Monday, March 23, 2015

George Yancy and Noam Chomsky: ON THE ROOTS OF AMERICAN RACISM @ The Stone, New York Times Ed/Op

[Excerpt]


Photo
Credit Philip Jones Griffiths/Magnum Photos
This is the eighth in a series of interviews with philosophers on race that I am conducting for The Stone. This week’s conversation is with Noam Chomsky, a linguist, political philosopher and one of the world’s most prominent public intellectuals. He is the author of many books, including, most recently, “On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare,” with Andre Vltchek.
– George Yancy 

George Yancy: When I think about the title of your book “On Western Terrorism,” I’m reminded of the fact that many black people in the United States have had a long history of being terrorized by white racism, from random beatings to the lynching of more than 3,000 black people (including women) between 1882 and 1968. This is why in 2003, when I read about the dehumanizing acts committed at Abu Ghraib prison, I wasn’t surprised. I recall that after the photos appeared President George W. Bush said that “This is not the America I know.” But isn’t this the America black people have always known?

Noam Chomsky: The America that “black people have always known” is not an attractive one. The first black slaves were brought to the colonies 400 years ago. We cannot allow ourselves to forget that during this long period there have been only a few decades when African-Americans, apart from a few, had some limited possibilities for entering the mainstream of American society.
We also cannot allow ourselves to forget that the hideous slave labor camps of the new “empire of liberty” were a primary source for the wealth and privilege of American society, as well as England and the continent. The industrial revolution was based on cotton, produced primarily in the slave labor camps of the United States.
Thomas Jefferson feared the liberation of slaves, who had “ten thousand recollections” of the crimes to which they were subjected.
As is now known, they were highly efficient. Productivity increased even faster than in industry, thanks to the technology of the bullwhip and pistol, and the efficient practice of brutal torture, as Edward E. Baptist demonstrates in his recent study, “The Half Has Never Been Told.” The achievement includes not only the great wealth of the planter aristocracy but also American and British manufacturing, commerce and the financial institutions of modern state capitalism.
It is, or should be, well-known that the United States developed by flatly rejecting the principles of “sound economics” preached to it by the leading economists of the day, and familiar in today’s sober instructions to latecomers in development. Instead, the newly liberated colonies followed the model of England with radical state intervention in the economy, including high tariffs to protect infant industry, first textiles, later steel and others.

There was also another “virtual tariff.” In 1807, President Jefferson signed a bill banning the importation of slaves from abroad. His state of Virginia was the richest and most powerful of the states, and had exhausted its need for slaves. Rather, it was beginning to produce this valuable commodity for the expanding slave territories of the South. Banning import of these cotton-picking machines was thus a considerable boost to the Virginia economy. That was understood. Speaking for the slave importers, Charles Pinckney charged that “Virginia will gain by stopping the importations. Her slaves will rise in value, and she has more than she wants.” And Virginia indeed became a major exporter of slaves to the expanding slave society.

Some of the slave-owners, like Jefferson, appreciated the moral turpitude on which the economy relied. But he feared the liberation of slaves, who have “ten thousand recollections” of the crimes to which they were subjected. Fears that the victims might rise up and take revenge are deeply rooted in American culture, with reverberations to the present.

[End of Excerpt]

Read the complete installment of "The Stone" series at the [paywall warning] New York Times.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Kavitha Davidson: KOCH BROTHERS SPREADING THEIR MESSAGE TO SPORTS FANS @ The Cap Times, Madison, WI


[Excerpt] ... "College sports are a great fit for us and we're excited to lend our support to these schools," said Steve Lombardo, chief communications and marketing officer for Koch. "Like student athletes, our 60,000 U.S. employees understand that hard work and team spirit are fundamental to winning and success."

Like student athletes, many of Koch's employees also understand what it's like to work for an organization that is against unions and and the protections they afford. The NCAA has fought efforts by Northwestern football players to unionize, touting the threat to "amateurism" and arguing that a college scholarship is compensation enough for athletes who generate nearly $1 billion in revenue. Meanwhile, political groups funded by David and Charles Koch are largely driving the push to spread union-busting right-to-work legislation, citing what they call "forced" unionization. The privately held company says it generates $115 billion in annual revenue. ... [End of Excerpt]

Read the complete editorial at Cap Times.

"Saturday High Noon" 21 March 2015 Radio Free Kansas

The most dangerous season "when the statehouse is in session" news from, about and for "the sausage factory" in Topeka, Ks. I read from the Kansas Progressive Caucus Facebook group and more.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

#Red State Ricochet Tweet

#Brownbackistan's new state motto!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Linn Washington, Jr.: Half a century and nothing’s changed: US Refuses to Seriously Tackle Police Brutality and Racism @ THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING!


The report released in early March by a panel President Obama appointed to examine serious shortcomings in police practices across America, including the shooting of unarmed people, mostly non-white, listed problems and proposed solutions that are hauntingly similar to those found in a report on police abuses released 47 years ago by another presidential panel.

The March 1968 report of the presidential panel popularly known as the Kerner Commission noted with dismay that many minorities nationwide regarded police as “an occupying force” – a presence that generated fear not feelings of security.

The March 2015 report from President Obama’s panel made a similar finding, noting that perceptions of police as an “occupying force coming in from the outside to rule and control the community” had sabotaged the ability of law enforcement to build trust in many communities.

Reactions to police brutality, particularly fatal encounters, triggered protests and riots that sparked both President Barack Obama and President Lyndon Johnson almost two generations earlier to appoint these two panels.

Sadly, the recommendations from President Obama’s panel could sink under the weight of the same forces that sank full implementation of the Kerner Commission proposals: systemic recalcitrance from all sectors of American society to reforms devised to remediate festering race-based inequities.

