Hat tip: Think On These Things:

Fat Cats Disproportionately Support Hillary, Everyday Folk Support Obama

The bulk of Hillary’s primary money is from people who contributed over $2300. Only a small proportion of her money came from small donors (those giving less than $200). On the other hand, the largest category for Obama’s campaign money is from small donors (those giving less than $200). That would be those of us who are $5, $10, and $25 people…and I give my $10 with pride.

Obama Size of Donations:

Under $200: $34,512,100

$200-$2299: $19,481,410

Over $2300: $25,268,200

Clinton Size of Donations:

Under $200: $9,460,880

$200-$2299: $23,504,390

Over $2300: $46,676,500

There’s nothing wrong with giving $2300 if you got it like that. However, when the “under $200″ category is disproportionately low relative to other candidates, it does raise some eyebrows. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about who is really not going to be beholden to the lobbyists and special interests.

I thought that this was interesting information, just to see how all the money shook out.

I have read numerous places about how Obama doesn’t connect with the ‘blue collar’ worker. Yet, those who only give a small amount to campaigns seem to be giving it to Obama.

Per The Chicago Tribune:

U.S. official: Jena nooses were hate crime
by Howard Witt

Under pointed questioning from Democratic House members who decried the lack of federal intervention in the racially-charged Jena 6 case, U.S. Justice Department officials revealed Tuesday that they are now weighing an investigation into allegations of systemic racial bias in the administration of justice in the small, mostly white Louisiana town.

U.S. Attorney Donald Washington also said for the first time that the hanging of nooses from a shade tree in the Jena High School courtyard in September, 2006, by three white students—a warning to stay away from the tree directed at black students that triggered months of interracial fights in the town—constituted a federal hate crime, but that federal authorities opted not to prosecute the case because of the ages of the white youths involved.

Jena school officials dismissed the noose incident as a youthful prank and issued brief suspensions to the white students involved, angering black residents of the town.

“Yes, hanging a noose under these circumstances is a hate crime,” Washington, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, told a House Judiciary Committee hearing convened to examine the Jena case. “If these acts had been committed by others who were not juveniles, this would have been a federal hate crime, and we would have moved forward.”

But during the four-hour hearing boycotted by most Republican members of the House panel, many African American committee members said they remained dissatisfied with the reluctance of Justice Department officials to intervene more forcefully in what they regard as the excessive prosecution of six black Jena students for a Dec. 4 attack on a white student.

The white student was briefly knocked unconscious and was treated and released at a local hospital, but Jena District Attorney Reed Walters initially charged the black students with attempted murder. After public outcry about the case mounted, Walters reduced the charges to aggravated second-degree battery.But Walters’ refusal to charge other whites in the town who attacked blacks with similar crimes prompted national civil rights leaders, joined by more than 20,000 demonstrators who marched through Jena on Sept. 20, to assert that the town’s justice system was biased.

“Shame on you!” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) shouted at Washington, the first African American to hold the U.S. attorney’s post in western Louisiana. “Mr. Washington, tell me why you did not intervene? Six broken lives could have been prevented if you had taken action.”

Rest of the article is Here.

Oh, so NOWWWWWWWWWW you see that the nooses were a hate crime.

Negro, Please.

I will not even comment on the Republican members who chose not to be there.

I almost let this story slip through the cracks and hadn’t seen much coverage here in the Afrosphere outside of JP Smith over at black…MYstory, so here goes. Last Thursday, Obama dropped one hell of an op ed in the Union Leader about the Lieberman-Kyl bill labeling Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. Titled “Five years after Iraq war vote, we’re still foolishly rattling our sabers” Obama writes:

an amendment passed last month by the Senate could be used by the President as justification to strike Iran under the authority granted to him by the 2002 Iraq war resolution.
<snip>
Why is this so dangerous? The Bush administration could use language like this to justify a continued troop presence in Iraq as long as it perceives a threat from Iran. Even worse, the Bush administration could use the language in Lieberman-Kyl to justify an attack on Iran as a part of the ongoing war in Iraq.

So far so good. Unfortunately, Obama didn’t make the vote himself as he was campaigning in New Hampshire. His absence is essentially a nay, bit Hillary was present and voted hip hop hooray. Check out another excerpt from Obama’s piece:

I strongly differ with Sen. Hillary Clinton, who was the only Democratic presidential candidate to support this reckless amendment.
<snip>
Sen. Clinton says she was merely voting for more diplomacy, not war with Iran. If this has a familiar ring, it should. Five years after the original vote for war in Iraq, Sen. Clinton has argued that her vote was not for war — it was for diplomacy, or inspections. But all of us knew what the Senate was debating in 2002. John Edwards has renounced his own vote for the war, and he should be applauded for his candor. After all, we didn’t need to authorize a war in order to have United Nations weapons inspections. No one thought Congress was debating diplomacy. No newspaper headlines ran on Oct. 12, 2002, reading, “Congress authorizes diplomacy.” This was a vote to authorize war, and without that vote, there would have been no war.

