful financial institution you've never heard of. Look who's running it. 5/6/2009 Slate: By Eliot Spitzer [who was conveniently removed from office as Governor of NY]
Is There A Save Darfur Industrial Complex? 5/6/2009 Black Agenda Report: "What does it mean for Africa when right wing end-of-the-world-is-near evangelical Christians join forces with the Robert F. Kennedy Center For Human Rights? What does it mean for African Americans when Bush, Obama, and nearly all last year's presidential candidates from both parties encourage the continuation of an African civil war rather than a political settlement between the parties? What does it mean when 21st century PR firms employ FaceBook, slick viral marketing and millions of dollars to create a simple, satisfying, feel-good excuse for military intervention on the African continent?"
Afro-Cuban dissident seeks US lawmakers' help 5/6/2009 AP: "Rush, and California Democrats Barbara Lee and Laura Richardson spent two hours talking with Castro on April 7 during a visit to the island. The three were part of a larger Congressional Black Caucus delegation that met with Castro's brother, Cuban President Raul Castro, and other officials about improving relations between the two countries. After his return, Rush said he takes "a back seat to no one when it comes to standing up for human rights - anyone's human rights." The FBI, under J. Edgar Hoover, pursued him for his efforts to seek justice for African-Americans and others, including his leadership role in the Black Panthers."
Swine flu scare puts spotlight on factory farms 4/30/2009 Capital Times: "Yet cheap labor, abundant space, and less community resistance have been luring livestock operators from Wisconsin and other states to places like Mexico, where there is much less regulatory oversight ndsh and, where, a 5-year-old boy named Edgar Hernandez, who lives in the village of La Gloria near a factory hog farm owned in part by the American giant Smithfield, became the first known case of an influenza world health officials now predict will become a pandemic."
Specter's JFK Specter By Lisa Pease 4/29/2009 Consortium News: "While Specter is perhaps most famous for coming up with the "single bullet theory" which purports that one bullet entered and exited two people (President Kennedy and Governor Connally) seven times, only to emerge nearly intact, his legislative efforts of late also give cause for concern."
Black Colleges Profiled as Suspected Havens for “Extremists” 4/29/2009 Black Agenda Report
Obama's America Joins White Walkout From UN Conference on Racism 4/29/2009 Black Agenda Report: "What a spectacle it was! Diplomats from the colonizing countries of Europe and the white settler regimes they founded rose in indignation in Geneva, Switzerland, last week, to denounce a Persian leader for racism. Envoys from France, Britain, Spain and Denmark, whose nations are responsible for orgies of rape and pillage that killed untold millions in the centuries-long European war against the darker regions of the planet, pretended that their sensibilities had been assaulted by a speech from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The irate Europeans joined with their brothers and sisters in historical genocide and mass murder, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden – kidnappers of nations, invaders, enslavers of whole peoples – who had boycotted the Geneva conference on racism, commonly known as Durban II. The world is stained with oceans of blood because of these Europeans, yet they have the nerve, the gall, to attempt to demonize the Iranian president for the words he spoke about Israel. Leading the sabotage of the conference was the United States, along with Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and, of course, Israel – the European settler colonies that became nations on the bones and stolen land of previous inhabitants."
Mexico’s Swine Flu and the Globalization of Disease 4/29/2009 Americas Mexico Blog: "Silvia Ribeiro of the ETC Group told the Americas Program that Mexican officials “act like this is something that fell from the sky, but we’ve known for a long time that industrial livestock operations, especially hogs, are a breeding ground for recombinant viruses. Carroll Farms is just one example, an important one in this case, but it’s also true of industrial chicken farms.” Anybody who has seen an industrial hog farm knows the risk of disease. The unimaginable concentrations of filth, corrals filled with sick and suffering animals pumped full of antibiotics, and buzzing with flies that then carry disease to the human population create a disease paradise."
South African Defense Minister Pays Homage to Internationalists 4/27/2009 CAN: "Ngakula laid a wreath at the Pantheon of those who fell for the independence of their Homeland, located at Havana's Colon Cemetery. The South African official was accompanied by Cuban Division General Antonio Enrique Luson Battle and Brigadier General Delsa Esther Puebla. In statements to ACN news agency, the South African Minister, who is meeting an official agenda in Cuba, said that there is a great understanding in his country about the meaning of the Cuban Revolution. This is a solemn place, not only for Cubans but also for those who received the assistance of the small Caribbean nation he said and added that though their remains rest here, they are alive in everybody´s memory due to their courage and heroism, he stressed."
Politics of Color for Obama in Cuba 4/25/2009 CQ Politics: "But despite his reversal of Bush Administration policy toward Cuba travel, it more than likely will prove difficult to follow that with a quick end to the 47-year-old trade embargo. For one thing, Cuban leaders aren’t sure the country is ready for the embargo to be lifted. That’s why we see mixed messagescoming from the Castro brothers about opening a dialogue with the U.S. And Castro isn’t stupid. He saw what happened to the Soviet Union in the 1980s after it opened itself up to the West — its economy collapsed."
Blacks ponder President Obama’s change in Cuba travel policy 4/22/2009 Westside Gazette, FL
Grupo Afro Descendiente 4/22/2009 WordPress
"Who Do You Think You Are?" - White Privilege in the Americas 4/22/2009 Counterpunch: "On March 31, 2009, Grupo Afro Descendiente sponsored a discussion entitled White Privilege in Latin America: Myths and Realities as part of White Privilege Awareness Week. The panel featured indigenous persons from Peru and Guatemala, an afro descendant from Cuba, a mestiza from Mexico, and an African immigrant from Cote d'Ivoire. Each panelist shared personal accounts, reflections on their experience with white privilege in Latin America."
