Thursday, December 24, 2009


I'm not sure this is vindication for ACORN, but it's something. ~ No1KState

Investigation Finds ACORN Didn't Break Laws
Christopher WeberEditor

A report commissioned by the House Judiciary Committee found ACORN, a community organizing group heavily criticized after an undercover video surfaced, has not violated any federal regulations.

The study by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service found that ACORN correctly used all federal dollars it received and did not improperly register any voters during last year's presidential election.

ACORN came under fire after undercover video footage surfaced that showed employees discussing prostitution, tax evasion, and smuggling with a couple posing as a pimp and a prostitute. Earlier this month an outside legal expert hired by the group found no laws were broken by staffers caught on video.

While ACORN was found not to have violated any laws, its conservative critics who made the video may have. The CRS report said the covert filming may have broken laws in Maryland and California, where some of the footage was shot. Both states forbid shooting video when both parties aren't aware of the filming.

After the videos surfaced, Congress voted to strip ACORN of federal funding, but the CRS report said courts "may have sufficient basis" to rule that unconstitutional.

ACORN -- the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now -- remains the subject of at least 11 federal, state, and local investigations, according to the report.

Among other things, ACORN's Web site says the group campaigns for better housing, schools, neighborhoods, health care, job conditions, and more for low- and moderate-income families.

Read the full report here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I'm experiencing a sort of brain . . . I can't think of a good word to describe the heaviness I feel in my head and the effort it takes to do anything beyond the most shallow of thinking.

So, not having read this entire article, I forewarn you that I may take it down later. Until then, what I have read is important for everyone to know in the midst of the battles around healthcare reform. ~ No1KState

Health Study For Chicago: Health Gap Widens
Between Blacks, Whites
Problem is worse in Chicago than nationwide,
Sinai Urban Health Institute study says.
A new study finds a widening gulf in the health status
of blacks and whites in Chicago, even though
disparities between blacks and whites nationally
have remained static.
By Deborah L. Shelton
Chicago Tribune
December 18, 2009,0,628023.story

A widening gulf in the health status of blacks and
whites in Chicago comes even as disparities between the
two races nationally have remained relatively constant,
a new study has found.

The disparity is particularly jarring in five areas:
death from all causes, heart disease mortality, breast
cancer mortality, rates of tuberculosis and the
percentage of women who received no prenatal care during
the first trimester of pregnancy.

Nationally, the racial gap got worse from 1990 to 2005
for six of the 15 health indicators researchers studied.
However, in Chicago, disparities worsened for 11 of the
15 indicators, according to research by the Sinai Urban
Health Institute, published online Thursday in the
American Journal of Public Health.

Poverty, segregation and access to health care all
appear to play a role, researchers said. In Chicago
neighborhoods and medical offices, doctors and patients
see the same factors.

Dr. Charles Barron, medical director at Access Southwest
Family Health Center, said many of his patients struggle
to pay for health care.

"Access is definitely an issue, even at federally
qualified health centers such as Access Community Health
Network, which offers treatment on a sliding-scale
basis," he said.

Tonya Jackson, 39, of North Lawndale, takes seven
medications to treat heart failure. She is a patient at
Mount Sinai Hospital, which is widely known for its
initiatives to treat low-income and poor patients.

"Even with health insurance, a lot of medicines are very
expensive," she said. "When you're a single parent,
you're trying to pay rent, you have your child, and
you're trying to pay bills and buy food, so it's
difficult. A lot of people don't get the care they need
because they have to decide whether they want to eat
that day."

Dr. Niva Lubin-Johnson, an African-American physician,
has witnessed the disparities firsthand in her 20-year
solo practice in Chatham.

"Based on what I see," she said, "we have a greater
disease burden, and part of that comes from lifestyle,
part of it comes from income, part of it comes from
health literacy and people not understanding what they
need to do to live a healthy lifestyle."

An author of the study, institute director Steve
Whitman, previously has compared breast cancer
disparities in Chicago and New York. He said the health
of African-Americans in Chicago fares worse than blacks

"The underlying issue here is racism and poverty,"
Whitman said. "In Chicago, it's exacerbated by
segregation. Black people in Chicago are forced to live
in neighborhoods where there are no stores to buy fresh
fruits and vegetables, where schools are failing, where
they don't have parks to exercise in and where they tend
to go to segregated health facilities that are poorly
funded and, in different ways, failing."

Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American
Public Health Association, cautioned about making
geographic comparisons.

"While it is important to measure an urban city like
Chicago against national numbers," Benjamin said, "the
national statistics include lots of places where some of
the challenges of racial disparity don't exist.

"When you average numbers out -- even though researchers
try statistically to correct for some of those things --
you have to be cautious."

But he agreed that racial disparities appear to be
worsening in Chicago.

"Despite Chicago's ... transit system, it still has
pockets of people where people have tremendous problems
accessing care, and that's a huge overlay," Benjamin
said. "Part of it is lack of insurance, and part of it
is access to care."

Ultimately, money might matter most when it comes to
good health, Benjamin said.

"If we were serious about doing something about
eliminating these disparities, we would pay attention to
the social determinants of health that put people in
these situations to begin with," he said. "At the end of
the day, there is very strong correlation between health
and wealth."

Sinai researchers analyzed the 15 measures using data
from city communicable disease records and Illinois
birth and death records.

The study builds on work published in 2004, believed to
be the first to examine the health of blacks and whites
in a major urban center over time and put findings in
the context of national trends.

Researchers reported that the African-American death
rate from breast cancer was 99 percent higher in Chicago
than for white women, a fivefold increase since 1990.

In 1990, blacks in Chicago were 8 percent more likely
than whites to die of heart disease.

In 2005, blacks were 24 percent more likely to die.

In 1990, black women were two times more likely to go
without prenatal care in the first trimester of
pregnancy. By 2005, they were three times more likely to
go without prenatal care.

Most of the measures showed improved health for both
blacks and whites nationally and locally, but whites'
health status improved much more, widening the gap.

If health indicators were equal, 3,200 fewer African-
Americans in Chicago would die every year, or about nine
a day, the study estimates.

Joseph M. Harrington, assistant commissioner for chronic
disease for the Chicago Department of Public Health,
agreed that the problem in Chicago is significant.

"But," he said, "what do we do about it? You can keep
talking about how bad the numbers are, but the real
question is, what do you plan to do?"

The city health department has initiated programs to
address the problem, including a federally funded
project focused on cardiovascular disease among blacks
and Hispanics living in North and South Lawndale,
Harrington said.

"These findings should provoke us to think about what
can be done, that's the call to action," Harrington

"This should provoke us to do something."

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Christmas Miracle

If you learn something more or different, please share, and I'll do the same.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Most People Would Die for a Screening

Literally. And opponents say we can't have a public option because it would lead to healthcare rationing. Here's what you need to know. ~ No1KState

Poor Being Turned Away From Cancer Screenings

ALBANY, N.Y. (Dec. 13) -- As the economy falters and more people go without health insurance, low-income women in at least 20 states are being turned away or put on long waiting lists for free cancer screenings, according to the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network.

In the unofficial survey of programs for July 2008 through April 2009, the organization found that state budget strains are forcing some programs to reject people who would otherwise qualify for free mammograms and Pap smears. Just how many are turned away isn't known; in some cases, the women are screened through other programs or referred to different providers.
. . .
The Cancer Society doesn't have an estimate for what percentage of breast cancer diagnoses come from mammogram screenings, but says women have a 98 percent survival rate when breast cancer is caught early, during stage I. That shrinks to about 84 percent during stages II and III, and just 27 percent at stage IV - when cancer has reached its most advanced point.

"I already know there are women who are dying whose lives we could have saved with mammography and other detections," said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the society.