Booyah! That’s what I’m talkin’ bout. It’s one thing for Obama to continually draw distinctions with Clinton over the 2002 vote and “focus on the past.” It’s another thing entirely to see that him raising that point is still very relevant today and into the future.

After that 2002 vote, I was utterly disappointed in the Democrats for granting Bush any authority whatsoever. Here was a man who was as incompetent as he was illegitimate, and we hand over the keys to the armed forces in a fit of misguided, so-called patriotism. After what we’ve seen go down in Iraq, I figured we would all refuse such acquiescence in the future. I was wrong. I’m especially annoyed with Clinton whose militarism scares me and who should know better the second time around.

I can’t believe I’m about to invoke Nancy Reagan, but in this case, the Dems should have just said, “No.”

Technorati Tags: , ,

Hat tip: Skeptical Brotha

Kill a dog, go to jail, kill a black boy and nothing happens
Hat Tip: Court TV

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (Court TV) — A Florida jury found eight former boot camp employees not guilty of causing the death of a juvenile offender in their care.

The panel of four women and two men deliberated just 90 minutes before reaching their verdict in the trial of seven drill instructors and a nurse accused in the death of 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson.

Former drill instructors Henry Dickens, Patrick Garrett, Raymond Hauck, Charles Helms Jr., Henry McFadden Jr., Charles Enfinger, Joseph Walsh and nurse Kristin Schmidt could have faced up to 30 years in prison if they had been convicted of aggravated manslaughter.

The jury was also given the option of considering lesser charges of manslaughter, child neglect and misdemeanor culpable negligence — convictions that would have carried lighter sentences.

“We were innocent all along,” McFadden said. “We knew this truth would come out. As Circuit Judge Michael Overstreet read the verdicts for each of the defendants, sobs from defendants’ families grew louder.

On the other side of the courtroom, Anderson’s mother, Gina Jones, shook her head, and his father, Robert Anderson, covered his face in his hands.

The case has polarized Panama City, and throughout the week-long trial demonstrators gathered outside the courthouse, chanting and carrying signs. After the verdict was read Friday, as the defendants and their lawywers spoke with the media, people drove by shouting “Murderers,” and “They know they’re guilty.”

The Anderson family’s lawyer, Benjamin Crump, implied that race was the deciding issue in the case, in which a black teenager died after being manhandled by a group of guards that included whites, blacks and one Asian American.

“You kill a dog, you go to jail. You kill a little black boy and nothing happens,” Crump said.

In their testimony, all eight of the defendants said they were shocked and saddened by Anderson’s death. Dickens, one of the two black drill instructors involved in the incident, said he was hurt by the insults that have been leveled at him.

“They’ve been calling me an Uncle Tom, but this was never about race,” he said. “We cared about this kid. The kids are our future. I’m not going to be around for ever. We really cared about that kid.”

Defense attorneys bristled at idea that the verdict from the jury of six whites should be written off to racism.

“Two of the defendants were African-American,” said Robert Sombathy, the attorney for Garrett. “I don’t hear the NAACP trying to make an issue out of them. Race is not an issue in this case.”

Anderson, a ninth-grader who was sent to the Bay County Sheriff’s Department Juvenile Boot Camp for stealing his grandmother’s car, was only a few hours into his stay when he allegedly participated in a mandatory run for 10 minutes, then stopped and refused to continue.

During the 30-minute altercation that ensued — captured on surveillance video that attorneys for both sides repeatedly dissected during the trial — seven guards took turns restraining Anderson against a pole, pinning him to the ground and occasionally kneeing and hitting him to gain compliance.

In the melee, Schmidt stood outside the group as guards wrestled Anderson to the ground and then attempted to rouse him by waving ammonia caps under his nose.

The camp was closed a few months after the teen’s death.

Question 1 – Since when did this country abandon the 12-person jury rule in CRIMINAL TRIALS?

Question 2- Another ALL WHITE JURY? Unless this was Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Wyoming…..WHY WAS THERE AN ALL-WHITE JURY?

I know that this young man was no ‘innocent’. But, he was only 14. He deserved to be written off at the age of 14? Am I not the only one offended by that? He was sent to a place like that, because they wanted to give him a chance to straighten himself out. He wasn’t sent there TO BE MURDERED.

And, that is what happened to him.

