Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hard to believe that on October 9, 2009 it was announced that the recipient of that year’s Nobel Peace prize would be President Barack Obama for of all things, his promotion of a "new climate" in international relations, especially in reaching out to the Middle east and Muslim world.  In December he accepted the award and gave the world a lecture on war and peace with introducing what he referred to as the concept of “just war.”

Image result for yemen obama saudi
This was in my perception a glance into the future, one in which Obama’s peace prize was more a portent of the actions the likes of Henry Kissinger, Theodore Roosevelt, Charles G. Dawes, and Woodrow Wilson than Linus Pauling, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King, Jr.  What has been observed is that since this date, President Obama has been as bellicose if not more so than any president we have had in the modern era. Personally between he, Teddy Roosevelt and Wilson it is likely a tie.

Since then, the Obama Administration has re-introduced a U.S. foreign policy of manifest destiny under the guise of humanitarian intervention. His foreign policy of the “Just war” has put us in and/or extended us in to too many nations to count including but not limited to Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Mali, Egypt and Yemen. The last is his most recent and newly deadly war game activity. The war in Yemen (what the Saudi and U.S. call a military intervention) started in 2015, when Saudi Arabia with the support and assistance of leading a coalition of the United Sates, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain decided to play with the civilian population of Yemen in an effort to influence the outcome of a new civil war in the small once divide nation. 

Obama’s policy in Yemen is par for the course.  Not only is it directionless and incoherent, it does not have any impact on securing or protecting the interest of the U.S. In 2008, the then senator from Illinois was incessantly complaining about how prior administrations were always messing and sticking their nose in the affairs of other nations, in particular those in the Middle East. It was a period in which Mr. Obama openly indicated his disdain for war, especially proxy wars. Now something has altered and what has arisen is what may be called an Obama Doctrine (the doctrine of Just war). It must be recalled that the current effort in Yemen is the direct result of the people of Yemen overthrowing a U.S. and Saudi-backed and established puppet government in 2014. 

InYemen, as elsewhere Obama has made use of U.S. military, might, hardware or personnel for reasons that have no political or pragmatic objective. The President is using his bully pulpit either via advising, troops on the ground, special forces, drones, airstrikes and/or arming select nations as a part of a tool box to fix things he considers broken which in fact were never broken to begin with.

His administration (and the United Kingdom) started its upkeep for the Saudi-led war just to show that they had the backs of the Royal House of Saud by basically giving carte blanc to do whatever they want even war crimes.  And if this was not bad enough, he just approved a $1.5 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, of which includes giving the Saudi’s more than 150 M1A2 Abrams battle tanks. Moreover, Obama’s backing has not waivered since it began in March 2015. What has come about since then has been the brutal bombing and slaughter of tens of thousands on Yemeni civilians, mostly women and children in what has long been considered the poorest country in the Middle East.

Although Washington relies mostly on Saudi Arabia to do its dirty work, it has its hands equally as deep in the muck. Not only do we continue to  supply the Saudi with weapons, we also play a significant role in providing intelligence and aerial refueling even while knowing the Saudi’s continue (in spite of international law) to unlawfully committee war crimes by bombing hospitals, schools, mosque,weddings and funerals among other sites. Now it has been determined the Obama administration is also supplying SaudiArabia with white phosphorus which can maim and kill by burning to the bone.  It is estimated that tens of thousands of civilians have been killed or wounded thus far and national infrastructure critically damaged or destroyed completely We have even employed special operations teams on the ground. What I find peculiar is that here we are fighting through direct assistance or proxies, against Houthis from the North, who practice a type of Shia Islam called Zaydi, who we know are at odds and been battling our KNOWN enemy - Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).  And why, well to install a President who ran unopposed, yet still considered legitimate by the Saudi’s and Obama administration when Obama personally said that the Burundi elections were"not credible" when President Pierre Nkurunziza won a third term unopposed.

What makes this entire even stranger is that the Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi is a known affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood were instrumental in starting the protests that demanded an end to Ali Abdullah Saleh’s three decade rule which in December 2011 resulted in a unelected national unity cabinet which eventually ended up via phony election placing Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi as president. So in essence we have the Houthis whom the Saudi’s hate, for taking over Sanaa and running a unelected Presidentout of the country, a president aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood whose leadership is closely linked with Yemen’s Salafists, who together with al-Qaeda, have been in open confrontation with the revivalist Zaidy group we call the Houthis. Taking it one step further, if I know that the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian offshoot in Gaza is Hamas, then what does that make the Muslim Brotherhood’s President Obama and Saudi Salafists are trying to install? I will tell you - a terrorist by definition of the U.S. State Department.

