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February 20, 2009

The NY Post, Chimpanzee and Modern Day Racism

I must confess that I read the NY Post daily for years not because of their breaking news but because of their gossip column and fodder about NY social society and such. Needless to say I will have stopped reading the NY Post.

Like most people I was stunned, offended and irritated the very first time I saw the ‘cartoon’ – not the second or third time – it was immediately repulsive! Each time I look at the ‘cartoon’ I become increasingly insulted.

chimp-stimulus-ny-post Even at first glance the image of a black chimpanzee represented a black man to me.  Once I read the caption and the dead chimp was associated with the stimulus package I thought “dead black chimp equals dead black president”.  Too often in New York City’s history NYPD officers have shot innocent black men dead in the streets of NY. In that context alone the cartoon is highly offensive and a so called parody is plain distasteful!  In additon there is NOTHING funny about a woman being attacked and mauled by the angry 200 pound ape named Travis; there is nothing funny about 55 year old Charla Nash’s face being torn up by this wild beast so I don’t see how this is a parody.

Whether this was the imagery famed cartoonist Sean Delonas intended, the offensive and violent nature of his work should have been apparent to him – I’m sure he has some common sense.  If common sense eluded Sean Delonas then editor Col Allen should have had enough wisdom and good judgment to tell Delonas that his cartoon was not acceptable and explain to Delonas why it could be viewed as distasteful, hateful and abominable.

curious-george-t-shirts Not so long ago in May 2008 t-shirts were peddled in the state of Georgia by Marietta bar owner Mike Norman at his Mulligan’s Bar and Grill in Cobb County.  The image on the t-shirt showed a picture of Curious George peeling a banana, with the words “Obama ’08” underneath bringing back old stupid southern racist nonsense, gibberish and garbage.  Blacks in Georgia did not tolerate the hooey from Mike Norman and protested.  The publishing company that owns the Curious George image said they would take legal action to stop the sale of any t-shirt depicting Barack Obama as the monkey from their children’s books.

The history of moneys and apes being associated with blacks in America started with Buckner Payne.  In 1867 Reverend Buckner Payne an ignorant, unqualified junk scientist from the south said, “We take up the monkey, and trace him … through his upward and advancing orders – baboon, ourang-outang and gorilla, up to the negro, another noble animal, the noblest of the beast creation. The difference between these higher orders of the monkey and the negro is very slight, and consists mainly in this one thing: the negro can utter sounds that can be imitated; hence he could talk with Adam and Eve, for they could imitate his sounds.”  The full 48-page text of Buckner Payne’s “The Negro” as a pdf file can be viewed courtesy of Google, by following this link.

This description of blacks as non-human was published in 1867 – after the South lost the Civil War. Southern whites didn’t have to define Negroes as animals while they were enslaved and lived like animals on plantations. But once the Negro was free – and politically empowered during Reconstruction the defeated white Southerner felt the need psychologically and politically to justify their treatment of blacks by putting forth this idea that blacks were monkeys and therefore not  human.

In 1900, Charles Carroll (I have no idea what his expertise was) published a book expanding Buckner Payne’s notion. “The Negro a Beast” cites the Apostle Paul’s declaration that “there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts.”

Carroll wrote: “It becomes plain that the dog, the swine and the negro all belong to one kind of flesh – the flesh of beasts.”

He argued further that the “red, yellow and brown” races resulted from the “amalgamation” of whites and blacks. Therefore non-whites aren’t human either. To argue otherwise, according to Carroll, was a blasphemy equal to Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Carroll further stated that, “This modern church theory that the negro and the mixed-bloods are included in the Plan of Salvation is another result of putting man and the ape in the same family.”

I am still insulted that in 2009 The New York Post thought that they could brazenly and unashamedly publish this kind of muck and not be held accountable. 

There will be a protest at the NY Post building in Manhattan today, Friday, February 20 at 5pm.  If you cannot make the protest, you can write a letter to the editor and mail it to the New York Post New York Post, 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036-8790.  Or you can call them at (212) 930-8000 (hit 8 for the operator).  Or you can email a letter to the editor at letters@nypost.com.  You can also post your opinion at: http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/letters/letters_editor.htm

I pray that America gets over this Neanderthal thinking quickly.  United we stand.  Divided we will fall. We need unity in America.