HE WAS MURDERED.

He was MURDERED by a GROUP of people….and nobody is going to be held accountable for it.

Another young Black male thrown away and discarded; murdered at will, and nobody’s responsible?

He was ONE child…they were a GROUP of ADULTS…..and, their only option was to MURDER HIM?

The demonization and dehumanization of our children to the point where we find excuses and justifications for their demise.

‘ He was a bad kid’.

‘ He broke the law.’

Why is it that OUR children don’t get to make ‘youthful mistakes’. Why are they not given the time to straighten themselves out. Either we want to lock them up and throw away the key, or, as in this case, just discard them altogether.

LOOK at the picture at the top of this post. Just LOOK at it. Don’t detach yourself from it. Once again this society says that OUR children aren’t worth much of anything. And, I think that’s wrong. Fundamentally wrong.

Hat tip: C-Span’s Washington Journal:

From USAToday.com:

Discount airlines fly migrants to U.S. border
By Claudio Cruz, AP

MEXICALI, Mexico — New Mexican discount airlines are using rock-bottom fares to cater to legal and illegal migrants heading for the USA.

The airlines — known among fliers as Aeromigrante, or “Migrant Air” — take passengers from central or southern Mexico to cities along the northern border such as Tijuana and Mexicali. From there, customers make their way across the U.S. border.

The flights are part of a booming services industry for the estimated 13 million Mexican and Central American migrants who reside in the USA. Passengers who used to make bus trips of several days can arrive at the border well-rested for the often dangerous crossing.

Return flights south are often nearly empty of passengers, and some routes offer only one-way service. One of the airlines, Tijuana-based Avolar, estimates that 70% of its customers have the USA as their final destination.

“The most productive routes we have are cities where you have those passengers who are traveling with the idea of the American dream,” said Luis Ceceña, a company spokesman.

Other budget carriers such as Volaris, Interjet and Click have started operations in the past two years and make air travel affordable to poorer Mexicans. One-way flights to Tijuana from central Mexico cost about $150, half what they did a few years ago.

“It’s much more comfortable than the bus, and about the same price,” said Leopoldo Torres, 37, of Mexico City, as he stretched his legs aboard a Volaris flight to Mexicali. He and a traveling companion, Julio Menéndez, planned to cross into the USA illegally through the California desert.

Migrants said another factor driving them to fly is the difficulty of crossing the border as the United States builds fences and adds Border Patrol agents. Smugglers who aid their journey have doubled their fees to $2,000 or more, making an airline ticket seem less expensive, said Guillermo Hernández of Guerrero.

Some airlines try to get even more migrant business. Avolar offers Greyhound bus connections from Tijuana to Fresno, where many migrants work on farms. Aero California takes payments through Western Union, used by many migrants to send money home.

Ceceña said the airlines should not be responsible for policing their passengers. “We have a saying in Mexico: ‘Let the other hens cackle; you take care of your own eggs,’ ” he said. “It’s a good business for us, and we’re going to keep taking care of those customers.”

Hawley is Latin America correspondent for USA TODAY and The Arizona Republic.

Sometimes you see stories and go WTF?

But, why should we be surprised. You have the Mexican Government publishing ‘How To’ Manuals about illegal immigration….so, why not airlines aiding in the process?

When is this country going to get serious about border security? And that we can’t take in anyone and everyone Mexico wants to send.

Iraq- It’s the Oil

12 Oct 2007

It’s the OIL.

Why are we still in Iraq?

OIL OIL OIL

Hat tip: The Daily Dish

It’s the Oil
by Jim Holt

Iraq is ‘unwinnable’, a ‘quagmire’, a ‘fiasco’: so goes the received opinion. But there is good reason to think that, from the Bush-Cheney perspective, it is none of these things. Indeed, the US may be ‘stuck’ precisely where Bush et al want it to be, which is why there is no ‘exit strategy’.

Iraq has 115 billion barrels of known oil reserves. That is more than five times the total in the United States. And, because of its long isolation, it is the least explored of the world’s oil-rich nations. A mere two thousand wells have been drilled across the entire country; in Texas alone there are a million. It has been estimated, by the Council on Foreign Relations, that Iraq may have a further 220 billion barrels of undiscovered oil; another study puts the figure at 300 billion. If these estimates are anywhere close to the mark, US forces are now sitting on one quarter of the world’s oil resources. The value of Iraqi oil, largely light crude with low production costs, would be of the order of $30 trillion at today’s prices. For purposes of comparison, the projected total cost of the US invasion/occupation is around $1 trillion.