In New York, the Cancer Society says providers in Manhattan, Brooklyn and western Queens, and in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties project they'll perform nearly 15,000 fewer free mammograms for the fiscal year ending April 2010, compared with the previous year.

The Cancer Society has no way to count how many women are being turned away, and many providers don't keep track of how many are denied screening, or whether those women find another alternative. The cost of screening varies, but the average mammogram is about $100, while a Pap screen can range between $75 and $200, according to the society.

Project Renewal Van Scan, which gives mammograms around New York City, usually targets 6,000 women a year but has cut back to 3,100 this year, director Mary Solomon said.

Each state handles free screenings differently. Some use state funds to supplement federal funding, while others get private assistance from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation and other groups.

At least 14 states cut budgets for free cancer screenings this year: Colorado, Montana, Illinois, Alabama, Minnesota, Connecticut, South Carolina, Utah, Missouri, Washington, Ohio, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Arkansas.

Some states that have cut their budgets have found ways to maintain services; some states that haven't reduced their budgets still find themselves having to turn women away because they don't have enough funding.

"This is rationing of health care by offering (screenings) only in the first half of the fiscal year, or by cutting back on those programs," Brawley said. "It's rationing that is leading to people dying."

New York, which has fought for two years with deficits in the billions, used to screen women of all ages for breast cancer, but after $3.5 million in budget cuts this year, women under 50 - like LaBarge - are no longer eligible unless they have the breast cancer gene or a serious family cancer history. Despite [one patient]'s family history, she was denied screening because of her age and a lack of funding.
. . .
In 2009, the Cancer Society estimates, 34,600 women between 40 and 49 will be found to have breast cancer nationwide; in that age group, 4,300 breast cancer deaths are projected this year.
. . .
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that since 1991, the free screening program has provided more than 8 million exams to more than 3.4 million women, detecting more than 39,000 breast cancers, 2,400 invasive cervical cancers and 126,000 pre-malignant cervical lesions.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

College Football and African Americans

Hey, if you've ever said to someone, "A hundred pennies make a dollar!" then you can understand that 12 inches makes a foot, and 3 feet makes a yard. Football is a game of inches. Every little bit counts. And I think UVA and Louisville just picked up a first down. ~ No1KState

A Historic Week for Minority Coaches

By Richard Lapchick
Special to

One year ago this week, I wrote that we needed a civil rights movement in college football. As of Dec. 8, 2008, there were four African-American coaches left in the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision), the lowest number in 15 years. African-American coaches at Kansas State, Washington and Mississippi State had just lost their jobs. Late in the 2008 hiring process, African-American coaches were hired at New Mexico, New Mexico State and Eastern Michigan -- but those additions hardly made up for the losses at Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC schools. Randy Shannon at Miami (Fla.) was the only African-American BCS conference coach left.

Now, with Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong being introduced as Louisville's new football coach on Wednesday afternoon, everything has changed. With several coaching positions remaining to be filled, there are 11 African-American head coaches, and 13 coaches of color among the 120 FBS schools. That is four more than the previous high in the history of college football. And, most importantly, there are again more coaches of color in the BCS conferences, with Strong in the Big East and Mike London in the ACC at Virginia. Plus, Turner Gill is a serious candidate for a job in the Big 12, at Kansas.
(Click post title for more after break.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

All Natural: ACORN and Woods

Kinda tired so I'll make this quick.

I want to remind you of just two things: ACORN isn't under investigation from anyone, hasn't been convicted or indicted of anything; the Congress was a bit premature and hypocritical to look to end all federal funding to ACORN after well more than just "billions" has been defrauded by several war contractors with which the DoD is still doing business.

So the internal audit was completely voluntary, however necessary for PR. The Washington Post uses an article by the AP to inform readers of the findings of ACORN's internal review: none of ACORN's employees committed any crimes. What they leave out is that several of the videos that started the scandal were edited and left out exculpatory evidence. In San Diego, one employee called his cousin, a police officer, and warned him about possible human trafficking. Employees in Philly also alerted the police.

The people who produced the video, of course, are decry the finding. They say that it's only reasonable that the group paid by ACORN to do the internal review would have a good finding. Though, how else is an internal review done, right? Either from in-group or out-group, but always pay for by the group.

That said, what makes this worse is that the media did none of the basic journalistic investigations that would've uncovered a great deal of what the report found. But instead, they acted make a gossip chain, just repeating what they heard from someone else. And while Rachel Maddow at least highlighted the hypocrisy of the whole thing, at the end of the day, not even MSNBC did much more than discuss the news reporting as though it were news reporting.

And I'm so, so tired of the brouhaha over Tiger Woods. I find it awfully suspect that with adulterers in Congress, even Bill Clinton, and the anti-ED commercial shown during golf - all of a sudden the nation is appalled by the man-hoe. And for a racial angle thanks to Karith Foster (Booooo!! apparently), here's one very good article and here's another.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Oh - Dama!: Updated

h/t racismreview

Since finding that the federal government is settling a longstanding case with American Indians, I'm back in the saddle!

Well . . . back to thinking the Obama administration would be slightly better than the Clinton administration.
I'm officially disillusioned with the Obama administration. This demands intervention.


IRS Auctions Off Crow Creek Sioux Land for $2.5 Million
Leticia Miranda

Roughly 550 years later, Native peoples are still fighting to keep their own land because of broken treaties and erroneous information.

This week, the IRS auctioned off 7,100 acres of Crow Creek Sioux land in Central South Dakota to a Highmore, South Dakota resident by the name of Klein for $2,577,210.

The IRS claims that the Crow Creek Sioux, one of the poorest tribes in the US, failed to pay about 3.1 million dollars in federal employment taxes since 2003. But the tribe says they received false information from the Bureau of Indian Affairs who said they are not required to pay any federal taxes, regardless of any enterprise entities they own, because they are a federally recognized tribe.

Indian Country Today reports:

“The tribe has attempted since then to pay the arrearages and subsequent amounts as they come due, but has been unable to bring the employment taxes current because over this same amount of time the Internal Revenue Services have levied and garnished various accounts of the tribe making it impossible for the tribe to bring the taxes current,” according to the lawsuit.
This marks the second time that the Crow Creek Sioux have lost their land to the US government. The land was originally theirs and was federally recognized as belonging to them through the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868. But through the Dawes Act, which was enacted to force Native people to assimilate into white American society, the Crow Creek Sioux lost their land again only to finally buy it back in 1998 through the Crow Creek Sioux Tribal Farms, Inc.

But when the Crow Creek Sioux finally did buy it back the Bureau of Indian Affairs failed to put the land into trust, making the land vulnerable to seizures by the US feds.

The tribe and its lawyers have filed an action lawsuit that will hold the land claim in the Sioux’s name until the case is heard in court before the redemption period ends in June of 2010.

The land not only holds the sacred remains of the Crow Creek Sioux’s ancestors and recently passed tribal members, but has high wind energy. The tribe was planning on creating a wind-powered farm to sustain itself.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Back to the Drawing Board. Seriously.

According to an article in the New York Times, college degrees aren't helping black men find jobs. "Well, No1KState, everybody's struggling now." At a ratio of 8.4 to 4.4 for black men with college degrees to white men with college degrees?

The administrators at racismreview noted that the article failed to explicitly say white hiring managers had a problem with black job applicants. The closest Michael Luo came to blaming white people was quoting stories like this one:
Mr. Williams recently applied to a Dallas money management firm that had posted a position with top business schools. The hiring manager had seemed ecstatic to hear from him, telling him they had trouble getting people from prestigious business schools to move to the area. Mr. Williams had left New York and moved back in with his parents in Dallas to save money.