Hypocrisy – The Fundamentals of The GOP

The Grand Obstruction Party (GOP) is full of a bunch of swingers!  Back in their home districts congressional Republicans who voted against the stimulus bill and some Republican Governors who opposed the stimulus are singing the praises of projects in the stimulus.  I’ve listed seven hypocrites since 7 is the perfect number, but I could have gone on, and on, and on…

Last week Hypocrite # 1 (Don Young of Alaska) issued a press release stating that he “won a victory for the Alaska Native contracting program and other Alaska small business owners” by working with Democrats to pull a provision from the Senate bill that he feared would hurt American Indian and Alaska Native owned businesses.

Hypocrite # 2 (John Mica from Florida) issued a press release saying, “I applaud President Obama’s recognition that high-speed rail should be part of America’s future.”

Hypocrite # 3 (Peter Hoekstra from Michigan) ‘tweeted’  “If you know of someone thinking of buying first home, now may be the time. Stimulus incentive is very generous! Up to 8k! Check it out.”

Hypocrite # 4 (Leonard Lance from New Jersey) toured a Army Corps of Engineers construction site that will likely get stimulus dollars and said,  “This is a classic example of a “shovel-ready’ project!,”

Hypocrite # 5 (Blaine Luetkemeyer from Missouri) visited Truman State University and said, “Within the stimulus package there is some Pell Grant money, which is a good thing. It helps students be able to pay for their education and that’s kind of a long term stimulus effect there. I mean obviously that’s not gonna provide a job in the next 120, 180 days, but the ability of someone to get an education is an economic development tool.”

Hypocrite # 6 (Kit Bond from Missouri) announced that there are $2 billion in funds in the stimulus bill to jump start low income housing projects, would save jobs as well as employ more than 3,000 people in Missouri.

On Tuesday, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC interviewed Hypocrite # 7 (Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty from Minnesota):

MADDOW: I know that you think the stimulus bill is a bad idea. So, that means you are turning down the money, right, Governor?

PAWLENTY: Well, I have concerns about the bill. I think it could have been done better. I was in favor of a stimulus bill; I was disappointed in this one for a variety of reasons. But in Minnesota’s case, we are going to accept the money for this reason, Rachel — we pay in for every dollar to the federal government. We get about 72 cents back. We’re the 46th least receiving state of any state of the nation in terms of federal money. So, our view is, if you buy the pizza, it’s OK if you have a slice. It doesn’t mean you can’t express concerns about the bill or offer suggestions on how it could have been better.

MADDOW: My analogy is this. I pay my taxes to support my local police. But it doesn’t mean that I would buy stuff from a crooked cop that was heisting stuff out of an evidence locker or something. If you are getting offered something that you think you shouldn’t be offered, you shouldn’t take it, should you?

PAWLENTY:  Well, I think the bill has some positive features in it. My view of it is this. The federal government is spending money they don’t have, they’re borrowing it in part from the Chinese — that’s number one. Number two: it could have been a better targeted bill, a more impactful bill, probably for less money — that’s number two. And number three — it was a missed opportunity because, I think, with some modest modifications, it could have been truly bipartisan and lived up to that promise of President Obama. And so, for those reasons, I expressed concern about the bill. I think it could have been done better so the answer isn’t no, it’s better. And, again, when you are paying the tab like Minnesota is, one of the major contributors, subsidizers of the federal government, I don’t think it’s untoward for us to accept our share of the money.

What a bunch of hypocritical freaks!

February 6, 2009

Economic Stimulus Plan – President Obama Is Fired Up and Ready To…!

President Barack Obama is fired up!!!  On Thursday he said that “the scale and the scope” of his economic plan is right, turning up the heat on critics he said were hawking “phony arguments” and “false theories of the past” to chip away at the bill’s programs.

“Don’t come to the table with the same tired arguments and worn ideas that helped to create this crisis,” the president said at the House Democrats’ annual retreat in Williamsburg.

“We’re not going to get relief by turning back to the very same policies that, for the last eight years, doubled the national debt and threw our economy into a tailspin,” he said. “We can’t embrace the losing formula that says only tax cuts will work for every problem we face, that ignores critical challenges like our addiction to foreign oil, or the soaring cost of health care, or failing schools and crumbling bridges and roads and levees.”

“I don’t care whether you’re driving a hybrid or an SUV — if you’re headed for a cliff, you’ve got to change direction.”

President Obama said he valued “the constructive criticism and healthy debate that’s taking place around this package,” but added that speedy passage of the bill was essential.

“We’re not moving quickly because we’re trying to jam something down people’s throats,” he said. “We’re moving quickly because if we don’t, the economy’s going to keep getting worse.”

Obama rejected calls for more tax cuts and significant slashing of the bill’s more than $800 billion price tag, and said complaints the package was a spending bill rather than a stimulus bill were off base.