Who will get Iraq’s oil? One of the Bush administration’s ‘benchmarks’ for the Iraqi government is the passage of a law to distribute oil revenues. The draft law that the US has written for the Iraqi congress would cede nearly all the oil to Western companies. The Iraq National Oil Company would retain control of 17 of Iraq’s 80 existing oilfields, leaving the rest – including all yet to be discovered oil – under foreign corporate control for 30 years. ‘The foreign companies would not have to invest their earnings in the Iraqi economy,’ the analyst Antonia Juhasz wrote in the New York Times in March, after the draft law was leaked. ‘They could even ride out Iraq’s current “instability” by signing contracts now, while the Iraqi government is at its weakest, and then wait at least two years before even setting foot in the country.’

As negotiations over the oil law stalled in September, the provincial government in Kurdistan simply signed a separate deal with the Dallas-based Hunt Oil Company, headed by a close political ally of President Bush.

How will the US maintain hegemony over Iraqi oil? By establishing permanent military bases in Iraq. Five self-sufficient ‘super-bases’ are in various stages of completion. All are well away from the urban areas where most casualties have occurred. There has been precious little reporting on these bases in the American press, whose dwindling corps of correspondents in Iraq cannot move around freely because of the dangerous conditions. (It takes a brave reporter to leave the Green Zone without a military escort.) In February last year, the Washington Post reporter Thomas Ricks described one such facility, the Balad Air Base, forty miles north of Baghdad. A piece of (well-fortified) American suburbia in the middle of the Iraqi desert, Balad has fast-food joints, a miniature golf course, a football field, a cinema and distinct neighbourhoods – among them, ‘KBR-land’, named after the Halliburton subsidiary that has done most of the construction work at the base. Although few of the 20,000 American troops stationed there have ever had any contact with an Iraqi, the runway at the base is one of the world’s busiest. ‘We are behind only Heathrow right now,’ an air force commander told Ricks.

The rest of the article can be read HERE:

Part of the reason why the SEPTEMBER deadline had been set was that they thought they would have been able to push through the insanity of having the Iraqis turn over their most precious national resource – their oil – to the oil companies. The Iraqis responded by going on vacation for 2 months. That this story doesn’t lead the news everyday is one of the problems of corporate ownership of news. For those who want to know why our soldiers are dying – it’s for the Oil Companies. We’re there to protect the Oil Companies. Has nothing to do with ‘ democracy’ or ‘ The War On Terror’. It’s for the War Profiteers and the Oil Companies.

Not that we didn’t already know this, but it bears repeating and putting it out there for more people to read.

Per CNN.com:

Iraqi families sue Blackwater in U.S. court
Federal suit filed in Washington on behalf of slain and injured Iraqis

(CNN) — A Philadelphia law firm filed suit against Blackwater USA on Thursday on behalf of the families of Iraqis killed and injured in last month’s shooting in Baghdad’s Nusoor Square.

In this September 24 photo, an Iraqi looks at a car that was destroyed during the September 16 incident.

1 of 2 The suit calls the incident a “senseless slaying” and claims it was part of “Blackwater’s lengthy pattern of egregious misconduct in Iraq.”

“This was a summary execution, an execution without a trial,” said Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights which is part of the legal team.

The September 16 shooting in western Baghdad left 17 Iraqis dead, according to Iraqi officials who called the incident “premeditated murder” in a report released this month.

Blackwater, which guards U.S. diplomats, has said that its contractors “acted lawfully and appropriately” in response to an attack on a U.S. Embassy convoy. But Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh has said an Iraqi investigation found no proof that the convoy was attacked.

A joint U.S.-Iraqi investigation is ongoing. The FBI is leading the U.S. investigation.

The suit, filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., says Blackwater “created and fostered a culture of lawlessness amongst its employees, encouraging them to act in the company’s financial interests at the expense of innocent human life.”

The suit was filed on behalf of the estates of Himoud Saed Atban, Usama Fadhil Abbass and Oday Ismail Ibraheem, who were killed. It also represents Talib Mutlaq Deewan, who, the suit said, was “seriously injured.”

Susan Burke, attorney for the plaintiffs, told CNN that Deewan and the other parties approached her firm, Burke O’Neil LLC, which she said represented parties involved in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal. The Center for Constitutional Rights, based in New York, is also part of the legal team.

Rest of story here.

GOOD FOR THEM.

We have a Democratic Congress who is seemingly unwilling to regulate these jokers. The meek steps that they have taken recently are a joke. They should have been on this THE DAY they took over. We knew the GOP was deaf, dumb and blind, as these mercenaries ran amuck. There is absolutely no reason why these War Profiteers should be allowed to run around unregulated. And, if it takes being dragged into court to get some answers about the horrors that they are doing, then so be it.