The Dawn of Robot Wars 4/20/2009 Common Dreams: "Today, according to P.W. Singer, author of Wired for War and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, the U.S. military has some 7,000 UAVs in operation - more than double the number of manned aircraft in its arsenal - and more than 12,000 robots on the ground in Iraq alone. Predator drones armed with laser-guided Hellfire missiles have regularly bombed Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years, and their use is skyrocketing. In 2008, 71 Predators flew 138,404 combat hours - a 94 percent increase over the year before, according to a recent presentation by U.S. Air Force Col. Eric Mathewson. And over the last year, drones flown largely by the CIA have launched missile attacks inside Pakistan more than 40 times. Rather than reconsider this deadly policy, President Obama has become an enthusiastic backer. Since his inauguration, he has authorized 11 such attacks that have collectively killed over 145 people, many of them civilians, and sparked large protests within Pakistan."
Obama defends greeting Hugo Chavez 4/20/2009 LA Times: "Obama said it would be a mistake to measure the Summit of the Americas by the specific agreements reached. By listening to his counterparts and eschewing heavy-handed diplomacy, he said, he was creating an atmosphere in which, "at the margins," foreign leaders are "more likely to want to cooperate than not cooperate." A running theme of the summit was Obama's cordial dealings with Chavez, who once called former President George W. Bush the "devil" and who last month dismissed Obama as an "ignoramus." The two were photographed smiling and clasping hands. At one meeting, Chavez made a show of walking around the table as the cameras rolled and handing Obama a copy of "Open Veins of Latin America," a 1971 book by Eduardo Galeano chronicling U.S. and European imperialism in the region. Republican Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, appearing on CNN on Sunday, said it was "irresponsible" for Obama to be seen "laughing and joking" with the Venezuelan president. Obama dismissed such concerns. He said the 2008 presidential campaign proved that American voters want the president to engage with his counterparts, whether or not they are avowed friends of the U.S. He said it "was a nice gesture to give me a book. I'm a reader." The president added that the election was a referendum of sorts on the argument that U.S. solicitude toward foreign leaders could be seen as "weakness.""
NED Board Bios: Representative Gregory W. Meeks 4/19/2009 NED: "Representative Meeks serves on the International Relations Committee and its Subcommittee on Africa, and the Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific. An active member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Representative Meeks was voted the CBC Whip in 2001. Representative Meeks is a member of several civic and professional organizations, including the National Bar Association, the Coalition of 100 Black Men, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, Inc. He founded the Jesse L. Jackson Independent Democratic Club (renamed the Thurgood Marshall Regular Democratic Club) and remains active in grassroots community organizing. Prior to being elected to congress, Representative Meeks served as Assistant District Attorney to the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York and on the State Investigations Commission and was appointed Judge of the New York State Workers' Compensation Board."
Analysis: Obama gores foreign policy ox 4/19/2009 AP: "While historic analogies are never perfect, Obama's stark efforts to change the U.S. image abroad are reminiscent of the stunning realignments sought by former Soviet leader Michael Gorbachev. During his short—by Soviet standards—tenure, he scrambled incessantly to shed the ideological entanglements that were leading the communist empire toward ruin."
Over 10,000 Dead: Is Mexican Drug War Violence Ebbing? 4/17/2009 NarcoNews: "Statistical Slights-of-Hand and Temporary Lulls Have Obscured the Drug War's Rising Costs"
US Threatens to Invade Eritrea 4/17/2009 AntiWar: "Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki remains defiant, saying he will continue to oppose the Western-backed TNG’s attempt to assert control over the nation. “There is no government, there is not even a naiton of Somalia existing,” the president insisted, calling for a peace conference in which all parties, including those branded by the US and Ethiopia as “extremists” would have a voice. “Peace is not guaranteed without a government agreed by all Somalis.”"
Additional Murder Charges Expected in Killing of Oakland Journalist Chauncey Bailey 4/17/2009 Democracy Now: "We take a look at the latest developments in the case of Chauncey Bailey, the Oakland Post editor who was shot to death in downtown Oakland in August 2007. He had been investigating possible links between a local bakery and several killings in the area when he was gunned down in broad daylight. After his death, a group of reporters banded together to form the Chauncey Bailey Project to continue his investigation and look into any role the bakery may have played in Bailey’s murder and at the role of the police in its investigation. We speak with the executive editor of the Chauncey Bailey Project."
Meek Among Delegation Traveling With Obama 4/16/2009 CBS: "Meek's inclusion on the trip comes just days after he spoke out against Obama's new Cuban policy. According to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald, Meek said he wants to curb the amount of money Cuban American his party recently by saying he wants to curb the amount of money Cuban Americans can send their relatives because of the 20 percent cut the Cuban government takes out of any such transaction. "I want to talk to the president about the unlimited remittances, if that's what he said, because that could be counterproductive to our mission in Cuba to turn it toward democracy the way we'd like to see it," Meek told the Herald."
Cuba's Race Relations Seldom Discussed 4/15/2009 NPR: "President Barack Obama yesterday decided to loosen restrictions on travel to Cuba, and the ability of Americans to send money to family members on the island. The decision has met with widely divergent reactions. But largely unmentioned is the sometime complex racial dynamic between Cuban exiles, who are predominately white, and Cubans who remain on the island, 30 to 60 percent of which are of African decent."
