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    Bush and Obama: Different Styles of Coup-Making

    street scene in HondurasBlack Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    Although nobody but Americans believes Washington was not behind the late June coup in Honduras, Barack Obama brings his own touch to subverting one's hemispheric neighbors. “Obama makes democratic noises – and then refuses to back them up with any actions that would cause U.S. clients in the Honduran military and oligarchy to relinquish power.” And he does it all with a straight face.

    Another Obama Promise Broken -- The Right To Organize Betrayed

    look for the union labelA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    The Employee Free Choice Act has been gutted and may expire entirely, a victim of Barack Obama's signature style of governing to the Right of the Democratic center. “Although candidate Obama paid lip-service to the Employee Free Choice Act, he pointedly failed to deploy the powers of the presidential 'bully-pulpit' on behalf of the key “card check” provisions that would have forced companies to recognize unions as soon as a majority of workers signed a union card.”

    Rev. Edward Pinkney: The Preacher Who Dared to Invoke God

    Rev. Ed PinkneyA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    The first man in modern day America to be imprisoned for “predicting what God might do” was released, last week. However, Rev. Edward Pinkney's conviction on voter fraud charges still stands, despite the 13 errors committed during his trail. The appeals court ruled the errors were “harmless” - a bizarre excuse for depriving Benton Harbor, Michigan of its premier Black leader and minister.

    Maxine Waters vs. Fatal Derivatives

    Maxine WatersA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    The Obama administration is clearly trying to keep Congress from taking legislative action against derivatives, the “financial weapons of mass destruction” that set off the economic crisis. “Geithner claims he wants credit-default swaps brought under control, but only through stricter regulation, not by law.” California Congresswoman Maxine Waters wants derivatives banned outright, and has submitted legislation to that effect. But so far, she has no co-sponsors.

    Ward Churchill: Academic Freedom Denied

    ward churchillA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    An anti-imperialist ethics professor has no rights that his university is bound to respect. That's the lesson from a Denver District Court that refused to reinstate Ward Churchill, despite a jury's finding that he was fired from the University of Colorado because of his political statements. “There is no such thing as academic and political freedom if you can be fired for exercising it.”

    Obama’s Good Move on Student Loans

    studentsA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    President Obama has done students in need of loans a good turn, and surprised BAR by oving to snatch $15 billion a year out of the jaws of the banks. “For decades the bankers have been getting risk-free federal money at taxpayer and student expense, by handling student loans already guaranteed by the federal government, collecting fees and then selling the loans to the U.S. Treasury.”

    Obama’s Single Payer Beat Down

    State Sen. Obama (above) in 2003, back when he supported single-payer
    healthcare. Obama changed his tune shortly thereafter.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
    President Obama is mad, again, at the usual suspects: progressives that insist on speaking out in the people's interest on single-payer healthcare. He picked up the phone last week to warn lefties and unions to watch their mouths and get with his fuzzy program on healthcare – although even White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel doesn't seem to know what that program is. “For Obama to 'win' his debate, the American people must lose.”

    The Shrinking American Empire

    shrunken_uncleA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    The drive to replace the U.S. dollar as the de facto global currency brings the American empire that much closer to ultimate dissolution. U.S. imperialism’s accelerated decline is best dated to the invasion of Iraq six years ago. In the face of Washington’s general threat to establish itself as the “New Rome,” “much of the planetary community conspired to find ways to break the unequal ties that bound them to the empire.”

    Africa Rejects Criminal Court Order on Sudan, Moves Toward Unity

    african union logoA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    The International Criminal Courts narrow preoccupation with crimes by Africans, as opposed to every other people on the planet, has had a unifying effect on the continent. By consensus agreement, the 53 nations of the African Union agreed to ignore the ICC's directive that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir be arrested by member states. Said the AU's commission chairman: “If you don’t want to take into account our proposals…we are also going to act unilaterally.”

    U.S. Allies on the Ropes in Somalia

    Somalia againA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    When the Bush regime encouraged Ethiopia to invade Somalia in 2006, it may not have realized the fierce forces it was unleashing in the Horn of Africa. Now its Somali allies are on the verge of total defeat at the hands of Islamists. The U.S. claims the ever-shrinking regime in Mogadishu is besieged by foreign jihadis, but “most analysts maintain the fighters are overwhelmingly homegrown.”

    The Election of Barack Obama Has Paralyzed Progressive Forces in US Politics

    If you don't see the video above, click here.
    This speech delivered by BAR Executive Editor Glen Ford at African Liberation Day 2009, highlights the paralysis of black and progressive leadership and the dead end in which progressive forces in the U.S. find themselves.
    For as long as anybody can recall, the dominant stream in black politics has been about our right to decide and determine our own fates and the fates of our communities, to be answerable to our people and to hold each other answerable.  Another stream in black politics is just as old, seeks escape from the vestiges of slavery by proving that we are worthy and willing to assimilate into the dominant society without trying to alter it in any fundamental sense.  It's easy to see which of these strains our president belongs. 