Correction: about Blackwater hiring the South Africans. Made a mistake. Thanks to the reader for correcting me. The South African Mercenaries will be in a separate story.

From CNN.com

Police: Pennsylvania boy planned ‘Columbine’ event at high school
From Eden Pontz
CNN

(CNN) — Police have taken into custody a 14-year-old boy who is suspected of planning a “Columbine” type event at a Pennsylvania high school, a police spokesman said.

Police took a 14-year-old boy into custody after a search of his home turned up dozens of weapons.

Police in Plymouth Township near Philadelphia took the boy into custody after a search of his home turned up a number of weapons, including a 9 mm rifle with a laser scope and dozens of air guns, said Deputy Chief Joe Lawrence.

Police also found an operational hand grenade, three other hand grenades in the process of construction, bomb-making equipment, manuals and 30 powered weapons that fire BBs.

The boy’s mother bought the rifle for him several weeks ago at a gun show, police said. No ammunition was found for the rifle.

The grenades were made with plastic casings that authorities believe the boy bought on the Internet, Lawrence said. The operational hand grenades included black powder, BBs and a fuse believed used in fireworks.

Lawrence said police are also investigating whether the boy’s mother bought him black powder used in the grenades.

The boy was making the grenades in his bedroom, he said.

In addition to the weapons, authorities found a hand-painted Nazi flag and a video about the Columbine shootings, District Attorney Bruce Castor said.

“It is my judgment that this individual considered that something to be glorified and was doing so,” he said.

Two students opened fire at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, on April 20, 1999. They killed 13 people and wounded 23 others before killing themselves.

The 14-year-old is expected to appear in juvenile court Friday to face charges that could include making terroristic threats, criminal solicitation, weapons possession, and possession and manufacturing of weapons of mass destruction, police said.

If he’s found delinquent, he could face jail time and counseling.

The boy’s mother and father may face criminal charges pending an investigation, police said.

“I don’t see any evidence that leads me to conclude that she knew that this attack was planned or anything of that nature,” Castor told “Anderson Cooper 360.”

But he said he thinks charges against the mother are likely. “I think you have a parent who has fallen down on the job in supervising the child, perhaps indulgent on the child because she knows he has issues.”

Police acted on a tip they received at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday from a Plymouth Whitemarsh High School student and his father, school officials said. The 14-year-old was taken into custody at his home about 10 p.m.

“The boy who gave the tip was one who was trying to be recruited,” Castor added. “He was a friend of the boy in the loosest terms.”

Officials said they think the tip was prompted by Wednesday’s shooting at a school in Cleveland, Ohio.

“We have no information at this point that leads us to think this is other than an isolated individual who was trying to recruit others to help,” Castor said.

School officials said the boy is not a student at the school.

“This was a youth in the community who has not been enrolled in school since spring of 2006,” according to Dave Sherman, spokesman for Plymouth Whitemarsh High School.

The school has an enrollment of 1,591 students in grades nine through 12. No classes are being canceled because of the incident, school officials said Thursday.

Plymouth Township is about 15 miles northwest of Philadelphia

Look at that picture above. That was this boy’s stash. Nobody can tell me that regulation of gun sales is a BAD THING.

HOW THE HELL was he able to get an ARSENAL like that? And where the hell were his parents? He was FOURTEEN !!!

I do wonder, though……did the police listen this time because his fellow student was WHITE telling them that he was about to do it? Because, they ignored the BLACK students in Cleveland that warned them about that boy who did the shooting a couple of days ago. Them ignoring the students in Cleveland takes me back to Virginia Tech and the ignoring of the warnings of Nikki Giovanni and the Head of the English Department (both Black Women) at VTech about that young man who did all those killings.

I’m glad they were able to get ahead of this possible massacre, but one has to question why police listen to warnings from some and not others.

Mychal Bell Back in Jail

12 Oct 2007

A Louisiana judge sent Mychal Bell back to jail yesterday, claiming that his involvement in the beating of Justin Barker violated the terms of his probation.

A judge decided the fight that thrust a teenager into the center of a civil rights controversy violated his probation for a previous conviction and ordered the boy back to jail, the teen’s attorney said.

Mychal Bell, who along with five other black teenagers is accused of beating a white classmate, had gone to juvenile court in Jena on Thursday expecting another routine hearing, said Carol Powell Lexing, one of his attorneys.

Instead, state District Judge J.P. Mauffrey Jr. sentenced Bell to 18 months in jail on two counts of simple battery and two counts of criminal destruction of property, Lexing said.