What Obama's Cuba move means for blacks 4/15/2009 The Loop
Late Guinean leader's son charged with drug trafficking 4/15/2009 AFP: "The eldest son of late Guinean president Lansana Conte was put in jail Tuesday pending a trial on charges of cocaine trafficking, police sources told AFP. Ousmane Conte, whose father died in December after leading the west African nation with an iron fist for 24 years, was transferred from a military hospital to the Conakry prison, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity."
Fidel Castro to Congressional Black Caucus members: 'How can we help President Obama?' 4/8/2009 LA Times
US Lawmakers Say Time to Talk With Cuba 4/8/2009 IPS: "The visiting lawmakers met for over four hours on Monday with President Raúl Castro. "It was a very good meeting. It was very open and we discussed a wide range of issues," Lee told reporters. "All of us are convinced that President Castro would like normal relations and would see normalization, ending the embargo, as beneficial to both countries," said the congresswoman, who is chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Castro, she added, "said everything was on the table.""
Lawmakers' Cuba concerns are misplaced 4/7/2009 Miami Herald: "Rep. Kendrick Meek, who was traveling the Panhandle Tuesday in his U.S. Senate bid, offered this wise analysis of his Black Caucus colleagues' ''fact-finding'' mission: ''Political prisoners jailed in Cuba are held for peacefully expressing their rights and freedoms, like Dr. Oscar Biscet and Antúnez,'' he said. ``The Cuban spies held in the U.S. federal prisons were a threat to our national security. That's the difference between night and day.'' [Meeks is also a supporter of free trade with Colombia.]
CBC members praise Castro 4/7/2009 Politico: "Key members of the Congressional Black Caucus are calling for an end to U.S. prohibition on travel to Cuba, just hours after a meeting with former Cuban president Fidel Castro in Havana. “The fifty-year embargo just hasn’t worked,” CBC Chairwoman Barbara Lee (D-Ca.) told reporters this evening at a Capitol press conference after returning from a congressional delegation visit to Cuba. “The bottom line is that we believe its time to open dialogue with Cuba.” Lee and others heaped praise on Castro, calling him warm and receptive during their discussion. But the lawmakers disputed Castro's later statement that members of the congressional delegation said American society is still racist."
Bernanke's Financial Rescue Plan: The growing prospect of a U.S. default 4/5/2009 Global Research
Shell in court over alleged role in Nigeria executions 4/5/2009 Observer: "Ken Saro-Wiwa swore that one day Shell, the oil giant, would answer for his death in a court of law. Next month, 14 years after his execution, the Nigerian environmental activist's dying wish is to be fulfilled. In a New York federal court, Shell and one of its senior executives are to face charges that in the early 1990s in Nigeria they were complicit in human rights abuses, including summary execution and torture."
The Quiet Coup 4/1/2009 The Atlantic: "The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time."
Do the Secret Bush Memos Amount to Treason? Top Constitutional Scholar Says Yes 3/25/2009 Alternet: "I call it "Fuhrer's law." What those memos lay out means the end of the system of checks and balances in this country. It means the end of the system in which the courts, legislature and executive each had a function and they could check each other. What the memos set out is a system in which the president's word is law, and Yoo is very clear about that: the president's word is not only law according to these memos, but no law or constitutional right or treaty can restrict the president's authority."
Has a ‘Katrina Moment’ Arrived? 3/22/2009 NYT: "The "dirty little secret," Obama told Leno on Thursday, is that "most of the stuff that got us into trouble was perfectly legal." An even dirtier secret is that a prime mover in keeping that stuff legal was Summers, who helped torpedo the regulation of derivatives while in the Clinton administration. His mentor Robert Rubin, no less, wrote in his 2003 memoir that Summers underestimated how the risk of derivatives might multiply "under extraordinary circumstances." Given that Summers worked for a secretive hedge fund, D. E. Shaw, after he was pushed out of Harvard's presidency at the bubble's height, you have to wonder how he can now sell the administration's plan for buying up toxic assets with the help of hedge funds. It will look like another giveaway to his own insiders' club. As for Geithner, people might take him more seriously if he gave a credible account of why, while at the New York Fed, he and the Goldman alumnus Hank Paulson let Lehman Brothers fail but saved the Goldman-trading ally A.I.G."
Southerners looking to share their Confederate holiday 3/22/2009 Chicago Tribune: "With the 150th anniversary of the War Between the States in 2011, efforts are under way in statehouses, small towns and counties across the South to push for proclamations or legislation promoting Confederate history. Alabama, Virginia, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana and Florida traditionally observe Confederate History Month in April. Georgia, which has recognized it by proclamation since 1995, recently passed a bill in the state Senate making it official. Most Southern states recognize Confederate Memorial Day as a legal holiday. Some celebrate it on the June birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, but Texas and Arkansas observe it on Jan. 19, the federal holiday for slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. More than 1,000 municipalities celebrate the holiday with parades and festivals, said Charles McMichael, commander in chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and efforts are under way to spread it nationwide, state by state."
The Big Takeover: How Wall Street Insiders are Using the Bailout to Stage a Revolution 3/22/2009 Rolling Stone: "The global economic crisis isn't about money - it's about power."
Honor to Obama Splits Ga. House 3/21/2009 WaPo: "Two dozen black lawmakers angrily stalked out of the Georgia House on Friday amid assertions that a decision by white Republican leaders to delay passage of a resolution honoring President Obama had racist overtones… State Rep. Austin Scott said he and other Republicans objected to wording that would have put the full chamber on record backing the resolution and its declaration of Obama as a man with an "unimpeachable reputation for integrity.""
