After the surge…Robo-Cop

To see pictures of President George W. Bush in Iraq this week belies the reality of what life is like in that war-ravaged country.

The fact that Air Force One was able to land at Al Asad Airbase in Anbar Province, a no-man’s land for Americans just one year ago is hailed as a sign of progress that Mr. Bush’s “troop surge” is making the country more secure. No one in any of the pictures with the President is wearing flak jackets or any other kind of body armor.

Well, duh…soldiers and marines and sailors, just clear a swath of land for a photo opportunity, like the “Mission Accomplished” aircraft carrier landing in 2003 with Mr. Bush piloting a fighter plane, like the kind he avoided flying by going AWOL for most of his time in the National Guard during the Vietnam War.

At virtually every other time and place, Americans, press people, diplomats–even commanding General David Petraeus–all wear helmets, all the time, even inside the supposedly “secure” Green Zone, where the Iraqi Parliament and some U.S. civilian installations are located. It’s a war zone. A real, untamed, uncontained war.

In fact, the entire region is so hostile to the immoral U.S. aggression in Iraq, there is nowhere within 1,000 miles where an American soldier can just walk the streets and pick up souvenirs for the folks back home…or pick up prostitutes like they did during the immoral war of aggression in Vietnam 40 years ago. Continue reading

No ‘Thanks, ‘till you’re better paid’

My mother, Nola Mae Canteberry, was a dear woman. She was hard of hearing, but she was full of charming sayings, which were always just right for every occasion.

“Thanks, ‘till you’re better paid.” she’d respond to a special kindness. The kind person would always smile. “Thanks, ‘till you’re better paid.”

The hint that the reward might even be better than the payment. Sometimes, that’s all we have to hope for, and it’s rarely negotiable.

But it shouldn’t be like that in the workplace. If you’re being underpaid, you’re being ripped-off…and unfortunately, most of us are.

Face it. “Living Wage,” “Living Stage,” it doesn’t matter: if you are being paid less than $12.87 per hour, you are being way, way, underpaid, and that is in “Y2K Dollars.” This year is Y2K-7. Continue reading

Free The Cuban 5! Why?

Free “The Cuban Five!”

Why?

Because they are innocent!

I for one, plan to join in solidarity Sept. 12-Oct. 8, 2007, for “International Days of Solidarity with the Cuban 5.”

Los Hermanos—The Brothers. The five men—Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Antonio Guerrero, Rene Gonzalez, and Fernando Gonzalez—were convicted in a “kangaroo court” trial in Miami in June 2001, accused of being part of a spy ring called the Wasp Network, which infiltrated Brothers to the Rescue and other militant anti-Cuban exile groups.

The “Five Heroes,” as they are called in Cuba, were not even spying against the United States government (which has committed open war crimes and attempted assassinations of Cuban President Fidel Castro by the way, a good reason for any country to want to “keep an eye” on what’s going on here), they were merely trying to uncover right-wing anti-Cuban terrorists based in the U.S., anti-Cuban terrorist groups with the blood of both Cubans and innocent U.S. citizens on their hands.

That’s why they are in jail, with more time than a man with 700 top-secret U.S. government military documents when caught. There’s snooping, and there’s spying. Continue reading

Pardon Marcus Garvey! Leave John Conyers Alone!

I reserve a healthy amount of respect for Cindy Sheehan and members of Code Pink, women against the war. But I think they went a little bit over the top when they staged a sit-in at the offices of Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

They and many anti-war activists are angry the Chairman Conyers has gone along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and taken impeachment of Pres. George W. (For worst in history) Bush officially “off the table.”

With 17 months and four days until Jan. 20, 2009, when I will be able to finally exhale, I am counting the days until the next President is inaugurated, whoever that might be. In the meantime I don’t put the possibility of martial law and a suspension of the entire Constitution and a postponement of the 2008 election, off the table. I don’t put any dirty trick past these scoundrels now in office. Continue reading

Which Muslims are Americans going to hate next?!

Poor America. She does not know what to do in the Muslim world.

One day, Muslims are unforgivable enemies. The next day some of those same Muslims are allies. Bosom buddies. And those Muslim allies will take America’s money as long as it gets handed out, but they’ll only do enough “fighting terrorism” on their own, only enough to keep getting America’s money.

Yasser Arafat is a prime example. He was vilified, morning, noon, and night, until he finally kicked the bucket. His successor, Mahmoud Abbas, the leader now of Fatah, the Palestine Liberation Organization, the PLO—was, for most of his time in power, not considered to be a reliable “partner for peace,” on whom the U.S. and Israel could rely. Until, that is, his party (after being trounced in free, Democratic elections last year) got into a shooting war with their militant counterparts, the Islamic Resistance movement, or Hamas.

But if you’d listened to America’s leaders 20 years ago, the Arabs who were held in the greatest contempt were the PLO. You couldn’t define a worse enemy to America than the PLO. Continue reading

The Petey Greene, Jerry Washington, James Brown-Gene

I am very happy to know that I possess the Petey Greene, Jerry Washington, Gaston Neal, Nap Turner, Jamal Muhammad, James Brown, Chuck Brown-Gene.

My foot is genetically pre-disposed to pat whenever James Brown music is played. Whether I pat it or not. I’ve got the James Brown Gene.