But when Mr. Williams later met two men from the firm for lunch, he said they appeared stunned when he strolled up to introduce himself.

“Their eyes kind of hit the ceiling a bit,” he said. “It was kind of quiet for about 45 seconds.”

The company’s interest in him quickly cooled, setting off the inevitable questions in his mind.
Mr. Johnny R Williams has JPMorgan Chase and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago on his résumé.

I'm not really surprised Luo fails to acknowledge that if companies were excited about a particular job applicant until they see him, then the problem is with the interviewers, not the applicant. After all, have you listened to the way people talk about slavery? Almost as though the country just had black slaves running around with no white slaveowners. As for today, this whole problem that black men with amazing resumes are having a harder time finding jobs than white men isn't white people's fault. After all,
The discrimination is rarely overt, according to interviews with more than two dozen college-educated black job seekers around the country, many of them out of work for months. Instead, those interviewed told subtler stories, referring to surprised looks and offhand comments, interviews that fell apart almost as soon as they began, and the sudden loss of interest from companies after meetings.
And plus,
There is also the matter of how many jobs, especially higher-level ones, are never even posted and depend on word-of-mouth and informal networks, in many cases leaving blacks at a disadvantage. A recent study published in the academic journal Social Problems found that white males receive substantially more job leads for high-level supervisory positions than women and members of minorities.
See? None of this alleged "discrimination" has anything at all to do with some supposed racist conspiracy white people have against black men with degrees from Yale and MBAs from the University of Chicago. No! White employers would love to hire more Morehouse me, but
. . . [they simply gravite] toward similar people, casting about for the right “cultural fit,” a buzzword often heard in corporate circles.
After all,
they conceded, there are times when their race can be beneficial, particularly with companies that have diversity programs. But many said they sensed that such opportunities had been cut back over the years and even more during the downturn. Others speculated there was now more of a tendency to deem diversity unnecessary after Mr. Obama’s triumph.

In fact, whether Mr. Obama’s election has been good or bad for their job prospects is hotly debated. Several interviewed went so far as to say that they believed there was only so much progress that many in the country could take, and that there was now a backlash against blacks.
Now that you've gotten the basic gist of the article, I can share my true feelings. Of course, I absolutely agree with the "blacklash" theory. Also, are we really gonna consider being black "beneficial" just because some company has realized they've already met the quota for white men? Cause actually, diversity improves performance and profits.

And what the hell is "cultural fit" and doesn't it already raise a red flag?
Essentially, the phrase refers to an employee or applicant who shares the employer's business attitudes, values, goals, and overall view of how the particular business should be run. Every workplace has a style that is reflected in the way its employees act and dress; how they deal with clients, customers, and each other; and how they comport themselves in the larger work world.
I found another definition/explanation here:
In the work setting, lack of fit between an employee and an organization can be described as culture clash. Culture encompasses the shared, taken-for-granted assumptions that a group has learned throughout its history -- values held in common that extend beyond the framed mission statement hanging in the lobby. It includes the following:
 Work style -- the way work is done.
  • Team orientation -- hierarchical versus egalitarian.  
  • Management style -- collaborative or commanding. 
  • Customer orientation -- a nuisance as opposed to reason for being.  
  • Political style -- the importance of what you know versus who you know.  
  • Attitudes toward things like learning and risk taking.  
Lack of cultural fit is largely due to a misguided hiring process supported by ineffective execution. Even the best-intentioned organizations - those that focus on competencies and relevant behaviors, in addition to education and experience -- frequently don't assess the issue of cultural fit accurately. Failure to do this minimizes the likelihood of arriving at a successful match.
So how does this play out in real life terms? Let's take a look at one of Harvard's Baker Scholars (awarded only to the top students of the MBA graduate class), a black man named James who kept being rejected because he wasn't the white, oh, I mean, right cultural fit. His race wasn't necessarily the problem.
He mentioned, for instance, that he was extremely fastidious in his working style, and would stay long hours to ensure that he always produced work of the highest quality. Admirable within some companies, perhaps, but others might see it as being detrimental to team spirit if James were not able to prioritise, or to relax once in a while if the work he was doing at the time wasn’t critical.

He also mentioned that he liked to take initiative and present the people around him with highly-polished work. But if the organisation was used to getting everyone involved in the problem so that the solution was jointly developed, would James accommodate this or not?

So, although the recruiter could be more helpful to James in the feedback which is given to him, there is nothing underhand going on. In fact, the recruiter is working in James’s interests to ensure that he does not join a firm where he will not fit in and excel.
So black men, here's some job advice, based mostly on what I've laid out and in the spirit of this particular post (Which I hope you realize is mostly sarcasm . . . about the reasons for the disparity in employment between black male college grads and white male college grads, not the disparity itself.).Don't demonstrate initiative.
  1. Don't be so committed to high-quality work that you stay extra hours on the job making sure you get things just right.
  2. Send a white guy as a stand-in for your interviews and talk into his ear using blue-tooth.
  3. Use initials if you have an ethnic name.
  4. Don't mention any awards you've received or organizations you've joined as a high achieving minority.
  5. And if all else fells, don't get a college degree. Particularly one from a prominent university.
James became neither an investment banker nor a consultant. The deeper he looked into those careers, the more he realised himself that he would not succeed. He is now a teacher just outside of Chicago where he is able to develop young minds. And Lord knows we need more black male teachers!

No, sarcasm aside, we really do need more black male teachers in our public schools. But I'm not sure I'm okay with black men going into teaching as a last resort. What are we supposed to tell our kids? You can be anything you want, just stay in your place? Cause no matter how much you accomplish, you can still be arrested in or protested against in your own home.

World AIDS Day

Yes, I'm a day late. Sorry. World AIDS Day is on the first of December. But this is important. Black women . . . well, just read this post courtesy I'll try to post all the links in the post asap. ~ No1KState

World AIDS Day: Black Women, Racism and HIV/AIDS
By Jessie

Today is World AIDS Day, when people around the globe stop to reflect on those lost to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which is almost in its third decade. While many people may associate the disease with white, gay men because they were one of the groups initially infected and affected by HIV and among the most political vocal about it, the fact is the epidemic has changed. Within the U.S., if you examine the epidemic across racial and ethnic groups, you will see that HIV/AIDS is not a disease that exclusively, or even primarily, affects whites. Blacks and Latinos are increasingly affected by the disease, as this graph based on 2007 CDC statistics illustrates:

The changing nature of the epidemic is even more striking when you include gender.Today, black women are the group with the highest rates of new HIV/AIDS infections. According to CDC:

■African American women account for a majority of new AIDS cases (66% in 2006); white women and Latina women account for 17% and 16% of new AIDS cases, respectively.
■African American women account for the largest share of new HIV infections among women (61% in 2006), an incidence rate nearly 15 times the rate among white women. (For more detailed look at statistics about the epidemic’s impact on African Americans, see: “Black Americans and HIV/AIDS” compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation, opens PDF.)
During the first decade of the epidemic, most social science research focused on changing individual behavior (e.g., wearing condoms, using clean needles) as the primary intervention strategy to prevent HIV infection, these efforts often failed in the face of complex settings of social inequality. For example, telling a woman that her partner should wear a condom becomes a risky proposition if she is economically dependent on that man for survival and he sees the request to wear a condom as an affront of some kind. Thus, researchers and community activists interested in stopping the spread of the disease began to look at the dynamics of sexuality within a broader social and cultural factors.