“What do you think a stimulus bill is?” he said. “That’s the point.”

To critics who argue that the government shouldn’t be spending billions with a large and growing deficit, Obama said, “I found this national debt doubled, wrapped in a big bow waiting for me as I stepped into the Oval Office.”

The American people called for change in November, he said, “and that’s what we’re going to deliver.”

“They did not send us here to get bogged down with the same old delay, the same old distractions, the same talking points, the same cable chatter,” he said. “They did not vote for the false theories of the past, and they didn’t vote for phony arguments and petty politics, and they did not vote for the status quo.”

Obama told his fellow Democrats that they have “the capacity to do great things” on behalf of the American people, “but we are going to have to do it by not thinking about ourselves.”

“It starts with this economic recovery plan, and soon, we will take on big issues like addressing the foreclosure problem, passing a budget, tackling our fiscal problems, fixing our financial regulation and securing our country.”

“If we do not move swiftly to sign [the act] into law, an economy that is already in crisis will be faced with catastrophe,” he said. “This is not my assessment. This is not Nancy Pelosi’s assessment. This is the assessment of the best economists in the country. This is the assessment of some of the former advisers of some of the same folks who are making these criticisms right now.”

“This is not a game,” he said. “This is not a contest for who’s in power and who’s up and who’s down.”

“It’s time to set aside the gamesmanship in this town and get something done.”

Is California On The Verge Of A Financial Collapse?

California is America’s most populous state and it might be on the verge of a financial collapse.  If this is happening in California, how long will it be before this same type of financial monsoon slams into your state?

More than 200,000 state government employees are expected to stay home without pay today as California began it’s first-ever furlough (involuntary unpaid leave of absence), a move intended to save money during the ongoing fiscal crisis.

State agencies scrambled in the days before the furloughs took effect to avoid confusion for the public, such as people trying to register vehicles, getting drivers license or trying obtain professional licenses or city permits.

Among the offices to be closed Friday are those of the Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Consumer Affairs. The governor’s Office of Emergency Services also would be dark as part of a cash-saving move ordered by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Critical and revenue-generating agencies were scheduled to remain open, including police precincts, fire stations, parks and employment centers that process unemployment insurance claims. California’s unemployment rate is 9.3 percent — a 15-year high.

Schwarzenegger ordered the two-day-a-month furloughs, reducing the average state worker’s salary by 9.2 percent, as he and lawmakers try to solve the state’s $42 billion budget shortfall.

The governor had hoped his order would apply to some 238,000 state employees, but each of the seven other constitutional officers have said they will not comply. Employees of the Legislature are not under his authority.

Schwarzenegger’s legal affairs secretary, Andrea Hoch, said the administration was prepared to sue the state controller if he did not reduce paychecks for more than 15,000 workers in the other constitutional offices, which include the attorney general, secretary of state and insurance commissioner.

A judge who affirmed Schwarzenegger’s authority to order the furloughs said his ruling did not apply to statewide elected officials because they were not a party to the lawsuit. The administration has maintained that employees of constitutional offices are covered by the furlough order.

Doors to about 180 DMV offices were to be locked Friday. Some people said the state gave little notice to the public about the furloughs, which will continue on the first and third Fridays of each month through June 2010.

“They don’t have any signs telling us about Friday,” said Ingrid Dela Cruz of Sacramento, who was inside a Sacramento DMV office on Thursday.

In fact, there were plenty of signs, but they were posted in locations invisible to most customers because they were hidden behind sliding glass doors.

Schwarzenegger’s administration estimated that cutting worker hours would save the state $1.3 billion over the next year-and-a-half.

The state decided to keep some 250 career centers open after previously announcing they would be closed. The centers are where the unemployed get information about job training and benefits.

Dan Gurule, a police officer at the state mental hospital in Norwalk, said the state would have to pay overtime at 24-hour facilities to those workers who backfill the shifts of people on furlough. Five state mental hospitals and 33 adult prisons are required to provide constant care to patients and inmates.

“Somebody has to fill in my position,” Gurule said. “We still have to have a minimum staffing. That’s going to be someone on overtime, being paid time-and-a-half.”

California is not the only state on the brink of a financial disaster. The state of Florida still has a balanced budget — for the time being — but barely.  Governor Charlie Crist has acknowledged that “this economy is struggling greatly.”  He has co-signed a letter with Governor Jim Doyle of Wisconsin, a Democrat, supporting Obama’s stimulus package and encouraging all governors to do the same. “If President Obama sees a need for Republican assistance with his stimulus plan, I’m happy to do that,” said Crist.