    Giving Honduras the Haiti Treatment

    HAITI ELECTIONSA Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Glen Ford 

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    President Obama has joined all of Latin American in denouncing the coup in Honduras. But Washington's words should always be taken “with whole spoonfuls of salt.” Obama could restore democracy to Haiti immediately, if he chose to, by allowing the return of deposed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, but instead shuts Aristide's party out of recent Senatorial elections. President Zalaya “was aligning himself with Venezuela, Nicaragua, El Salvador and other left-led nations.... It is inconceivable that the U.S. looks forward” to his return.

    French Cops are Racist, Too

    A

    stop the violence

    Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Glen Ford 

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    If you're Black and tired of getting stopped by the police on the streets of New York City and elsewhere in the United States, then Paris isn't the city for you. “A new study of the Paris police shows that...persons the police consider Black are stopped six times as often as whites.” And Arab-looking people are stopped even more frequently than that. Although racial profiling is illegal in France, the police studiously avoid keeping records on race.

    High Court Tries to Freeze White Privilege in Place

    New Haven White Firefighters

    A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Glen Ford 

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    The real “activist” judiciary if represented by the U.S. Supreme Court majority than is determined to re-enshrine white privilege in law. The New Haven firefighters ruling is an assault on Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. “The High Court decision would preserve an ethnic, clan and family racial protection racket that has been embedded in fire and police departments for generations.”

    Obama’s Emerging Legacy: Wars, Bankers and For-Profit Healthcare

    Obama Sam by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    The first Black president has racked up some impressive victories. Barack Obama has quarantined single-payer healthcare advocates, crushed dissent against the war in Congress, and transferred more money to the finance capital class than at any time in planetary history. Not bad for just five months in office. “At some point in the near future Barack Obama will become inextricably associated in the public mind with Big Capital – and deservedly so.”
     
     
     

    Letter to Obama: Blacks Fear Shut Out of Highway Stimulus Contracts

    highway stimulus moneyA Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Glen Ford 
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    The "rising tide" of economic stimulus that President Obama promises will "lift all boats" from the depths of economic crisis, may leave Blacks at the bottom, once again. "Black contractors and elected officials now fear that African Americans will be cut out of the huge, one-time increase in federal highway money under the economic stimulus program passed this year." In a letter to administration officials, the National Black Chamber of Commerce warns that stimulus money is flowing down the "same racist channels" that have denied highway contracts and jobs to African Americans.

    Puppet Government of Somalia Invites Everybody to Invade

    somaili fightersA Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Glen Ford 

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    In what should be its last gasp, the regime that claims to govern Somalia, "huddled in a corner of Mogadishu," the capital, has "called on 'Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Yemen' - anybody! - to save them from what it called 'terrorists.'" The Ethiopians, who installed the mini-state after invading  Somalia with U.S. support in 2006, are already on the move in the country - whose soil they never left. But a larger invasion to beat back Islamist/nationalist fighters can only occur with "active U.S. coordination and logistical support." President Obama may get a war of his own in Africa.

     

    Holding on in East Harlem and Points West, North and South

    don't sell da barrioby BAR executive editor Glen Ford
    Neoliberalism is the root cause of rampaging gentrification and displacement, from New York to New Orleans to Atenco, Mexico.” Keen observers of political-economy would agree with this assessment from Zapatista-inspired community activists in Spanish Harlem, who recently organized an “encuentro” with similar minded Black and Asian activists. All concluded that the issue is bigger than Harlem: “This displacement is created by the greed, ambition and violence of a global empire of money that seeks to take total control of all the land, labor and life on earth.”

    ObamaCare: A Non-Existent Health Plan That Begins with Cuts

    obama on health careA Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Glen Ford 
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    There is no Obama healthcare plan, “just mouthfuls of generalized rhetoric that changes with the moment, as Obama constantly woos the insurance, drug and hospital corporations.” However, Obama's proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid will take on lives of their own. That's what Republicans have “been clamoring for for generations,” and Obama offered it to them, upfront. “In his rush to mollify the private healthcare profiteers, Obama has given away the pubic store.”

    Obama Charges Backward On Health Care

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    Barack Obama, like the little kids that used to appear on Art Linkletter’s TV show, says “the darndest things.” He has discovered that the “root cause” of America’s health care cost problem isn’t the insurance companies, or the drug barons, or the hospital corporations. Medicare is the villain. “Disastrously, he has created a situation in which health care ‘reform’ is predicated on stripping Medicare down to the bone.”

    GM Could Have Become a “Green” Industrial Machine

    rest in peaceA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    President Obama has passed up his chance to become a transformational president, by failing to convert the excess capacity of General Motors – 60 percent-owned by the U.S. public – to “green” manufacturing. Instead, the public has paid $50 billion, and counting, for 14 industrial junkyards where car factories used to be. Obama’s refusal to rise to the historic occasion shows that he “worships at the alter of private capital – the same corporate developmental model that has been de-industrializing the United States for the last four decades.”