Just as an increasing amount of research demonstrates that mothers who experience racism are more likely to have low-birth-weight babies, the experience of racism and sexism are part of the social and cultural factors affecting HIV/AIDS rates among African American women. One way to measure this combined racism and sexism, is to look at what national leaders have to say about the HIV/AIDS epidemic among black women. In 2004, when journalist and vice-presidential debate moderator Gwen Ifill raised this important issue in the form of a question to then-candidates John Edwards and Dick Cheney, neither one could stammer out a coherent answer. It was clear that the alarming rates of HIV/AIDS among black women were simply not a concern for powerful political leaders (who also happened to be white men).

Some of the most exciting research that attempts to address this inequality is the pioneering intervention studies conducted by Gina Wingood and Ralph DiClemente of Emory University who, drawing on Connell’s gender and power theory, began to think differently about HIV prevention for young, black women. Wingood and DiClemente developed an intervention study for African American adolescent girls that used workshops that emphasized ethnic and gender pride along with the usual HIV-prevention information. Basically, the researchers included a consciousness-raising group about race and gender along with the usual health education information. These positive messages about racial and gender pride are important for enabling and empowering young, black women who encounter a layered burden of racism, sexism and often, poverty.

However, not all black women who are HIV-infected are poor, as several activists remind us. Marvelyn Brown, for example, diagnosed at age 19 with HIV/AIDS has become an outspoken proponent and visible spokesperson for HIV-prevention among young, black women. The author of Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful and (HIV) Positive, Brown has won several awards for her activism. Rae Lewis-Thornton, diagnosed at age 23, was featured on the cover of Essence magazine in 1994 and described as, “I’m young, I’m educated, I’m drug-free, and I’m dying of AIDS.” It’s been fifteen years and, fortunately, Lewis-Thornton is still very much alive and an tireless activist. Yet, she struggles with the legacy of her diagnosis (powerful video interview with Lewis-Thornton here). And, young black women who are allies, are harnessing the power of new media to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, such as Karyn and Luvvie of the Red Pump Project.

The growing epidemic among black women in the U.S. reflects a global trend. The World Health Organization’s estimate (via is that there are over three million women with HIV in the world, most of them in Africa. In fact, one in 50 women in sub-Saharan Africa is infected with HIV. AIDS is the leading cause of death for women ages 20-40 in major
cities in the Americas, Western Europe, and Africa. The fact that this disease is shape-shifting into one what disproportionately affects black women both here in the U.S. and globally raises important questions about whether or not we will, collectively, be able to put aside our racism (and sexism) to address this epidemic.

As you go to a service, attend a vigil, or just hold a good thought or observe a moment of silence on this World AIDS Day, reflect also on the ways that racism shapes the epidemic and who we lose because of it. If you care about racial and gender equality, you need to start paying attention to HIV/AIDS. IF you’re concerned about HIV/AIDS, you need to start learning about racism and sexism.

For more on the public health crisis affecting black women, you can watch this video (approximately 27 minutes) which features a discussion with C. Virginia Fields, President of National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, Monica Sweeney, MD, Assistant Commissioner for the Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and Marvelyn Brown.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Just a Few Tears

Well, no analysis. You got CNN and MSNBC for all that. PBS.

Just feel like sharing. Not feeling this at all. Not because I disagree with the policy, but I'm just not okay with war. I'm a just war advocate, so I'm not against all wars just because they're wars.

I just feel like crying. For the time parents will miss with their kids. The lives that will be flipped upside-down because of a stray bomb or because Al Qaeda or the Taliban is using a village of innocent people as a buffer. Or, maybe even because the war has just gotten to our own soldiers so they wil' out on innocent people, whether there or over here.

So excuse me please and pass some tissue. War is hell and our shared humanity demands that we sympathize with our military families, including but not limited to my cousin and her husband, and the Afghans alike.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

You Just Too Damn Fat!!

Lincoln University, an HBCU in rural Pennsylvania, is getting international attention and coverage, and lots of heat for requiring students with BMI over 30 to take a specific PE in order to graduate.

Okay. Let's deal with some particulars. Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women. BMI Categories:
Personally, I'm just on the edge of normal weight. Whew. You can calculate your BMI at the link. Remember, though, the muscle weighs more than fat, so you could have a high BMI and still be considered normal weight.

People with a BMI over 30 are obese and at risk for lots of health problems including diabetes and heart disease. Now, perhaps with the exception of white women, there is nothing definitive that weight has a negative impact on income. But, a higher BMI, with its associated health risks, in the end costs more.

As for the university, they don't have the resources to offer this course to everyone, which is what they'd like to do. So they make a requirement for people with BMIs over 30 not to be discriminatory, but to target the class to those who need it most. And there's no doubt they could've done a better job communicating the specifics to students and others.

That said, I completely agree with the universities decision to make this a requirement. The health risks to our community of obesity are too large and have too much of an impact to big ignored. Now sure, some of the problem in the Black community is related to poverty and urban planning, ie lack of access to healthy food. And of course, the older you get, the less likely you are to lose weight, and policies like these would have a greater impact on school children. But college students aren't exactly adults, sorry. Though, this is more about whether or not you're set in your ways than it's about being qualified to vote. And regardless of the neighborhood, we need to empower ourselves to make healthier decisions. If you can't run outside because it's not safe, I'm not suggesting you by a bullet-proof vest and go jogging; but maybe you can do some jumping jacks or push-ups in your house?

And, I don't know. I just think the black community stands to gain a lot by improving our overall health. First off is the lives that'll be saved not to mention money spent on on health care! It's important to send the message that healthiness is important. And who knows? Once we're healthier, maybe we'll have the energy and time to invest in anti-racist activities. We don't know the impact this can have, yet.

Even if they change the particulars, Lincoln definitely needs to keep the idea. Definitely. Go Lions!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Let's Just Bring Everybody Home

h/t SNCC listserve ~

via We've had enough.
You can add your name by writing to

Open Letter from the Peace Movement to President Obama on His Upcoming Decision Regarding the Afghan War

Dear Mr. President:

According to press reports, you intend to decide sometime in November whether or not to send tens of thousands of American soldiers to Afghanistan. We are writing in advance of that decision to add our voice to those of Sen. Feingold, many House Democrats, and of a clear majority of Americans in urging you not to escalate this war, but rather to announce an immediate cease-fire followed by a withdrawal of all US troops in the fastest way consistent with the safety of our forces. We urge you to end the policy of using Predator drones to assassinate Pakistani civilians on the territory of their own country, in defiance of all concepts of international law. We also call upon you to cease all covert CIA and Pentagon operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran.
(Click here for rest of post.)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

They Did What to Their Own Kids?

I think it's not talked about a lot, though Macon D does on occasion, but racism is bad for white people, too. Especially white kids. Now, let's be clear. Child abuse knows no racial boundaries. And so the truth as truth doesn't surprise me, it grieves me.

Michelle Chen
“Good White Stock”: Child Refugees of the British Empire

Forced migration, displacement, and racial social engineering are ugly modern phenomena that we typically associate with the denigration of oppressed racial and religious groups.

But we recently got a glimpse of a colonization effort that in some ways inverted the brutality of the imperial project. From the 1940s through the 1960s, the British government sent thousands of children—many of them from poor and distressed homes—to Australia in a program that blended social reform with manifest destiny. The massive migration was part of a scheme to transplant“good white stock,” to outer territories, including New Zealand, Canada and Rhodesia, because, as one clergy official reportedly explained, “we are terrified of the Asian hordes.”

In personal narrative on the “Lost Children of the Empire,” Eileen Fairweather recounts stories of forced migration in language that smacks of the child welfare crisis in communities of color:
Only a third of the child migrants were actually orphans - the rest had been abandoned by their parents or effectively stolen from them. As was common at the time, some parents put their children into care during hard times - a situation they hoped would be temporary. But when they returned for them, they were often told the children had died.