It is a very strange situation President Obama has gotten the U.S. involved in,
specifically as he expands on our involvement in the undeclared war in Yemen. If it continues to manifest as it appears, this may be forever a dark cloud over Obama’s legacy especially when we compare it to how he admonishes the Russians for their operations in concert with Syria in their fight against ISIS. Inordinate human rights organizations including the U.N. and Human Rights Watch has been very critical of the Obama administration and Saudi Arabia for the carnage occurring in Yemen. President Obama is basically allowing for the destruction and murder of tens of thousands of civilians in Yemen and if this is so, the query remains if the broader U.S. policy goal in the country is really stability? For even the novice this cannot be the objective seeing present wide-ranging support for the Saudi’s is a clear incongruity with his rhetoric when he suggested it was the U.S. and world’s role to stop proxy wars in the Middle East.

For the pragmatic, Yemen cannot be considered as one of Obama’s foreign policy success stories, unless his foreign policy legacy is that his actions (or lack of action) has caused millions of Yemenis to exist on the brink of starvation and disease while we assisted their Yemen’s more affluent Saudi neighbors smashup a nation just because they wanted to pick on someone.

Does anyone else find this comical and sickening? Just a two years Obama was all out everywhere giving speeches and making statements to the effect that the war on terror in Yemen was proving to be a great success, with here a drone, there a drone, and everywhere a drone-drone. Yemen is not success and rather an example of feckless foreign policy and mission creep in the form of “I’m just gone do some shit and don’t have any idea or don’t give a fck about what happens after I start some shit foreign policy. What do I care, I’m just gone give the Saudi’s cluster bombs and out the other side of my neck complain that Syria is using cluster (barrel) bombs too.  So what if they have been banned under the guidance of international war, I got no problems if the Saudi’s commit war crimes with more than 40% of their air strikes in Yemen since the bombing campaign began targeting civilians – just as long as it isn’t Assad or Putin it is all good. 
Just this past week Sunni-dominated government (if you can call it that) in Yemen suspended peace talks with the Houthi rebels, because the Houthi demanded a new government that would include them in the governance of the country in which they live. However this was unacceptable to both Saudi Arabia and the United States. So far, the UN says that upwards of 7 million Yemeni are on the verge of starvation with more than 70 percent existing without access to safe drinking water. This folk is the Obama Doctrine, the doctrine of the just war and this is in my purview, why I say Obama done fcked up Yemen.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Last week President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines and Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks in Beijing. Although only in office for less than four months, Duterte's words and actions have managed to disrupt the traditional Washington and Manila subtleties and have actually added some spice to President Obama’s last few months in office not to mention his Asia strategy or pivot which was supposed to mark a shift in American foreign policy from the EU and Middle East to the Asian Pacific rim nations.

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his first State of the Nation Address. INQUIRER PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC
President Obama began this effort somewhere around the time he had become embroiled in Syria and had failed to keep his word regarding a“Red Line” in the region.  More specifically we can point to the report from the June 2013, the Asia-Pacific Strategy Working Group at the American Enterprise Institute called Securing U.S. Interests and Values in the Asia-Pacific that was submitted jointly to congress and the Whitehouse (in my view, the brainchild of Robert Kagan (Director of the Foreign Policy Initiative) and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell).

In geopolitical terms all bull shi* aside, the pivot has mainly been implemented because the neocons in the Obama Administration and elsewhere inside the beltway know that all of the Pacific Rim and Southeast Asian nations wants a better relationship with China, and the U.S. must do all that it can to keep China second fiddle to American interest. Moreover, it is imperative that the U.S. attempts to keep a major presence (policy wise and militarily) in hand with respect to our relationship with China -- which continues to become more complex economically and in terms of national security as we progress through the future. With the recent changes in policy perspectives regarding Duterte, this all seems to show that the Obama Administration wasn’t playing with a full house or flush but was rather bluffing and it only took Duterte's recent statements to bring all of this to the surface.

So far there has been no official word from Obama's Whitehouse or Department of State on where we stand with respect to this so-called Asian pivot. Some may consider the newly elected president’s actions strange given the footing his nation and the Chinese have had over the past decade – in particular actions related to access for Filipino fishermen to Scarborough Shoal, which China seized in 2012. According to reports the meetings focused on economic aid to the Philippines and coming up with a more productive manner in which to address and deal with the South China Sea issue with respect to territorial disputes and avoiding confrontations with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

These actions make it very difficult for Obama and the US, if America wants to maintain U.S. forces at Philippine military bases. But if Duterte's statementsare accurate when he asserts that he would prefer to end all and any future military cooperation with the U.S., the so-called Asian pivot is now more like a moon walk. Duterte also publically stated his desire to have all U.S.counterterrorism troops out of his country not to mention his disdain for Obama having the gall to be critical on his war on drugs and crackdown on drug dealers and users. One could say President Obama brought all of this on his self when Duterte approached him during a dinner at a regional summit in Laos and Obama sent him to meet with another subordinate member of his White House staff.

I don’t claim to know much about President Duterte but I am somewhat knowledgeable of Filipino history; as too is Duterte like many children that recall the history of collective oppression under the thumb of imperialistic and colonial foreign rule the likes of Theodore Roosevelt and William McKinley. The U.S. had always desired to take territories in the area of the South pacific and our occupation of the Philippine Islands occurred after the Spanish-American war of 1898-99 when we took the island nation from Spain after Admiral  George Dewey sailed into Manila harbor in 1898 with a fleet of American vessels and destroyed the Spanish ships anchored there. 