Will Our Economic Collapse Cause the Death of Millions Abroad? 3/20/2009 Alternet: "But now, as the wealthier nations cease investing in the developing world or acquiring its exports, the crisis is hitting them with a vengeance. On top of this, conditions are deteriorating at a time when severe drought is affecting many key food-producing regions and poor farmers lack the wherewithal to buy seeds, fertilizers, and fuel. The likely result: A looming food crisis in many areas hit hardest by the global economic meltdown."
Was Eliot Spitzer Taken Out Because He Was Going to Bust AIG? 3/19/2009 Alternet: "Coincidentally, right after the WSJ editorial appeared on Valentine's Day 2008, Spitzer was caught up in what was an extremely unusual sting. So unusual is an investigation like this that it seems almost like it was a set-up; and considering where it all came from and how it all came down, it might well have been. It seems that Spitzer's bank was investigating expenses under the auspices of the newer Homeland Security laws of the Bush administration. Greg Palast wrote about this compellingly, and in light of how the whole thing is shaking out now, and what Spitzer said back then about this financial mess and what he tried to DO about it, Palast had a pretty good early grasp on what had gone down. So now, with Spitzer poking his head up from the underground of "healing his family," at this most compelling of moments, its probably worthwhile for Americans to screw their heads on straight and forget the details of the hooker, and look at what Spitzer was working on when he was taken down. We might all find ourselves wanting to thank the egotistical crime fighter who cant keep it in his pants."
The Real AIG Scandal by Eliot Spitzer 3/17/2009 Slate: "Everybody is rushing to condemn AIG's bonuses, but this simple scandal is obscuring the real disgrace at the insurance giant: Why are AIG's counterparties getting paid back in full, to the tune of tens of billions of taxpayer dollars?"
America unmasked: The KKK is alive and kicking in 2009, but shhh... don't talk about it 2/21/2009 Political Carnival
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by Attorney General Eric Holder at the Department of Justice African American History Month Program 2/18/2009 US DOJ
Icy reception for repairmen 2/16/2009 Arkansas Leader: "Some 100 workers from Pennsylvania, about a third of them African Americans, came down to help the local electric cooperative restore power after the devastating ice storm last month took down just about every power pole in the county. They worked tirelessly clearing trees and putting up poles and lines in the ice and freezing rain to try to speed power to people. For their trouble, they were harassed and threatened by roving groups of young men shouting racial epithets and pointing guns at them. The county sheriff said the young men would drive around the work teams waving Rebel flags and cursing the blacks. The workers were frightened enough to contact the sheriff’s office in nearby Washington County."
Judges Nabbed, Jailing Kids for Kickbacks 2/12/2009 Counterpunch: "The nation, these days, is filled with for-profit prisons, not just for holding kids, but for holding adults. Motels have been bought up by giant firms like Corrections Corporation of America and turned into minimum security prisons. We live in a society where greed knows no bounds, and where justice is just a word when it comes to poor people without resources. Based upon what Judge Sporkin says the enforcement people at the SEC discovered—that if you think of a scam, some criminal minds certainly have already thought of it and are doing it--I am willing to bet that if two judges in Pennsylvania could be found to have come up with a scam like this to earn themselves big bucks by putting kids away in private institutions for kickbacks, plenty of other judges are doing the same thing, both with kids and with adult prisoners."
"Fired Up, Can't Take It No More" 2/3/2009 Counterpunch: "Mehserle’s lawyer simultaneously suggested that Mehserle meant to deploy his Taser against Grant, while adding that he thought Grant was reaching for a gun. Again, both claims have been thoroughly discredited: Mehserle had removed his Taser, which bears no resemblance to his gun, from the opposite side of his belt earlier, and Grant was face-down with Pirone holding his neck, showing no signs of struggle. Moreover, if Grant were reaching for a gun, surely Mehserle would admit to purposefully pulling his own weapon. But there was a method to this madness, and it was this: Mehserle had to mention the Taser defense to leave open the possibility of a reduced charge, but he had to add that he thought Grant may be armed to leave open the possibility for a total acquittal under the tried-and-true police defense of “justifiable homicide.” Luckily, Judge Morris Jacobson noticed the ambiguity and wasn’t buying it: Mehserle, Jacobson acknowledged, did indeed represent a flight risk, and his contradictory story made him a potential danger to the community. However, under California guidelines, and since this was not a capital murder case, the judge nevertheless granted Mehserle a bail of $3 million. But concealed beneath this seemingly “technical” bail decision was a more important one: certainly, Mehserle has not been charged with a capital offense, but this is because he was white and a cop to begin with."
America Is Completely Broke, And Here We Are Funding Fantasy Wars at the Pentagon 2/3/2009 TomDispatch
White supremacism lies at the root of the 'respectable' nativist right 2/3/2009 Crooks and Liars
FBI saw mortgage fraud early 1/28/2009 Seattle PI
Dr King's Prediction 1/19/2009 BBC: Interview from 1964, with MLK predicting a black president in less than 40 years.
Obama’s Partisan, Profane Confidant Reins It In 1/14/2009 NYT: "Early this month, Barack Obama was meeting with the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and other lawmakers when Rahm Emanuel, his chief of staff, began nervously cracking a knuckle. The latest on President Obama, the new administration and other news from Washington and around the nation. Join the discussion. Mr. Obama then turned to complain to Mr. Emanuel about his noisy habit. At which point, Mr. Emanuel held the offending knuckle up to Mr. Obama’s left ear and, like an annoying little brother, snapped off a few special cracks." [More like a man secure in his blackmail.]