To make matters worse, the young migrants' documents were frequently destroyed, so they did not even know their parents' names and had no way back into the lives from which they had been ripped....

Michael's worst tormentor enjoyed holding him naked upside-down over a river while beating him, so that the water drowned out his cries. 'He told me it was easy to drown and accidents happen all the time.' Another enjoyed setting his dogs on him.

So this was where Britain's great experiment in replenishing the colonies had led. It was a brutal yet predictable outcome for the little boy abandoned to predatory priests.
The wholesale removal of children from their communities and into alien homes condemned many to devastating physical and sexual abuse. They were captives in a land to which they were supposed to deliver civilization and the great white hope. We'll never know exactly how many children and families were harmed. But the Australian government's recent, long-awaited apology for inflicting this trauma (coupled with apologies to others institutionalized by the country's cruel, discriminatory child welfare policies) suggests that the scope of the injustice, generations later, has barely begun to come to light. As with other struggles to redress historical grievances, demands for reparations haven't brought recompense for survivors.

The child migration system reveals the monstrous consequences of British imperialism's white-supremacist ideology, not only for indigenous peoples but for the colonizers' “own kind” as well. Mythologies of race privilege corrode society from within and dehumanize everyone--even “good white stock”--in the name of the grand hypocrisy of empire.

Posted at 5:47 AM, Nov 26, 2009 in Child Welfare | History | Immigration | Youth | Permalink |

Day of Mourning: Who's Really Giving Thanks?

No, this isn't about American consumerism. This is about historical fact. ~ No1KState

On Thanksgiving: Why Myths Matter
By Matthew Hughey

The Myth:
The Pilgrims landed in 1620 and founded the Colony of New Plymouth. They had a difficult first winter, but survived with the help of the Indians. In the fall of 1621, the grateful Pilgrims held their first Thanksgiving Day and invited the Indians to a big Thanksgiving-Day feast replete with turkey and pumpkins.

The History:
In 1614, a band of English explorers landed in the vicinity of Massachusetts Bay. When they returned home to England, they took with them Native slaves they had captured, and left smallpox behind. By the time the Puritan pilgrims sailed the Mayflower into southern Massachusetts Bay, entire nations of New England Natives were already extinct or greatly disseminated due to disease.

There was indeed a big feast in 1621, but it was not “Thanksgiving.” It was a three-day feast described in a letter by the colonist Edward Winslow. Moreover, it was a shooting party; there was neither a “Thanksgiving Day” proclamation, nor any mention of a 1621 thanksgiving celebration in any historical record.

The history of the colony was chronicled by Governor William Bradford in his book, History of Plymouth Plantation (written circa 1650, republished in 1968 by Russell and Russell publishers). Bradford relates how the Pilgrims set up a “geoist” system (a merger of what we now understand as libertarianism and communism). The land was owned in common and could not be sold or inherited, but each family was allotted a portion, and they could keep whatever they grew on that portion. As Governor Bradford describes it, “At last after much debate of things, the governor gave way that they should set corn everyman for his own particular… That had very good success for it made all hands very industrious, so much [more] corn was planted than otherwise would have been.” Yet, poor harvests prevailed, especially over the summer as the rains stopped. In response the Pilgrims held a “Day of Humiliation” in which they fervently prayed. The rains finally came in the fall and the harvest was saved. Many of the Pilgrims saw this as a sign that God blessed their new economic system and Governor Bradford proclaimed 29 November 1623 a “Day of Thanksgiving.”

This was the first proclamation of thanksgiving found in Bradford’s chronicles or any other historical record. Much later, this first “Day of Thanksgiving” was confused with the shooting party of 1621. Until approximately 1629, there were only about 300 Puritans living in widely scattered settlements around New England. As the numbers of Puritans grew, the question of ownership of the land became a major issue. It was clear to the new Puritans that there was no definite claim on the land because it had never been subdued, cultivated, and farmed in the European manner. The land was seen as “public domain.” This attitude met with great resistance from the original Puritans and so they were summarily excommunicated.

The excommunicated Puritans and others that wished to find new lands, decided to push further West away from the sea. Joined by British colonizers, they seized land, took Natives as slaves to work the land, and killed the rest. When they reached the Connecticut Valley around 1633, they met a different type of force. The Pequot Nation, a large and powerful nation that had not entered into any peace treaty as other New England Native nations had done. When two slave raiders were killed by resisting Natives, the Puritans demanded that the killers be turned over. The Pequot refused. What followed was the Pequot War, the bloodiest of the Native wars in the northeast. Pequot villages were attacked and Pequot were sold into slavery in the West Indies, the Azures, Spain, Algiers and England; everywhere the Puritan merchants traded. This rather forgotten aspect of the trans-Atlantic slave trade was so lucrative that boatloads of 500 at a time left the harbors of New England.

In 1641, the Dutch governor of Manhattan offered the first scalp bounty; a common practice in many European countries. This was broadened by the Puritans to include a bounty for Natives fit-to-be-sold for slavery. The Dutch and Puritans joined forces to exterminate Natives from New England. Following an especially successful raid against the Pequot in what is now Stamford, Connecticut, the churches of Manhattan announced a “Day of Thanksgiving” to celebrate victory over the “heathen savages.” This was the second Day of Thanksgiving that was officially celebrated. It was marked by the hacking off of Native heads and kicking them through the streets of nearby Manhattan.

The killing took on frenzied tone, with days of thanksgiving held after each successful massacre. Even the relatively friendly Wampanoag did not escape. Their chief was beheaded, and his head placed on a pole in Plymouth, Massachusetts—where it remained for 24 years. Each town held thanksgiving days to celebrate their own victories over the Natives until it became clear that an order for these occasions was needed. It was George Washington who brought a system and a schedule to thanksgiving when he declared one day to be celebrated across the nation as what we now know as “Thanksgiving Day.” And it was Abraham Lincoln who decreed Thanksgiving Day to be a legal national holiday during the Civil War (on the same day he ordered US troops to march against the Lakota nation in Minnesota).

Why Myths Matter:
That we believe in such myths is not, in and of itself, shocking. And that the US has achieved “greatness” through criminal brutality on a grand scale is not news. These arguments have been well-rehearsed and mud-slinging for its own sake does little. This myth matters because it can serve the purposes of unethical and anti-democratic interests.

A key vehicle for taming history toward such narrow interests, remain our various patriotic holidays, with Thanksgiving at the heart of our social myth-building. From an early age, we are taught a wonderful story about the hearty Pilgrims, whose search for freedom took them from England to Massachusetts. There, aided by the friendly Indians, they survived in a new and harsh environment, leading to a harvest feast. It is a disturbingly pleasant fiction.
Since history is not stable, but open to protestation and debate, I propose we replace our social practices of remembering “Thanksgiving Day” with fasting and/or service to the homeless and hungry, done together with our families and our friends. Some indigenous people have offered such a model; since 1970 many have marked the fourth Thursday of November as a Day of Mourning in a ceremony on Coles Hill overlooking Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts, one of the early sites of the European invasion of the Americas.

Matthew W. Hughey, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Mississippi State University. His current research investigates racial identity formation, racialized organizations, and mass-media representations of race. He can be reached at

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Christian Side Hug

I just think it's funny. I still give Christian side hugs unless I'm trying to, you know, flirt.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Oh, Yes He Did! (Updated)

Yes, there're other things in the news; and yes, I gotta give big props to the Congressional Black Caucus as black America is officially in an economic depression; and yes, this happened almost a month ago. But there is no excuse for
to be on an 8th grade pre-algebra assignment!

The good news is that some of the kids complained. The bad news is that one child teased the only black student in the class. Personally, I don't know what's more racist: that the teacher decided to use the picture, or that the teacher claims to have seen nothing wrong with it. Trust and believe, he had other options. I had to get to page 6 to find the picture myself.