The same for Chuck Brown who is still in our midst. He is the Grandfather-Godfather of Go-Go. One year on my birthday, I went to see Chuck Brown at the now defunct Club Ibex on Georgia Ave. For some reason, I was grateful they had a metal detector at the door. I’ve bought three or four of his CDs. I’ve got the Chuck Brown-Gene, and I’m proud of it.

It’s a Denmark Vesey, Nat Turner, John Brown, Marcus Garvey, George Jackson-kind-of-feeling expressed in haunting melody, hypnotic rhythm. It’s the James Brown-Gene.

Petey Greene was that kind of a guy. They recently made a movie about him, the icon, the live and kicking D.C. Will Rogers. The movie: One Flew Over. Dewey’s Big Break! Ma, he was a M-F contender. Write that down. Original Rapper. With the schoolyard ‘Yo Mama’ training. Continue reading

What Muslim member of Congress?!

Keith Ellison sworn in holding Thomas Jefferson's Koran 

Each of the 435 voting members of the House of Representatives has four options on each of the hundreds and hundreds of recorded votes which are called for in every session of Congress. A member can vote “Yay” or “Nay” or “Present.” In addition, a member can choose to not vote at all on any issue.

On Nov. 7, 1916, Jeannette Rankin became the first woman elected to Congress. She was a Republican from the state of Montana. Like others who go forward to blaze the trail, she had an awesome responsibility, and with courage, she upheld that responsibility with dignity.

Shortly after Rep. Rankin took office in 1917, Congress took up the debate over U.S. participation in World War I. Women and others who have not always been welcome at the table of power-sharing in this country could learn a lot from Jeannette Rankin.

With the 19th Amendment to the Constitution granting women the right to vote, still three years from ratification, women suffragettes were extremely conscious of the conduct and image of women in the public arena. Women wanted Rep. Rankin to go along with the prevailing sentiment for the United States to hurry on and join her European allies who were already fighting “the war to end all wars.” They did not want the first woman in Congress to be perceived as “feminine” and less able than men, to make the tough decisions required to govern a powerful nation. Ms. Rankin opposed the war.

On that fateful day, to the consternation of many women, she was one of only 50 votes in the House, opposing U.S. participation in WWI. Continue reading

A marriage made at ‘Mecca,’ but no bride

There is “Mecca” we all know in Saudi Arabia. It is the Islamic Holy City, where once every year millions of Muslims trek for a Holy pilgrimage.

Then there is “The Mecca,” Howard University, the place known in Black educational and cultural circles as the center, the capital, the headquarters–The Mecca.

Howard, therefore, was the ideal place for the second Presidential candidate’s debate at an historically Black university (An earlier presidential candidates debate was held  already this season on April 26 at South Carolina State, another historically Black university).

More than 1,000 of Black America’s elite were there to witness the ceremony featuring all eight Democratic candidates, which seems as though it should have been the investiture of Sen. Barack Obama as the one and only Black presidential “sweetheart.”

Radio/TV host Tavis Smiley was undoubtedly the “Best Man,” and he reveled in the role. His No. 1 Bestselling book “The Covenant” was the bouquet, but Sen. Obama seemed to leave his “A-game” at home and did not seek to grab it or run with it. Two of his rivals–Sen. Hilary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) stole all the thunder with the “highlight reel” comments of the night. Continue reading

Michael Moore is no SiCKO

 

Michael Moore is a portly man, who is quick to smile. He tells funny stories. He laughs when he tells them, again and again. But he is no clown. Dare to giggle. Dare to grin.

Michael Moore takes some deadly serious subjects, and he makes documentary films about them. His films are filled with humor. Humor and pathos.

Mr. Moore’s latest film is “SiCKO.” It is a punishing critique of the profit-driven U.S. healthcare system, by the Oscar-winning director of “Fahrenheit 9-11,” and “Bowling for Columbine.”

He has a long history of activism with a camera, according to Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), sponsor of H.R. 676, the “Medicare For All, National Health Insurance Act.” The legislation is comprehensive because it makes the federal government the “single payer” of all medical bills, and extends coverage to all, meaning: “universal access to healthcare for everyone, period.” That is a fundamental and radical departure from the for-profit model, which is having ruinous economic results, without even delivering superior health care to all Americans. Continue reading

On the wrong side of history…again

Thomas Jefferson, the Third President of the United States was looking into the future perhaps, when he said: “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”

The Trans-Atlantic slave trade was thriving and legal when he said that. America, Good America, in-the-choir-with-the-angels America still, has never apologized for that cardinal sin, that crime against humanity. That genocide. Genocide. Ma’afa.

Will God’s justice sleep forever?

America is on the wrong side of a world-wide revolution, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., warned this country a generation ago. The immoral War in Vietnam was raging, America had not learned the lessons of history. Tsun Tzu. The Art of War. Fullness. Emptiness.

Hurricane Katrina. Abu Ghraib. America is still on the wrong side of a world-wide revolution. The illegal, immoral, war of aggression and occupation of Iraq is sucking America’s blood and treasure in a war America can never win, fighting against people whose creed aspires to martyrdom against the infidels. They live to die, fighting Americans. And Americans seem obliged to want to stay there and be fought with.

Will God’s justice sleep forever? Continue reading