Last week's drive-by to New Orleans showed President Obama at his public relations worst, inviting comparisons to his predecessor in the White House. Obama lectured and insulted critics, compared concerned citizens of the ravaged city to “special interests,” and pleaded Constitutional impediments to delivering more federal assistance. it's hard to argue that electing a black president made much difference to the present and former black residents of the Gulf Coast.
A cartoonish recruiting campaign underway by the US Navy brands it “a global force for good,” as though military forces existed to build hospitals or schools or public works rather than to break things, kill and terrorize people in the service of America's global empire. If you want to know what kind of force the US military is oveseas you might ask new mothers in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, mothers whose wombs are spitting out the bitter fruit of our “global force for good.”
Iowa City, Iowa went wild for Barack Obama in '08, earning a reputation among it's more conservative neighbors as “The People’s Republic of Johnson County.” But when a white deputy sheriff shot to death a homeless Black man at the urging of a local white drunk, the “liberal” oasis behaved much like any racist backwater town.
Teacher union-bashing has become a sport among the business class and their minions in both major parties. Teachers unions, it is claimed, keep “bad” educators on the job, doing the public a disservice. But few politicians attack police unions for defending officers “accused of using excessive force against citizens, even when such force results in death.” And grossly overpaid incompetents on Wall Street put the entire world economy at peril – yet are rewarded with taxpayer dollars.
Thursday in Phoenix and Portland, in Los Angeles and Washington DC and five other cities across the nation 54 people were arrested while many hundreds more conducted nonviolent demonstrations outside the offices of piratical health insurance companies. The election is over. Maybe a movement is beginning.
If you cannot see the video above, click here. To find out how you can help put single payer, the people's choice for medical care back on the table in your city, go to www.mobilizeforhealthcare.org.
by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon At the Nobel announcement of this year's peace prize a reporter asked the Nobel spokesman “why”, since the man had only been in office less than a year, and had done so little to merit the honor. The spokesman replied that the prize had been given not so much for anything Obama had done, but in the spirit of hope and encouragement, for what he might do. Maybe.
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
Strange things happen when members of the oppressed and despised group rise to power and fame. Their backgrounds are magnified, yet still remain one-dimensional in the larger society's eyes. In failing to respect Michelle Obama's ancestors, whose story is common to most Black lineages, the New York Times disrespects the First Lady, as well.
Click the flash player below to listen or the mic to download.
“When Barack Obama declares he is presiding over 'necessary' wars, then those who seek peace must organize the necessary resistance to his wars.” That responsibility weighs even more heavily on Black activists, who must “reignite a Black-led movement to confront this administration's war policies, at home and abroad.” The date is November 7th. The place is Washington, DC.
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“Rev. Al” is a traveling pal with the abominable Newt Gingrich on Education Secretary Arne Duncan's $4.3 billion charter school and high stakes test booster tour. First stop, Philadelphia, where the tightly choreographed Listening and Learning Tour shut out unvetted teachers, student leaders and community activists. Learning in America is becoming a businessman's game.
Charges of genocide against four administrations in Washington and London document the continuity of U.S. and British crimes against Iraq. For nearly a generation, the U.S. and U.K. have collaborated in the attempted murder of a nation. It remains a crime in progress.
A successful movement for change needs more than energy and commitment – it also requires “people feverishly working to redefine for all who want to be active...just what the prize is.” When a war-expanding president is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, peace itself is in need of redefinition. Only the forces of death prosper when “people believe that war is peace, slavery is freedom, ignorance is strength, and lies are truth.”
“Nobel Prizes are offered by the royalists, the status quo upholders, the deniers of class society.” Such people don't want peace, but stability for the existing order. The Nobel Committee prizes continuity above all else. That's why they gave Barack Obama their vote of confidence in his bid to maintain U.S. global domination while shouting less and smiling more. “Barack Obama’s win is the most natural continuation of Nobel Peace Prize tradition.”
The White House kicked off its national initiative against youth violence in Chicago, but community activists charge Administration school policies have exacerbated the mayhem on the streets. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan set off a spiral of violence when he closed down Black neighborhood schools as head Chicago's system. Duncan's shutdowns forced students to cross gang lines to get to and from school every day – a sometimes fatal journey that students across the country will travel more often under President Obama's education plan.
Wall Street's subprime mortgage assault on Black America threatens to wipe out a generation of African American equity, but it's not the first time. The FHA-HUD scandals of the 1970s laid waste to Black neighborhoods in cities across the nation, causing far more damage and urban instability than the “riots” of the previous decade. It appears that few things are more destructive than felonious capital.
The U.S. and Israel, the “most aggressive” nations in the world, routinely commit crimes against international law and civilized norms. Yet they feel quite comfortable in claiming moral authority in the community of nations. Meanwhile, “freedom fighters are branded as terrorists,” and “resistance to oppression is deemed divisive and futile.” Black America understands U.S. barbarity from direct experience. “For the African-American people, the battle cry must be: No War on Iran!”
* Refuse it, like Vietnam's Le Duc Tho did in 1973, because nothing like peace is even on the horizon
* Take it and laugh, like Henry Kissinger also in 1973, less than a year after his Christmas bombing of Hanoi
* Donate the money to Palestinian children maimed by US ordnance in Gaza last year
* Convene another beer summit with Bibi Netenyahu and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (he can drink O'Douls)
On October 8, seven demonstrators were arrested at the Chicago offices of Cigna Insurance. The protests are part of a series begun in New York last week and slated to spread to at least ten cities next week including Washington DC.
"Single payer is inevitable; it’s going to happen," said Kevin Zeese of Prosperity Agenda, one of the nationwide initiators of the campaign. "The question is when." Those who want to make it happen, he added, can sign up at www.mobilizeforhealthcare.com. Just under 700 have already volunteered to risk arrest to make Medicare For All, the only workable plan for universal health care, a near-term reality.
Last week 17 people were arrested in the New York offices of Aetna Insurance, demanding Medicare For All. This week the wave of sit-ins will hit insurance companies in Chicago.
Next week, say organizers, as many as 15 cities will see civilly disobedient actions demanding the kind of everybody-in-nobody-out kind of health care that polling shows two thirds of Americans want, but Washington seems unable to deliver.
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
The first Black president, having just smacked down New York state's first Black governor, refuses to endorse the Democrat who would be New York City's second Black mayor. Is there a pattern here? And where is that “newly energized, enlightened and involved citizenry” that Barack Obama had called forth. Black voters appear to have returned to the apathy from whence they came.
The gentry-pursued Black and poor population of Chicago got a reprieve from the Olympic committee last week. Now it's Rio de Janeiro's turn to invent clever ways to clear out the shantytowns so the games may begin without the distractions of poverty. Walls are already going up around the favelas, to keep the dark hordes from spoiling the sports.
Jesse Jackson Calls for Clinton Pardon But None For Manning, Shakur, Peltier or Political Prisoners
by the Real News Network
Rev. Jackson displays loyalty only to himself and his patrons. In his eyes political prisoners like Mutulu Shakur, Leonard Peltier, Chelsea Manning or Rev. Edward Pinkneydon't deserve pardons, but Hillary Clinton does.