Cocaine plane trail is open challenge for Obama administration 1/11/2009 NarcoNews: "Attorney Mark Conrad, a former high-level supervisory U.S. Customs agent who has an extensive background in the intelligence world, offered the following insight into the cocaine planes saga in a prior interview with Narco News: Even though it looks as if you are unraveling odd connections you may be only seeing a small part of what is going on — or you may be seeing what you are expected to see, missing something else. My guess — and that is all that it is — is that this has something to do with operations in Venezuela — either to finance ops, or to divert attention from Agency ops in Venezuela to destabilize Chávez. … It is not in the U.S. interests for Chávez to create another Cuba on some of the largest oil field reserves in the world."
Popular Fury at Yet Another Police Murder - Oakland's Not for Burning? 1/9/2009 Counterpunch
Oscar Grant, young father and peacemaker, executed by BART police 1/6/2009 SF Bay View
The Homicides You Didn't Hear About in Hurricane Katrina 12/22/2008 Tom Dispatch
No Justice for the African-Americans Targeted by White Vigilantes After the Katrina Flooding 12/20/2008 Alternet: "The family of Henry Glover has been incredibly damaged by his death. Can you imagine what its like to have your loved one die like that: abandoned by the cops who could've helped him and then set ablaze like a pile of rubbish? I'd call his sister, and she'd just start bawling on the phone. For a long time, his mother wouldn't talk to me because it was just too hard."
Obama and the new Latin America 12/19/2008 Asia Times: "For his part, Lula did send a clear message to Obama, saying his US presidential victory would truly become historic only when he lifted the US blockade on Cuba: "This has no economic explanation, no political explanation, it is meaningless." Lula definitely has his eyes set on the big picture. The Foreign Ministry considers Brazil to be one of the very few countries in the world capable of establishing a simultaneous dialogue with Cuba, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and any US administration, be it Bush or Obama."
Body of Evidence 12/17/2008 The Nation: "They put guns in our faces," says Tanner. He suspects the police "assumed [Glover] was looting and that's why he got shot. They assumed we were looters, too." King tells me he frantically tried to get the officers to help Glover: "I was hollering, saying, 'My brother's shot!' They handcuffed us. I said, 'You're not worrying about my brother.' They said some bad words to us and started beating us. They were beating us for twenty minutes." Tanner and King say that they, along with Calloway, were seated on a bench and cuffed while a swarm of officers punched, slapped and berated them. One of the officers bludgeoned Tanner in the face with the butt of an assault rifle, they say. "Every time I'd look up or sit up, they'd beat me," King tells me, noting that about five officers, all of them white, participated in the beating."
Demand justice in post-Katrina shootings 12/17/2008 Color of Change
Katrina's Hidden Race War 12/17/2008 The Nation: "The existence of this little army isn't a secret--in 2005 a few newspaper reporters wrote up the group's activities in glowing terms in articles that showed up on an array of pro-gun blogs; one Cox News story called it "the ultimate neighborhood watch." Herrington, for his part, recounted his ordeal in Spike Lee's documentary When the Levees Broke. But until now no one has ever seriously scrutinized what happened in Algiers Point during those days, and nobody has asked the obvious questions. Were the gunmen, as they claim, just trying to fend off looters? Or does Herrington's experience point to a different, far uglier truth? Over the course of an eighteen-month investigation, I tracked down figures on all sides of the gunfire, speaking with the shooters of Algiers Point, gunshot survivors and those who witnessed the bloodshed. I interviewed police officers, forensic pathologists, firefighters, historians, medical doctors and private citizens, and studied more than 800 autopsies and piles of state death records. What emerged was a disturbing picture of New Orleans in the days after the storm, when the city fractured along racial fault lines as its government collapsed. Herrington, Collins and Alexander's experience fits into a broader pattern of violence in which, evidence indicates, at least eleven people were shot. In each case the targets were African-American men, while the shooters, it appears, were all white."
Racial Extremists Are Infiltrating the Military for the Chance to 'Kill a Brown' 12/15/2008 Alternet
Why Blagojevich Might Be Acquitted 12/13/2008 Counterpunch
Round One of Obama's "Open for Questions" Reveals Clamor for Drug Policy Reform 12/12/2008 NarcoNews: "A total of 7,947 participants recommended that question to only 634 that thought it inappropriate (the latter figure is particularly revealing, demonstrating that the "conventional wisdom" that drug policy reform is too controversial to touch is simply not reflected in public opinion, certainly not among Obama's base supporters)."
Obama's "Way-to-Go, Brownie!" Moment? 12/11/2008 Huffington Post: "Obama was one of the only state senators from Chicago to refuse to send his children into Duncan's public schools. My information is that the Obamas sent their daughters to the elite Laboratory School where Klein-Duncan teach-to-the-test pedagogy is dismissed as damaging and nutty. Mr. Obama, if you can't trust your kids to Arne Duncan, why hand him ours? Lawyer Duncan is proud to have raised test scores by firing every teacher in low-scoring schools. Which schools? There's Collins High in the Lawndale ghetto with children from homeless shelters and drug-poisoned 'hoods. Surprisingly, they don't test so well. So Chicago fired all the teachers. They brought in new ones - then fired all of them too: the teachers' reward for volunteering to work in a poor neighborhood."
