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    Torture at Angola Prison

    by Jordan FlahertyAngolaPrisonTorture

    While the Obama administration promises to halt torture as a matter of U.S. policy and shut down Guantanamo prison, torture remains among the arsenal of barbarities inflicted on inmates at Louisiana's infamous Angola Prison. Twenty-five inmates charge they were "forced to urinate and defecate on themselves...were bloodied, had teeth knocked out, were beaten until they lost control of bodily functions...until they signed statements or confessions presented to them by prison officials." Said one inmate: "I felt that if I didn't go in there and tell them something, I would die."

    Gaza Disaster and the ‘Free Press’

    john_mawell06by John Maxwell

    The BBC refused to broadcast appeals by established UK charities for humanitarian aid to civilian victims of Israel's attack on Gaza, on the grounds that it could not be sure "whether aid raised by the appeal could actually be delivered on the ground." By this "hypocritical" device, the BBC dismissed expertise of agencies whose job it is to provide disaster relief. The BBC spokesman further claimed that the appeal would risk "reducing public confidence in the BBC's impartiality in its wider coverage of the story." The author's response: "I would like to hear what he would have said if half a million Israelis were homeless, 5,000 injured and nearly two thousand dead."

    The New Black Politics

     

    The New Black Politics

    by Jonathan D. Farley

    This article originally appeared in the Harvard Crimson.

    "Just because you are a first for blacks does not mean blacks are first for you."

    A Message to the African Political Scientist

    by Benjamin WoodsAApoliticalScientis

    Young Africans in America require exposure to genuine Black political scientists, the kind that will "articulate an African worldview that is distinct from their colonizers." What's needed is "an African anti-imperialist analysis for the 21st century" in order to rebuild the African Freedom Movement. Barack Obama's foreign policy is "a continuation of western imperialism." Blind faith Obama-ism is a destructive force. "The acceptance of the colonizers worldview impedes Africans ability to think and act independently."

    Obama’s Crusade to Save the Banksters

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    obamawallstreet

    Much of Black America has been politically neutered, incapable of even imagining a situation in which they would make demands of Barack Obama - "whom many believe is literally a God-send." In any case, the president's attentions are focused on his primary mission: to save the core institutions of the financial capitalist class at the unlimited expense of the real economy and its dependents - the rest of us." The sacrifice will be for nothing. "In the process of attempting to breathe life into the bankster zombies, Obama and his bipartisan buddies will exhaust the capacity of the federal government to create money out of nothing."

    House Democratic Leader Declares National Health Care Legislation “Off The Table” This Year

    clyburn-pelosiby BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon
     
    What does it mean when leading House Democrats, and apparently the White House repudiate their own campaign promises to enact a universal-coverage national health care plan only days into the new Congress and new administration, even though they have a popular president and the biggest Congressional majority in two  generations?  What does it mean when this doesn't even make the evening news?  It means the awesome power of corporate media decides the topic of our political conversation.  It's not about health care, or campaign promises, or  hypocrisy.  It's about  Blago.  Or Britney.  Or whatever they tell us it is.

    The Great Black Hajj of 2009

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    The huge inaugural gathering on the Washington Mall - two million people, about half of them African American - resembled nothing so much as a Hajj. The assembled multitudes "were committed to a once (or, at least, first) in a lifetime trek to Washington to bear witness to The Biggest Black Event in History." Largely oblivious to the actual political import of his words - including threats against Social Security - the throng imagined "that their wildest dreams had come true in the form of Obama" - an unsustainable delusion.

    Freedom Rider: Black America Surrenders

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberleyunder the bus

    The disproportionately Black Washington Mall crowd, their coats covered with Obama buttons, "didn't care what Obama did as president, they just wanted him to become president." These to-the-bone "Obama lovers...don't care that Obama pledged to use his political capital to change Social Security and Medicare, their only safety nets in an uncaring society." Unconcerned about the impact of their champion's specific policy positions, these legions of Black Obama followers happily and "loudly proclaimed themselves to be less important than one man's career success." Obama and his wife wowed the nation, and "just 72 hours after the new president took office, he started killing people" in Pakistan.