The Obama panel recommended “civilian oversight of law enforcement,” calling this step essential to “strengthen trust with the community.” The Kerner Commission report had similarly called for the establishment of “fair mechanisms to redress grievances” against police.

However, for decades, police unions, backed by “law-and-order” politicians, in city councils, state legislatures and Congress, have vigorously opposed independent oversight by civilians and even oversight from governmental entities.

Such opposition mounted by America’s national police union – the Fraternal Order of Police – early last year killed Obama’s nomination of a civil rights lawyer to head the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. The national FOP in that case made it clear it resented any Justice Department monitoring of state and local police practices. Despite patterns of police misconduct that had led to what was at best only infrequent Justice Department monitoring, U.S. Senators – Republicans and Democrats – backed the national police union’s opposition to Obama’s nominee.

The Kerner Commission, which had examined race-based inequities beyond police brutality, called for a massive influx of resources to tackle poverty and discrimination.

That proposal from President Johnson’s panel, formally titled The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders because it was a wave of riots and uprisings in cities across the country in the 1960s that led to its creation, prompted immediate opposition from conservatives. Resources being poured into the war in Vietnam further crippled that proposal...
**************************
For the rest of this article by LINN WASHINGTON, JR. in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent, uncompromised, five-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/2693
**************************

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR FIRST-EVER FUNDRAISER!

We are one of the few genuine, uncensored and unafraid journalistic outlets in the country that is actually still doing investigative reporting and commentary about what is really happening in the US and the world, and we need your financial support to do it. Please join in and support our first-ever fund raiser, which has so far reached just 5% of our target: $1000 towards a goal of $20,000, an amount which would enable us in this collective to devote real time to this work instead of doing it in the interstices of our day jobs. Even five dollars a year from all our readers would allow us to be a major force in maintaining a free press in America.

Please use the handy Paypal button at the top of our home page, or send a check made out to David Lindorff/TCBH at POB 846, Ambler, PA 19002

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Alfredo Lopez: Barbie the Spy! @ This Can't Be Happening!


For many people reading this, there are at least two concepts that will offend.

One is surveillance, about which we've written often on this site. The other is the Barbie doll: the ubiquitous toy that has for decades molded girls' (and boys’) concept of "the perfect female" as having an impossible-to-achieve figure derived from sexist fantasy and has taught them that their lives should be about dressing up and attracting the attention of a boring male named "Ken".

There are, of course, many other offensive things going on in the world but these two catch the writer's attention because, in a new version of this product toy-maker Mattel Inc. is introducing to the market this Fall they are combined. Barbie, the girl you can never be (and shouldn't ever want to be), is now a spy.

The company introduced its new doll, called "Hello Barbie," at a February trade fair in New York and...well, you can't make this stuff up.

This doll can converse with you (or with your child unless you play with dolls) and record the answers. It then transmits these answers to a data-bank at the company's headquarters and stores them under the child's name and other personal information, then analyzes this data and responds to it...immediately or months later. Given a little time, it will have profiled your child and turned her into an information gathering source.

For example, during the demonstration at the toy fair, the Washington Post's Sarah Halzak reports, "...the Mattel representative chatting with Hello Barbie mentioned that she liked being onstage. Later in the conversation, when the Mattel representative asked Hello Barbie what she should be when she grew up, the doll responded, 'Well, you told me you like being onstage. So maybe a dancer? Or a politician? Or how about a dancing politician?'"

While being a "dancing politician" might land someone in the Congress these days, the possibilities for more serious abuse abound. Children talk about their lives and the lives of their families. They often lack the boundaries about what is personal or private. In fact, if the doll’s owner happens to belong to an activist family, she and her siblings and friends could become a potential source of information about activities, movements, meetings...all the stuff the National Security Agency captures email, texts and phone conversations to find out.

Mattel insists that protective measures will be in place...

For the rest of this article by ALFREDO LOPEZ in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent, uncompromised, five-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/barbiespy

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR FIRST-EVER FUNDRAISER!

We are one of the few genuine, uncensored and unafraid journalistic outlets in the country that is actually still doing investigative reporting and commentary about what is really happening in the US and the world, and we need your financial support to do it. Please join in and support our first-ever fund raiser, which has so far reached just 5% of our target: $1000 towards a goal of $20,000, an amount which would enable us in this collective to devote real time to this work instead of doing it in the interstices of our day jobs. Even five dollars a year from all our readers would allow us to be a major force in maintaining a free press in America.

Please use the handy Paypal button at the top of our home page, or send a check made out to David Lindorff/TCBH at POB 846, Ambler, PA 19002

Hear Dave Lindorff and Alfredo Lopez discuss the never ending coups in Venezuala

"Sunday Drivetime" Radio Free Kansas 15 March 2015

Today's RFK show link is here:  http://tobtr.com/s/7439019 

Program Summary


Brief commentary on Kansas statehouse news, program schedule announcements and calender mark ups for regular RFK listeners.

Hot editorial for the week via the Hays Daily News and the Ottawa Herald newspaper, "Clinton, Brownback prefer work remain in e-secrecy."

1st Hour - Thom Hartmann produces a daily syndicated radio news show. It is not broadcast from any FCC radio station in Kansas. Every Friday he features “Brunch with Bernie” (Sen. Bernie Sanders I-Vt.) for one hour with callers. It is available for viewing on You Tube.

2nd Hour -  Democracy Now hosted by Amy Goodman is a daily independent news program that is broadcast on radio, television and the internet.  It is currently available in Kansas on weekdays as a live stream at 8:00AM on KKFI 90.1fm and within signal range at 7:00AM on public television KCPT-PBS channel 19.2.