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 →
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.
No amount of administrative, legislative, changes that are going to be made to the schools in Washington soon, will mean anything at all to the performance of Blacks in any kind of American learning institutions…with the exception of the University of Hard Knocks—unless the students involved arrive at school ready, eager to, and prepared to learn. A yearning for learning, so to speak.
So the Mayor appoints a new Schools Chancellor. The President appoints a new War Czar. Big deal. Neither will have much affect in the schools, in the streets of Baghdad.
There is too much attention focused on the top-level leadership of the schools, and not enough attention paid to creating an environment, a culture, where learning is a virtue. Oh sure, some individual “stars” will be born, sooner or later, but we are hard pressed to have a really lasting affect on Black peoples’s schools without doing a cultural 180.
Pianist composer Sun Ra said it, and I’ll repeat it and repeat it. “We’re on the right road. We’re just headed in the wrong direction.”
Black people should want to become, once again, the prosperous, united, intelligent, peaceful people we once were, who gave civilization to the world. If that was the case, our schools would be academies, everywhere. Continue reading →
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Photojournalist Askia Muhammad is also a poet, and a radio and television commentator. He is News Director at Pacifica Radio’s WPFW-FM in Washington and host of “Tuesday Morning Jazz” since 1979 on WPFW; Senior Correspondent for The Final Call; he writes a weekly column in The Washington Informer; he has been an occasional commentator on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered;” and BET.com. He is Editor of National Scene News Bureau, a freelance news agency serving broadcasting, editorial and photographic clients.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â “Askia Muhammad is a personal friend and a superb political analyst,” wrote Congressman John Conyers (D-MI). “He knows both the players and the issues.” Continue reading →
I confess that at first I was a little embarrassed that I did not join the pack with my own full-throated condemnation of Sudan over Darfur.
So now, here comes President George W. (For “worst in history”) Bush, slapping more sanctions on Sudan, and the chorus screaming “genocide” got louder still. Uh-oh.
Recently I talked to several Black folks who visited Sudan, including Darfur this Spring. More than one of them defended Sudan citing Paul Joseph Goebbels, the German Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda during the Nazi regime, and his “Big Lie Technique.”
To wit: “never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.” They said someone is practicing “The Big Lie” against Sudan.
Now that President George W. (for “Worst in history”) Bush’s former Special Assistant, and the Chief of Staff for Vice President Dick Cheney—I. Lewis Libby—has been sentenced to jail time for lying during the investigation of the administration’s smear campaign of a critic of Bush’s immoral war of aggression in Iraq, the President must now be hearing the footsteps of the Ghost of Justice and Constitutional rule-of-law, coming up fast behind him.
Beginning with his “selection” by a one-vote margin on the Supreme Court, and not an “election” by the American electorate (which gave more votes to his opponent in 2000), the President has used his awesome powers to systematically murder the rule of law and all semblances of American Justice, in ways we know, and in many ways I’m sure, we don’t know. Continue reading →
(And two days after-the-fact, The Washington Post agrees in its lead editorial on June 3, 2007. I told you, I told you so.)
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in Hawaii May 31, that South Korea or Japan could be the model for the future in Iraq.
Gates told reporters that “a mutual agreement” with Iraq in which “some force of Americans . . . is present for a protracted period of time, but in ways that are protective of the sovereignty of the host government,” is what the future holds.
Mutual agreement, protective of the sovereignty of the host government, my eye! Protective of American corporations is more like it. Continue reading →