Sunday, December 21, 2014

Incendiary (Racist) Media Headlines Ignore Cop Killer Shot Girlfriend

For a black man to shoot his black girl friend and then murder two cops loses its explosive power to rile up the American public. It muddies the narrative of surgical executions carried out by a mentally balanced person, whose only issue was vengeance against the cops for the killing of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.  So, the wounded black female becomes a non-entity in the thousands of news headlines in media outlets around the country.

American news media, please get a grip.  In the end, everything in life is not about the financial bottom line.  It is about the many setbacks and occasional triumphs of trying to build a multi-ethnic democracy.  If you did your jobs more consistently, with professionalism and integrity, maybe the level of bigotry and mutual distrust fueled by ignorance in this society would be diminishing rather than arming itself to the teeth.

CORRECTION:  I apologize for originally stating that the killer had also murdered his girlfriend. She was wounded, but is expected to live.  

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Too Bad We Don't Toss Corrupt Prosecutors Like Ferguson, Missouri's McCullough in Guantanamo

American prosecutors have such a nasty habit of manufacturing evidence that now since DNA testing has appeared on the scene, it seems like every week or so prisoners (mostly black) are being released from life sentences for crimes they did not commit.  Why don't we just round up the bad apples and send them to Guantanamo?  I'm not suggesting anybody waterboard these crooks.   I'm merely saying that they should be physically separated from the criminal justice system.  And the Guantanamo solution would be humane since tossing corrupt former prosecutors in prison with the general inmate population would probably be a death sentence.

Without a doubt, candidate #1 could be Bob McCullough.  He is the prosecutor who singlehandedly  fueled racial tensions in Ferguson and around the country by manipulating the Grand Jury and presenting a primary witness, whom he knew from FBI reports to be giving false testimony, which was  incendiary, racist and psychopathic.  According to a recent dairy in DailyKos:

 Since releasing an additional batch of documents from the grand jury proceedings, the public has learned that one witness in particular, Sandra McElroy, also popularly known as witness #40, was thoroughly discredited in her interrogation by the FBI a month before she ever appeared on two separate occasions before the grand jury.
In this interrogation, the FBI proved that McElroy, whose testimony would eventually mirror Wilson's better than any other witness, was never actually at the scene of the shooting and had concocted an elaborate and preposterous hoax of a narrative on why she was there, how she drove in, how she mysteriously drove off the scene, how she saw the entire incident from close range, how nobody could confirm her being there, how she had a deep and ugly racist history, and so much more. By the time she finished her interview with the FBI, McElroy had perjured herself not one or two times, but well over 100 times. Her story, insulting, demeaning, and fundamentally outrageous was completely debunked by the FBI over and over again, yet Bob McCulloch, fully aware of this, called her not once, but twice as a witness.
So how did Bob McCulloch justify this criminal act?  In a radio interview, McCullough said that he decided to allow witnesses to testify "even if their statements were not accurate."  In this way he lumped together actual eyewitness accounts of people struggling to remember details of what had happened with those of a woman whom he knew was dozens of miles away from the scene of the crime and only came forth because of racial feelings that drove her to boost the story given by the policeman Darren Wilson.  However, this was the only witness quoted hundreds of times on Fox News and by Sean Hannity as evidence that the Wilson was not responsible for the unarmed teenager's death.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Are Americans & North Koreans Secret Allies After All?

Now that a new poll shows a majority of Americans supporting torture, I will begrudgingly have to admit that the United States of America and North Korea are not as culturally removed from one another as most of us had once thought.  This is embarrassing, shameful even.  But reality so often is. And this brings me to that movie, "The Interview."    Just because a particular ethnic group is not buying tickets to your movie, it doesn't give you the license to make them the butt of your jokes.

