Did you watch the Sunday political talk shows?

I used to watch these more comprehensively than I do now, but I did take the time out to check on Senator Clinton in her appear on This Week; I was hoping for some fireworks between her and the host - as he was the former chief of staff to her husband and his renunciation of politics to become a journalist was a slap in the face to the former president.
No luck on that front, but it was a revealing interview nonetheless; no, not because of anything she said - no one goes on these shows to say anything - but because of a revealing implication from one particular exchange. I did not TiVo this episode as I had no expectations, but it went something like this:
George: If you really wanted the President to go to the UN and then come back to Congress before going off to war in Iraq, why did you not vote for the Levin Amendment that actually required that?
Hillary: blah blah blah . . . you will not hear many people say today that we should not have gone into Kosovo to end the genocide that was occurring, but at the time the Congress was controlled by people who chose to play political games instead of seeking to assist in the midst of that tragic event. I am still leering of an Executive ceding that authority and thus being unable to act in a similar scenario.
And there it is in a nutshell: Clinton - both husband and wife - believe in a strong executive. But not just that, in an executive who can commit US forces to war - without the explicit approval of Congress. This is the heart of what has gone wrong in this nation ever since WWII.
Remember that Roosevelt wanted to enter WWII, but he was denied by a Congress who would not declare war? Ever since that - starting with Truman - presidents have been seeking other avenues to bypass the explicit authority granted in the Constritution to the Congress to declare war. Truman used the UN, claiming that as the UN was created by a duly authorized treaty, our obligations to go to war in Korea were clear. Although as there was no declaration, Korea was known as then, and still is today, as a "police action". Vietnam continued this downward trend, with first Eisenhower sending in some "advisors", who were then expanded by Kennedy, which was then turned by LBJ into a fictitious act of war with the Gulf of Tonkin "incident". In fact, for all of the places around the world where troops have been deployed over the last 60-years, the last time Congress actually declared war was after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
We have reached the point where Congress is no longer even interested in declaring war, as that leaves their fingerprints at the scene and does not allow them to proclaim some level of (im)plausible deniability.
Which is the thin cloak in which Senator Clinton wrapped herself yesterday.
Her claims of being deceived by President Bush are as gossamer as a spider's web - and no less deadly. Unfortunately, her lies would be deadly to the average American citizen, who appears only as a pawn in these games betwixt the mighty.

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From whence do these Black Republicans come?

So I watched C-Span this morning - as it my Sunday custom. It is a more interesting Sunday news show than those interview shows as it does not cater in the same manner to the guests: guests are tossed any set of questions the callers who get through can ask - and some of those questions are insightful and some of the answers are revealing!

Today we had a chance to meet Black, female conservative: Angela McGlowan. Angela is all upset that Black folks are by and large members of the Democratic Party and she wails that we are being exploited.


Well of course we are; for that is the way of America - or perhaps she really believes that owners of Mercedes Benz vehicles really do swoon over their cars in evening gowns and flowers or longingly polish away even the slightest of mark of dust on the otherwise gleaming, incandescent paint schemes.

Our consumer culture is built on exploitation and has been ever since the first ad campaign for a candidate. Black voters are exploited by Democratic candidates as surely as they were before by Republican candidates and would be again under that banner.

So exploitation is not the question.

The question has to be: which party will respond to the needs of the Black community in exchange for our votes?

The Democratic Party has a terrible record in this regard; in fact, it is only better than the record of the modern Republican Party; a party which bears ill-resemblance to the part of Lincoln. Angela seems unaware of this history - or perhaps she really is aware but has learned to profit by putting a Black face on conservative policies and candidates. I stopped by her homepage and left this message:


I watched you on C-SPAN this morning and although it was clear that you are very intelligent, it was also clear that you are very disingenuous, at best.

You mentioned that you grew up in Mississippi and you also mentioned the transition that Trent Lott made from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party; what you did not mention is that of course it is easy to find examples of what the Democratic Party has done against people of African descent, for it was the party of the 'Old South', going back to and even before the Civil War. Why stop at Woodrow Wilson? Why not trace all the way back to Andrew Jackson? Not only was he President, but he was also the man who marched the Cherokee out of Georgia on the 'Trail of Tears' all the way to Oklahoma (which was to be their land forever - until an expanding country realized there was good farmland there and some new stuff folks called 'Black Gold').