The Democracy Alliance Does America: The Soros-Founded Plutocrats’ Club Forms State Chapters 12/1/2008 CRC
FBI: Birmingham, Alabama, mayor arrested on federal charges 12/1/2008 AP
Alabama mayor arrested on corruption charges 12/1/2008 Reuters: [Another black official taken down by the FBI.]
Barack Obama's security team delights the hawks 12/1/2008 Times, London
Michelle Obama's family tree has roots in a Carolina slave plantation 12/1/2008 Chicago Tribune: "Barack Obama's campaign hired genealogists to research the family's roots at the onset of his presidential bid, but aides have largely kept the findings secret. Genealogists at Lowcountry Africana, a research center at the University of South Florida in Tampa, scoured documents to put together a 120-page report, according to project director Toni Carrier. She said the center signed a confidentiality agreement and is not allowed to disclose the findings publicly."
Obama, Ask the Kremlin about Gates 11/25/2008 Consortium News: "Nearly 16 years ago, during the last transition from a President Bush to a Democrat, Moscow made an extraordinary gesture to Washington: The Kremlin supplied a summary of its intelligence information about secret U.S.-Iranian contacts in the 1980s."
White extremists lash out over election of first black president 11/23/2008 LA Times
Anger, shock, and a call for new leaders 11/22/2008 Boston Globe: "In a city where blacks have long struggled for power, a notoriously small corps of black political leaders was suddenly much smaller yesterday. In Roxbury, many seethed over what they said was the deliberate targeting of black politicians, while clergy and community activists began to talk of opportunities for a new generation of political leaders."
Hub’s black community blasts arrests of pols 11/22/2008 Boston Herald: "The Rev. Ray Hammond, a well-known minister who called for Sen. Dianne Wilkerson to step down after her arrest, said some residents have questioned why the bribery sting has only ensnared blacks - Wilkerson and now Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner. “As there appears to be an effort to root this out, people are wondering ‘Why is it only black officials that have been targeted,’ ” asked Hammond, who serves at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Jamaica Plain. “I’m not willing to say this is inherently racial, but given our history as a nation, people of color tend to be a little suspicious.”
Chuck Turner takedown 11/22/2008 Boston Herald: "The investigation into Chuck Turner began in early 2007, when an unidentified “cooperating witness” told the FBI that the five-term city councilor accepted cash payments in connection with his official position. The witness also alleged that state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson took bribes."
Chuck Turner on race, ethics 11/21/2008 Boston Globe: "From an ethical standpoint, I don’t think the vast majority of Congress should be allowed to sit. Ethics should include a commitment to the needs of the people of this country which the Congress has not displayed. Given the fact that all our state governments and the federal government is controlled by money, I think it is hypocritical to talk about ethics when you talk about our political leaders or our business leaders, religious leaders, etc. Its time for Americans to admit that ethics never have had a significant influence on American politics. If Americans cared about ethical behavior, why did slavery last for two hundred years and neo slavery last for another two hundred? Why does America have the weakest laws in the Western World to protect a working person right to have a fair return on their labor. Why were the Irish treated as animals when they were driven to America by the politics of the English ancestors of the Yankees who treated them as if they were black when they were driven here. I’m surprised Tom. I didn’t think you were in denial of the reality of the moral depravity of this country."
Netanyahu hires 2 of Obama's advisors 11/21/2008 Ynet: "On Thursday the opposition leader finalized the employment of Bill Knapp and Josh Isay, who have worked in recent years with candidates of the Democratic Party in the United States, as well as former President Bill Clinton, Senator Joe Lieberman, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and president-elect Obama."
This is Change? 20 Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons to Watch for in Obama's White House 11/20/2008 Alternet
Antiwar Groups Fear Barack Obama May Create Hawkish Cabinet 11/20/2008 LA Times
Zogby Engages in Apparent Push Polling for Right-Wing Website 11/18/2008 FiveThirtyEight: "The conservative website HowObamaGotElected.com reports that it has commissioned Zogby International to conduct a poll of 512 Barack Obama voters as part of what can best be described as a viral marketing effort to discredit the intelligence of Obama supporters. The website, created by former radio talk show host John Ziegler to promote a forthcoming documentary, features a YouTube clip of interviews with 12 Obama voters who "were chosen for their apparent intelligence/verbal abilities and willingness to express their opinions to a large audience". The clip portrays the Obama supporters as giving "incorrect" answers to political questions such as "which candidate said his policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket". Of the 12 Obama supporters interviewed for the clip, 7 (58%) are black; nationwide, about 23% of Obama supporters were black according to the national exit poll."
Soros-Funded Democratic Idea Factory Becomes Obama Policy Font 11/18/2008 Bloomberg: "Thanks in part to funding from benefactors such as billionaire George Soros, the Center for American Progress has become in just five years an intellectual wellspring for Democratic policy proposals, including many that are shaping the agenda of the new Obama administration. Much as the Heritage Foundation provided intellectual heft for the Republican Party in the 1980s, CAP has been an incubator for liberal thought and helped build the platform that triumphed in the 2008 campaign… CAP's president and founder, John Podesta, 59, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, is one of three people running the transition team for president-elect Barack Obama, 47. A squadron of CAP experts is working with them."
Election spurs 'hundreds' of race threats, crimes 11/15/2008 AP
FBI joins investigation of Klan initiation death 11/14/2008 CNN
Obama Presidency: Clues as to How He Might Govern 11/13/2008 Black Commentator
John Lewis Was Right - McCain Owes America an Apology 11/13/2008 Counterpunch: "In the most expensive exclusive private school in New Orleans, a classroom of 12 year olds was asked by their teacher what their reactions were to the election. In front of one African American classmate, one white student said, “Twelve black people can’t run a Burger King, how do you expect one black man to run the country?” What made that student and his family think that was acceptable speech? Does the fact that McCain got 86% of the white vote in Louisiana give a hint? Coincidence?"