In trying to find more information on the matter, since it did happen almost a month ago, I came across one blogger who commented that the fact that the mother went to the NAACP hurts her credibility, even though it was the county office. Don't get me wrong, this particular blogger ultimately decides what the teacher did is racist, but he also disagreed with the mother of the only black student in the class keeping her child out of school. So, I think I'm gonna have to do some of my best work.

Now, if you don't find the picture offensive, then I don't know what to say about that. I can hardly stand to look at the picture myself. I'm only displaying it to grab your attention.

But here's the thing. Blacks in Bucks County, PA where this happened make up just 3.2% of the population there, 10 points less than the national average. Now, there's a general feeling of vunerability among black Americans. Being less than the national average can only make things worse. I don't blame the mother for bringing in her county's NAACP office or keeping her child out of school. And this is allegedly one of the best schools in the nations. It's not about fear of physical danger. It's about the psychic toll such an assault can have on the child. It's not an emotionally safe place to learn. As someone who's had to learn under similar circumstances, I can tell you it takes extra mental juice to overlook something like that and learn. Think of it the same way you think of sexual harrasment. Would you have your daughter in class with a teacher who plastered Pamela Anderson on a homework assignment?

Listen. We're not going to solve race by colorblindly acting like it doesn't matter any more. So stop denying that it exists. And if it shows up in an 8th grade math teacher, it's probably down at those tea party rallies, too.

That's my first point.

Here's my second. Studies have shown that allowing someone to tell a sexist joke leads to an environment where sexism is tolerated and women are discriminated against. Other forms of "disparagement humor," whether they're about racial minorities or a lower socioeconomic class, also have the "potential to be a powerful and widespread force that can legitimize prejudice in our society."

And so this teacher gave us a perfect example of how this operates. He pastes this picture on a math worksheet. He probably really didn't see the problem with this disparagement humor. (Hint to white people and men, if your "joke" puts someone down, it's offensive. Don't get me wrong, I can understand how white people would find jokes about smelling like wet dogs offensive. But, first, I feel quite safe in saying you don't know our white jokes because you haven't heard very many. After all, Bernie Mac and the man from 227 went through a list of "nicknames" for white people, but Ashton Kutcher told 4 jokes. And if your anti-black jokes work the same way our yor-mama jokes do, then I know there are hundreds of other jokes, maybe more; and, the ones Ashton told have are probably no longer in fad.) White people rarely do, even if the only way to get the "joke" is to already be familiar with the historic racist stereotype of black people and watermelons. (If you're not, I mean really not, please watch this mockumentary.) I guess that's because if you tell the same joke dozens of times around white people, it may never occur to you that others would be offended.

Wow. That's privilege.

So, there are some students who protest the picture, but the teacher hands out the worksheets still. Then, one classmate turns to the only black child and asks if that's his daddy, cause we all know most black kids don't know who their father is.

This teacher doesn't mean a class on tolerance or sensitivity. He needs a history class and an, pardon my languagne, ass-whooping.

Friday, November 20, 2009

What the what!?!?!

I hardly know what to say about this, people using Psalm 109:8 as an anti-Obama slogan. I mean, did they miss the W Bush years or the part about loving your enemies? And what is it that they're accusing Pres Obama of anyway. If you're one of these haters, please let me know. And being specific. Don't go into bland, political ideological talking points about healthcare reform or the bail out. No, I want you to be specific. Did you not receive your share of the stimulus? Perhaps he aborted your baby. Maybe he started one war and then forgot about it, or maybe he lied us into a completely unnecessary war and let contractors defraud the country out of billions, maybe even trillions of dollars.

Really, I wanna know. But I want specific descriptions of what he did and why it warrants this reaction. No accusations about destroying America. Tell me how he's destroying America, allegedly. Understand? Less adjectives and adverbs, more nouns and verbs. I mean, if it's that bad, I want to know. So what is he doing that you find so abominable that you advocate violence against him?

Good News for NOLA

Apparently, the government is going to appeal, but I should hope Pres Obama will do the right thing.

Friday, November 13, 2009

This Is Why Healthcare Should Never Be Left to the Free Market

. . . er, duh!

Goldman To Private Insurers: No Health Care Reform at
All Is Best

Sam Stein

The Senate Finance Committee bill, which Goldman's
analysts conclude is the version most likely to survive
the legislative process, is described as the "base"
scenario. Under that legislation (which did not include
a public plan) the earnings per share for the top five
insurers would grow an estimated five percent from 2010
through 2019. And yet, the "variance with current
valuation" -- essentially, what the value of the stock
is on the market -- is projected to drop four percent.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The More Things Change . . .

On the one hand, the House passed healthcare reform legislation. Fantastic. On the other hand, in order to secure support from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, no company participating in the exchange will be allowed to cover abortion. See, even though there are 2 or 3 amendments already in place that prevent federal funding for abortion,  they were so concerned about the few pennies that might slip over to cover abortion due to the fungible nature of things.

What a load of crap. It wouldn't be so bad if there were no federal funding for groups to lie and coerce and con women into having unwanted babies, but there is. It wouldn't be so bad if there were no federal funding for groups to lie about the efficacy of contraception and side effects of abortion, but there is.

It's bad enough that we aren't moving to a single-payer system or even a "robust" public plan. We didn't have to participate in bullshit masquerading as religion.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Oh, My Allah!!

If you think that just because this guy's last name is "Hasan" this was probably an act of psuedo-Islamic terror, you are an awful, awful person.

That said, you gotta give it up to POW Shoshana Johnson! I've mentioned her before. She was captured along with Jessica Lynch, the white girl who got all the media and money love. I'm not mad at Lynch. I'm not. I just think Johnson deserves the same.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Now That You Mention It . . .

Courtesy Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post ~

A World of Change in 287 Days
By Eugene Robinson
Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's been a year since a healthy majority of American voters elected Barack Obama to change the world. Which is precisely what he's doing.

Like many people who desperately want to see the country take a more progressive course, I quibble and quarrel with some of President Obama's actions. I wish he'd been tougher on Wall Street, quicker to close Guantanamo, more willing to investigate Bush-era excesses, bolder in seeking truly universal health care. I wish he could summon more of the rhetorical magic that spoke so compellingly to the better angels of our nature.

But he's a president, not a Hollywood action hero. Most of my frustration is really with the process of getting anything done in Washington, which is not something Obama can unilaterally change, nimbly circumvent or blithely ignore. One thing the new administration clearly did not anticipate was that Republicans in Congress would be so consistently and unanimously obstructionist -- or that Democrats would have to be introduced to the alien concept of party discipline. It took the White House too long to realize that bipartisanship is a tango and that there's no point in dancing alone.

Step back for a moment, though, and look at Obama's record. His biggest accomplishment has been keeping the worst financial and economic crisis in decades from turning into another Great Depression. Yes, the $787 billion stimulus package has been messy, but most economists believe it was absolutely necessary -- and some believe it should have been even bigger. Yes, Obama continued the Bush-era policy of showering irresponsible financial institutions with billions in public funds. Yes, the administration bailed out the auto industry -- and we actually heard the president of the United States reassure Americans that General Motors warranties would be honored.

But these and other actions convinced the financial markets that the White House would do anything to avoid a complete meltdown. The economy grew at a rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter and, while unemployment may not yet have peaked, the odds of a strong and fairly swift recovery have greatly improved.

Responding to the crisis required creating an enormous fiscal deficit that Obama will spend years trying to reduce. But not even the most conservative economists recommend attacking the deficit before the economy is stabilized on a path of growth. Only Republican demagogues think that's a good idea.