Obama’s failure in dealing with President Duterte can simply be reduced to Obama’s lack of knowledge about how deep the historical anti-American sentiment is for 99 percent of the Filipino people; how they will never forget the first American soldiers landing in the Philippines in 1898 and how President WilliamMcKinley wanted to seize the entirety of the archipelago for the United States saying it was his Christian duty. They never have forgotten how the American soldiers called them “niggers;”or how between 1899 and 1913 the United States of America for conquest sake, killed more than 400000 Filipino fighters and more than a million Filipino civilians died due to America’s scorched earth policy, intentional economic hardship, mass killings and vile murderous butchery (something still to this day, the U.S. Government has not apologized for).

Obama also has not paid attention to how popular the new President is and the extent to which is policies have been well received by his electorate. In about four months, Duterte's has already put in place new policies to tackle tax reform which includes cutting personal income taxes to 25% from 32% in an effort to help the middle class. The overall objective of his 10-point economic agenda is to lift 10 million Filipinos from poverty by 2022. He has also put in place policy to help indigenous people displaced bymining and logging so that they can return to their ancestral lands and has started a program of free medical checkups for the 20 million poorest Filipinos. Add to this his open commitment to provide free irrigation to subsistence farmers, it is no wonder he is so popular. Even with the condemnation from the international and western community, national data show his popularity for his policy (even his drug policy) and presidency is extremely high. Then there is the relationship I spoke of to begin with. Not only is he taking a hand away from the U.S. and extending it towards China, he is now saying he desires closer and more permanent ties with Russia.  This would be worse that Duterte calling Obama “son of a whore”, it would down right like a pimp slap.

Before the statement could be printed in the western press, Putin via the Russia’s ambassador to the country promptly said Moscow was down and ready to fully cooperate with Manila stating Formulate your wish list. What kind of assistance do you expect from Russia and we will be ready to sit down with you and discuss what can and should be done. 

Some may say that this is another example of Obama leading from behind.  With all that is going on from Yemen to Syria to the South Sudan and now the Philippines, it seems that the presidents’ Asian policy is floundering and reflective of his approach to foreign policy in general – doing something but not having a follow up plan to carry out said policy.  We have seen this in Libya, in Syria, the Ukraine, South Sudan, Russia and now again with the Philippines.   The question is what will U.S. relations with Manila be like in the future for our next president?  Clearly Obama doesn’t care seeing that all he does and has been doing is campaigning. To date, with the exception of a few nations, Obama foreign policy (which I wrote about extensively in my book Nobel Neocolonialism) is spiraling downward as well as alienating form staunch U.S. allies. Regardless of what one says about President Duterte, the vast majority of Filipinos, Mr. Duterte’s passionate outbursts, however crude and impolitic, see him as a strong and fearlessness leader willing to take the actions required to back up his words and provide for his citizenry, no matter how crude, abhorrent and inappropriate other perceive them to be.  Too bad we cannot say the same about Obama.

Friday, October 21, 2016

When I think of Hillary Clinton, and the strong support she has from black people, it simply blows my mind.  Here is this woman, an elite northern school graduate from middle class Chicago whom was not only president of the young republicans but also a Goldwater girl in 1964 in the form of both volunteer and supporter. In case you may have forgotten, Barry Goldwater was the first Republican to win the Deep South since Reconstruction by campaigning to defeat the Civil Rights Act and consequently was the main person whom motivated Hillary Clinton to get into politics.

As expected, black politicians have lined up in like they were camping out to get the latest IPhone or new pair of Yeezies to endorse her. It as if by doing such and showing your loyalty to master, she will let you move into the big house as a reward for being faithful to the Clintons.  This was the way it was in 1992.

In 1992 when black folk put Bill Clinton in office in addition to some theatrics of his own (playing the saxophone on the Arsenio Hall show and walking up to an American citizen during the debate to answer questions directly), African American communities across America in rural and urban areas were suffering and had been devastated economically. If one is old enough to recall, one reason for this was Bill Clinton’s ability to say things to the black community that he would say in opposite to white communities. On the same day in the morning Bill Clinton would be singing Lift Every Voice and Sing at a NAACP or black Baptist church meeting and later on that night speaking to a room full of Dixiecrats tell them how he was willing to be tougher on crime and make our cities safer than republicans ever could.

Bill, the democrats, the service economy, big banks, Wall Street and the average white American won but not black folk, we got the shaft. The late 1980s and early 1990s was a period of mass losses in factories across the nation and the diminution of U.S. manufacturing.  All because big corporations were moving abroad as a consequence of globalization and in search of cheaper labor and fewer regulations.  This continued at an even larger scale and greater pace with Clinton as President.

At the start of his presidency, America saw unemployment rates among young black men multiply to pornographic levels. As a direct result, crime increased and we were watching the start of the crack cocaine epidemic. Now Blacks were in essence caged in segregated public housing hoping that the Democratic president would do something to help as he promised during his campaign. He was able to secure 83 percent supportfrom black voters in 1992.

