Tony Papa's Vindication: NY Reforms Rockefeller Drug Laws

papaby Marcelo Ballvé

New York’s so-called Rockefeller Drug Laws condemned hundreds of thousands of individuals and whole communities to a living hell for a generation-and-a-half, under a mandatory imprisonment regime. Now, as the draconian laws are in the process of being repealed, a crusading activist – and one-time Rockefeller Law victim – savors the victory. “Tony Papa sometimes thought this day would never come. Now that it has, he's still not quite sure how to handle it.” We’re confidant the brother will do just fine. He’s already handled the worst that the American Gulag can conjure.

Jamaica's Golden Future of Bauxite

maxwellby John Maxwell

Corporate exploitation of Jamaica’s bauxite, an essential component of aluminum, has ravaged a tropical paradise. In addition to mangling the landscape and silting the once-pristine rivers, bauxite mining has degraded the social order. “Bauxite owned 19% – one in every five acres –  of Jamaica's farmland, some of the best, removing it from economic production and driving the communities that lived on it into exile into the ghettoes of Kingston, Brixton and Brooklyn.”  The ecology of the land is also the ecology of the society. Reparations are due.

Barack Obama: Hypocrite on Health Care, Hater on Single Payer

obama on health careby BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
When it comes to health care, Barack Obama is a hater, and a dishonest one at that.  An honest and ethical hater tells you where she or he stands, and throws down the appropriate facts.  President Obama doesn't do this.  He has claimed for years to be a proponent of single payer health care, the only practical and workable health care solution, but since his election to the senate in 2004 he has become accustomed to saying he would favor single payer "if we were starting from a clean slate" but of course we are not.  Insurance companies are powerful interests, he seems to say, and for some reason, we have to let them keep the thrid of every health care dollar they currently take.
President Obama knows there is no blank slate and there never was.  
That's not even honest hating.  It's hypocrisy.  And it's not leadership, it's caving to the parasitical private insurers.

Freedom Rider: Opposing Obama

stop the warby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

This weekend's pitifully small peace demonstration in the nation's capitol reveals a near-totally demobilized U.S. Left mired in such timidity and delusion, activists fear to mention Barack Obama's name when denouncing the wars he so aggressively prosecutes. "The new president, who makes no secret of his intention to continue the previous administration's war of terror, escaped serious scrutiny and the condemnation he deserves." Forgetting that power concedes nothing without a demand, the Left shrinks from making real demands of the actual president in power.

Obama Buys Allies Where the U.S. Has No Friends


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afghanA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

"The U.S. plans to double the Afghan army and police, to 400,000 men, through the sheer magnetic pull of money. But, as the old song goes, money can't buy you love." At root, the Obama/ Petraeus plan for Afghanistan is bribery on a massive scale, a "surge" of billions of dollars to convert the desperately unemployed into U.S.-allied fighters. The plan only looks halfway intelligent in comparison to the early Rumsfeld Iraq plan, which was based on the assumption that the US would be greeted as Afghanistan's "liberators."

Obama Fronts for White Supremacy with Boycott of Durban Conference on Racism


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durbanA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The injustices of the current world order are derived from those of the old order - which was based on white supremacy. The language of Euro-American hegemony has become more refined but, with the advent of the Barack Obama presidency, it has taken only two months to demonstrate that white supremacy - and its peculiar Zionist offshoot - has no difficulty exercising its power and privilege through the agency of a Black executive." The Durban II conference on racism has been eviscerated by the Black man at the helm of the racist superpower.

Vet Health Care Snafu Reveals Corporate Obama


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obama and vetsA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The Obama White House alienated and offended a key constituent group in the health care debate by proposing that veterans be forced to use private insurance to pay for treatment of combat-related injuries. "That the White House would put forward such a notion at all just as the debate on Obama's health care plan is heating up, reveals an astounding level of political insensitivity - even incompetence - at the highest level." That's no way to build popular support for a health care overhaul.


A Call to the Obama Administration for Action on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

disparitiesby Prof. Vernellia R. Randall

In refusing to allow the U.S. to take part in next month's international gathering on racism, dubbed Durban II, the first Black president will "take the same action as his all-white predecessors: refuse to engage and to be a leader in the elimination of racism." Much more is up for discussion than just the question of Israeli anti-Arab racism. The event's agenda includes slavery reparations and institutional anti-Black racism in the United States and throughout the African Diaspora - issues that Barack Obama would, apparently, rather avoid.

The Cold-Blooded Murder of Oscar Grant

BART murderby Reiko Redmonde and Larry Everest

The New Year in Oakland, California, brought in an old message to Black youth: they can be corralled and murdered for no reason at all, but that they are Black and young. Such is the rationale of state terror: the victim can do nothing to either invite or avoid the assault. "The killing of Oscar Grant was not a mistake or an accident, it was cold-blooded murder." Immediately, the "system's institutions moved to cover up and legitimize this violence and let all the cops but one go free." The powers-that-be seek equilibrium through normalization of murder.

President Obama Declares His DLC Allegiance: Says "I Am A New Democrat"

by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon

Despite the labels hung on him from all sides, Barack Obama has been, either determinedly reluctant, or notoriously slippery about defining himself.  But early this month, according to a story in Politico, in a relaxed meeting with right wing congressional Democrats, the president let slip his mask, if only for an unscripted moment.  “I am a New Democrat,” declared President Obama, firmly identifying himself with the brand and philosophy, though not necessarily with the organization of the Democratic Leadership Council.

