Saturday, April 26, 2008

Action Point with Cynthia Black 04-27-2008: The Reference Shelf

Today's article and item links:
  • POLITICS: NATIONAL: CAMPAIGN 2008: Pennsylvania & the Persistence of the Race Chasm: by David Sirota;
    A few weeks ago, I published an article in In These Times showing how Hillary Clinton has been winning states almost exclusively in the Race Chasm - states whose populations are more than 6 percent but less than 17 percent black. The results of the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania - a state whose demographics fall squarely in the Race Chasm - continue the trend.
  • FRAMING: ROCKRIDGE INSTITUTE: To Catch a Wolf: How to Stop Conservative Frames in Their Tracks:
    We applaud Senator Obama. Every progressive should refuse to answer such "when-did-you-stop-beating-your-wife" questions. Obama's words: "This is the kind of question that is designed precisely to divide us" could be a polite but effective mantra.
    AND: Why Voters Aren't Motivated by a Laundry List of Positions on Issues:
    There are two kinds of policy: cognitive and material. Material policies are familiar: they outline what is to be done in the world. For example, the details of a health care plan, or a plan for getting out of Iraq. Material policies each have a cognitive dimension, often unconscious and implicit. This includes the ideas, frames, values, and modes of thought that inform the political understanding of the material policy. AND just as a reminder of what you already know
    AND: The Radical Right's Weakness:
    Progressives commonly wring their hands in despair when conservatives use Orwellian language. They shouldn't. The use of Orwellian language signals to us where conservatives are weak. Forget that their deceptiveness is immoral. The point is that they are weak and are revealing their weakness. If they had public support, they could freely call their initiative the Dirty Skies Act.
  • ELECTION SECURITY: Clinton's Blind Eye to Voters:
    So, Hillary claims a victory in Pennsylvania. Who could have predicted that? Maybe Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
    AND: FEC Stalemate Leaves McCain Hanging:
    With November's elections a little more than six months away, a Senate stalemate over nominations has left the FEC powerless to act on anything from John McCain's bid for $84 million in public financing to a stay-at-home dad's request to pay himself a small salary from whatever campaign contributions he can raise as an independent candidate for Congress.
  • CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM: Alliance Defense Fund: The threat of Christian Nationalism is not waning. On schools and campuses nationwide the radical right agenda to indoctrinate young minds with moral irrationalism in the name of Christianity spreads at an alarming rate. If we are to establish the tolerant values of liberalism as the guiding principles clearly intended by the founders of this nation, it is imperative to shine a brilliant and unflinching light on those who threaten it most. Of the institutions aligned against freethought today I am most concerned about ADF and its mindless commitment to obliterating among others, the ACLU.
    Honestly, I can't begin to find one section of this website to accurately represent what is being marketed. Flip through it's many pages and just in keep mind only two of those associated with this “cause”: Trent Franks and Strang. And did I mention, the pro-zionist promotion of McCain backer John “The Catholic Church is the Great Whore” Hagee?!
  • MUST READ: The Importance of Black Voters, and the Stupidity of Ignoring Them: From David Sirota;
    First and foremost is the idea that black voters are, indeed, treated as less important than white voters. I would even take it a step further: black voters are not only considered unimportant, but are considered only as black voters and nothing else - a very subtly derogatory and dehumanizing characterization in that it implies African Americans are just one dimensional simpletons, rather than multi-dimensional humans.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Action Point with Cynthia Black 04-20-2008: The Reference Shelf

