The Colonel Qaddafi I Know

I first met Col. Muammar Qaddafi, the leader of Libya in 1978. I was a member of a delegation of 100 or so, which was led by former U.S. Senator William Fulbright. We were a people-to-people “friendship”

Libya was on a downward diplomatic spiral at that time because of Col. Qaddafi’s leadership in what was called the “steadfastness and rejection front.” This bloc–which included Syria, the Palestine Liberation Organization, as well as Libya–was so named because of its steadfastness against, and rejection of Israeli usurpation and occupation of Palestinian land.

The U.S. was ramping up its pressure against Libya, and despite the friendship which Col. Qaddafi showed to Billy Carter, the younger brother of then President Jimmy Carter, soon diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Libya, and Col. Qaddafi and his countrymen were labeled “terrorists.”

I wrote articles which appeared in major corporate-owned newspapers defending what was then called “The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,” or “people’s land.” While I could defend what I thought was a peaceful people, it became increasingly difficult to argue with Col. Qaddafi’s world image. He was frequently referred to as “mercurial” and that was the best of what was said of him in those days.

Col. Qaddafi helped fuel the rumors. He wrote a book of sayings. It was called “The Green Book.” Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Tse Tung had written “The Red Book,” and it became an essential item in the ideological toolkit of many (if not most) campus revolutionaries in the 1960s. Continue reading

Where’s The Money? In Wisconsin and Elsewhere

I recently overheard a group of young people chatting about the best places in this area to live. One young man, who admitted he was a Maryland resident, asked a member of the group who lives in the District of Columbia, why she wouldn’t want to live in Virginia. After all, he pointed out the taxes there are lower…

I remembered the time when George Allen was governor of Virginia. Rep. Bobby Scott, a brilliant member of Congress from the Commonwealth, pointed out to me that his governor had embarked on a clever plan.

Back in the “New Jack City” days when drugs and crime were among the main concerns Rep. Scott told me, Gov. Allen set about to build a number of new prisons, even though there was no real overcrowding in the state’s existing jails. His strategy was to commit the state government to having to staff and maintain those prisons, forever, and ever, and ever, amen.

Voila! Continue reading

The Washington NFL Team Needs a New Owner!

This year will mark the 518th anniversary of the “discovery” of the “New World” by Christopher Columbus. For the last 17 years plus, Native American groups have officially and publicly protested the name of the Washington NFL franchise because they say it is a racial epithet. I agree.

For the last 17 years I have refused to repeat the name of the team, and I try to gently correct people (even in the Barbershop) when they toss that disgusting name around.

I point out to anyone who will listen to me that they would not cheer for a team called the “Washington Picaninnies,” or the “Washington Kikes,” or the “Washington Chinks…” I think you get the idea. A slur is a slur, is a slur.

My Merriam-Webster 11th Collegiate Dictionary defines the name “redskin” as a “noun, usually offensive: American Indian.”

Wikipedia says: “The term is controversial and considered by some to be offensive.”So, what part of insult do people who cling to that descriptor not get? Most especially, the “stupid, incompetent, or foolish person” who is the owner of the Washington NFL franchise: what is it about offensive that he does not understand?The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office actually rejected the team’s exclusive license to use the logo and name because it is offensive, but the decision was reversed in court because a statute of limitations expired before the claimants involved complained. Another case is proceeding through the courts with younger Native American plaintiffs.

Doofus Dan Snyder is the stupid, incompetent, foolish owner of the Washington NFL team. His stupid antics are the stuff of legend. He recently sued a 72-year-old woman who could no longer afford season tickets because she had financial trouble. Now, he has sued the Washington City Paper for libel over an unflattering article about him. Continue reading

The shooters: Sniper John and Ft. Hood Nidal

I am not proud to say, I have a lot in common with both John Allen Muhammad (what has he ever done to deserve to be called by the name of a Holy Man??? But I digress), the Washington, D.C. area sniper, and with Army Major Nidal Malik Hassan. All three of us are said to be Muslims.

Like John, I too was born and bred Christian and in adult life became a convert to the religion of Islam–the religion which is self-defined as a religion of “peace.” And like Nidal, who was born Muslim, I once dreamed of becoming a U.S. military officer.

As far as John is concerned, I can only say: May God have mercy on his soul.

And it’s already too late for the advice I would have given to Nidal. He made his choice–a very, very, very bad decision in my opinion and the rest as they say is history. I faced similar demons that Nidal apparently encountered, but I chose a different path. Continue reading

Long Live the Spirit of the Million Man March

The Million Man March at Noon: Oct. 16, 1995The headline on this photograph was inspired by the poignant Wesley Snipes/Woody Harrelson film “White Men Can’t Jump.” The photograph and headline appeared on the front page of the News Dimensions newspaper (Oct. 19, 1995 issue) edited by the late Barry Murray, who originated the headline to accompany the picture and a feature article. At the time, the U.S. Park Police had estimated the crowd size of the Million Man March to be a mere 400,000. That figure was challenged and disproven by several professional analysts, including the highest Metro Subway usage to date (at that time), and it led to the Park Service declining to do any further crowd estimates.

This photograph was taken at Mid Day. Notice the shadows in the foreground of the men standing on the West Steps of the U.S. Capitol. Their shadows are perpendicular to the National Mall, cast by the Sun overhead in the South. The Sun is in this position, shortly after Noon at this time of year, proof positive that the National Mall was full and filling with many, many, many hundreds and hundreds of thousands of men, as many as 2 million in all.

Notice also the men on the side streets, as well as men on the Mall all the way back to the Washington Monument at 16th Street. This photo was taken several hours before The Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan spoke at approximately 6:00 p.m. The picture was taken when tens of thousands of men were still arriving at the Mall.