    Eshu’s blues: Obama scabs on the autonomy of Palestine-and the rest of us

    ESHUfuture war criminal-1by BAR columnist michael hureaux perez

    President Obama, if he were truly "the humanitarian he pretends to be, would be upholding the Geneva Convention, and condemning the State of Israel before the world." But of course, he won't, and America's "so-called ‘war on terror, which President Obama embraced in the opening lines of his inaugural speech, knows neither humility or shame." Most of Black America mistakenly anticipates some sort of imperial exceptionalism in the Obama White House. But "despite the election of a black man to the presidency, the dictatorship of race and class remains at the core of both U.S. and western ideology and practice."

    Barack Obama's Not-So Non-Ideological Inaugural Address

    by Paul Streetobeyobama-1

    The new president dismisses "ideology" in order to promote his own brand of neo-liberalism. He is a partisan in the corporate war-against-all who slimes the opposition as purveyors of "dogma,"  "stale" ideas and "tired" recriminations, a proponent of government "that works" who never addresses the question, "for whom?" Obama blames the current crisis on a "collective failure" of the people, a form of "vicious victim-blaming" that suggests "the country's broad populace shares equal responsibility with the investor class for the nation's dire economic straits."

    Cynthia McKinney: "Mr. President: Give Us a Clean Break from War"

    "The American people voted for change and peace," says the Green Party's recent GazaMcKpresidential candidate. "President Obama's current path will produce neither." Former Georgia Congresswoman McKinney urges Obama to call directly on "the elected representatives of the Palestinian people and that means dealing with Hamas." She plans to "attempt another trip to Gaza" - the first was aborted by the Israeli military - "to assess the depth of the worsened humanitarian catastrophe now there."

    Why An A**Hole is Always in Charge

    by Greg PalastPALASTGoldToilet_wideweb__470x314,0

    Former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain is a man who can parlay catastrophic business failure into mind-blowing personal enrichment. After reducing the company to worthlessness, he sold the "busted bag of financial feces to Bank of America for $50 BILLION." Then Merrill Lynch lost another $5 billion, but Thain still thought he deserved a $30 million bonus - in addition to his already acquired $35,000 toilet. The guy's got hutzpah. He ought to be named Secretary of the Treasury so he can "con Saudi sheiks and Chinese apparatchiks into lending us another trillion."

    In America, Big Time Financial Crime Pays Well

    madoff_house_arrestA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
    What does it say that the conditions of arch-criminal Bernard Madoff's so-called "house arrest" are better than than the real lives of hundreds of millions of honest and hardworking Americans?  It says that crime does pay, especially financial crime on a grand scale.
    To download a broadcast quality MP3 copy of this Black Agenda Radio commentary, click here.  To listen to it without downloading, click the flash player below.
    {mp3}20090120_gf_financial_crime_pays_well{/mp3}

    Time To Give Guantanamo Back to Cuba

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford 
    gitmoThe uses to which Guantanamo Bay has been put pale beside America's original sin of violent expropriation and armed occupation of Cuba's national territory.  If this is really a new day, it's time for a new policy, time to give Gitmo back to Cuba. 
    To download this Black Agenda Radio commentary, click here.  To listen to it  without downloading click the flash player below.
    {mp3}20090119_gf_give_back_gitmo{/mp3}

    Freedom Rider: The Good Fight

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley cowboy

    Day one of the Obama presidency has passed, and “it is time to reenergize ourselves and prepare for the fight of our lives.” Time to do battle with a corporatist White House whose “contradictions have already begun to show themselves.” The Obama of the mass imagination must now give way to the leader of a real life center-right administration intent on resurrecting the power of Wall Street and expanding the size and scope of the military. “Millions of people who have never been active before, or who feel bamboozled by Obama, will be primed and ready to join in the good fight for justice and for peace.”