This is ludicrously arbitrary. The timing of this decision, weeks after Bell’s release, suggest that Reed Walters and Judge Mauffrey spent a great deal of time figuring out how they could get Bell back in jail. Mauffrey is the judge who originally refused to allow a bail hearing for Bell after his conviction in adult court was overturned on appeal. Bell’s attorneys had previously and unsuccessfully tried to have him removed from the case.

The criminal justice system in Jena is broken. Their selective prosecution of black citizens, their monumental efforts to keep Mychal Bell in jail and the racist sympathies of the Mayor are proof that there is no possible way for Bell or any of the Jena Six to retain their constitutional rights to due process.

Sharpton framed the judge’s decision in pettier terms.

“We feel this was a cruel and unusual punishment and is a revenge by this judge for the Jena Six movement,” said Sharpton, who helped organize the protest held Sept. 20, the day Bell was originally supposed to be sentenced.

There’s probably something to that. The AP quotes something from the SPLC suggesting that the recent influx of hate crimes involving nooses is a backlash against the protests in Jena:

“We’re seeing a lot of generalized white resentment,” he said. “The conversation among many white people, particularly in the South, amounts to the idea that Jena was a black-on-white hate crime that is being widely misconstrued as a case of racial oppression of blacks.”

The knee-jerk reaction of a racist when confronted with a manifestation of black power and agency is the desire to put a black man “back in his place.” For now, Judge Mauffrey and Reed Walters have their wish.

Per NYTimes.com

Gore and U.N. Panel Win Peace Prize for Climate Work
By WALTER GIBBS
Published: October 13, 2007

OSLO, Oct. 12 — The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded today to Al Gore, the former American vice president, and to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for their work to alert the world to the threat of global warming.

Mr. Gore, who lost the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush, “is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted,” the Nobel citation said.

The United Nations committee, a network of 2,000 scientists, has produced two decades of scientific reports that have “created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming,” the citation said.

Mr. Gore, who was traveling in San Francisco, said in a statement that he was deeply honored to receive the prize. “This award is even more meaningful because I have the honor of sharing it with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — the world’s pre-eminent scientific body devoted to improving our understanding of the climate crisis — a group whose members have worked tirelessly and selflessly for many years,” he said, according to Reuters.

In New Delhi, Rajendra K. Pachauri, an Indian scientist who leads the United Nations committee, said he was overwhelmed at the news of the award. “I expect this will bring the subject to the fore,” he said.

“I’m only a symbol of a much larger organization, the IPCC, and it’s really the scientific community that contributed to the work of the IPCC,” Dr. Pachauri said, according to Reuters. “They’re the real winners of this award,’” he said.

Mr. Gore said he would donate the proceeds from his award to the environmental cause.

“My wife, Tipper, and I will donate 100 percent of the proceeds of the award to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a bipartisan non-profit organization that is devoted to changing public opinion in the U.S. and around the world about the urgency of solving the climate crisis.”

The Nobel award carries political ramifications in the United States, which the Nobel committed tried to minimize after its announcement today.

Rest of article Here:

Congratulations to Mr. Gore. Now, it’s time for him to jump into the Presidential Race.

I just have to call it what it is. That bizzatch is crazy as hell. And dangerous. People have the right to believe in God — whatever that means to them — as they see fit. Or the right not to believe anything at all. That’s the concept on which this country was founded. Freedom of religion is enshrined in the Bill of Rights. It’s called the First Amendment, dawg.

That’s what’s scary about the state of the current Republican party. The actual ideals that many of them espouse run counter to the historic ideals of America, regardless of how much they may wrap the flag around torture, unlawful invasion, warrantless searches, racial profiling, anti-immigrant discrimination, voter disenfranchisement (including of women), general unenlightened bigotry and theocratism. It’s scary to me and it’s looks like it’s troubling to many patriotic, non-insane Republicans.

Ann Coulter’s ideal America from Fox New’s transcript from Donny Deutsch’s CNBC show “The Big Idea”:

DEUTSCH: Would there be more tolerance? Would there be — would women be happier, would the races get along better? The Ann Coulter subscription — prescription. What — tell me what would be different in our fabric of country, because —

COULTER: Well, all of those things.

DEUTSCH: I can give — I can give you an argument there would be more divisiveness, that there would be more hate —

COULTER: Oh, no.

DEUTSCH: That there would be a bigger difference between the rich and the poor, a lot of other — tell me what — why this would be a better world? Let’s give you — I’m going to give you — say this is your show.

COULTER: Well, OK, take the Republican National Convention. People were happy. They’re Christian. They’re tolerant. They defend America, they —

DEUTSCH: Christian — so we should be Christian? It would be better if we were all Christian?

COULTER: Yes.