On national security, Obama moved at once to categorically renounce torture -- a big step toward removing the ugly stain that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney left on our national honor. It looks as if Obama will miss his self-imposed one-year deadline for closing the Guantanamo prison, but a delay of a few weeks or months will be worth it if the administration succeeds in developing a comprehensive legal framework -- consistent with our ideals and traditions -- for bringing terrorism suspects to justice.

Obama should have supported a full-blown investigation into apparent Bush-era violations of national and international law. And, at a minimum, he should allow the limited torture probe ordered by Attorney General Eric Holder to follow the evidence wherever it might lead.

But at least the administration is on schedule in withdrawing combat troops from Iraq. I don't think Obama knows the right answer on Afghanistan; I'm not sure anybody does.

Obama's months in office have been so action-packed that it's easy to forget some of the historic steps he has taken: nominating Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic on the Supreme Court. Going to Egypt and speaking directly to the Muslim world about cooperation rather than conflict. Embracing multilateralism as the template for U.S. foreign policy in the new century. Accepting the scientific consensus on climate change. Investing in "green" jobs and education reform as key engines of economic development.

And then there's health-care reform. I've been impatient with Obama's strategy of letting Congress take the lead on writing legislation, but he's brought us to the brink of truly meaningful reform much faster than anyone could have imagined a year ago. We still have some fighting to do over two words -- "public" and "option" -- but it looks like the principle that everyone is entitled to health insurance, a Democratic Party goal for at least six decades, is about to become law.

Quite a record for 287 days: All that, and a Nobel Peace Prize, too.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The New Racism on Television

The was posted on youtube a year ago, so I'm way, way late! But better late than never.

Share your thoughts, and I'll share mine.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Just Nine Months

Sorry I haven't really posted in a while. Life called. I've kept up with current events, though. The negativity coming from both the right and left has bothered me. I mean, you got the conservative haters saying Obama is destroying the country. Liberal haters are saying he's not kept up to his promise of change. Well, they both can't be true. Sorry. And while I wish we were farther along in the agenda, I realize it hasn't been a year. Most of the promises Obama made during the campaign had a year-long deadline. Fix healthcare during his first year; close Gitmo in his first year; meet with foreign leaders we don't like in his first year.

It hasn't been a year yet. Just nine months. I think we're doing pretty good. If a woman became pregnant the day Obama was inaugurated, she'd just right about now be having the baby. And guess what?

It would still be just a baby.

So I while I do agree we need to keep progressive pressure on both the president and Congress, I think it's premature to declare "Mission Failure." And this article pretty much gets at the point better than I just did.
"Doom and Gloom" on the Left

by Randy Shaw

Beyond Chron - posted Oct. 27, 2009
San Francisco's Alternative Online Daily

As reports emerge of the Senate's increasing support
for a public option, it's a tossup whether Republicans
or some progressives are more distraught. After all, an
article in the October 19 edition of The Nation states
that the progressive agenda "has stalled," and "key
aspects of healthcare reform, like a public option,
appear dead." The writer even claims that corporate
interests face "little outright opposition" in the
legislative process, a remarkable statement in the face
of the massive organizing and outreach efforts of labor
unions and other progressive groups. (Click here to finish reading. And let me know what you think of the jump-break.)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Healthcare and Women

This is Michelle Obama on why women need healthcare reform. I mean really, pregnancy of a pre-existing condition? We need coverage for pap smears, mammograms, and abortion. Yes, abortion. (Not only is it not your body, it won't be your child.) And let's be clear ladies (and gentlemen), women make up the majority in this country. If we want it done, it will get done done.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Take a Number via SEIU Healthcare

I've gotten my number. Just trying to keep "Diana Prince" and "Wonder Woman" separate. Don't ask why. I don't know. ~ No1KState

We sent more than 10,000 letters to Congress in response to Peggy Robertson's story. Her insurance company had required that she get sterilized if she wanted to receive health insurance.

Members of Congress heard about it. The media reported on it. But we wondered, do our friends, family and neighbors realize how insurance companies have turned being a woman into a pre-existing condition?

Take your ticket for gender equity. Get yours, here:

Women want equal coverage for the equal premiums they pay - plain and simple. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) is leading the charge, but we've got to get the word out. We built a tool to do just that - to demonstrate that it's time to deliver on health insurance reform.

When you take your "deli counter ticket," you'll receive a unique number. Post the number, along with this automatically-generated status update to Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere: I'm [your number] against discrimination by health insurers. Women deserve equal coverage for equal premiums. #hc09

Your ticket is waiting. Take it, here:

Right now, millions of American women aren't involved in the health care debate. They haven't called or written Congress. They haven't thought about health insurance reform much at all. But they're dealing with the health insurance system every day - paying more and getting less.

Women pay 30-40% more on the private insurance market as men. Common pregnancy and c-sections are considered "pre-existing conditions." And in some states, insurers can even deny coverage to victims of domestic violence.The bills before Congress will guarantee, once and for all, that women are treated fairly and equitably by insurers.

Let's demonstrate that women (and men!) across the country are calling for an end to discrimination against women by health insurers. Take your ticket now.

Thanks for speaking out,

Jessica Kutch
Online Campaign Manager
SEIU Healthcare

Sunday, October 18, 2009

In Need of Aid?

I don't have any commentary except to maybe say I hurt for these people. Just thought you should that over the past several years, billions of money has been wasted by non-profit groups not ACORN. The money was supposed to go to help AIDS patients, or rather, as much money was wasted, maybe just people who're have AIDS.

Well I guess two things could be said: with a better health care system, a lot of this could've been averted; fixing this, doing right by people who have AIDS, or are HIV positive, is what I mean by "justice and righteousness."

So okay, two more things. First, there's an epidemic happening in DC. In affluent, white neighborhoods as well as poor, black neighborhoods. That's unacceptable. Completely unacceptable. Not just because people die; but also because we should treat each other and ourselves better. I know getting millions of people to all practice abstinence is something of a pipe dream; but just because you're sexually active doesn't mean you can't pass up it up sometimes! Please. Take time to ask yourself if you really want to share your body with this person. You are increasing your risk of infection and pregnancy. Is that what you really want to do? You're also increasing the risk of your partner becoming infected. Is that something you really want to do? Lots of people who're HIV positive may not even know it, including you. And your partner.

Which brings me to my next point: if you are sexually active, for heaven's sake, get educated, get tested, and use a condom! Don't just practice safe sex, perfect it. Don't get all full of yourself men and go out and buy condoms you know are too large. If you use illegal drugs, please use a clean needle. Or, better yet, try quitting altogether.

Okay. That's it. No more commentary.

No, They're Not a Bunch of Racists

They're a bunch of racist idiots. That's different. (Or better put, they're different. Even they admit not living on the same planet as the rest of us.) If you have the time, you should read through the report yourself. It would be more entertaining if they didn't reportedly represent almost 20% of the electorate. They apparently really talked about "racism" in terms of the "race card" being played to discredit them. But what discredits them is their ideas. They think Beck is a "truth-teller" and that the Republican party is "Democrat-lite." They're convinced Obama has some secret plot that no one's talking about because Obama keeps everything closed off from the media which is liberal and shills for him anyway. They complain about his school records being closed and swear every other president kept everything wide open. They think they are the people, which makes you wonder who elected President Obama. And, if that weren't enough, they feel as though W compromised too much. Though, to their credit, they did find his public speaking embarrassing.

The whole thing is an indictment about Fox, the South, and public education. These people know diddly squat about history, civics, or economics. They fault HW for raising taxes; they don't even realize the budget- deficit the Reagan caused.