Yes, the North Koreans appear to be a criminally absurd bunch.  But now it turns out, so are we.  The dial on my  laugh-o- meter keeps getting stuck though when those jokes roll around to the hummus, pasta sauce and pureed raisins being injected.   You see, that's what happens when we lose our "moral authority," when our former President turns out to have told a bald-faced lie about engaging in torture,  and when the psychopaths who ran the program are appearing on talk shows.  These are people who should long ago have be institutionalized in strait-jackets.  

Who is America to lecture any country about human rights violations?  Maybe the North Koreans can make a comedy about us and distribute it around the world.   At the very least the American taxpayers should be getting a refund in the mail for whatever was spent on the charade of maintaining a State Department Human Rights Office for all these years.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Belongs to Everyone (or a Little History Lesson for Christians)

Now that the holiday season is upon us, I've begun seeing those ever so ubiquitous "Keep Christ in Christmas" bumper-stickers.  I don't mind in the least being told to keep Jesus Christ in Xmas as long as we understand how he got there in the first place.  

Christians Borrowed Xmas from Pagan Roman Celebration
Where is Christmas mentioned in the Bible?  It isn't because early Christians borrowed the holiday from the Roman's pagan celebration of Saturnalia, the god of agriculture and harvest.   Failing to stamp out paganism, 4th century Roman Church leaders decided (without any evidence whatsoever) that the birthday of Jesus Christ coincided with the week-long pagan feast of Saturnalia.

Winter festivals celebrated on the day of the year in which the sun was at its lowest point in the sky, have been common throughout the world.  While the gift-giving and merrymaking traditions of modern Christmas came from Saturnalia, the lights and donations to charity were borrowed from the Roman New Year. The evergreens used in decorations for the holiday came from an ancient English tradition, where priests of the woods called Druids used holly and mistletoe during their holiday of the winter solstice to symbolize eternal life and evergreen branches to ward off evil spirits.

The Christmas tree and yule logs were plucked from pagan Germanic feasts.  The word "yule" came from a pre-Christian Scandinavian holiday of the same name, which took place in late December or early January.

Christmas is the one true ecumenical holiday on our modern calendar.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dick Cheney IS America (Did We Really Think the World Hated Us for No Reason?)

Don't you think it's a bit late for us to cry and blubber about our "moral authority," after we've already killed 200,000 Afghans and Iraqis?    Yes, we now have the Torture Report in front of us and that psychopath Dick Cheney defending it on national television, although he claims he never got around to reading it.  But what difference does it make?

After 9/11 America became a lynch mob, pure and simple.  Half the country is still running around in that mode.  Osama bin Laden probably performed the dastardly act to knock us off our high horse so that the world could see that we were just as immoral and as much a violator of human rights as everyone else when push came to shove. He was only wrong in the sense that we turned out to be even more depraved than most. 

America is not exceptional.  Maybe that should become our new mantra. America is as ordinary as every other bully, which has used its might to pretend that it is something other than what it really is.  

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Police Unions Expose Thug-Like Culture of American Law Enforcement Agencies

Where are all the good policemen hiding?  I don't mean the ones, who help elderly ladies, maybe even black ones as well, cross the busy streets.  I mean the ones who intervene in order to stop a fellow officer as he chokeholds or kicks, or shoots to death a suspect, who may not even be armed.  The partner will in all likelihood observe the "Blue Code of Silence," and even refuse to rat on his buddy, regardless of the severity of the moral or criminal breach.  The American public first heard this term during the 1991 Rodney King incident, where the man was beat senseless by multiple police officers.

I reflected on this aspect of police culture when I learned this morning that the police union referred to as the "Patrolmen's Benevolent  Association" had announced that it would not allow New York Mayor Bill  de Blasio to attend the funerals of policemen who were killed in the line of duty.  According to an article in the New York Observer:
Mr. Lynch [the union head] has been outspoken critic of Mr. de Blasio, particularly in the wake of the death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who died on Staten Island as a police officer tried to arrest him. Mr. Lynch has been a strong defender of the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, and said Mr. de Blasio’s remarks about his son’s interactions with police left officers “thrown under the bus” by the mayor.