Unfortunately under the Clinton regime we observed the largest increase in federal and state prison inmates in American history. He was firmly in support of the sentencing disparity for crack versus powder cocaine, which not only resulted in disproportionate arrest and sentencing for African Americans, it also increased funding for drug-law enforcement as a continuation of prior republican administrations war on drugs.  He also pushed for a federal “three strikes”law and in 1994 he signed a $30 billion crime bill that mandated life sentencesfor some three-time offenders, and provided $16 billion for state prison grants and the expansion of police forces among other things.  

By 1996, after securing 84 percent black vote to gain a second term and using coded language about race (crime, welfare, crack cocaine) to divide the nation and divert attention from the economy that worked only for the top one percent, the federal the penal budget became twice the amount that had been allocated to food stamps

The next move for his administration was to cut billions from public-housing and child-welfare (Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)) budgets and have them re-directed to increasing incarceration. In fact, Clinton cut funding for public housing more than 60 percent ($17 billion) while increasing funding for prisons by more than 170 percent ($19 billion).

So what Bill Clinton supported from a policy perspective was what democrats in large urban areas had been supporting for the prior 50 years - discriminatory laws that keep black and poor people in their place while extracting lifeline resources that serve to sustain people during times of economic hardship. But this wasn’t enough for him; he had to go even beyond cruelty.

Next the Clinton Administration eliminated Pell Grants for prisoners seeking higher education to prepare for their release and overtly supported laws that would make it easier for public-housing agencies to deny shelter to anyone with any sort of criminal history.

It was President Clinton who proposed the “one strike and you’re out” initiative, which meant that families could be evicted from public housing because one member (or a guest) had committed even a minor offense – this was his brainchild. No black men whom had been released from prison with nothing could no longer return home to family if they lived in federally assisted housing or else the entire family would be kicked out. On top of this, the Clinton Administration promised,signed into law and made certain that anyone convicted of a felony drug offense would never be able to get federal financial aid if you had drug convictions.  He signed into law a lifetime ban on welfare and food stamps for anyone convicted of a felony drug offense.

When Bill was finished, more than half of working-age African-American with criminal records was now by legal sanction, burdened with congressional and presidential approved discrimination in housing, employment and access to education. Moreover, after his two terms as President, Clinton left the nation with the highest rate of incarceration in the world, thanks to his 1994 Crime Bill which saw conservatively, more than 80% percent of all drug offenders sent to prison being black men and the unemployment rate for non-college-educated black men (including those behind bars) being north of 40 percent - all with the approval and support of the current democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and the unusual accomplice of the black vote. Now I know many will say that this was Bill and Not Hillary. Truthfully they are one in the same – HILLBILL.

So all I am asking is what have the Clintons done to keep black folk voting for them other than belong to the Democratic Party? Why do impoverished Black people living from paycheck to paycheck support Hillary Clinton?

The housing bubble that precipitated the crash that created the Great Recession was done mostly on the backs of people of color. The bankers who profited from preying on the black communities got bailed out to the tune of trillions of taxpayer dollars; their victims mostly lost their homes. The perpetrators were never even indicted by the Obama administration, which had been tight with Wall Street from jump.

And it is bazaar how folk forget how she and her husband went after then Senator Obama.  In 2008 while campaigning in South Carolina Hillary suggested that Dr. King’s dream was wasn’t anything without President Lyndon B. Johnson passing the Civil Rights Act. Tim Russert, then the host for NBC Meet the Press said it was as if she was saying “it took a white man to get blacks to the mountaintop.” Then there is what Bill Clinton was reported to have said after it was reported in 2010 he was upset that Senator Ted Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary. In the book Game Change written by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin it is reported in a conversation with Kennedy he said, A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee,” describing Senator Obama.  We won’t even speak on her dismal record with Black New Yorkers or Blacks across the nation while she served as the Senator from New York.

The simple truth is that Black Americans have been voting for the Democrats consistently for more than the past forty years and we have little if anything to show for it with the exception of a few Attorney Generals, a President, and a museum. Why, because economically, we have been shown but fail to acknowledge that the economic positions of the democratic clearly elucidate it as being the party of the affluent white collar white and no one else.

How can we forget or ignore that it was the Clinton administration that deregulated banks and Wall Street which was a major factor in the financial crisis the U.S. experienced in 2008 and had a more than disparate impact on African Americans compared to any other ethnic racial group in the country. And his relationship with Wall Street and Big banks is no different from his wife.  How else can folk get upwards of $250,000 for forty-five minute speeches without doing any actual work? The role of the practices of big banks and Wall Street on the African American community cannot be denied yet she panders to us like the man on the corner begging for some change. She may speak out about redlining practices that are discriminatory and illegal and predatory lending but the only time we see or hear from her, like most other democrats is when they want our votes and support while at the same time she is all buddy-buddy with the folk who are making it extremely hard for African Americans (the people she called super predators and deadbeats) to obtain a fair and equal economic footing in America. So again I just ask why impoverished Black people support Hillary Clinton. 