Barack Obama: The Empire’s New Clothes 11/12/2008 Black Agenda Report: "Obama's business-friendly centrism helped him garner an astonishing, record-setting stash of corporate cash. He received more than $33 million from "FIRE," the finance-real-estate and insurance sector. His winnings include $824,202 from the leading global investment firm Goldman Sachs . He has been consistently backed by the biggest and most powerful Wall Street firms. At the same time and by more than mere coincidence, Obama enjoyed a remarkable windfall of favorable corporate media coverage. That media treatment was the key to Obama's success in winning support and donations from the middle-class and from non-affluent people like Deddrick Battle. This does not mean that the Obama phenomenon has raised no concerns among the rich and powerful. As Herman and Peterson note, "Obama's race, his background, his enthusiastic, and less predictable constituency, and the occasional slivers of populism that creep into his campaign, make the establishment nervous, whereas Hillary Clinton and John McCain clearly posed no such threat."
Barack to launch Obama 2.0 operation 11/12/2008 Chicago Sun Times
Freedom Rider: Told You So 11/12/2008 Black Agenda Report: "Barack Obama's first major act as president-elect was to select as his chief of staff Rep. Rahm Emanuel, whose "role as Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was to insure that anti-war and other progressive candidates stayed out of the running." So when do the protests begin? "Progressives for Obama and other groups who promised to hold their idol accountable haven't gotten around to doing so just yet or even announcing when the time will be right for their tongues to become untied."
Eshu’s blues: Obama won. Now whatcha gonna do? 11/12/2008 Black Agenda Report: "It seems awfully peculiar to me that a ‘social movement' of the depth and breadth Obamaniacs claim they've built is already so weak it has to rely on the same old ‘democratic party' insiders."
Don't Exaggerate Election Impact in Dixie 11/12/2008 Black Agenda Report: "The Deep South white vote for Obama was generally not too different than that in Alabama, where nearly nine out of ten whites turned out for McCain, according to an analysis by the New York Times. This is certainly not a sea change in terms of white southern attitudes, a fact that should not be lost in all the celebrations heralding a "new day" for race relations in America. At the epicenter of America's racial conflict - the Deep South - it's still yesterday."
Progressives Have Leverage NOW: Use It Or Lose It 11/11/2008 Crisis Papers
Shifting Gears: Transforming Obama's Campaign into a Movement for Change 11/9/2008 Common Dreams
Obama Positioned to Quickly Reverse Bush Actions - Stem Cell, Climate Rules Among Targets of President-Elect's Team 11/9/2008 WaPo: "President-elect Barack Obama have compiled a list of about 200 Bush administration actions and executive orders that could be swiftly undone to reverse White House policies on climate change, stem cell research, reproductive rights and other issues, according to congressional Democrats, campaign aides and experts working with the transition team."
Obama's Bob Marley effect 11/9/2008 Trinicenter: "Robert "Bob" Nestor Marley and Senator Barack Obama both have one thing in common: a white parent. Bob Marley's father was British and white; Senator Barack Obama's mother was American and white… Put another way, it might have been in the subconscious payche of these White-European patrons that they were in musical- cultural communion with one of their own. They internalized that they were in-tuned with a white artiste. They felt one with Bob Marley on stage during his concerts. A white-looking Bob Marley was their musical- cultural comfort zone. And this comfort zone was further ossified by Bob Marley's international lyrics. The white-European audiences totally identified with Bob Marley's lyrics. They understood and felt his "positive vibration" up close and personal because they knew what "Babylon" meant; they knew of a "Trench Town" ghetto in America and Europe; they all yearned for "One Love" among humanity; and they expressed these sentiments outwardly by growing dreadlocks themselves. Senator Barack Obama's run for the United States presidency mirrored Bob Marley's iconic musical – cultured legacy. Like Bob Marley, Senator Barack Obama was also able to woe thousands of young white Americans, mainly females, to work for his election. Like Bob Marley, these young American females saw Barack Obama as one of them. Obama's campaign experience was their political comfort zone a la Bob Marley's concerts."
Call Bigots On Their Racist Rants About Obama 11/9/2008 Tampa Tribune
Obama to preside over White House 2.0 11/8/2008 AFP: "Obama's first moves after winning the election would indicate that he plans to not only mobilize his faithful but also listen to them. In an email sent to millions of supporters on election night, Obama thanked those who gave their "time, talent, and passion to this campaign." But, he added, there was still "a lot of work to do" and he would "be in touch soon about what comes next." Change.gov, the official website launched by the Obama transition team on Thursday, invites users to "share your story and your ideas, and be part of bringing positive lasting change to this country." Under the headline of "Open Government," change.gov urges users to "Share Your Vision" via email and asks them for their email address and zip code, essential elements in building an online data-base."
'Child-witches' of Nigeria seek refuge 11/8/2008 Telegraph: "Many of those branded "child-witches" are murdered - hacked to death with machetes, poisoned, drowned, or buried alive in an attempt to drive Satan out of their soul. The devil's children are "identified" by powerful religious leaders at extremist churches where Christianity and traditional beliefs have combined to produce a deep-rooted belief in, and fear of, witchcraft. The priests spread the message that child-witches bring destruction, disease and death to their families. And they say that, once possessed, children can cast spells and contaminate others."
