Tuesday, October 31, 2006

African-Americans, my dad, and the United States Government

From Sully:

"I was chatting with some friends after the Maher show. They'd been against the war from the beginning. They were African-American and said it was obvious to them that the WMD argument was what they called "game." They weren't surprised. I was. I believed George W. Bush. And I trusted him. And as the evidence has poured in that my faith and trust were betrayed, my surprise has turned to rage. I'm not a generally angry person. But if I have placed my trust in someone on a matter of this gravity and I find out they lied, bungled and betrayed me and others who trusted them, then all I can say is: they picked the wrong guy to bamboozle."

I suppose that one of the "African-American's" that Andrew refers to here is Harry Belafonte, who had also appeared on Maher's show that night. If so, Belafonte's distrust of GWB should have been of no surprise--no more then any other African-American who historically has been skeptical of the US government since the government accepted and institutionalized slavery (Dred Scott decision and beyond) and segargation (Jim Crow). In general, blacks, whether we want to admit it or not (and usually we don't when we are in the company of whites) know like the Native American that whites (and let me clarify, rich-landowning, powerful whites) speak with a "Forked Tongue." How could we not? Remember the old saying, "Fool me once, shame on me, fool me again..." well beside the Native American no one has gotten as fooled by white political leaders than the Afro-American. Black cynicism is so deep rooted in this country that it becomes, politically and culturally, part of our idenity. Even Black leaders are distrusted, and why not? To be a black leader means playing the white man's game. Whites have no choice but to view this cynicism as racism, and perhaps even blacks feel that it racism, but if one gets periodically kicked in the ass by people who (at least on the surface) look alike isn't it at least understandable if one gets prejudiced towards that particular figure?

Now that being said, let me talk a bit about my father's particular distrust towards George W. Bush. My father, sharing in many of the biases African-Americans share in regards to white politicians, found a unique skepticism towards our current president for reasons that are still unknown to him or I. When questioned, my father's only response is, "I don't know why, but I didn't trust that snake from the moment I saw him." Yet I've been wondering this myself, and the only answer I can come up with is that something about GWB's record compouned my father's inherent distrust. Here comes a canidate who's dodged the draft, failed at finding oil in Texas, failed at taking a Baseball team to the World Series, and then was, at best, a mediocure Governor, yet he's the man to lead America? To my father, I suppose, he looks at him as not only as a white canidate, but as an inept white canidate. Yet another "surprise" that seems to have shocked the world. You might as well have voted Corey Haim as President. On second thought, that might have been a better choice.

Frankly Sullivan can take his rage and cram it. How dumb, how delusional, are whites (at least poor/ Christian fundamentalist/ conservative whites) not to see the forest for the trees, or the body bags for their free trade ideology. Maybe the conquest of Hawaii should have enlightened them, or the invasion of Cuba? No? Then how about the overthrow of Mossadegh by the CIA? The Gulf of Tonkin? The invasion of Granada? The invasion of Iraq? And we haven't even touched civil rights yet!

Still every cloud does have its silver lining--and something that both my father and I have hope in is that the Bush reign will awaken regular Americans of all colors that they have been bamboozled from the very beginnng, and that "cleaning house" aren't just words that politicans use rhetorically but is the responsiblity of the people. And, furthermore, cynicism is a good thing. Let me not say that all white politicans are bad or corrupt, but this particular breed of politicans--rich, established, and generationally powerful, need to go. Blacks may be the first to distrust them but, in the end, it is all of us that get screwed.

Friday, October 27, 2006

So this is what our political debate has boiled down to...

