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Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 7/22/13

Blacks Preyed Upon by For-Profit Colleges

Education corporations like Phoenix University have entrapped record numbers of African Americans in high debt and poor quality college course with no jobs at the end of the process, said journalist Kai Wright, author of an article titled “Young, Black and Buried in Debt: How For-Profit Colleges Prey on African American Ambitions.” Black college enrollment increased 35 percent between 2003 and 2009, twice the rate of white increase, according to Wright. However, most of the increase was in pursuit of “subprime degrees” from for-profit schools “that play on people’s ambitions and trick them into a terrible deal, because they’re desperate.”

Preventive Detention a Counter to Social Unrest

A federal appeals court last week upheld preventive military detention of U.S. citizens without charges or trial, ruling that the plaintiffs could not prove they were actually in danger of being detained. “It would be extremely simple for the executive and the legislative branch” to exempt U.S. citizens from the provisions, said former New York Times foreign correspondent Chris Hedges, one of the plaintiffs. “But they won’t do that, because they consciously want, in the event of social unrest, the capacity to use the military to carry out domestic policing.”

Cornel West: Zimmerman Verdict Reveals Nature of System

The “legal lynching” of Trayvon Martin “allows us to see what is systemic and what is chronic throughout the criminal justice system and its connection to the larger capitalist society,” said activist and academic Dr. Cornel West, of Union Theological Seminary. “We have to make the connection between the killing of our innocent brother Trayvon and the killing of innocent children by U.S. drones in Pakistan and Yemen and Somalia.

California Hunger Strike is “Call of Desperation”

Ever Florez, a former inmate on solitary confinement in California’s notorious Pelican Bay prison, said the current hunger strike is more widespread than previous actions because prisoners are more desperate. “People get tired,” said Florez, a member of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. “You live in a little cell for an enormous amount of years, and it makes you sick in your mind. If you feel that you’re on the brink of going insane, you have to make a call. It’s a call of desperation.”

Vigil at White House for Lynne Stewart

Ralph Poynter, husband and comrade of people’s lawyer Lynne Stewart, resumed his daily vigil outside the White House, demanding her compassionate release from prison. “They turned a cold ear to us and said, ‘See us in six months,’” said Poynter. “Psychologically, Lynne is fantastic,” he said. “Physically, she is dying a little each day.” Stewart is suffering from Stage Four breast cancer. Her lawyers are seeking a hearing with the judge that sentenced her to prison for ten years for zealously defending her client in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Why the U.S. Arms Islamic Jihadists

“U.S. imperialism feels that it can use the jihadists to depose a particular regime,” such as in Syria, “and then pivot and isolate and marginalize the jihadists and put in neoliberal forces,” said Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of history and African American studies at the University of Houston. “That strategy has not been working – look at Libya, for example – and I think that perhaps that may lead to a rethink on the part of Washington.”

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Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 6/3/13

Philly Cops on Killing Spree

A rash of police shootings of Blacks has prompted Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey to call for a federal investigation of his own department. “This is not a few rogue cops,” said Dr. Tony Monteiro, professor of African American studies at Temple University. “I think Ramsey recognizes that this is institutional and structural.” Mayor Michael Nutter’s political rhetoric “gives sanction to this type of behavior,” said Monteiro, “and there is also the sense that the DA is not going to rigorously pursue killer cops.” All three officials are Black.

Obama = Bush on Secret War Guidelines

Just like his predecessor, President Obama wages illegal wars behind a screen of secret “guidances” and classified interpretations of the law, said Coleen Rowley, a former FBI agent and noted whistleblower. If Obama is serious about eventually ending America’s perpetual wars, he must begin by making his war-making guidelines public. Otherwise, said Rowley, “he doesn’t have a leg to stand on, after giving that speech, for why he’s so secretive,” said Crowley.

Obama Big Liar

Barack Obama’s portrayal of himself as a morally conflicted commander is pure play-acting, said Chris Hedges, the former war correspondent and complainant in a suit against Obama’s preventive detention legislation. “It’s called the Big Lie,” said Hedges. “It worked pretty well in Nazi Germany and it’s working pretty well, here.” U.S. culture “is utterly awash in lies and very sophisticated forms of propaganda,” said Hedges. “The snuffing out of the First Amendment is pretty far advanced, if we are not already there.”

Obama’s Killing Touch

Black America’s long legacy of opposition to U.S. military adventures abroad “has been destroyed under Obama,” said Black Agenda Report senior columnist Margaret Kimberley. African Americans “see everything through a prism of protecting him. There are now 30 million Secret Service agents in the Black community who think they have to throw themselves in front of Obama and defend him from his critics,” Kimberley told Solomon Comissiong, producer of the documentary film The More Effective Evil: The Impact of Barack Obama on the Black Community and Humanity. “It’s killed Black politics.”