Long Live the Spirit of the Million Man March!

White Americans: What is your “Cause?”

Front Page Headline: “Almost a lost Cause”

An Army officer, now deceased complained about the futility of his platoon’s assignment in Afghanistan, months before he led his men on a mission which cost his life and the lives of several others, fighting to defend a position which U.S. commanders eventually abandoned. Futility indeed.

So, as I read on about this un-winnable battle in this un-winnable war, I wondered,, and I wished I could dialogue with White people: “Why are all your sons fighting and dying on mountaintops in Afghanistan?”

“What is the ‘Cause’ for which your blood and treasure is being spent?” Continue reading

President Jimmy Carter, still far ahead of his time

The author meets Pres. Carter, Natl Press Club 1978An “overwhelming portion” of the public animosity directed at President Barack Obama and his efforts at healthcare reform this summer is based simply “on the fact that he is a Black man,” according to former Pres. Jimmy Carter, a southerner, who grew up in racially divided Georgia, personally witnessing Jim Crow segregation in all its forms.

“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a Black man, that he’s African American,” Mr. Carter told a town hall meeting days after the outburst during the President’s speech to Congress Sept. 9, by South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson.

“I live in the South, and I’ve seen the South come a long way, and I’ve seen the rest of the country that shared the South’s attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African Americans. That racism inclination still exists. And I think it’s bubbled up to the surface because of a belief among many white people, not just in the South, but around the country, that African Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It’s an abominable circumstance and grieves me and concerns me very deeply,” the former president continued.

Mr. Carter grew up on a farm in the 1930s, where he admits he “stayed barefoot from the middle of March until the middle of October,” has worked to overturn racial segregation throughout his career in public office. When he was sworn in as the 76th Governor of Georgia Jan. 12, 1971 he declared in his inaugural speech that the time of racial segregation was over and that racial discrimination had no place in the future of the state.

He was the first statewide office holder in the Deep South to make this declaration in public, and he appointed many Blacks to statewide boards and offices, during his term. As president, elected in 1976 he continued that policy, appointing Blacks to a number of positions never before held by Blacks.

“When a radical fringe element of demonstrators and others begin to attack the President of the United States of America as an animal or a reincarnation of Adolph Hitler, or when they wave signs in the air that say ‘We should have buried Obama with Kennedy,’ those kind of things are beyond the bounds of the way presidents have ever been accepted, even with people who disagree,” Mr. Carter told NBC News. “And I think that people who are guilty of that kind of personal attack against Obama have been influenced to a major degree, by a belief that he should not be president because he happens to be African American. It’s a racist attitude.” Continue reading

Mayor Adrian Fenty, a big disappointment!

I am sorely disappointed with the job being done by D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty.

It’s not personal. Let me begin by declaring I support the decision to give his children preferred admission into an elite D.C. Public School. It is not unfair to other children in the system that the Mayor’s children should be granted special consideration. My son received it. He was admitted into Hearst Elementary School, instead of West Elementary, simply because of a compelling case for an exception made by his mother.

At the same time, I am not especially perturbed that the swimming pool at “the” recreation center where His Nibs swims daily got “Pimped Out” with heaters and other World Class improvements. There’s nothing wrong with installing the accouterments at the pool where Da’ Mayor swims every day to train for triathlons and such… They had to put the fancy stuff somewhere… Why not at his pool? It’s public property isn’t it…

So, I don’t have any beef with the outcome of those matters concerning Mayor Adrian Fenty.

But as far as the way he has governed is concerned, I am gravely disappointed with the job being done by the Mayor. I’m even concerned that there are sinister “hidden agendas” in some of his policies and decisions. Continue reading

Dismantling Obama administration, brick by brick

President Obama, Sept. 1, 2009 The White House State Dining Room

Tell me again, who exactly won the Presidential Election in 2008. Was it Barack Obama or Glenn Beck? Inquiring minds want to know.

I’m not being facetious. In just one week, two Obama administration appointees, who would seem to serve “at the pleasure of the President,” resigned their positions under pressure from the sharp-tongued TV talker. A star is born, and it looks like this guy is in for more than simply “15 minutes of fame.”

The case of Mr. Beck’s pressure resulting in the resignation of Van Jones from the conspicuous position of White House Green Jobs Czar was widely reported. Less well known is the plight of Yosi Sergant, who had assumed the post of Communications Director at the National Endowment for the Arts, resigning his position following accusations of a conflict of interest by the self-same loud-mouth.

So, was there a secret election held since January, and a new President chosen by the electorate and quietly sworn in?

What’s worse, Glenn Beck and his crew are not done yet. They now have their eye on Cass Sustein, confirmed by the Senate as the President’s Director of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and then Mark Lloyd, Diversity Director at the Federal Communications Commission, and once they’ve notched those scalps on their belt they plan to aim straight for the President’s jugular–Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett. Continue reading

They don’t really care about us!

Michael Jackson, Jan. 16, 2004

Michael Jackson was correct. “They don’t really care about us!”

In his most controversial composition ever, he says again and again: “All I want to say is that/ They don’t really care about us!” The “they” involved being the all-powerful, oppressive, White, authoritarian, rulers; and the “us” being the poor, righteous masses who live under “their” boots on “our” necks.

Someone should sit President Barack Obama down to watch the two versions of that video (one in which the “us” are poor Black Brazilian street children and the other in which the “us” are Black inmates in a penitentiary) and then explain to the President that contrary to what he may have thought when he was inaugurated, he and his agenda of good for the masses of Americans is not a “they,” but rather is an “us.”

In his case, the “they” are clearly gun-toting, White Republicans and other sundry conservatives, who mean him and his ambitious plans for reform absolutely no good. Continue reading