For more than 40 years her party has collectively siphoned the African American vote without returning anything in exchange for our continuous and even subsistent electoral support and what have we received or to show for it economically?  A few social programs designed to make us helpless and dependent on government, the status of a permanant status as secondary class citizens in America just like during the Black Codes and Jim Crow, and historically high levels of crime in our communities, unemployment, poverty, incarceration rates, poorer health and wellness status and mass illiteracy.

I take it these basic public benefits are the aspects of Hillary Clinton’s policy that excites you and her base – have at it. Personally I deserve better and much, much more.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

I am an admitted history addict.  I in particular have a keen passion for the Vietnam War, the Zulu Wars and World War II. It is not the wars singularly that attract my attention, but rather events of political and strategic inferences that may have an impact just as significant as bombs and guns.  With the Vietnam War it was how the U.S. placed a puppet from New Jersey to run Saigon, Vietnam in the capacity of president and the use of Napalm and Agent Orange on innocent civilians.  Regarding the Zulu wars, it was the two-facedness (if such is a word) of Theophilus Shepstone and Henry Bartle Frere. With respect to World War II, it was the 761st Tank Battalion and the rise of the Sturmabteilung (SA), the precursors to the Schutzstaffel (SS) – what we commonly now call the "Brownshirts" (Braunhemden).

Image result for kill trump voters bostonIt is difficult for me to watch what is going on today (with the animosity and vitriolic level to which emotions have come about as a consequence of the 2016 presidential campaign) without being reminded of the SA and SS during the end and after the fall of the Weimar Republic. Both the SS and SA were major contributors to Adolf Hitler's rise to power during the 1920s and 1930s. They had several functions of which the most significant being attending rallies of opposing political parties and campaigns as well as provide protection for Hitler and the upper leadership of the National Socialist (Social Democratic Party of Germany). Through violence, the Brownshirts attacked and intimidated members of rival political party’s including but not limited to the Communist Party of Germany, Slavic and Romani citizens, unionist and of course Jews and gypsies.

Although I have frequently heard rhetoric describing Donald Trump as a fascist or that his supporters are violent in the tradition of the Nazis (Social Democratic Party of Germany), I must honestly say that the term is more appropriate when describing the violent actions of Anti-Trump and “Never Trump” protestors. Now true, some Trump supporter inside of his events, have acted like cowards and attacked idiots that go inside to protest, but I have yet to see any Trump supporters lay in wait and attack individuals who just want to see Secretary Clinton Speak.

From New Mexico to California I have seen behavior that was not becoming of civility and respect and it was not coming from Trump supporters. In Albuquerque during a Trump rally at the Convention Center, what started as a peaceful demonstration outside of what has been reported of around 1000 protestors, ended with said protestors throwing rocks and bottles in the direction of police and burning Trump paraphernalia. At a rally held in Anaheim, multiple arrests were made for similar behavior.

In Costa Mesa, anti-trump protesters stomped on cars, threw rocks at motorist passing by, stopped traffic and destroyed city property by slashing the tires of police vehicles and smashing there windows resulting in damage to at least five police vehicles according to reports. In San Jose demonstrators attacked Trump supporters with eggs and water balloons, snatched signs and hats off supporters’ heads and this was the non-violent portion of the mobs.  Eventually Trump supporters were surrounded, jumped and/or sucker punched as they left the rally.

One was captured on camera showing a Trump supporter hit solid over the head as he was walking away from a group of protesters which left him with blood flowing down his head. Another supporter was attacked, had his shirt ripped off of him and beaten bloody by anti-Trump protestors. We have also seen progressive anti-Trump activists attack his motorcade and supporters in Minneapolis recently in which we also saw more public attacks on a Trump supporters , and an apparent theft in public from a Trump supporter being escorted into the event. Reports also point out that some fundraiser attendees were spit on and verbally assaulted as they left the convention center. One could only imagine if this had happened to the Hillary Clinton motorcade or her wealthy Upper East Side campaign contributors. To top it all off, just this week there was a fire-bombing in North Carolina on a local Trump/Pence and Republican Party headquarters in in Hillsborough, North Carolina. A wall to an adjacent building was spray-painted with a swastika and the words "Nazi Republicans leave town or else."

This is really bazar, in particular in America.  And I know there are many who will say it is because of Trump’s talk and his words, that he is responsible for the violence.  But to abrogate individual personal responsibility for violent behavior is never appropriate.  It was assertions like these by the network media outlets and white citizenry that were stated when similar events happened to the NAACP.  It was because of their words about freedom and liberty mentioned by Harry T. Moore that resulted in he and his wife dying after they were the victims of a bombing of their home in Florida on Christmas night 1951. Ironically by member of the military wing of the Democratic Party – the Ku Klux Klan. These were the first NAACP members to be murdered for their words and actions.