McKinney Book Details Black Caucus Subservience to Pelosi

In her new book, Ain’t Nothing Like Freedom, former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney says she was “shocked” to discover that “my friend, my buddy, my brother” Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was “an FBI informant.” The veteran lawmaker, who ran for president in 2008 on the Green Party ticket, recalled the Congressional Black Caucus’s subservience to House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. When orders came down to avoid ANSWER Coalition anti-war demonstrations, McKinney was “the only one who showed up.” Democrats were forbidden to take part in Republican hearings on Katrina – and all but McKinney complied.

Cuban Five Trial “Rigged,” Says Gonzalez

Rene Gonzalez, the Cuban Five member who served his prison sentence and was allowed to return to Cuba for his father’s funeral, said he and his comrades were convicted in “a rigged trial, which took place in an atmosphere of fear.” The five Cuban intelligence agents infiltrated Cuban exile groups that were launching terror attacks from southern Florida. Instead of arresting the exiles, the U.S. charged the Cuban Five with spying. Four remain behind bars. “The American people, who are supposed to have been the victims of our ‘crimes,’ are not aware of the details of the trial,” said Gonzalez.

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Perpetual War – and Obama’s Perpetual Con Game

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

President Obama’s perpetual scam machine is in high gear – which signals another expansion of war and war-powers accumulation. The president played the reluctant warrior who doesn’t really want the limitless powers he has arrogated to himself. But, what he’s seeking is formal authorization to escalate the U.S. offensive against world order and civil liberties.

The U.S. Press and Repression in the Obama Era: A New Awakening or Political Theater?

by Ajamu Baraka

The corporate media only cried foul when their own perceived privileges are threatened, even as President Obama’s “approach to civil liberties turned his administration into act three of the Bush administration.” The bourgeois press are now discovering that marginalized peoples are not the only targets of the national security state.

Rise Up or Die

by Chris Hedges

As more and more of the nation is transformed into “sacrifice zones” like Detroit and Camden, New Jersey, with civil liberties stripped bare, the biosphere pushed to the point of no return, and the corporate security estate triumphant, “it is time to employ the harsh language of open rebellion and class warfare.”

U.S. and Al-Qaeda: The Best of Frenemies

by Mike Pirsch

The American on-again, off-again relationship with Al-Qaeda is back in the hot-and-heavy phase, with the U.S. “leading a coalition including, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, The United Arab Emirates, Croatia, England, France, and Al-Qaeda to destroy and break up targeted countries.” The jihadist and imperialist mobs are once again married.

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of Feb 18, 2013

Blacks rally to save Camden NJ police department
Obama claims that “war is peace”
The “rule of law” is a thing of the past
Blowback” coming after Dorner demise
Resolved: Corporations are NOT citizens
Blacks Rally to Save Camden NJ Police Department

This is a public safety issue, it’s a labor issue, and it’s a political issue,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress and featured speaker at a rally to prevent the shutdown of the police department in mostly Black and Latino Camden, New Jersey. The financially distressed town would be patrolled by police from the surrounding, mostly white county. It’s a matter of self-determination, said Hamm. “They’re not going to stop with taking over the finance department; they’re not going to stop with taking over the schools; they’re not going to stop with the police force.”

Obama’s Orwellian Peace

President Obama’s claim that he will end the U.S. war in Afghanistan in 2014 makes sense only in the language of George Orwell’s 1984, said David Swanson, publisher of the influential website WarIsACrime.org. The president is actually planning to take U.S. troop strength “down to almost what it was when he moved into the White House, and calling it ‘peace,’” said Swanson. “And we’re calling drone wars ‘peace.’”

R.I.P. Rule of Law

There’s been a very steady dismantling of the rule of law, both domestically and internationally, begun by the Bush administration and furthered by the Obama administration,” said veteran journalist Chris Hedges, one of the plaintiffs challenging the law allowing preventive detention of American citizens. U.S. lawlessness abroad “has been accompanied by a savage assault on our most basic constitutional rights,” said Hedges, “giving the executive branch the right to kill Americans.”

Blowback” Coming After Dorner’s Demise

Chris Dorner, the former Los Angeles policeman and NAVY special operations officer who died in a fiery shootout, last week, was a “universal soldier,” said investigative journalist Mike Rupert. “I don’t think the LAPD or any police department will now so cavalierly terminate any combat veteran, for any reason,” said Rupert, who is also a former LAPD cop.

A friend and former athletic teammate of Dorner, identified only as “Ben,” told KPFA radio’s Davey D: “We watched this brother be assassinated on TV. There will be a blowback from this.”

Resolved: Corporations are Not Citizens

Move to Amend activist George Friday appeared with Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN) at a press conference following Nolan’s introduction of a constitutional amendment to deny corporations the rights of citizens. Many millions of Americans, said Friday, “are ready to stand up against the inappropriate, illegitimate use of corporate power and corporate constitutional rights.”

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Obama Wins A Round in His Quest to Imprison Americans Without Trial

 

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The Obama administration has won a courtroom victory in his bid to detain U.S. citizens without trial. The president already executes foreigners at will. “That’s the evil beauty of these Bush-Obama laws: they cut across international borders and render all the people’s of the world equal in one important respect: President Obama claims the right to kill each and every one of them.”

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