Thursday, March 27, 2008

Michigan & Florida Disenfranchised: Who Shares the Blame?


Michigan and Florida voters have been disenfranchised by the Democratic Party, and they may not have a say in choosing the party's nominee. When it comes down to it, both the Clinton and Obama campaigns seemed more concerned about gaining advantage for their candidate than about voters.

The stage is now set for a potentially contentious battle at the Democratic National Convention in Denver in August. Will the Michigan and Florida delegations be on the outside looking in? Who is to blame for all this?

Read the article HERE

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Is Bush the worst U.S. president ever?


Historians will argue over whether George W. Bush is the worst president the United States has ever endured. But that is not the point. Five years after Bush's ill-starred invasion of Iraq, three years after Hurricane Katrina and seven months into the unravelling of the U.S. financial system, the point is that the 43rd president of the United States – regardless of his ranking in the pantheon – is a unique and unmitigated disaster.

Read the article HERE


Thursday, March 20, 2008

FLASHBACK: The Cancer Called Imperialism

Written March 19, 2003

As I begin this writing, the United States government and its allies are beginning a new phase in the 12-year war against the people of Iraq. This is not a new conflict, for U.S. and British warplanes have been patrolling and bombing that nation for over a decade. The first assault in 1991 severely weakened the Iraqi military. 12-years of sanctions have all but crippled the Iraqi people, and now the second Bush regime is going in for the kill. The goal -- to create another colony in Southwest Asia which will provide both an important economic jewel and a crucial strategic outpost for the continued growth of the American empire.

I am deeply saddened by the escalation of this conflict, but I am not surprised. This is merely the growth of the parasitic cancer called Western Imperialism that has been running rampant on this planet for over 600 years. The four nations who lead this fight -- Portugal, Spain, Britain and the United States -- are the most successful Imperialist powers of the last millennium. This Transatlantic Alliance, as they have dubbed themselves, were not only key figures in the Transatlantic Slave Trade, but between them they have attempted to colonize nearly every corner of every continent. Indigenous people all over the globe have been at war with these empires off and on for nearly 1000 years. Read more »

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

VIDEO: Think Global, Drink Local

Originally Published at

Patrons and staff at Black Lotus Brewing Company in the Detroit suburb of Clawson discuss their views on local and national political issues.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Falling Star? The Trials of Kwame Kilpatrick

Originally published at

What happened? Just four years ago, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick addressed the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston – the same convention that served as the nation’s first real introduction to Barack Obama.

The so-called “Hip Hop Mayor” is an attorney, a former state legislator and is currently Vice President of the National Conference of Democratic Mayors. His mom, Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick, is Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. He is a super delegate in this year’s Democratic presidential nomination process. With this kind of resume, titles like “Senator” and “Governor” were thought to be well within Kilpatrick’s grasp.

Barack and Kwame should have been on similar career paths. Instead, the world watches the meteoric rise of presidential candidate Obama, while Kilpatrick’s political career is in freefall.

The chorus of criticism that confronts Kwame Kilpatrick gets louder every day. On March 5, the Wayne County Election Commission ruled that a proposed recall effort can move forward. If 57,328 registered signatures are collected in the next 90 days, Detroiters may be voting to elect a president, and voting on whether to remove their mayor from office on the same ballot.

A day earlier the Detroit City Council decided to postpone a vote on a non-binding resolution that would have demanded the mayor’s resignation. Council members expressed concern about the timing of the measure. They want to investigate the situation further, but some were ready to pull the trigger.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Mayor Kilpatrick’s office sited logistical concerns when it asked the National Conference of Black Mayors to move its annual convention from Detroit. The 1,100 hotel rooms that were booked at the city’s new MGM Grand Hotel have been cancelled. Detroit’s loss is New Orleans’ gain. We can only speculate that the mayor didn’t think he needed the extra media attention right now.

Controversy and crisis have dogged the mayor since his first few months on the job. During his first term, Kilpatrick was criticized for having his family chauffeured around in a red Lincoln Navigator that was leased using city money. The mayor would later repay $9,000 of a reported $210,000 in credit card charges that were used to purchase expensive dinners, massages and bottles of Moet champagne.

The most consistent and most damaging controversy, however, is the now infamous “party” and the death of “Strawberry”.

“Rumor” has it that a “wild party” was held at the mayor’s official residence, The Manoogian Mansion, on Labor Day weekend in 2002. “Rumor” because the mayor says the party “never happened”, the Michigan State Police say it “never happened” and after a five-week investigation, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox said, “the party has all the earmarks of an urban legend and should be treated as such.”

This urban legend lingers because Tamara Greene, an exotic dancer who performed under the name “Strawberry”, was shot and killed in April 2003. “Legend” has it that the mayor’s wife, Carlita, came home unexpectedly. Upon discovering the party and the strippers, Mrs. Kilpatrick allegedly attacked and assaulted Greene. Word on the street is that a proper investigation would reveal the Kilpatricks’ involvement in Greene’s death. Tamara Greene was shot 18 times with the same .40 caliber bullets that are used in Detroit Police Department issue handguns. The shooter also wounded her boyfriend, but he wasn’t shot at, so it is believed he was not a target. Only Tamara was.