Then there was Vernon Dahmer, president of the Forrest County chapter of the NAACP in Hattiesburg, Mississippi who on January 10, 1966 had his home firebombed by the KKK and died as a result of his injuries for speaking out – just speaking out his own views and beliefs. Just one year later Wharlest Jackson, Sr., a NAACP official in Mississippi died when a car bomb exploded while he was driving. I am not comparing the events of what recently happened to these actions of the past but I am attempting to demonstrate what intolerance looks like in action no matter who commits such actions.  This is my view and it is consistent regardless of race. But it seems there is an intentional and overt attempt to get folk riled up in such a manner that will produce hate.

Recent evidence suggests that the DNC in concert with the Clinton campaign have even planned anti-Donald Trump protests. Based on the release of Democratic National Committee emails by WikiLeaks, multiple DNC emails show party top leadership approving and knowing of two planned anti-Donald Trump protests in IN and MT to the point of sending interns.  There is also evidence that people have beenpaid to protest at Trump events and that advertisements have even been taken out on Craigslist.  One gentleman Paul Horner stated that he answered a Craigslist ad about a group needing actors for a political event and was paid $3,500 to protest a Donald Trump’s rally in Fountain Hills. Discussing his training he stated, “I learned they only paid Latinos $500, Muslims $600 and African Americans $750.” Another Craigslist supposedly offered people $15 an hour to protest at a Trump’s rally in Janesville,Wisconsin.

All of the aforementioned is sickening to the stomach and I cannot see in any way, form or manner that such behavior is acceptable.  It isn’t about Trump or Clinton from my perspective, but rather about civility and the respect that comes from the human decency of treating others as you would like to be treated.  I may not support that you support or even vote for who you are voting for but I will not attack you, call you names or go on or damage your property because I disagree with you – this is simply childish. Never ever will there be any justification for such actions and behavior.  In particular actions that result in physical harm to people. It is in no way respectable to ask for other to accept you, in particular if you are a minority in America yet you have no desire to accept difference in others, even difference in views, beliefs and opinion.

It is duty to all civil minded people to always reject violence, in particular political violence. One should not have to risk assault for openly supporting their political candidate of choice, or have their yard signs stolen or even burned.  The reality is albeit we throw the word fascist around all willy nilly, 99.9% of the folk that use couldn’t define what it means and as George Orwell wrote in 1944, it is a term that has been used to socialist, conservatives, Catholics, nationalist, anarchist, communist, laborist and unionist. But one thing for sure, the majority of the folk who express freely and openly their support for one candidate or the other are not fascist, not even the majority of Trump supporters. As simple a statement as it may be, Rebecca Black was right when she stated, “The fascist of the future will be the anti-fascist."

Monday, October 17, 2016

Now how can I say this? Mr. President, respectfully, I ain’t your bich and I could give a hoot about your legacy. And if I may keep it 100, in all honesty your legacy don’t amount to feces for any black person in America, with the exception of cats fortunate enough to have landed on the payroll of your administration and staff.
What is your legacy from my objective purview you might ask? Well first, since you took office, the seasonally adjusted labor-force-participation rate for black Americans across the board has declined and the number of black food-stamp participants has increased more than 50 percent. Add to this that the percentage of black Americans who own homes has declined sharply and that real median income among black households based on data from your Census Bureau has also declined, I’d say your legacy for a Nobel peace prize winning president for black folk is rather FCKD. One reason I find it hard to believe you could even form your lips to utter the statement: “Like the rest of America, black America, in theaggregate, is better off now than it was when I came into office.”

ZeroHedge9FREDchartsSept2015In general, even if you are not black, Bureau of Labor data notes that folks you claim to care about the most and structure your economic policy around to assist in the lowest income brackets, have suffered the most under your presidency. But this all makes since by my understanding of basic math for poor job growth and a sharp reduction in labor participation rates can only have one result – the reduction in real household income.

Now it appears as if you have a few additional problems with your legacy. Between you and the Federal Reserve bank trying to paint a rosy picture of the U.S. Economy (although it is not a sign that the labor market is improving when it is being filled-up by part-time jobs and cats holding more than one of said part-time jobs), your administration just ran an additional $587 billion budget deficit for the past fiscal year (about a 34% increase). Mr. President we both know that artificially low interest rates, if they continue will only result in one outcome – hyperinflation. Frankly, the majority of this political dysfunction is at your feet and remains a real threat to the viability of the U.S. economy.

If you would take the time to just compare the 2 year Treasury yield against the 10 year Treasury yield you would be able to see this. I am certain you know such economic indicators impact blacks at a more devastating level than the general U.S. populous; like they say we the last to be hired and the first to be fired. For example, currently we have the most multiple job holders since the recession of 2008 started and this number is steadily growing. This means a higher poverty rates for blacks since 2008, a reduction in the number of young black men with full-time employment and an increase in median white wealth providing them with more income at a pace way surpassing that of blacks under your administration. This is without me even mentioning the paltry rate of GDP growth since you took office.

Most Americans and even more blacks have entered in some form of debt collection.  If the overall proportion of U.S. citizens in debt collections is 35 percent, just imagine what the proportion is for black Americans.