Department of Double Standards: Rep. Maxine Waters Maligned for Helping Black Banks

maxineby BAR executive editor Glen Ford

With the bankster class methodically looting the national treasure in collusion with purchased politicians, questions of conflict of interest have become a dead letter. Lawless banksters are “empowered to dictate the terms of their own deliverance from insolvency.”  Republican and Democratic administrations seem ruled by one master, by the name of Goldman Sachs. “But let a progressive Black congresswoman arrange a meeting in which Black bankers beseech the government for some miniscule piece of the bailout pie – and it is the stuff of scandal.”

Freedom Rider: White Christian Terrorists With Nuclear Materials Ignored?

loyal klansmen by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

“Homeland security” seems to mean keeping the United States secure against threats from everyone except the White Right. In the Maine home of a rich acolyte of Hitler police found all the ingredients to make a “dirty bomb,” including “bomb-grade hydrogen peroxide, uranium, thorium (also radioactive), lithium metal, thermite, aluminum powder, beryllium (radiation booster), boron, black iron oxide and magnesium ribbon.” The possible WMD-maker was especially upset about Barack Obama’s election as president. White terrorists don’t make the news because ”the media and the nation’s political leadership remain committed to keeping quiet about their existence.”

So President Obama Is Finally Pissed Off? So What?


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A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The President's public display of anger at AIG is a cover for well-deserved political embarrassment. He and his bankster advisors have dedicated trillions to rescuing the criminal corporations of Wall Street from the consequences of their actions. He acts disappointed that they're still gangsters. "The logic of bankster capitalist enterprise, which AIG was created to protect and serve, is take the money and run - every chance you get."

Among Republicans, Who's The Man? Limbaugh or Steele?


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A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

While Democrats stirred the pot "like kids egging on a schoolyard fight," premier right-wing radio propagandist Rush Limbaugh and Michael Steele, the Black chairman of the Republican Party, duked it out over who was the "real" voice of the GOP. If having to say you're sorry means surrender, Steele lost. Among Steele's defenders: Chip Saltsman, the guy who crafted the campaign parody song "Barack the Magic Negro."

Undo Suburbia: The Imminent Transportation Catastrophe

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A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Last year's "brief but terrifying" experience with $4-a-gallon gasoline "proved beyond doubt that the suburban and exurban model of development based on automobiles is broken beyond repair." When the era of high-priced gasoline returns for good - which it will, and soon - it will bring on a "transportation crisis so excruciating it will make the whole society scream." A multi-trillion dollar national makeover is desperately needed, to undo suburbia and the car culture.

What's Law Got To Do With It?

justiceby Reza Fiyouzat

The Obama administration seems determined to allow George Bush and his cronies and lawyers to get away with eight years of lawless behavior. Perhaps more striking than the impunity likely to be extended to the Bush gang, is the ease with which the former president shredded the Constitution and the very concept of the rule of law. If it’s that easy to lay low the pillars of justice in the United States, the underlying system must be weak, indeed. But of course, that’s what should be expected of a nation “based on the greatest ever land theft, genocide of the Original Peoples of the subcontinent, and slavery.”

Obama's Numerous Torture Loopholes

more tortureby Prof. James Hill

“America does not torture,” Barack Obama recently proclaimed. George Bush said the same thing, and was proven to be lying. An analysis of President Obama’s executive order on torture “may permit cruel abuses of prisoners to continue.” Although the order seems to cover the closing of CIA torture centers, it does not mention torture centers that might be run by other federal agencies or corporate outfits like Blackwater. And, while imposing safeguards on prisoners taken in “armed conflict,” the order pointedly leaves out prisoners seized in “counterrorism operations.” Obama should close these huge loopholes, or “explain why he won’t.”

President Obama's Deeply Flawed Housing Plan

housing crisisby Petrino DiLeo

The Obama administration’s plan to deal with the housing crisis is far superior to George Bush’s “do-nothing approach.” However, the attempt is “dwarfed” by the “$6 trillion in housing wealth that has been lost so far,” and leaves significant segments of at-risk homeowners unaided. Bankruptcy judges still cannot “cram” new terms down the banker’s throats, and only about one in four homeowners can take advantage of refinancing under the plan. For those who have already lost their homes – tough luck.

‘Left’ Obamites Prefer Kool-Aid to Struggle

right turnby BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Ford answers Linda Burnham's recent assault on the non-Obamite Left, whom she sneeringly refers to as victims of "Left ‘anticipatory disillusionment'" and assorted other "psycho-babble." Burnham sets up Left straw men, to knock them down, all in an attempt to justify her cohort's capitulation to Power. "One great tragedy of the current episode," writes Ford, "is that the [economic] crisis occurred at a moment when the remnants of the Left and Black movements in the U.S. have been neutralized by imperialism's Black champion." Hilariously, Burnham credits Obama with having "wrenched the Democratic Party out of the clammy grip of Clintonian centrism" when, in actuality, "Obama's government IS Clintonian. And the new president is as skilled and ruthless a triangulator as Bill ever was."

Freedom Rider: When Republicans Attack

spreading freedom

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The right wing’s “insidious” attacks on President Obama make the claim “that a president in office for less than two months is more responsible for unemployment, a crashing stock market and the demise of major banks, than the president who served for the previous eight years.” The corporate media, ever in search of sensationalism, megaphone the Republicans’ hair-brained assaults. What the public should really be upset about is that the worsening economic situation is exacerbated by the Obama administration’s failure to drastically reduced U.S. military spending, which “is larger than that of every other country on earth combined” and unsustainable.


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