I can understand a policeman's union taking a hard stance when it comes to collective bargaining, but here the issue is murder.  And the attitudes exhibited in New York have been representative of those in Ferguson, Missouri and of police forces and associations across the country.  But this business of protecting their own,  no matter what the moral details, including those who break the law or cover-up murder, is, when you really get down to it,  the mentality of the Mafia. Why should we Americans quietly accept such gangsterism from those responsible for upholding the law?

Far too many folks tolerate this thuggish behavior on the part of law enforcement agencies, because they labor under the assumption that these loose cannons will keep them safe. But let me be blunt.  You're a fool if you think they won't be coming after you too when the opportunities in the poorer parts of town dry up.  

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Profit-Driven Corporate Media's Dilemma: It Must Slant News Because 40% of Market Made up of Bigots

What's a national media outlet to do, when it yearns to maintain a high standard of professional journalism, but is beholden to shareholders to increase profits and a good 35% to 40% of its market audience are hard-line racists and bigots?

I'm not referring to FOX News.  That percentage probably hovers in the 95% range, although a good chunk of that block are individuals who would never label themselves as prejudiced and think that the only real  bigots running around America are Al Sharpton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and, of course, President Barack Obama.   

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Police Brutality is Retaliation for Black Man Elected President TWICE

Police Brutality
This is my "ah-ha" movement.  I haven't come up with a new theory of relativity. But I have finally figured out something that a few of you may find of value.  It is the answer to why militarized police forces around the country have been summarily executing black men and boys.  They are retaliating for the election of an African-American president, whom their political leaders assured them could never win.  This happened not once but twice.  Of course these political leaders had alot on their minds, what with wrecking the economy, espying Russia out the bathroom window,  or vacationing with the family dog tied to the roof of the car.

Murdering unarmed blacks is what bigoted, unhinged policemen do. Their female counterparts try to get their licks in with a mean cattiness, like attacking the president's teenage daughters.  This is out of spite no doubt, trying to reframe the Obama girls to fit the stereotype of "black females dressing like they were bar hopping and on their way to becoming welfare queens."  But the public wouldn't buy it and that had to stick in the craw of the kinds of women who yearn for the return of the Old Confederacy. This is doubly, even trebly so  after their heroine ended up in such an embarrassing predicament, with a pregnant, unmarried teenage daughter, a nude-posing son-in-law and metamphetamine-selling (almost)-mother-in-law. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Eric Garner, Nazi Sympathisers and American Grand Juries

NYPD Chokehold Killing of Eric Garner
I'm not a lawyer and I really don't understand the "finer" details of our criminal justice system. But I do have enough common sense to recognize murder were I to see it on videotape.  A grand jury is shown an authenticated video of a man being grabbed off the street by a policeman and choked to death with an illegal chokehold.  And yet they decide that the law enforcement officer should not be brought to trial.

My heart is broken as I bear witness to America morphing into a bonafided police state.  It had long met the first requirement, but as of today, it has now met the second one as well.  In order to achieve police state status, it becomes first necessary to develop a highly militarized system of law enforcement.  It must see itself as protecting the interests of one population group against an internal enemy  (African-Americans in this case) .  The second requirement is nurturing an amoral docility in the population.    

Have you ever wondered how Nazi Germany was able to round up the Jews, build concentration camps and then begin exterminating 6 million innocent people?  Maybe it started with members of the German equivalent of a Grand Jury  being so malleable they could have watched a video (had they been invented at the time) of an SS officer grabbing a Jew off the street, choking him to death and then allowing themselves to be persuaded by a slick prosecutor that such behavior was appropriate, permissible and possibly even patriotic!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

American Health Care Workers Dishonored Their Profession During Ebola Crisis

Those who continue to defend quarantine-breaking health practitioners like Dr. Nancy Snyderman of NBC or Nurse Kaci Hickox miss the point. James Massey of Texas Woman's University eloquently described the real danger to us all:  
It's a question of leadership vs convenience. People look to healthcare providers for guidance when there is a risk that serious. If there had been an actual outbreak stateside, people would need to obey quarantine, right? Well, if you have selfish people like Snyderman blowing off quarantine the uniformed would have a much greater chance of blowing it off too.
What if Ebola had in fact landed on American shores. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

So-Called Christians Who Preach Hatred & Bigotry are Actually Satanists and Maybe They Deserve Our Candor

I'm not a theological person. But every now and then the labels that help us make sense of the world get so twisted around, that people start calling "up" down and "rotten water-buffalo meat" prime rack of lamb.  Alas, this is not useful.