Former Detroit police Lieutenant Alvin Bowman stated in a sworn affidavit, filed on March 1, 2008, that he believes a Detroit police officer killed Tamara Greene. Bowman claims his investigation of Greene’s murder was derailed, and he was transferred out of the homicide division.

The mayor’s troubles came to a head most recently when he asked the city to pay an out of court settlement to former Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown and Kilpatrick’s ex-bodyguard Harold Nelthorpe both of whom claimed they were fired for investigating the mayor’s personal actions. During the trial, evidence surfaced that Kilpatrick had a sexual relationship with his chief of staff, Christine Beatty. Both Kilpatrick and Beatty denied the affair during the trial, but The Detroit Free Press obtained text messages that indicated otherwise. This has exposed the mayor and his former chief to possible felony perjury charges. Beatty has since resigned.

Since 2004 city attorneys have been able to keep secret an $8.4 million deal that prevented records of the text messages from becoming public. The release of those documents prompted the city council’s discussion of a resolution asking for Kilpatrick’s resignation.

Is it all over for Kwame Kilpatrick? Don’t count him out just yet. Pundits sounded the death knell for Kilpatrick’s political career when he became the first incumbent mayor to finish second in a primary ballot. Kwame went on to win a close general election and gain a second term.

Only time will tell whether Mayor Kilpatrick will reverse trajectory, and return to his rising star status. Right now, his chances look bleak. But then, just a few short months ago, there weren’t many people who believed America had a realistic chance of electing an African-American president.

Time will tell.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

FLASHBACK! The Black JFK: Republican Support for Obama Raises Red Flags

This blog from May 2007 reposted in light of increasing reports of Republican support for Obama. Not a hater. Just making an observaton. - Nadir

The Barack Obama bandwagon is picking up steam. In many circles, the junior senator from Illinois is being compared to John Kennedy. He is young, good looking, charismatic and yes, articulate, providing a resounding echo of the JFK experience.

However, when NeoConservatives start issuing accolades for a Democratic candidate, it's time to take a closer look.

From London, England's TimesOnline:

But last week a surprising new name joined the chorus of praise for the antiwar Obama – that of Robert Kagan, a leading neoconservative and co-founder of the Project for the New American Century in the late 1990s, which called for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

Kagan is an informal foreign policy adviser to the Republican senator John McCain, who remains the favoured neoconservative choice for the White House because of his backing for the troops in Iraq.

But in an article in the Washington Post, Kagan wrote approvingly that a keynote speech by Obama at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs was “pure John Kennedy”, a neocon hero of the cold war.

So warmongering neocons dig Obama? The presidential candidate has expressed his opposition to the Iraq War, and says he was against it from the beginning, but his own words show that he is not an advocate of peace.

Let's get the straight dope from Barack's campaign website.

On the Occupation of Iraq:
Senator Obama introduced legislation in January 2007 to offer a responsible alternative to President Bush's failed escalation policy. The legislation commences redeployment of U.S. forces no later than May 1, 2007 with the goal of removing all combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008 -- a date consistent with the bipartisan Iraq Study Group's expectations. The plan allows for a limited number of U.S. troops to remain in Iraq as basic force protection, to engage in counter-terrorism and to continue the training of Iraqi security forces. If the Iraqis are successful in meeting the 13 benchmarks for progress laid out by the Bush Administration, this plan also allows for the temporary suspension of the redeployment, provided Congress agrees that the benchmarks have been met.
My reading of this is that Obama would allow the US occupation to continue perhaps with a smaller force, or with current troop levels if Iraq meets Bush's benchmarks. This doesn't sound like an end to the occupation to me.

And that speech that Kagan found to be pure JFK? More from TimesOnline:
In his speech, Obama called for an increase in defence spending and an extra 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 marines to “stay on the offense” against terrorism and ensure America had “the strongest, best-equipped military in the world”. He talked about building democracies, stopping weapons of mass destruction and the right to take unilateral action to protect US “vital interests” if necessary, as well as the importance of building alliances.
An INCREASE in defense spending? The US already spends more on the military than the rest of the world combined. The US already has the strongest, best-equipped fighting force in the world. "Building democracies?" Isn't that what the Iraqi invasion was supposed to be about?

Obama has also told the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC that Iran "is a threat to us all." His website says that, if elected, Obama "will bring a responsible end to the war in Iraq and refocus on the critical challenges in the broader region." Does that mean he plans to redeploy US military forces from Iraq to Iran?

This sounds like Obama is pushing for a continuation of American imperialism.

Those comparisons to JFK ring true. Let's not forget that JFK escalated US miliatary involvement in Vietnam, ordered the Bay of Pigs invasion and brought the world to the brink of destruction during the Cuban Missle Crisis. JFK was a hawk who increased military spending and upped the ante in the cold war. Obama's military policies show that he is cut of the same cloth.

Republicans who are defecting to the Obama camp believe that Barack offers a message that can unite the nation. That unification could be achieved by converting the so-called "War on Terror" from a GOP-led initiative to a bipartisan enterprise. This means more American aggression and more war.

Perhaps most terrifying of all, is this final quote from the Timesonline article: "For his optimism about the future, Obama has been dubbed the 'black Ronald Reagan'."

Be afraid. Be VERY afraid.

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early