DEUTSCH: We should all be Christian?

COULTER: Yes. Would you like to come to church with me, Donny?

[...]
DEUTSCH: That isn’t what I said, but you said I should not — we should just throw Judaism away and we should all be Christians, then, or —

COULTER: Yeah.
[...]
COULTER: No, we think — we just want Jews to be perfected, as they say.

DEUTSCH: Wow, you didn’t really say that, did you?

Making it your mission to “perfect” other people sometimes takes the form of killing them when they don’t conform to your own narrow notions of what they should look like or believe or do. Forms like the Final Solution. The Inquisition. And Ethnic Cleansing.

Anyway, reading Coulter’s vile spew makes me sick. I know she’s popular on the talk shows because of the shock value. Still, UGH. Giving her any kind of podium — well, she has freedom of speech and I would like more freedom not to listen to her smug (and false) superiority. Like David Duke, I sure wish she would fade into obscurity where she belongs. Media Matters has it and oh yeah, a few tidbits from her record of misogynism, general hatred towards world religions and racism, too. Funny how those all those so often go hand in hand…

Honestly though, I’d urge Media Matters to beef up their database on Coulter. She has said some horrifying things, only a fraction of which have made it onto the site, it would appear.

Here’s an interesting video a reader sent in featuring Wade Henderson of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. Why do we see so much of Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton and so little of leaders like Wade?

Also, Color of Change is putting pressure on Gov. Blanco in Louisiana to nvestigate the actions of the racist District Attorney along with sending letters to the DA, Reed Walters himself. I mean, really — who pursues attempted murder charges over a schoolyard brawl that could have been punished at the school with suspensions, detention or other means. After all, the white kids in the case who hung nooses threatening all of the black youngsters in Jena received school-based discipline. Certainly, at most, the juvenile court system should have been enough.

If you agree, please take a moment to send letters supporting justice for the Jena 6.

Text from the petition:

Dear District Attorney Reed Walters,

It is your duty to enforce the law fairly and equally. Your handling of the case of “the Jena Six,” your disinterest in pursuing the multiple instances of white-on-black violence that preceded the beating of Justin Barker, and your threats to Black students protesting the presence of nooses on their campus, have been neither fair nor equal.

I’m writing to ask that you begin repairing the damage you have caused to these boys and their families by immediately dropping the charges against all six young men.

I am committed to supporting the people of Jena, Louisiana who have been protesting the profound injustice occurring there. I have contacted Governor Blanco to ask her to intervene to make sure justice is served for the Jena Six, and to ask that she investigate your conduct in this case. I am committed to doing whatever I personally can to support these young men and their families until this matter is appropriately resolved.

America’s urban centers, especially in the Northeast, have a tendency to deal with the shame of America’s racist past by pretending that it is an entirely regional issue. It isn’t.

White and black people both face this temptation. White people because they want to believe that they themselves, their friends and family, and even the local society they live in has transcended what they see as the racial time warp of The South. Black people want to believe it because we want to believe that we can escape race, that we can outrun it here in the City; but for the most part we know we can’t.

A noose is a noose, in Jena or New York City.

A hangman’s noose was left dangling on the door of a black professor’s office at Columbia University Teachers College on Tuesday, triggering a hate-crime investigation and drawing parallels to the “Jena Six” controversy.

The ugly symbol of bigotry targeted Dr. Madonna Constantine, a respected psychology and education expert whose books include “Addressing Racism,” sources said.

The incident at Columbia follows what is essentially becoming a national trend. Nooses have been hung at Maryland University, The Coast Guard Academy, and a Long Island police station, among many others. In some cases, people simply quit their jobs.

The good part about covering a story on a college campus is the opportunity to acquire some pretty sharp “person on the street” type quotes.

“I’m upset, but I’m not surprised,” said Shawn Maxam, 26, a master’s degree student who is black. “I think it’s just a reflection of what’s going on in America as a whole.

“We got tricked into thinking that race is not an issue because we’re in 2007 and Barack Obama is running for President. That’s not the case.”

Someone should tell the MSM. I don’t think they’ve figured that one out yet. Contrast the above grad student’s reaction with that of a white professor and student.

“It’s disturbing,” said student Pete Cronin, 33. “It’s not the type of thing you’d ever think would happen here or should happen anywhere.”

“You might expect this stuff at the undergraduate level, but not here,” said Prof. Lambros Comitas. “We’ve never had any ethnic or racial tensions.”

Students were equally surprised that the noose was left for Constantine, who has worked at Teachers College since 1998 and often writes and lectures on race and multiculturalism.