Don’t take my word for it, a recent study entitled "Problems Unsolved and a Nation Divided" published by your Alma mater, Harvard University confirms my observations. The research indicates that your economic policies are basically serving to leave many Americans behind in the prosperity your policies have provided for the top 1 percent. The authors also note that the U.S. economy under your leadership has as continued to wane in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2007-08. From their perspective, most of this is a consequence of failed leadership in the economic realm and a lack of an economic strategy from the federal government because the administration’s sole policy is to leave all economic policy decisions to the Federal Reserve via monetary policy alone. This means that our main problem is that job creation (the fact that job creation has failed to recover to the levels experienced prior to the financial crisis of 2007-08).

So again, Mr. President, I’m not your bich and you don’t have the authority to order or beg me to vote for you bottom bich.  I am neither your slave nor your trick – I don’t get down like that.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Growing up I loved movies, in particular gangster movies.  One of my all-time favorites was The Public Enemy with James Cagney. The movie was about these two lifelong friends and their growth and maturation into the world of gangsterism during the time of prohibition.  In many respects, it is all I can think about comparatively speaking when I think of the how Putin has been maneuvering himself in comportment when compared to President Obama.
Over the past few weeks, and some may say even two years since Russia began airstrikes in Syria, overtly supporting the sovereign nation state of under the leadership of President Bashar al Assad, the Obama Administration hasn’t had any clear approach to Syria that can be honestly explained to the U.S. public – in particular since his “Redline” statement.  Why is this?

Well to begin with, the Obama administration has no policy let alone any strategy to deal with what the U.S. has created in Syria.  All that exist are goals, goals mainly proffered to accomplish objectives to benefit a select group of oligarchs more so than the citizens of Syria (who overwhelmingly support Assad) and the surrounding region or Americans. Attacking Assad was not only designed to accomplish  regime change, it was also designed to do such in order to covet assets in the form of invaluable gas line routes, crude oil, gold and more importantly – to crush the state own National Bank of Syria.

I suspect that the powers that be via the current U.S. administration had a completely new landscape planned for the Middle East. Just taking a look at what has happened in Libya and Egypt for example makes this clear. However Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has come to the stage.

Putin clearly isn’t well liked on the world stage by the West, but he has positioned himself and Russia like Knights and Bishops on the chessboard of geopolitics like a Lasker defense and counter attack.

After Obama’s classic ‘redline’ proposition, Putin made his opening mood by boldly going where no man has gone before – to openly stand with the sovereign nation of Syria and backing it up with his military apparatus. His next move was to have a closed door meeting with Obama to discuss securing the Syrian-Turkish border, although it may have been useless without the participation of Syria and Turkey. The objective for Putin was to try and end the continuous influx of arms entering Syria from Turkey and also expressing the need for “moderate” rebels to distance themselves from IS and associated Al-Qaeda derivatives. At the same time Turkey and Russia were on opposite ends regarding how they viewed the Syrian conflict, while Obama knew he needed Turkey to continue supplying weapons to ISIS

Fast forwarding to the past few months and we have seen, Russia announce that they will be rebuilding its Soviet-era network of airfields in Vietnam and the northwestern Pacific island of Matua and that they conducted naval exercises in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea that started on Aug. 15. This is in the background of Erdogan previously willingly expressing his views of President Obama and his policies in the Middle East. From Obama failing to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Iraq to his support for Kurdish autonomy (without admitting such). Also, Erdogan has disagreed with the enduring economic sanctions from the West against Russia since the crisis in the Ukraine began. Then the Coup attempt happened and mind you this was after the attack on Istanbul's Ataturk airport.

Erdogan made his first trip abroad since the July 15 coup attempt when he visited Russia, in which he had his first direct meeting with Putin since the shooting-downof a Russian fighter jet. Some are under the impression that he has Putin to thank for surviving the recent military coup and for even for saving his life (another reason his selection of Moscow for his first foreign visit since the coup is viewed with difficult eyes by London, Berlin, Paris and Washington­). Not only would this put a wrench in the region but it would or could upset the entire geopolitical landscape by rebuking the West and entering a closer relationship with Russia.

This benefits both Turkey and Russia and this fledgling Moscow-Ankara axis as Erdogan described it from an economic and geopolitical perspective. Moreover it allows Putin to highlight and disrupt U.S foreign policy inconsistencies and also those of the European Union.

We cannot forget that Turkey is a NATO member state and that the European Union needs the nation to serve as a shield between refugees and migrants from the Middle East to Europe.  The posturing by the EU and their lucid desire to keep Turkey out of the club is being used by Putin equally as a postulate in his strategy. Now not only has Russia managed this, Putin has also been able to establish newrelationships for Turkey with Iran and opened their perspective to a future Syria that doesn’t require the ouster of Assad. In essence, Putin has altered the past 50-60 years of U.S. power dynamics in the Middle East in less than three months.

