Poverty: Policies and Possibilities

by Shannon PrincePovertyStory           

Regulation of industry can be a very good thing, but requiring licenses to braid hair is oppressive and stupid. "Since time immemorial black women have braided hair in open air and in kitchens and on front porches without licensing, to no societal ill effect," writes the author. Any anti-poverty offensive should recognize that "poor people can use themselves as weapons against poverty." Far more injurious to society than unlicensed hair-braiders, are welfare regulations that harm "disproportionately families of color, forcing men to sneak to see their children and treating would-be wives like slaves sold to a different plantation."

Freedom Rider: Obama is Not King

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberleyobama-mlk

It is the height of historical distortion to compare President-Elect Barack Obama in any way, shape or form to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King "is probably the only person in American history who gave up a close relationship with a president," Lyndon Johnson, "because his convictions demanded it." Those convictions were anchored in King's opposition to "racism, materialism and militarism." Obama, conversely, makes common cause with financial speculators and militarists. Under the current system, "It is simply impossible to be both a fighter for justice and president of the United States."

Human Rights Day Celebration in Gaza

PalestiniansGazaby Abukar Arman

December 10 marks the 60th
anniversary of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, yet the document
holds no sway in Palestine, where "an entire population is being brutally
punished." Israel, the occupying power, refuses to recognize the Declaration's
authority. Gaza's, "million and a half human beings are being imprisoned with
almost no access to the outside world." The president of the UN General
Assembly has "called on the international community to consider stricter
measures against Israel ....measures similar to those taken against South Africa
in the 1980s that include ‘boycott, divestment and sanctions.'"

Cholera Outbreak Outcome of West’s War on Zimbabwe

ZimbabweCholeraby Stephen Gowans

Zimbabwe is facing multiple crises because of
savage western assaults on its economy and the viability of its state
machinery. The goal is regime change. U.S.-British sanctions against Zimbabwe
are a form of warfare, like the sanctions that led to a million deaths in
pre-invasion Iraq. The cholera outbreak is useful to Washington and London,
making "Zimbabwe's crisis international, because disease can cross borders." If
the destabilization of Zimbabwe is successful, other African nations "will back
away from their own land reform and economic indigenization demands" - a
victory for imperial supremacy.

U.S. Business Says No Mas to Cuba Embargo

CubaEmbargoU.S. business groups have joined the vast
majority of the world's nations in requesting that President-Elect Obama
quickly end the 47-year-long American trade embargo against Cuba. The economic
blockade isolates the U.S., not Cuba. "In a sense, the United States is
embargoing itself."
 
Click the flash player below to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary
{mp3}20081210gf_cuba{/mp3}

Black Colleges Face Whiteout


BlackCollegesWhite Georgia
politicians want to force two historically Black universities to merge with white schools, to reduce "duplicative" costs and end a "legacy of segregation.
"When a Georgia Republican goes on a crusade against the vestiges of Jim Crow,
it's time to watch out!"
 
Click here to listen to this Black Agenda Radio commentary
{mp3}20081210gf_hbcu{/mp3}

Power to the People in Time of Crisis

PowerToPeopleThe raw numbers of
dollars spent on economic recovery are not as important as transforming
relations of power in the U.S. "Only a great shift in power relationships,
seizing it from the financial oligarchy to empower the great majority, can hope
to bring even a semblance of stability and relief to the people as a whole."
 
Click the flash player below to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary
{mp3}20081210gf_empower{/mp3}

Somalia Ought To Be Obama's Litmus Test

by Sadia Ali AdenSomaliWar

The test of Barack Obama's policies in Africa
and worldwide begins with his handling of the war against Somalia, his
inheritance from George Bush. The "world's worst humanitarian disaster" (about
which Obama has not uttered a single word), is the product of America's "proxy
war in the Horn of Africa" in partnership with Washington's client, Ethiopia. In
this unholy alliance, "Ethiopian troops are killing civilians by slitting their
throats and gang-raping women," according to Amnesty International. Next month,
Obama must take responsibility for "over one million internally displaced
persons and nearly 3.5 million on the verge of starvation" in Somalia.

Susan Rice is Bad News for Africa

Riceby BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Barack Obama's nominee for United Nations Ambassador is a very aggressive woman - militarily speaking. Susan Rice is "more bellicose" than George Bush when it comes to threatening Sudan over the plight of the people of Darfur, "while simultaneously backing a savage U.S.-Ethiopian assault that causes an even larger humanitarian calamity in Somalia." One is forced to conclude that "Susan Rice's brand of ‘humanitarian intervention' is a farce, a pretext to justify military aggression under the guise of preventing human suffering."

Freedom Rider: Mumbai and American Terror

mumbaiby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

"Terror is usually the result of unacknowledged grievance. Muslims are mad at the United States, Great Britain and the Indian government." This should be obvious, but "as always, Americans never see a connection between themselves, the acts of terror committed by their own government and anger directed at them around the globe." The victims in Mumbai are mourned in the United States, "as they should be. The victims of the United States government in Iraq and Afghanistan are not.