     

    Eshu’s blues: Evacuate Israel to the “heartland”

    eshu_gazaby BAR columnist michael hureaux perez

    Israel in its present configuration and location "is just not working out." Its behavior isn't suited to Palestine - a bad choice, in hindsight, for a Jewish homeland. Better to "offer the new Israeli government the states of Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas," where "orthodox Christian populations" that are so enamored of the current State of Israel "should be quite amenable to moving out of the region" to make room for the newcomers. Right-wing preachers like Pastor John Hagee should certainly be capable of explaining that "God has now revealed Texas to be the promised land of Zion." After all, "If you've sold one ‘God gave them the land' package, you've sold them all."

    Punish Corporate Gangsters with Extreme Prejudice

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    China has executed at least fifteen state enterprise managers for stealing and then gambling away millions of dollars of the people’s money. An example for Wall Street?

    Obama, King and Kennedy: Empire and the “End” of Racism

    An interview with Juan Santos

    In claiming that Blacks had “already come 90 percent of the way” to equality, candidate Barack Obama employed “strategy and tactics that served white racism and served to deeply harm peoples of color by erasing our conditions of life from the imagination of the majority.” Obama’s promises of fundamental change are empty. “Change won’t come from within the system because the wealthy profit from the mass impoverishment of peoples of color here and around the world – wherever their money can penetrate to get the cheapest labor for the most work.”The only thing the system can do for us “is collapse, go away, and get out of our lives.”

    Time for an Israel Divestment Campaign

    by Kevin Alexander Gray  GazaCartoon

    “What’s happening in Palestine is not fundamentally different from what occurred in apartheid South Africa.” And the response should be similar. “We must demand that the United States end its $30 billion a year military support” to Israel, “demand that public bodies such as universities, local and state governments divest their portfolios from companies that do business in or with Israel…identify and boycott those companies that do business with and in Israel,” and “call for a cultural boycott of Israel, and boycott those artists who perform in the country.”

    Top Three Gaza Myths Debunked

    GAZAphosphorous_shellsby Jaisal Noor

    American perceptions of Palestine are warped by Israeli propaganda transmitted as fact by corporate media. Israel, the United States and only a handful of other nations thwart “the international consensus for peace” in the region called for in UN Resolution 242. Hamas did abide by a cease fire with Israel “and even arrested members of militant groups who did fire a handful of rockets” in the period before the latest conflagration. Far from seeking a just peace, the United States has backed Israeli seizure of occupied Palestinian lands.

    Freedom Rider: Black Reagan

    FRobamareaganby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    When Barack Obama started praising Ronald Reagan the candidate's apologists claimed he was just paying respect to a dead president. Now it's clear that Obama's affection for the raging old reactionary was heartfelt. With his latest pronouncements on cutting "entitlements," Obama "has proven himself to be a true believer in the Reagan revolution." The almost-president "is repeating the Reagan mantra about ‘reforming' Social Security and Medicare or cutting their rate of growth" - music to Republican ears. If Obama starts slashing at Social Security, those "progressives" that have excused his rightward lunges will bear responsibility.

    Eshu’s blues: Obama’s message to the world: Let the U.S. ruling class pound you in the face

    by BAR columnist michael hureaux perez

    Obama is silent as the grave - Palestinian graves - about Gaza, but shoots off his mouth in what appears to be a prelude to war against Social Security. The "Herald of Hope and Change" shows a "cowardice" on Palestine that "is beyond appalling," while huffing and puffing about how he'll solve the problems caused by "that seven hundred dollars a month the disabled collect from Social Security and the few hundred many people get from the ‘entitlement' programs of Medicare." As long as the "markets" are "soothed" by his ever-rightward policies, Obama is pleased.

    Employee Free Choice Act Is Labor’s Last Chance

    Click the flash player above to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary, or click here to download an mp3 copy.

    union_yes"The likelihood is that much of Obama's inner circle - top-heavy as it is with bankers - will counsel that he refrain from throwing the full weight of his presidency" behind the Employee Free Choice Act. Labor will have to force the issue, or face oblivion.
     