Just the other day, I read the comments of recently fired GOP communications director, Elizabeth Lauten.  She posted a rant on Facebook, deriding the Obama daughters for presumably dressing like they were bar hopping. When the woman's vile remarks met with intense criticism Ms. Lauten announced that "after many hours of prayer"  she realized how hurtful her words were and issued a generic apology to no one in particular.  I reflected on her words.  Not meaning to be facetious, I really must ask: who was she praying to? Why did those who commented assume she was a Christian, directing her supplications to God?

I have no interest in judging people. That's not my point.  But I do find it useful and necessary in the dangerous world in which we live to see reality as clearly as I possibly can.  If someone blows up a building, killing innocent people, I call that person a terrorist, even if he calls himself a saint. If someone devotes him or herself to the Bible and derives from that exposure behavior steeped in hatefulness and bigotry, it would be safe to assume that I'm dealing with a Satanist rather than a Christian.  And maybe we would all be better off knowing how our behavior is perceived by others.  

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Not the First Time GOP Staffer Who Slut-Shamed Obama's Daughters Had to Apologize for Sleazy Message

President Obama's Daughters Insulted by Congressman's Staffer
Congressman Fincher's communications director, Elizabeth Lauten, has a bad habit of pushing the wrong button on her keyboard and having to apologize for sleazy messages going to a wider than intended audience. On Thanksgiving, she turned her filthy mouth to suggesting at the annual White House comedy turkey pardoning ceremony that President and Mrs. Obama's children "[should] dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar."  She prefaced that remark by commenting:  “Then again your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter, so I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department.”

Just three months earlier this woman who apparently considers herself the Emily Post of teen fashion and good taste sent a tweet to the Congressman's twitter account about loving to shag (urban dictionary=slang for "having sex").  Ms. Lauten apologized, explaining that she was referring to a favorite song (click here).

I don't mean to be unfair to this woman, but could she have a drinking problem?  Whatever the case, Elizabeth Lauten clearly has an issue with impulse control and even more clearly does not need to hold a position in which she interprets the reputation of a United States Congressman to the American public.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

We're Told Michael Brown Was Just a "Thug" But GOP's Been Calling President Obama Just a "Thug" for 6 Years

There is a price to be paid for dehumanizing the first African-American president of the United States, who won two elections with resounding victories.  If this Harvard Law school graduate is "just a thug," then where does that leave the other 34 million of us, whose achievements pale by comparison?  Jamelle Bowie of the Daily Beast agrees with Richard Sherman that "thug" has become the new "N-word."  Bowie explains: 

Friday, November 28, 2014

How America Treats Defiance in Whites -- Nurse Kaci Hickox; in Blacks -- a Dead Unarmed Teenager


Nurse Kaci Hickox Defied Authority and Became a Celebrity 
Most people would see little if anything in common between the nurse who returned home from Ebola-ridden Sierra Leone and Michael Brown.  But they should.  Kaci Hickox refused to go into quarantine and had armed policemen  jogging down the street trying to keep up with her as she went for a bike ride.  This woman defied the immigration authorities and the police in two states.  She publicly defied the Governors of New Jersey and Maine.  And for her act of  noncompliance she ended up on the television talk shows, a hero for the cause of people showing Ebola symptoms (possibly contaminating hundreds with a deadly virus because they don't believe the laws regarding quarantines should apply to them).

Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri was jaywalking, defied one  policeman, who told him to get off the street.  The unarmed eighteen year old ended up dead, his bullet-ridden body left out for hours on the cold pavement. ABC paid the policeman who shot him $500,000 for an interview. The crowdsourcing website raised $432,000 on behalf of Darren Wilson, before halting further donations.  

Nurse Hickox knew "her place" in American society. But apparently the young black Michael Brown didn't know his. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Grand Jury Should Be Arrested for Inciting Riot

Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson described Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager he shot and killed, as an "almost supernatural predator whose uncanny strength put the officer at mortal risk".  The fact that a grand jury would have taken this garbage seriously should be taken as grounds either for the dismissal of their verdict or their arrest in having incited the ensuing riot.  

How dare the American criminal justice system use people so carefully chosen for the ease at which they can be manipulated to acquit Gestapo-like police forces in the murder of unarmed black teenagers.  The United Nations should be called in to investigate this outrage. 

Rioting is an Irrational Response to an Irrational Justice System that Destroys the Lives of Black Males

What does rioting accomplish?  Life would be so much more pleasant if poor people didn't burn down buildings.  But then again, their irrationality is responding in kind to an American justice system that has fooled alot of white people into believing that it is rational and impartial. Well, actually it is for them.

However, as the mother of a black son, I know for an empirical fact, that our justice system is horribly flawed for my kind.  In truth, it needs to be burned down to the ground.  But what I'm referring to is an abstraction, a complex set of legal structures, not a bricks and mortar building that can be incinerated.  So, while I don't condone rioting, I do understand it as an expression of powerless rage.

When it comes to black males, there is only one jury.   It has a full schedule, traveling around the country acquitting armed white law enforcement agents or aspiring agents after they have murdered unarmed black teenagers.  This year, the troupe played at being a Ferguson, Missouri grand jury, which just so happened to acquit a white police officer for killing an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown.  Last year, wearing a slightly different disguise they acquitted a white police-wanna-be, who murdered an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin.  

If you're a black teenager, beware.  They could be shopping around in the costume shop at this very moment, trying on their next set of disguises, getting ready for their next mock trial.

RELATED POST:  Grand Jury Should Be Arrested for Inciting Riot    

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Zionists Fleeing Israel for Europe Leaving Behind Ultra-Orthodox Who Support Palestinian Cause

Ultra-Orthodox Israelis Defy Zionism
All wars end sooner or later.  Israel has reached a strategic dead-end and a growing number of disenchanted Zionists are quietly expressing their views about the future with their passports. In an article entitled "Why Jews Flee to Europe" Globe and Mail reporter Doug Saunders observed:
 Amid growing tensions and tough economic conditions, tens of thousands of educated middle-class Jews are fleeing every year – not out of the continent, but rather from Israel into Europe, and especially to Germany, which has become the chief destination (after the United States) for the half-million Israelis who have left the country amid its much-discussed “brain drain.
The Jerusalem Post criticized a report published in a German newspaper which claimed that "tens of thousands of Israeli Jews had fled Israel for Germany."  In truth, the number of Jews who had relocated to the German Republic was closer to 11,000.  Even so, an estimated 700,000 mostly secular Jews have abandoned the "Promised Land" since the founding of Israel in 1948.

But if more and more secular Jews leave Israel, what does that mean in terms of the ongoing war with the Palestinians?  Ironically, many of the ultra-orthodox or Haredi Jews rejected Zionism from the very beginning and continue to do so.  They claim that the Jewish state could only be formed through Divine intervention with the coming of the Jewish messiah.  They also believe that attempts to force history are courting disaster. The ultra-orthodox even receive exemption from compulsory military service.