The White, White House Press Corps

reporter

by Sam Fulwood III

Black White House reporters are dwindling, even
as the nation's first Black president prepares to move in. "We are going
to integrate the Oval Office long before we integrate the media that covers the
president," said a veteran African American journalist. Jesse Jackson's
two bids for the White House a generation ago resulted in a respectable Black
press contingent on the campaign trail. Might Barack Obama insist on a larger
Black press presence at the White House? Said one Black media analyst: "He's
not going to be that kind of president."

The Human Zoo: Making Jamaica Fit For Foreign Corporations

john_mawell06by John Maxwell

Jamaica is going to "borrow money to destroy the
integrity of Jamaica's loveliest town, dilapidated though it may be now, in the
interest of a foreign corporation." After despoiling much of the island's
natural beauty through industrial and tourist-generated pollution, the
government now proposes to spend US$122 million to develop Falmouth harbor to
accommodate super cruise ships. Says the author: "We are prostituting ourselves
for a foreign entity with no obligation or loyalty to Jamaica."

The Great Land Giveaway: Neo-Colonialism by Invitation

costa_rica

by James Petras

Newly emerging nations have joined with the
usual neocolonial suspects in a massive bid to buy up poorer countries'
available land. How do they pull it off? "The process of agro-imperial empire
building operates largely through political and financial mechanisms, preceded,
in some cases, by military coups, imperial interventions and destabilization
campaigns." One factor might end the land grab. "The biggest constraint on the
advance of agro-imperialism is the economic collapse of world capitalism."

Obama Revitalizes Disaster Capitalism: The Shock Doctrine Receives a Make-Over

shockby Carolyn Baker

The president-elect's "adherence to neoliberal, globalist
policies couched in the rhetoric of ‘change' but offering no substantial
departure from the ultimate strategies of imperialism, corporate capitalist
supremacy, and almost total ignorance (or ignore-ance) of the energy and
environmental suicide perpetuated by endless growth." Yes, it's that bad. Obama
economics advisor Larry Summers "has embraced "the three ‘ations'...
privatization, stabilization, and liberalization." Obama trusts the advice of
someone who has been "preaching the [shock capitalism] doctrine."

Troubled White Troops on Ghetto Streets

troopsby Glen Ford

Washington wants "to assign 20,000 federal
troops to cope with terrorist attacks, domestic disasters and civil unrest." A
mixture of plain old racism plus rampaging PTSD and a counter-insurgency
mentality makes U.S. soldiers a threat to life and limb on ghetto streets.

Click the flash player below to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary

{mp3}20081203gf_comitatus{/mp3}

Corporate Economists Tell Lies for a Living

wall_street_da_signby Glen Ford
 
Corporate-oriented
members of the economics profession are "shills and boosters" for the
(one-time) Titans of finance capital "The economists most cited in corporate
media are shills and boosters for capitalism in general, and Wall Street in
particular.
 
Click the flash player below to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary
{mp3}20081203gf_recession{/mp3}

Liar, Liar!! Barack Obama's Secretary of War

montage113
 by BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon
 
Some Obama supporters are wringing their hands over the selection of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.  Hillary was, after all, a consistent supporter of the disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and much more.  But Barack Obama's selection of Reaganite and Bush family operative Robert Gates to continue as Secretary of War speaks volumes about the new administration's willingness to continue pulling the same wool over the public eyes as Democratic and Republican administrations past have done.  Is this the "change" tens of millions voted for?

The Neo-Yeltsin Administration? The Obama Letdown

dr-michael_hudson
by Michael Hudson
 
Although president-elect Barack Obama ran on a promise of "change", explains economist Michael Hudson, one has to look awfully hard and more than a little wishfully at his economic recovery team to see much of it.  The bailout, which the new administration owns as much as the old one, is calculated to bail out wealthy investors and leave untouched the housing and debt crises of tens of millions of American families.  The bailout may also prevent the new administration's proposed investments in jobs and infrastructure.

A Little Matter of Genocide

an audio speech by Ward Churchillward_churchill

Until recently, scholars have taught generations of American youth that there were at most a million natives in what is now the continental US when Europeans first reached these shores.  But demographic studies now indicate between 12 and 18 times that number lived here before Columbus, making the proportional native American population arguably the greatest and most thorough genocide in recorded history.  

Among much else, Dr. Churchill reminds us that during the conquest of this continent United States, bounties on Indian scalps, preferably with ears attached, were paid in what are now every one of the 48 states of the continental U.S.

Click the link below to hear this 29 minute presentation by Dr. Ward Churchill.

Community Organizer VS Corrupt Politician: The December 6 New Orleans Congressional Election

112_montage

by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon

The
December 6 New Orleans congressional election isn't just a local
choice between a privatizing "minority" Republican, a notoriously corrupt
Democrat and a caring, competent community organizer running on the
Green Party ticket. In these times when anyone, anywhere can
contribute to the efforts of real progressives with the click of a
mouse, or volunteer to reach undecided voters, the days leading to
this election are a test of whether there exists even the shadow of a
national movement mature enough to hold any black Democrats the least
bit accountable to the needs of his constituents

As is often the case, the Republican and the Democrat represent more of the same. But this time there's another choice.

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