Another thing that bothers me is that they believe Obama is purposely trying to destroy the country. They're even suspicious of his support for lengthening the school year; it's a sign of his desire to regulate everything. They claim there're banks that want to pay back the bail-out money, but the Obama administration won't let them. What's worse is they don't believe he's trying to create jobs here in America. Sorry, but that's a bit hard to take after their stalwart Beck got Van Jones to resign.

All in all, they take Fox as gospel - which speaks for itself. And apparently, race did come up; it's just that those undertaking the focus groups (focus groups for political purposes as opposed to sociological purposes which explains the command to "get over it [race]") thought ". . . it did not ever become a central element, and indeed, was almost beside the point." But like I said in the earlier post, racist themes did come up, not least of the two contradictory notions that either Obama is a puppet being controlled by people like George Soros or he lies and his intelligence is scary. So, black people are always either 1 - too dumb to think of themselves or 2 - too smart to trust. Plus, the fact that the think so much of Beck? Come on. That's racism all day long.

But they need to understand, both the idiots and the group who did the study, is that the accusation of racism isn't being used to silence them. :eye roll: It's not being used to discredit them or because the media doesn't want to address their illegitimate concerns. Part of the reason we're, and I'm including myself cause I think a large segment of you are racism. But, part of the reason we accuse you of racism is that your complaints make no sense otherwise. I mean really. The president and Congress has cut taxes for 95% of you, and you complain about being overtaxed? You should be glad we think you're racist, cause otherwise you're just a bunch of idiots.

Now It's Sexism in Session(s)

I saw the clip when the show first aired. I had other things on my mind. But after seeing this article in The Nation, I decided to share just a couple of thoughts. I share Jon Stewart even though we're saying the same thing because he's funny.

1 - Should they start complaining about executive compensation, remember this:
"Congress should not be involved in writing or rewriting private contracts," he (Sessions) argued.

2 - They can't pass this, but they can go after ACORN?
The bill was, he (Sessions) maintained, a "political amendment at bottom, representing a political attack on Halliburton."

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorRon Paul Interview

Friday, October 16, 2009

Oh. My lord! (Updated)

See post They're Not a Bunch of Racist for more analysis.

Now. I don't know what training the people who ran this study have in race dynamics. And I haven't read the entire report (PDF), plus I'm tired, so I can't do a thorough analysis right now. But believe you me, if these people aren't ignorance and racist, then they're just ignorant and ignorant.

What constitutional rights are they concerned will be taken away? That's what I can't figure out. We just had a president who denied people their constitutional freedom of speech and right to privacy. He disregarded the Geneva Conventions and US law. He denied people the right of habeus corpus; sent random people to black sites; he lied us into war. And they're worried about this particular president corroding constitutional rights?

Bush Co ram the PATRIOT act through Congress in a matter of months; yet, they're worried about how fast Obama is going. Bush Co put us into two, yes two, unnecessary wars, one of which he lied to Congress about. Neither war was paid for. He signed tax cuts without paying for them. Passed Medicare Part D without paying for it. And they're worried about the debt Obama is running to get us out of this economic crisis. They even say he doesn't know anything about economics. "What? Huh?" Apparently, not only do they know nothing about economics, they know even less about history.
And all their suspicion of ACORN but nothing about the fraud of billions of dollars by likes of KBR and Halliburton and Xe (formerly Blackwater), groups who have killed soldiers and civilians. Groups who have raped American citizens working for them. Nothing.

The reason I question how much the researchers know about race dynamics is that they apparently don't know that you don't have to say "black" or "race" to be making racist statements. Certain racist themes about black people have been around so long, you don't need to say "black" or "African American" to be talking in racist terms. For instance, our part president couldn't hardly put a complete sentence together, but it's Obama whose education they question? They're "afraid" of this president because his talk is too "smooth." That doesn't smack of "jive talkin' nigger" to you?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

And You Say Obama Has an Ego?

Yeah, gotta admit, after getting myself excited about the incredibly spectacular debacle a Rush owned team would be, I was disappointed that the whole thing fizzled out. I suppose I should be glad that racism has been rejected, and I am. Yeah, I am.

Plus, RushBo's response makes up for it a lot! (Sorry about the picture. That was not under my control.) Now, my next post should be a little more serious. But since I wrote on the issue in Ram Rush, I feel like I'm obligated to write about the conclusion. So anyway, back to your regularly scheduled program:
Limbaugh blamed DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFLPA, whom he called an "Obama-ite," and the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, whom he referred to as "race hustlers," for Checketts' decision a day earlier to drop him. He said his sacking was an example of the political clout wielded by the Obama administration.
Yeah. The ignorance he blathers had nothing to do with it.

"What is happening to the National Football League, what is about to happen to it, has already happened to Wall Street, has already happened to the automobile business," Limbaugh said.
Correct me if I'm wrong, and main street and unemployment numbers aside; didn't the DOW close over 10,000 for the first time in months this week? And did I miss something? When did the NFL get a bailout?

Limbaugh said he's "lost nothing" over the episode and vowed to continue being the "biggest non-paid promoter of the sport."

"On the other hand, our country has lost a great deal. A lot more than most people realize at the moment," Limbaugh said.
That's just laughable! Whatever we "lost," I'm glad we've lost "it." We should've never had "it." Setting "it" aside, wow. 8-o Wasn't aware Limbaugh was such a major player in American history. Really surprising seeing that he's not the head of the RNC or the Republican Party. Allegedly.

Lastly, "Limbaugh said the real reason he's out is the NFLPA's attempt to influence negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement."  If that's true, that makes me happy. The player contracts and the pension and healthcare ex-players receive suck.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hush, Little White Church. Naw, for Real. Hush.

What really pissed me off in the previously referred to essay on Christian social justice was this line: If the church were awake when abortion was passed in the 70’s, it wouldn’t have happened. But the church was asleep” (Goodstein, “Disowning Conservative Politics”). Now granted, he was quoting someone else. And granted I think I may have heard the quote before. I just wanna pop go the weasel till the weasel go pop!

That's how I ended the last post, and I think I wanna go ahead and cap this off before moving on. Cause I've heard that sentiment before.

So lets be clear. The "American church" wasn't sleep before the 70s. The Black Church was busy fighting segregation, neo-slavery, and legal discrimination. The White Church was busy fighting to maintain their way of life.

Quit crying. No, not all white churches everywhere in the US, no.

But make no mistake about it. If the Southern White church had been living out the words of Christ and not the words of . . . oh I don't know, just pick a random slaveowner . . . Jefferson Davis, maybe? Things would not have gone down the way they did. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad we have the MLK Letters from a Birmingham Jail, but damn.

Now, I'm sorry I'm not going to spend much time proving that the White church wasn't sleep. Once you think about it, it's quite evident. But if not, let me know. Okay? Cause I got another point I wanna make.

Cause there's a reason white Christians, and maybe not even just the ones in the South, persist to insist on that myth. It's so they can pretend that the reason they suddenly stopped voting for Democrats just as blacks were allowed to vote isn't that they were/are racist. Naw. It was cause they were suddenly astounded to learn that women were having abortions. Or deeply disturbed that their children would no longer be led in prayer at the beginning of the school day.


Now you find yourselves protesting so that the wealthy won't have to pay more taxes or so that health insurance companies can continue with private death panels. I mean seriously. After a president who lied you into war and arrested and held Americans without cause and listened into phone calls, now, you're suddenly worried about your freedoms and liberty? Seriously? And it has nothing to do with race?

Please. Please. Please! Quit lying to yourselves. Do you really believe that after seeing fire hoses and police dogs being turned on fellow Americans; after the bombings of churches and homes; murders of little children . . . it was abortion that woke you up? Abortion that stirred you to action?

I think you're lying but my lord! I hope you're not. Naw, for real.

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