Well, clearly “students” weren’t surprised because at least one student, the only black student interviewed, literally said “I’m not surprised.” What the Daily News clearly meant was “white students were surprised.”

Columbia itself lies smack in the middle of what was once Harlem; racial tensions are a very real part of its past and present. The idea that somehow the graduate school would be exempt from issues of race when it lies on the fault line between gentrifying Harlem and the Upper West Side is really hopelessly naive.

It isn’t however, very surprising. What people are really saying when they express surprise is a desire not to face the reality of race in America. These tensions reach beyond the American South. They are a part of our society. It frightens me that when faced with it, most people simply express surprise.

Surprise is really a failure to accept our own role in allowing racism to continue by ignoring it, or believing it can simply be erased by time or proximity, rather than asking hard questions both about ourselves and the world around us.


I’ve spent many years working alongside and living with our Caucasian brothers and sisters. So, I have learned a little over time about how to interpret their language. Our lingual culture is often quite, shall we say, direct. The announcement today that the U.K. will soon remove more than half their troops from Iraq had some carefully chosen, less-than-direct words. I invite you to use this handy guide to translate for your Big Mama what Gordon Brown is actually saying to the other white people in charge.

From the BBC:

“My first instinct if I were honest with all of you was that I wanted to get on with the job of putting my vision of what the future of the country was to the people of the country and deliver on it before there was ever an election.”

“But I did listen to people. I looked at what people were saying. I heard from our candidates in marginal seats. These candidates in marginal seats were telling us that we would win the election. I happen to believe we would win at any time.”

“I take full responsibility for everything that’s happened. I will not put the blame to anybody else. Anything that happens in Downing Street is the direct responsibility of me and I will always take that full responsibility myself.”

“I did think: ‘It’s a party conference season, wait until the party conference season has finished, then make your announcement about where things are going’.”

“I considered an election. I said: ‘Let’s see what people are saying during the party conference season’. I then said I have got to bring that to an end…I could have done it earlier, maybe I should have done it earlier – that’s the reality of the situation.”


Translation:
“Look, y’all, I just got this job and ever since then, every manner of folk have been all up in a brother’s face trying to tell him what to do. Day-yam! Of course, I *don’t* want to lose every Labour seat in Parliament over this debacle in Iraq for that my ill-advised predecessor got us into, either! I know the stakes here. I’m not an idiot. I just wanted to take a little time and figure out what the best course of action would be. And how to spin it. I am the Big Dog around here. Mistakes may — or may not– have been made. Woof woof! So everybody needs to back on up off me, ya hear?

From the New York Times:

”The security gains made by the multinational forces this year have been significant,” Brown said. ”As important as improving security is building the capacity of the Iraqi forces so they can achieve our aim: that Iraqis step up and progressively take over security themselves.”

Iraqi forces will take control of security in the southern province of Basra within two months, ending Britain’s combat role in the country, Brown said.

British forces will move to an oversight role which will initially include securing key supply and transit routes from Kuwait to Baghdad, Brown said.

But during a second stage beginning next spring, British troops will ”maintain a more limited re-intervention capacity and where the main focus will be on training and mentoring,” Brown said.


Translation:
We’s gettin’ out while the gettin’ is still good. We’ve cleaned up Basra. Let the Iraqis and Americans take it from here. We reserve the right to get back in there and kick some behind, if necessary. We Still Bad. Don’t start none, won’t be none. We’re saving face here obviously but still want to appear helpful, involved, reasonably on top of the Middle East situation etc. However, at this point, we’d prefer to move into more of a supervisory role rather than the day-to-day killing, er, legal enforcement we have lately been undertaking. Thank you.

With much love to Talib Kweli‘s new cut Listen (from the album Eardrum):

Ladies and gentleman, get ready here it come.
[Jill Tubman] and I’m bangin’ on your eardrum.
Get up, get into, and get involved.
(Listen)
There’s a little somethin’ that I wanna spit for y’all.
(I wanna know!)
Now let me get up in it.

You love the sounds coming out your speaker
I spit rounds like a nine millimeter
The youth today, they frown at the teachers
They ain’t down with no leaders

Hmmm…when you know the demographics in your country are shifting, does it make sense to completely ignore the people in a growing demographic in favor of an ignorant, fearful and shrinking one? What’s always fascinated me about American racism is just how twisted, awkward, self-destructive and irrational it always is. Here’s a video documenting the current slate of Republican presidential candidates’ consistent avoidance of speaking to people of color. It’s enough to almost make a young person cynical. Or get up into making change happen.


Who We Are

Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell

Special Contributors: James Rucker, Rinku Sen, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Adam Luna, Kamala Harris

Technical Contributor: Brandon Sheats




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