But there is no need to join in a lengthy historical dissertation: it is clear that you know all of that. Here is the point: it is self-evident that the Democratic Party of the 'Old South' exists today as members of the Republican Party. This transition was led by the man who perhaps coined the phrase 'Dixiecrat' (or for whom it was coined): Strom Thurmond; a man who ran for President in 1948 as a Dixiecrat: and why was that? His decision to run was inspired by the traitorous act - to him and those who think like him - of Harry Truman integrating the armed forces of the country. Ol' Strom was a member of the KKK too - and he actually fathered a child with a teenaged Black woman who lived and worked for his family. In other words: Strom fathered a child through the statutory rape of a servant girl. There was no difference in this act than any other in the previous generations of Africans in America since before this was a separate country - and it was done by a Democrat who became a Republican when too many Black folks came to the party.

That act of Truman's - one that he could take as the executive without requiring a vote in Congress - was a transition point for Black folks to begin voting for Democratic candidates; for all of our decades of support for Republicans - back since when the US Constitution was changed to provide us the right to vote - this was the first tangible, nationwide program that treated Black men and White men the same - at least on paper. Black men like my grandfather came back from World War II having supposedly fought for freedom and then they chafed against the bonds of Jim Crow back home. It was those men and their families who moved to leave the Republican Party of their youth for this changed Democratic Party; this led first JFK and then LBJ to recognize that their was a powerful voting block out their which could be tapped to win elections.

One last point in closing: you and Trent Lott are both from Mississippi - where is where Emmett Till was murdered so grotesquely back in the '50s. This was perhaps the single event of the 20th century that ignited all of the changes that allowed both you and I to attend the good schools we did; a direct line can be drawn from that event to the Civil Rights movement led by Dr. King and the passage of the Civil Rights Act (over the 'No' vote of Bob Dole) and here was Trent Lott, recalling the presidential run of Strom Thurmond fondly and acting as though he knew nothing of the struggles for Civil Rights.

There he was, growing up in Mississippi and a child of his same age is murdered so viciously for at best doing nothing Trent had not done himself as a boy slowly becoming a man. But as the classic racist he was then and is today, he could not see the humanity of Africans; to him - how could Strom Thurmond be anything but a hero?

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Once more, into the breech!

My plans were to spend a relaxing, Labor Day weekend; watch a few college football games on TV and just take things easy.

Then my idyll was interrupted by a willful act of ignorance.

I had TiVo slow down the football game for me; I like to do that so that I can speed past the penalties, the commercials and the inane blather that accompanies an Irish game.
Still, I watched halftime almost straight through - I thought that interview with Peyton Manning was very interesting - and prepared to watch the second half excited to watch the rest of the Georgia Tech blowout.
And then they inserted that little advert for the University of Notre Dame: "We are the Fighting Irish!" It was here that I learned that the chaplins or the bishops or whomever at Notre Dame were so concerned about the plight of the people of Haiti ("it is one of the least developed countries in the world", said one erstwhile student). This young man was followed by the friendly father, who leads the program and his comments about the university's commitment to ended some mosquito born disease that was afflicting the Haitian people.
This little interlude was structured to make my heart well with gratitude for the wonderful example of community service this school and these kids were providing to the world. Instead, I became incensed.
Haiti is poor because the United States wants it to be poor and has always wanted it to be so - or at least ever since the first successful slave revolt in the Western Hemisphere concluded so early in the presidency of one of our own great slave owners: Thomas Jefferson.
Haiti is poor because after the slave revolt, France demanded payment for the loss of their assets - what you and I might call people. This demand for payment was accepted by the powers of the Western world as an official debt and it has been on the Haitian books ever since. This debt is now owed to the US; part of the Monroe Doctrine, I believe, wherein the US told the European nations that we were the big dog in this hemisphere and we would handle collections from now on.
I have written about this twice on my blog:
And the history on this matter is very clear. For a "professor" at a major university (a status that is self-professed by the school) to act ignorant on this matter is insulting.



Haiti is not poor because its people are incapable of running their own land; they are poor because of this 400-year record of practiced hatred - far too much of it by folks with deceptive collars wrapped around their necks.

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