     

     

    Rev. Pinkney is “Banned” – Like in the Old South Africa

    RevPinkneyThe trials
    (literally) and tribulations of Benton Harbor, Michigan's Rev. Edward Pinkney
    give the lie to American claims of "race-neutrality."  The activist minister has been stripped of most of his political
    rights, plunged into a purgatory of the "banned" as in white-ruled South
    Africa.
     
    Click here to save a downloadable MP3 copy of this Black Agenda Radio commentary.  Click the flash player below to listen to it without saving a copy.
    {mp3}poetry/20090114_gf_rev_pinkney_banned{/mp3}
     

    The Other America

    A
    speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    martin_luther_king

    The civil rights leader's speech at Stanford
    University, April 14, 1967. "[T]here are hundreds of
    thousands of Negroes who have given up. They've lost hope. They've come to feel
    that life is a long and desolate corridor for them with no Exit sign, and so
    they no longer go to look for a job. There are those who would estimate that
    these persons, who are called the Discouraged Persons, these 6 or 7% in the
    Negro community, that means that unemployment among Negroes may well be 16%.
    Among Negro youth in some of our larger urban areas it goes to 30 and 40%."

    Let Gaza Live!

    GazaCartoonby Cynthia McKinney

    The Green Party presidential candidate's
    Washington speech on Israel's savage assault on Gaza: "A new day is coming in
    U.S. politics.  We will use the power of our vote to change U.S. policy. 
    We will no longer check our values at the door and support politicians and
    political parties that fail to deliver. Not one more bomb to Israel."

    Obama’s Priorities: War and Profits Over People

    FloydObamaAndAdvisorsby Chris Floyd

    It is not as if Barack Obama didn't warn us
    where he was headed. It's now official: Obama's administration will target
    "entitlements" for budgetary "overhaul." To the right, march! "The
    war machine and the financial markets will continue to be gorged and comforted
    in their wonted manner. Programs to help ordinary citizens, programs to enhance
    the quality of life for individuals and the well-being of society, will be the
    first - perhaps the only - areas to feel the budget axe."

    Mobbing the Constitution to Get At Blagojevich

    by Kevin Alexander Graylarge_Illinois_Governor_Rod-Blagojevich-Dec30-08-Roland-Burris-Meye

    Roland Burris will finally get to put senatorial
    paraphernalia in his mausoleum, but the uproar over his appointment by Illinois
    Governor Rod Blagojevich continues to discomfort the high and mighty. Like a
    mob, state and federal lawmakers seemed to have forgotten entirely the due
    process protections to which even Blagojevich is entitled. But the governor,
    though universally reviled, has had his fun. "More subtlety and just as ironic,
    Blagojevich called out Obama on his serial betrayal in regards to the black
    political class while at the same time revealing Harry Reid's hypocrisy on
    race."

    Black Caucus Abandons King Legacy and Black Opinion, Votes For War on Gaza

    cbc_gaza_montage_120

    by BAR executive editor
    Glen Ford

    It's hard to believe that a generation ago, the Congressional Black
    Caucus was known as "the conscience of the congress, a political and
    moral high ground long deserted by the current CBC, which has utterly collapsed under
    Israel-lobby pressure for the second time in three years.

    All but two Black lawmakers voted either "Yes" or "Present" on a
    Resolution
    that absolved Israel for its crimes against humanity in Gaza - placing
    all
    blame on Hamas.  In 2006, only two Black Caucus members opposed a
    Resolution
    supporting Israel's savage destruction if Lebanon's infrastructure and
    the
    killing of 1,000 people.  Hypocritically turning their backs both on Black public opinion and on the work of Dr. King,
    whose name they invoke at every public opportunity, the CBC has put itself "out of
    the anti-war business," and well outside the mainstream of Black opinion on the Israel-Palestine question.

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