Foolishness like this:

"The result [Of negative ads] has been a carnival of ugly, especially on the GOP side, where operatives are trying to counter what polls show is a hostile political environment by casting opponents as fatally flawed characters. The National Republican Campaign Committee is spending more than 90 percent of its advertising budget on negative ads, according to GOP operatives, and the rest of the party seems to be following suit. A few examples of the "character issues" taking center stage two weeks before Election Day:

In New York, the NRCC ran an ad accusing Democratic House candidate Michael A. Arcuri, a district attorney, of using taxpayer dollars for phone sex. "Hi, sexy," a dancing woman purrs. "You've reached the live, one-on-one fantasy line." It turns out that one of Arcuri's aides had tried to call the state Division of Criminal Justice, which had a number that was almost identical to a porn line. The misdial cost taxpayers $1.25.

In Ohio, GOP gubernatorial candidate J. Kenneth Blackwell, trailing by more than 20 points in polls, has accused front-running Democratic Rep. Ted Strickland of protecting a former aide who was convicted in 1994 on a misdemeanor indecency charge. Blackwell's campaign is also warning voters through suggestive "push polls" that Strickland failed to support a resolution condemning sex between adults and children. Strickland, a psychiatrist, objected to a line suggesting that sexually abused children could not have healthy relationships when they grew up.

The Republican Party of Wisconsin distributed a mailing linking Democratic House candidate Steve Kagen to a convicted serial killer and child rapist. The supposed connection: The "bloodthirsty" attorney for the killer had also done legal work for Kagen."

I'm just embarassed.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Back to Stupid...

Rush Limbaugh had a few choice words to say about Michael J. Fox appearing in an ad for Democratic Senate canidate Claire McCaskill, who supports the stem cell research that might help cure Parkinson's Disease.

And people listen to Rush because...?

Pass that idea over this way!

From Sullivan:

"People keep asking me on this tour who I think can save conservatism, who I favor for 2008, etc. But that's the wrong question. Conservatives do not need a savior. They need a coherent governing philosophy. That requires some hard soul-searching, some healthy recriminations, and a debate from first principles...You may not agree. Great. Let's debate. But it's a start."

substitute "Conservatives" for "Liberals" and you have the essence of why the Democrats have been losing since 2000. The Messiah complex isn't partisan, but it's a vestigial organ of the laziness that we all are subject to--the idea that "someone else" will come save us, rather than toss in the hard work and thought that brings about positive change. Democracy doesn't work unless the people are willing, not to sit down with members of other parties, but members of their own community, and have the courage to formulate strong and solid ideals.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


A new study of the Iraqi war has shown that the war has led to 655,000 Iraqi deaths. Some highlights:

"Gunfire found to be most common killer of Iraqis; car bombings on the rise

Study says 2.5 percent of population killed since war; death toll rising each year

Coalition forces blamed for 31 percent of deaths since 2003 invasion

Researchers interviewed more than 1,800 randomly selected Iraqi households"

Don't worry, I'm sure that the US will at least give the suriviors a "I lived through Operation Iraqi Freedom and all I got was this lousy T-shirt" T-shirts. Or a tax break.

A Complex Problem For a Simple President

Is it just me or is any body else worried about North Korea? It reminds me of that really large mosquito that flies around your house dissappearing intermittingly, but long enough that you forget about it until it circles around again. We're mired in Iraq for a reason that still is unrecognizable to most of the world, and now it seems that we don't have a proper solution for NK. Should we invade? Cut of aid? Or ignore it all together and hope that it goes away?

Gib has a fine breakdown of the ideals of the situation here, dealing primarilly with NK's obscene human rights violations that probably make Saddam green with envy. On the flip side Rude Pundit asks us to tread over Kim Jung-Il with a bit more tact:

"Now, Kim Jong-Il's pissant nuke is, among other scarier things, a cry for help. Not just mental health help for a nutzoid dictator of a decimated country, a pathetic monomaniacal boy who is so overcompensating for his lack of stature that he has to show everyone in the area his little missle so we can all be so fucking impressed. No, it's also a cry for attention. And, like a toddler holding a butcher knife to his own throat, we probably oughta be gentle and bribe it away from him. Start by, oh, fuck, why not bilateral talks. Just for the fuck of it. Just to see if it works. Then start talkin' the cash money. Naive? Yeah, but the sophistication of bombs and bullying has worked so well in the last few years."