He sees in Obama and his recovery plan “lifelines of hope to persevere.”  “There is a level of optimism that is not detached from reality. … I see the glass as half-full —and not without reason. … My optimism does relate to the stimulus plan.”

Many Governors and Mayors support President Obama’s Stimulus Plan since they are on the front lines and see the crises up close and personal on a daily basis. 

Governors and Mayors do not want to see police precincts and fire stations closed.  Nor do they want to see thousands upon thousands of teachers losing their jobs which will cause classroom sizes to increase or schools to close. 

Governors and Mayors do not want to see the millions of unemployed Americans lose their unemployment insurance and lose the ability to pay for food, utilities, rent/mortgage, taxes, car loans and the necessities of life.

I urge you to contact your Senators and Congresspersons from both Houses and encourage them to get together, make the necessary revisions and get this stimulus plan passed for the greater good of all Americans!

Contact Congress:      

http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/

Contact Senate:          

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

February 5, 2009

Will President Obama Make His First Supreme Court Appointment Soon?

supreme-court-justice-ruth-bader-ginsburg  Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had surgery today after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the court said.

Ginsburg, 75, had the surgery at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. According to her surgeon Dr. Murray Brennan she will remain in the hospital for seven to 10 days.

The court announcement said the cancer is apparently in the early stages. In 1999, Ginsburg, had surgery for colon cancer and had chemotherapy and radiation treatment. The pancreatic cancer was discovered during a routine annual exam late last month at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. A CAT scan revealed a tumor measuring about 1 centimeter across the center of her pancreas.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly cancers: Nearly 38,000 cases a year are diagnosed and overall, fewer than 5 percent survive five years.  Fewer than one in 10 cases are diagnosed at an early stage — like Ginsburg’s appears to be — before the cancer has begun spreading through the abdomen and beyond. That’s because early pancreatic cancer produces few symptoms other than vague indigestion.

Even when caught early, surgery for pancreatic cancer is laborious. Doctors typically remove parts of the pancreas, stomach and intestines. Radiation and chemotherapy are common after surgery.

Ginsburg has recently told her former law clerks and others that she had no plans to retire any time soon, although those comments were made before the latest diagnosis.  She has been a justice since 1993.

Ginsburg is one of the few liberal freethinking Justices of the Court – we wish her a speedy recovery.

February 4, 2009

President Obama Plans Salary Limits For Bailout Recipients

Obama Commerce Secretary  Most Divinity Schools/Seminaries do not accept Pell Grants (financial aid from the federal government available to students) because they do not want the government to tell them how to administrate their schools.  The thinking is, if you don’t want government interference in your business, then manage your business well so you don’t have to beg the government for money.

Like the rest of us, President Obama has been watching the way that  banks who received ‘exceptional assistance’ have been conducting business as usual — as if they they’re in the black with a trillion dollar profit.  There has been no apparent curbing of spending even though they borrowed billions from us the United States taxpayers.  Even while they lay off employees the executives of these banks are spending money flippantly and frivolously.

President Obama has decided that since the executives are not being responsible and seemingly cannot manage themselves he will intervene and implement a series of pay curbs including a strict new limit on executive salaries at these institutions.  Under the new rules, companies like Citigroup that received “exceptional assistance” from taxpayers may not pay any top executive more than $500,000 a year.  Any additional compensation would have to be in restricted stocks that cannot be sold until the companies pay back the money they borrowed from the government.

In addition all banks receiving help will face tougher restrictions, including requirements that shareholders have a say on compensation, and will face tougher disclosure rules on items such as aviation services, holiday parties and golden parachutes.

Institutions that are financially healthy — and receive more generally available government funds — can waive these requirements if their shareholders vote to do so, according to the plan.

“The American people understand we’ve got a big hole that we’ve got to dig ourselves out of, but they don’t like the idea that people are digging a bigger hole even as they’re being asked to fill it up,” Obama said.

Congress also was furious, with Senator Claire McCaskill, (D-Missouri) introduced legislation to cap compensation at bailed-out companies to no more than the salary of the U.S. president.

President Obama’s annual salary is $400,000.

“We have a bunch of idiots on Wall Street that are kicking sand in the face of the American taxpayer,” an enraged McCaskill said on the floor of the Senate on Friday. “They don’t get it. These people are idiots. You can’t use taxpayer money to pay out $18 billion in bonuses.”

Yeah!  Our government is standing up for its citizens!

President Obama In His Own Words on His Appointments & Economic Stimulus Plan

We have an urgent economic situation right now and President Obama tells us that he is focused on getting the job done and putting Americans back to work. 

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