    Shell Oil Settles with 1995 Niger Delta Victims’ Families, But War Escalates

    flaringA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

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    Nearly a fifth of US oil imports come from West Africa and that proportion is only expected to grow. Western oil companies, chiefly Shell, BP and Chevron have pumped trillions of dollars worth of black gold from eastern Nigeria, but it remains the poorest and most polluted places on earth. Although oil company scofflaws have settled out of court with representatives of the families of a handful of the murdered the pitiless rape of eastern Nigeria continues.

     

    R.I.P. Industrial USA. The Banksters Win, Even When They Fail

     

    GM
    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    General Motors is just the latest in a long line of casualties in the lopsided war between finance capital and manufacturing capital. "The handwriting was on the wall for General Motors and the entire industrial sector of the U.S. economy back in the mid-Eighties, when GMAC, the financial arm of General Motors, surpassed the car-making part of the company in profits." The "crux of the current crisis of capitalism" is finance capital's refusal to invest in productive enterprise "except under conditions of extremely low wage labor.

     

    Big Oil on Trial For 1995 Nigerian Executions

     

    children and flares in nigeria's river statesA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    The multinational oil corporation Royal Dutch Shell faces civil charges of complicity in Nigerian government crimes against its citizens, most notably the execution of writer/activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and others in 1995. Shell will no doubt present itself as a victim. "It is a false dichotomy to separate the corruption of Nigeria's governments - military or civilian - from the predatory presence of Big Oil. The two are locked in the deepest embrace." Both the paymasters and the thugs are equally guilty of the crime.

     

    Obama Out-Bushes Bush on Preventive Detention

     

    gitmoA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    Constitutionality aside, Barack Obama's preventive detention proposal is "damn near criminally irresponsible" and "like lighting a match in a room full of gasoline." The United States was founded on the principle that "lesser" or "dangerous" peoples should be "detained" for the good of the nation - on reservations or in slavery. Were it not for "rampant race hatred directed against Arabs and spilling over to all Muslims...there would be no serious discussion of preventive detention in the United States, today." The nation's first Black president is provoking a racial whirlwind.

     

    Racist Symbolism Or Memorial Day Tradition? Obama Honors Confederate Dead

     

    confederate memorialA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    The so-called "tradition" of U.S. presidents honoring the Confederate war dead began with the Dixiecrat Woodrow Wilson, in 1914. Wilson, born in Virginia, brought segregation to Washington's federal bureaucracy, and praised the Ku Klux Klan-celebrating movie, Birth of a Nation. The Confederate Memorial at Arlington was designed to honor those who fought to "save Anglo-Saxon civilization" - meaning, white rule. President Obama carries on the tradition.

     

    White House Health Care Ploy Backfires

    single payer nowby BAR executive editor Glen Ford
    President Obama's mission to keep the U.S. health care system safe for the profiteering classes got waylaid last week by - the profiteers, themselves. The health care industry "refused to corroborate Obama's claim that they had agreed to reduce health care spending by $2 trillion dollars over ten years." Worse, some of them pointed out that, in point of fact, Obama doesn't have a fully developed health plan. The president's business allies' failure to back up his fiction means Obama will have to pick another occasion to proclaim that the private sector has made sacrifices, and it's time to take the axe to "entitlements."

    Hypocritical Obama "Two-Step" on Human Rights and Racism

    Obama 2 stepA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    One step backward: last month, the Obama administration sabotaged the Durban II anti-racism conference, by first watering down the event's language and then refusing to participate. The first Black president of the United States created a coalition of European and white settler regimes - the same powers that inflicted centuries of racist terror on the planet - in defense of the racist Israeli regime. One step forward: Obama expects to steal a public relations coup by joining the UN's Human Rights Council - where he will doubtless pursue the same status quo policies..

     

    Torture Lawyers Ought To Be Disbarred

    disbar the torturers A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    President Obama considers U.S. use of torture as an instrument of national policy is best relegated to the past, unpunished - even though a web of international treaties and laws, and U.S. statutes, obligate the executive branch to prosecute the guilty. It has been left to a coalition of activist groups to pursue some small measure of punishment for the 12 Bush lawyers that conspired to make torture, legal. The coalition has filed complaints with state bar associations to pull the torture lawyers' licenses.

     

    Obama’s Health Care Charade

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
    President Obama has gone to extraordinary lengths to suppress advocates of single-payer health care. He has choreographed a grand theater of faux-change, in which he "seeks to create a façade of unity along lines that do not threaten corporate power." The goal is to "sidetrack, possibly for decades, the most broadly supported idea in American politics, today." This "requires elaborate reconstructions of reality," starting with "methodically erasing single-payer advocates from the picture, with the enthusiastic collaboration of the corporate media." Thus, Obama and compliant Democrats on The Hill stage "summits" and "public roundtable discussions" on health care from which majority U.S. opinion is totally excluded.

     

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