And he's right. The Bush doctrine has failed and it has failed miserably. Neither Iran nor North Korea has been detered in seeking weapons of mass destruction, nor should they be--it's hard for a soverign country to submit to such blatant intimidation by another, especially one that practices such an aggressive foreign policy. Diplomacy still seems to be the key--even if it is "dealing with the devil." Something I'd like to address now.

Look, Cros is right when he says:

"The 23 million North Koreas live in hell on earth. Any promise of security and recognition for Kim Jong-Il will only perpetuate that hell. Any aid we deliver will be used to prop up the regime and is frequently diverted to military uses, and the regime frustrates any effort to monitor aid distribution to ensure that aid is going where it is intended to go - to people starving because of Kim Jong-Il's catastrophic cruelty and incompetence. If we explicitly promise Kim's regime security, and we mean to keep that promise, we are condemning this generation of North Koreans, and the next, and in return are likely recieve only Kim Jong-Il's word, which is of no value. If we break this promise, North Korea will be entitled to its feeling of betrayal."

If you have a heart, you will find yourself sick to your stomach when you review his links, which are, to say the least, disturbing. And yet to ensure the safety of this country and our allies, one is forced to make deals that are morally repungnent. We're allies and even trade partners with China, which isn't exactly a beacon of liberity and civil rights. We're allied with Russia who's not a bastion of freedom, and let's not forget that we allowed Pakistan to get nukes, and their PM is a military despot. If we run around only dealing with "Popes, and Saints" we'd find ourselves in lonely company indeed. In fact, you (and I mean you personally) might be the only one sitting in the General Assembly.

And let's get another thing clear. If you think that "humanitarian aid" goes to the poor you're delusional. In some sectors aid is mismanaged through ignorant but good meaning politicians and philanthropists who just don't know the best way to help an impoverished population. But many times aid, especially aid given by governments, is a pay off to greedy dictators and military operators. What is it a pay off for? It's a pay off to protect the government's interests. We've seen this when we funded Saddam in their battle against Iran, or when we backed Bin Laden when he was fighting against the Soviets, and in the whole Iran-Contra affair.

This is a complex issue, but, unfortunately, we have a simple President. His policy of preemptive attack, underestimating his opponents, and turning a deaf ear to his own military, advisors, and critics show that he is incapable of dealing with this issue. We have to sit at the table with NK and Iran, and work out options, increased aid, perhaps even bribes, to maintain a stable peace, while at the same time working out trade agreements that will encourage coorporation between these counties and the West. Let us not forget that while China has a long way to go, it is because of Nixon asking to deal with the Chinese, in a peaceful, mutually benificial format, that has allowed a more progressive and liberal (oooh nasty word!) government to form. To deny the opportunity to form this same bond with the Middle East (read Iran) and North Korea, is imprudent policy and the short road to oblivion.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Pretty dammed disgusting...

...The whole Mark Foley incident. I don't think you have to be a bleeding heart anything not to feel icky and sick at the mere mention of this story. Needless to say I was wondering what kinda damage control the right would come up with. Sure enough, Ann Althouse had the guts to defend the RNC with the same vigor they had shown in ignoring the fact that they had a serial pedophile in their midst. Money quote:

"So it seems in the run-up to the election we won't have to talk about Iraq and terrorism and detainees anymore. Let's talk about sex."

WHOOO! Sure was lucky for those Dems that this happened, cause they wouldn't have had a leg to stand on come November. I mean with Woodward's book, and the NIH report, and the death toll in Iraq, and all that torture...they really needed one more scandal. Do you think Foley was a closet Democrat Ann? And maybe he set it all up to ensure a victory? Or do you think that you're more delusional than a Crackhead on PCP? Yeah maybe that's it.

I am so moving to Iceland.

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