After Erdogan’s visit to Russia, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu met with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif in a meeting that resulted in both nations agreeing on more dialogue and cooperation on resolving the Syria crisis. It was the first meeting between top Iranian and Turkish officials since the failed coup attempt. This was during the same week when Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Turkey was willing to accept a role for Syrian President Bashar Assad during a transitional period. Ironically this came when Assad's forces started attacking Kurdish positions which may be an indication that a Syrian-Turkish rapprochement was underway (say goodbye to Kurdish autonomy in northern Syria).

The last nail was the Coup, which has provided the momentum for all of the aforementioned. Since this event, Turkey has incessantly carped about a lack of support from its Western allies and as with the rest of the world, has been watching EU’s power shrinking in real time. Now true, some have suggested that Turkey is using Russia as some kind of leverage (Obama’s state department word of the day) to place some heat in the Obama administration and EU after the coup attempt, but it seems in my opinion to be way more than that. It is also a reflection of Turkey’s and Russia’s perceived lack of U.S. leadership in the region with President Obama placing his tail between his legs when confronted with Russia on every major issue concerning Syria.

Since this, deeply anti-American sentiments and allegations that the Obama administration was behind the coup attempt (nearly 70 percent of Turks believe the U.S. was involved in the coup) and failure of the Administration to take serious (whether true or not) Erdogan’s request for the U.S. to quickly extradite Fethullah Gulen has placed more distance between the U.S. and the Muslim Brotherhood-led government of Sunni Arab Turkey.

Just this past week, we saw Russia and Turkey signed an agreement to build a gas pipeline from Russia, called the TurkStream pipeline which would bring Russian natural gas to Europe on a southern route that would bypass Ukraine with the main pipeline running across the bottom of the Black Sea.

Based on all of the aforementioned factual observation, it is no wonder why President would do anything, even something stupid, half-baked and witless as to even speak of taking military action against Russia, sadly as well, over any provocation (bombing parts of West Aleppo occupied by ISIS and Al-Nusra to a make believe propagandized hack on the Clinton campaign).

I should have seen this coming.  Ever since Obama touted his so-called Russian ‘reset’ all we have seen from the Administration is Russia raise their flag over Crimea and more bungled relations with the Russians (clearly a major failure of Obama’s foreign policy).  Seems as if President Obama is no longer in charge of any of the activity regarding Russia or anything involving Syria.  This is true for his activities at home, with the coalition and even NATO. What we are presently viewing in Syria may be one of the most unstable and hazardous geopolitical situations in modern times, at least since the last World War. On the surface, it is more than evident that Obama or his handlers are pushing the limit with Russia. From the war games NATO is conducting in Russia’s backyard to the massive influx of U.S. and NATO troops into the Baltic States and elsewhere in EasternEurope. And in Syria, suffice it to say the administration never wanted a ceasefire in Syria anywhere.

Before this week there was a bellicose Ambassador Samantha Power (who ran over a child and killed him with her car in Africa recently) calling the bombings in Russia barbarous and the suspension of military contact between the U.S. and Russia. Now we hear U.S. intelligence officials (without evidence) accusing the Russian government for being responsible for recent hacking in an effort to disrupt America’s political process.  One has to ask why is there such an angry and aggressive tone coming from the Whitehouse?

For one, President Obama has spent a lot of loot arming therebel in Syria, in particular Jabhat al-Nusra and the Obama administration will continue to support Jabhat al-Nusra and even call the “moderate Rebels” or member of the “Free Syrian Army” when a name change will never obviate the reality that they are still al-Qaeda and/or a part of al-Qaeda in Syria. Abual-Ezz, a major commander of the group has gone on the record and has openly stated that his organization is part of al-Qaeda. Thus the folk that the Obama administration is supporting with weapons are an affiliate to the terrorist organization the United States has been at war with since 9/11 – as a recently leaked Hillary Clinton email reveals. On the opposite end Russia is fighting the groups that the United States are funding and arming. So in essence we have is a rebel group funded and backed by the United States fighting against the Russians and Syrians.

The Obama Administration needs to stop arming and funding the Jabhat al-Nusra and discontinue this idiocy directed towards Russia because if this doesn’t stop, Obama’s will be leading the nation closer to World War III.  What we need to do is to fight on the same side as Russia and Syria, considering that they are actually targeting al Qaeda and ISIS, but this makes too much sense. The problem is that even when President Obama leaves office, if Hillary wins, she will carry on what Obama has started.

What is clear is that Putin has taken the lead in this race and that it may be a premonition of things to come regarding U.S. and Russian interaction on the world stage. Obama, neoliberal, neocons and Clintonites are occupied with the goal of U.S. military intervention and aggression against Syria although it may lead to a war with Iran and Russia. I don’t understand why, although I outlined a few reason and known facts in the beginning of this essay. Not to mention, Putin has been basically pimp slapping Obama around the room like he was James Cagney smashing a grapefruit in Mae Clarke’s face.
Torrance T. Stephens. Powered by Blogger.

I am Author, Writer and Infectious Disease Scientist. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee.

My Old Blog & [Bitcoin Wallet]

Torrance T. Stephens on Google Scholar
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