Today's article and item links:
  • POLITICS: NATIONAL: CAMPAIGN 2008: William Ayers and the Weather Underground:
    Maybe this has less to do with 2008 and more to do with 1968 ('69, '70, '71 and so on). Regardless, what I want to know is why do attacks on Obama's Reverend Wright engender The Man to stirring race speeches while truth about joblessness and despair merits back-pedaling and far-stretched attacks on William Ayers engender rapid disclaimers and distancing? Is it really the “violence” both Clinton and Obama disdain, or is it the anti-war left?
    AND: Clinton Backer Distributes Essay On How GOP Would Link Obama To '70s Radicals:
    Sloan argues that Rove will use Ayers and Dohrn for 'red-baiting' attacks on Obama. Rove's "target is Barack Obama's signature slogan 'Change We Can Believe In.' Rove wants to redefine it as revolutionary change, change driven by an alien ideology, change no patriotic American could stomach. And he intends to do so by channeling Senator Joseph McCarthy."
  • MUST READ: The Ludlow Legacy, Part II: Colorado: from David Sirota:
    The Ludlow Massacre's tiny monument off I-25 in Southern ColorAdo is easily missed if you don't know where to find it. Though the nearby coal mine garnered international attention in 1914 after a government militia slaughtered union organizers there, the minimalism of the memorial is predictable. History books venerate Rockefellers # the union-busting mine owners # and disregard agents of progress like the labor movement. But remember the parable about those ignoring history repeating it, particularly on April 20 # the anniversary of the atrocity. As noted in last week's column, the methods of Ludlow are being celebrated in our foreign policy. But they are also being trumpeted at home.
  • NATIONAL SECURITY: IRAN: Iran Provision Added to Debt Cancellation Legislation:
    Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on H.R. 2634, legislation "to provide for greater responsibility in lending and expanded cancellation of debts owed to the United States and the international financial institutions by low-income countries." There was a motion to recommit the bill back to the Financial Services Committee with instructions to include a provision that no country that has a business relationship with Iran can receive debt cancellation. The motion carried.
    Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), chair of the Financial Services Committee, later returned to the House floor, to state that the Committee accepted the language. The debt cancellation bill then passed with the Iran language. What are they thinking? Oh, yes, SANCTIONS are a form of negotiation! We squeeze the lifeblood out of their economy and they will “comply”. See how well that worked in IRAQ?!

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

William Ayers and the Weather Underground

As Barack Obama distances himself from association with William Ayers, one-time member of the Weather Underground, I feel deeply frustrated. He is distancing himself from the spirit behind some of today's most committed and caring anti-war pro-justice advocates. Does he know that?

Do they?

While today's ratings-driving media spirals into ever-lowering standards of tabloid journalism, demonstrated just this Wednesday with the ABC so-called "debate" between Democratic primary contenders Obama and Clinton, American voters are exposed to more of the very culture the Weather Underground hoped to eradicate; callous disregard for issues of civil rights and a draining and irrational war against Evil somehow lurking in small yellow, brown and poor people*.

Fortunately, I am old enough to remember the era of 60's and 70's "revolutionary fever" and it's motivations. Although too young to participate, I was then and now a true sympathizer with the social justice concerns that lead to the creation of the Weather Underground. The story behind their desperate and misguided attempt to stop the government they found guilty of craven foreign policy and the vicious and eventually unpopular war on Vietnam, has an echo today in the Occupation of Iraq.

In the Youtube video attached here I invite you, who did not know that rebellious period of the 60's and 70's, to see for yourselves what conservative fascists are investing their considerable wealth into trying to eliminate -- passionate liberalism, patriotic free-thought, and enlightenment democracy. Smearing Obama with "terrorism" is just their latest attempt.

In meeting Bill Ayers, Obama has nothing for which he should apologize and nothing from which to distance himself. Ayers and his wife in 1995 were no more "terrorists" in the post-9/11 sense of the word they attempt to apply than are you.

Please someone, remind Obama.

* I suggest that enlightened Democrats nation-wide punish ABC's abuse of their good faith by boycotting ABC sponsors until they send the station the message that American viewers, not their commercial ad buys, keep their industry running.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Action Point with Cynthia Black 04-06-2008: The Reference Shelf

Today's article and item links:
  • POLITICS: NATIONAL: CAMPAIGN 2008: VIDEO: Obama Reverend's So-Called "Hate Speech" and the Propoganda Campaign Behind It!

    Since ABC television's release of selected "hate" language from Obama's long-time Pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the permutations of it into a hypnotic loop has been fast and targeted and is an excellent example of how ABC, Fox and talkers from Limbaugh to Savage are working in concert to trigger the "angry black man" frame in the minds of Americans.
  • FRAMING: Why the Smear of Wright Is So Wrong from Jeffrey Feldman:
    Jeffrey Feldman: Listen up, folks. This is no joke. There is a very serious problem afoot in this election and either we start taking the lead at dealing with it or nobody will. That problem is the right-wing framing of our nominee.

  • MUST READ: Confessions of An Economic Hit Man from David Sirota:

    To paraphrase the UFO poster from "The X Files," I wanted to believe. Specifically, I wanted to believe the guy talking tough about campaign finance reform was committed to getting money out of politics. This was the Arizona senator who in 2002 taped a radio ad praising his state's "clean elections" system. It provides public money to candidates so they don't have to finance campaigns with corporate contributions - the kind given in exchange for legislative favors. McCain's support for clean elections, I thought, proved he wanted to end corruption. But by the time the senator showed up here in Colorado last week for a fundraiser at Denver's Petroleum Club, I knew I had been duped.

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