Neturei Karta is the most vocal anti-Zionist organization of ultra-orthodox Jews. It calls for dismantling the Jewish State, maintained a prayer vigil outside the hospital where the dying Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat lay on his deathbed and marched into Gaza to protest the Israeli invasion. Zionists consider groups like Neturei Karta fringe movements. But as the Jewish demographics continue to shift on account of out migrations, their influence will only grow.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bravo Mr. President For Acting "Presidential" on Immigration Reform

Let me see.  Is the GOP going to shock the nation by calling President Obama, a dictator? But wait a minute, elected officials have been calling him that for the past six years.  Some have even likened him to Adolf Hitler and this was when he was bending over backwards trying to work with the Republicans.  At least one elected official has even gone on record calling the President of the United States a nig---

The GOP has been stoking the lunatic fringe Clive Bundy types since our first African-American President entered the Oval Office. Barack Obama has faced more assassination attempts than all the other American presidents put together.  Republicans have already shut down the government once and tried to force the U.S. to default on its debts. What next? If sedition and insurrection is what you want, stop shilly-shallying, and get on with it.

In the meantime I hope our President uses his executive powers to pass 50 more controversial bills.  And what will the GOP call him then -- oh yeh "a dictator."

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bill Cosby, Woody Allen and Israel Have Alot in Common These Days

Bill Cosby, Woody Allen and Israel seem to be suffering from the same problem.  They can no longer control and manipulate the news that the American public is receiving about them.  The emergence of the Internet and social media have devastated the reputations of all three. But in the meantime, it may have saved the freedom of the press provision in the 1st Amendment to the Constitution.

Until now, freedom of the press all too often translated into the liberties taken by those who owned and controlled the media to manipulate public opinion at will.  Why are we just now hearing the  news that America's Dad, Bill Cosby, is a sexual predator, who for years was drugging and raping women?  Or how about the revelations about Woody Allen having sexually abused one of Mia Farrow's daughters, then taken nude photos of the other, whom he subsequently married?

Scandals involving "well-loved celebrities" who preyed on innocent victims, while paying public relations firms, lawyers and a well-honed network of friendships in the corporate media to overlook their peccadillos is bad enough.  But our non-freedom of the press had explosive political ramifications as well.  Is it pure coincidence that American public opinion is turning against Israeli oppression of the Palestinians only now when the social media, Youtube videos and twitter feeds can bypass the pre-packaged presentations of the Arab-Israeli conflict?  Israel was at the top of their game when all the public knew came from a popular novel -- Exodus by Leon Uris.  It was the narrative of suffering, heroism and triumph.  The dropping of smart bombs on Gaza at the cost of 2200 civilian lives this year alone,  Jewish settlements consuming what was supposed to be a Palestinian state, and crazed religious fanatics threatening to blow up Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam would never even have made on the back pages of yesteryear's newspapers.  Israelis are simply not accustomed to hearing more moral outrage coming from the global community at their murder of thousands of civilians in Gaza, than an admittedly tragic incident in which six Israelis were killed in a Jerusalem synagogue.

Nowadays the corporate media plays catch-up.  The real, tough news comes out first on social media channels.  The press and news stations then have no choice but to cover issues that they wold have remained silent about, while accumulating shelves full of Pulitzer prizes, on the kinds of investigative journalism that didn't rock the owners social lives nor their bottom lines.

Monday, November 17, 2014

FDA Guidelines May Increase Rate of Prostate Cancer in Black Males

Prostate Cancer Risk for Black Males
African-American males have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world. The "why" of it may not be all that hard to fathom.  But first let me say that West Africans, the genetic ancestors of black males, have an exceedingly low incidence of this disease.  So, the problem appears to be some aspect of life in America that is altering this picture so drastically.  

Recent studies have targeted an over-consumption of calcium as increasing the risk of prostate cancer in men.  But why might this factor play a far more devastating role for black men as opposed to their white counterparts?  The answer appears to lie in the fact that blacks process calcium more efficiently than do other groups.  It is for this reason that African-Americans drink little milk, because of lactose intolerance, and yet have the strongest bone mineral density and lowest rate of osteoporosis of any ethnicity living in the United States.  What this biological factor also means is that an over-consumption of calcium will occur in most black males at a lower intake of the mineral than would be the case with men of Northern European ancestry.  But herein lies the problem.