Obama Election Night Backstage Photos 11/7/2008 Huffington Post: slideshow of the Obamas, the Bidens, and others watching the returns before appearing in Chicago
Berlusconi's Racist Welcome to Obama 11/7/2008 Ohmy News, Korea
Mississippi students told not to say Obama's name 11/7/2008 Raw Story: "They feel like they afraid to say who our president is, cause they afraid they going to be in trouble," Reginald's mother Canishia told WAPT. "We teach our kids not to be racist, and here it is going on. I just feel hurt by it." The Simpson family is black. However, another mother whose son was on the bus and who also plans to confront school officials about the incident is white. "This is what the whole election was about," Venus Neagu told WAPT. "It was supporting someone. And now that they've done it and they're on the school bus, now they're getting consequences for it."
Sarah Palin blamed by the US Secret Service over death threats against Barack Obama 11/7/2008 Telegraph: "The Republican vice presidential candidate attracted criticism for accusing Mr Obama of "palling around with terrorists", citing his association with the sixties radical William Ayers. The attacks provoked a near lynch mob atmosphere at her rallies, with supporters yelling "terrorist" and "kill him" until the McCain campaign ordered her to tone down the rhetoric. But it has now emerged that her demagogic tone may have unintentionally encouraged white supremacists to go even further. The Secret Service warned the Obama family in mid October that they had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, coinciding with Mrs Palin's attacks."
NY Muslim Beaten by Gang Shouting 'Obama' 11/6/2008 CAIR
Obama's first pick: Israeli Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff 11/6/2008 Haaretz, Israel: Emanuel, a former Bill Clinton adviser, is the son of a Jerusalem-born pediatrician who was a member of the Irgun (Etzel or IZL), a militant Zionist group that operated in Palestine between 1931 and 1948.
Obama and the Presidential Security Challenge 11/6/2008 Stratfor: "Considering this, white supremacist groups are under very tight surveillance by U.S. federal law enforcement agencies, and scrutiny of their activities will only increase as Obama takes office. As seen in the Tennessee case, online discussions and postings can come back to haunt Internet collaborators. It would be very difficult for even a small group to operate below the radar of not just the USSS but also the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the FBI, the CIA and the National Security Agency, all of which will have their proverbial ear to the ground to protect the president — one of the most important national security missions these groups have. The lone wolf, in the end, poses the most likely threat to Obama, and to any target for that matter. The lone wolf’s ability to act alone, keeping his intentions, activities and whereabouts to himself, makes it very difficult for law enforcement agencies to identify a threat before it is too late. But the lone wolf also must be very smart and have some access to resources such as weapons and vehicles — characteristics severely lacking in the two cases above that targeted Obama." [But no discussion of intra-government support for an assassination.]
Obama will take his Internet army to Washington 11/5/2008 McClatchy
Obama picks pro-Israel hardliner for top post 11/5/2008 Electronic Intifada
This Race May Have Ended, But Our Journey Has Just Begun 11/5/2008 Black America Web: "After this White House race is over, I hope those of us who endured hours standing in line to vote for Barack Obama will continue to stand up for ourselves. Because if this election made anything clear, it’s that we do matter. That we do have power. And we shouldn’t be shy about using it after Election Day is done."
Right-Wing Intimidation Hits Home 10/15/2008 Huffington Post: "I'm sure you really don't know anything about me, let alone my political leanings. How is it then that you have my name and address and threaten to "publicize my involvement in leftist organizations in my local community?"
Red Ride - Obama, You Make Us Proud 10/4/2008 YouTube: Calypso tribute to Barack Obama
11 Racist Lies Conservatives Tell to Avoid Blaming Wall Street for the Financial Crisis 10/2/2008 Alternet
SPLC, Civil Rights Groups File Complaints to End Neglect of Florida Students with Learning Disabilities 10/1/2008 SPLC
“They Just Don’t Get It” — Political Leaders and Pundits Are Clueless About Bailout Rejection 9/30/2008 Global Research: "The only reason there has been economic growth in the last seven years has been due to the housing bubble the Bush administration and Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan created to get us out of the crash of the dot.com bubble in 2000-2001. The reason these bubbles have been needed is that the United States over the last generation gave away millions of its good manufacturing jobs to foreign nations in order to further the greed of global finance capitalism. So the only way people have been able to live has been through credit bubbles that have the added disadvantage of inflating the prices of assets, including their homes."
Challenges to Diaz-Balarts draw national attention 9/27/2008 Miami Herald
German leader warns U.S. superpower era is over 9/26/2008 UPI: "Indeed, it looks increasingly likely that the dollar will not even remain the leading reserve currency. For several years, Arab nations, led by Saudi Arabia, that were alarmed by the financial measures included in the Patriot Act have quietly been transferring hundreds of billions of dollars into euros. And strongly anti-American but major oil-producing nations such as Iran and Venezuela certainly have been talking themselves in that direction. Now Russia, the largest combined oil and gas energy exporter in the world, is talking about using its record financial reserves to create a gold ruble. The dollar has not been backed by gold since President Franklin D. Roosevelt was forced to effectively devalue it by taking it off the gold standard in 1933."
New SPLC Report: Documents Reveal History of Racial Extremism by Architect of Anti-Immigration Movement 9/26/2008 SPLC
Dirty Secret Of The Bailout: Thirty-Two Words That None Dare Utter 9/22/2008 Huffington Post: "Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."
Extremists in the Military 9/1/2008 Intelligence Report, SPLC
Black Voter Net