Saturday, March 24, 2007

Bill Maher on the outing of Valerie Plame

Here's a link to the video of Maher's "New Rules" segment from March 23. The part about the Plame outing is at the two minute mark, right after he makes fun of old people in the post office...

And finally, new rule...traitors don't get to question my patriotism! What could be less patriotic than *constantly* screwing things up for America? You know, it's literally hard to keep up with the sheer volume of scandals in the Bush administration, which is why I like to download the latest scandals right onto my iPod. That way I can catch up on this week's giant f*ck up on my drive into work. (Laughter). In fact, Bush has so many scandals, he could open a chain of scandal-and-f*ck-up themed restaurants. "Ooh, should I get the Harriet Miers meatloaf of the Katrina crabcakes?"

You know, not to generalize, but the 29% of people who still support President Bush are the ones who love to pronounce themselves more patriotic than the rest of us. But just *saying* you're patriotic, is like saying you have a big c*ck--if you have to say it, chances are it's not true! (Laughter and applause.) And indeed the party that flatters itself that they protect America better, is the party that has exhausted the military, left the ports wide open, and purposefully outed a CIA agent, Valerie Plame. That's not treason any more--outing a spy? Did I mention it was one of our spies? (Laughter.)

And how despicable that Bush's lackies attempted to diminish this crime by belittling her service, like she was just some chick who "hung around the CIA". Heh, heh. An intern, really! Groupie, if you want to be mean about it... (Laughter.)

No--big lie! Valerie Plame was the CIA's operational officer in charge of counter-proliferation. Which means, she tracked loose nukes. So when Bush said, as he once did, that his absolute number one priority was preventing terrorists from getting loose nukes? Okay, that's what she worked on. That's what she devoted her life to, staying under cover for 20 years. Maintaining two identities every g*ddamn day. This is extraordinary service to your country! Valerie Plame was the kind of real-life secret agent George Bush dreams of being, when he's not too busy pretending to be a cowboy or a fighter pilot! (Laughter and applause.)

CIA agents are troops. This was a military assassination, of one of our own, done through the press, ordered by Karl Rove. He said of Valerie Plame, "She's fair game." And then Cheney shot her. (Laughter.)

George Bush likes to claim that he doesn't question his critics' patriotism, just their judgment. Well, let me be the first of your critics, Mr. President, to question your judgment and your patriotism (clapping) because let's not forget why they did it to her.

Because Valerie Plame was married to this guy Joe Wilson, who the Bush people hated, because he busted them on one of their bullsh*t reasons for invading Iraq. He was sent to the African country of Niger to see if Niger was selling nuclear fuel to Iraq. They weren't, it was bullsh*t, and he said so. In fact, his report was called, "Niger please!" (Laughter.)

Valerie Plame's husband told the truth about their lies, so they were willing to jeopardize an entire network of spies to ruin her life! Wow--even the mob doesn't go after your family.

Mark Twain said "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. And I say, Valerie Plame is a patriot, because she spent her life serving her country. Scooter Libby is not, because he spent his life serving Dick Cheney. Valerie Plame kept her secrets--the Bush administration leaked like the plumbing at Walter Reed.

In the year 2008, I really think that Hillary Clinton should run for president on a platform of "restoring honor and integrity to the Oval Office".

REAL patriots don't out CIA operatives

The Iran Scam

Cross-posted at My Left Wing and BlueSunbelt

For lack of proof, I’m still having doubts that Iran is actually trying to build a nuclear weapon of mass destruction. Call me naïve, but let’s just say that I think there’s chicanery afoot, and it’s all going on in the name of profit.

As referenced below.

In my humble opinion, it’s all a game to these guys, folks -- one huge, high-stakes, “how-to-hype-a-threat-and-make-lots-AND-LOTS-of-money” game. Sorry, we’re not eligible to play but if we could, here’s how the game might work:

How to play the game:

1. Find a few patsies with plenty of moolah; say… some naïve, trusting souls that you’ve already had dealings with over the years who are dripping with oil money, literally.

2. Through acquiescent media blitzes and centuries-old religious and/or social fears exaggerate and exploit a regional threat (preferably, one located in the same region as your patsies) – or… if you can’t seem to find a threat suitable for hyping – invent one.

3. If aforementioned threat is slow to prompt compliance from your patsies, create in real time an example of what could happen if they ignored that threat. In your fear-instilling demonstration, be sure to include equal measures of violence, poverty, sectarian strife. Oh, and don't forget to use the threat of nuclear annihilation.

4. Make sure you have another contrived threat in the wings to use in coordination with or opposition of the primary threat -- as sort of a one-two punch combination, if you will – thereby overwhelming chosen victim with existential fear and loathing of threat.

5. Bring in a partner or coalition to bolster credibility and altruism of your selfless act of benevolence in the minds of not only your victims but also the spectators to the unfolding melodrama. Also, be sure to utilize your partner(s) in crime to aid you in spreading the fear and loathing, in your chosen region and around the world. (potential, future dupes)


1. There are no rules; well, at least for you, that is. Go ahead; lie, cheat, steal and murder (if necessary) to obtain your objective, while making sure your dupes and spectators alike must adhere to the rule of law, common sense, human decency, and real moral values.

2. Keep both threat(s) and audience at bay by diverting attention, denying diplomacy, and destroying naysayers.

3. Be persistent, obstinate even… and apply blame liberally. (very important)

4. There is no hard and fast fourth rule. If you run into a snag, use your imagination. Be creative and don’t shy away from using your position of power to wreak havoc on the lives of the innocent and less fortunate, if necessary. (or, even if you just feel like it)


Your mission, (should you choose to accept it) is to achieve world domination through whatever means available, including but not limited to:

A. Supplanting your home government with a gang of miscreant cronies all with strong loyalty to the gamemaster. If need be go ahead and steal an election or two… or, three; whatever, just go for it. BTW, a high court sprinkled with likeminded ideologists is a definite plus here.

B. Cut social, economic and educational programs for the have-nots, and distribute all the ill-gotten gains between all the have-mores.

C. Always remember, use taxpayer funding for all your projects to maximize profits and holdings.

D. Stay focused. Don’t be concerned with trivialities like compassion for your fellow man, collateral damage or public distrust. Let the force from the dark side guide you.

E. For goodness sake, have some fun as you game the system and make wars of aggression for profit.

Great game, eh? If only you and I were allowed to play.

Seriously though, have you ever thought of this whole “remaking of the Middle East” deal as anything other than a perverted plan of mass war profiteering?

Me either.

This from the online website of the Boston Globe:

The State Department and the Pentagon are quietly seeking congressional approval for significant new military sales to US allies in the Persian Gulf region. The move is part of a broader American strategy to contain Iranian influence by strengthening Iran's neighbors and signaling that the United States is still a strong military player in the Middle East, despite all the difficulties in Iraq.

But the arms sales, which would come on top of a recent upgrade of US Patriot antimissile interceptors in Qatar and Kuwait and the deployment of two aircraft carriers to the Gulf, could spark concerns that further military buildup in the volatile region would bring Washington closer to a confrontation with Iran.

Senior US officials have been tight-lipped in public about what systems they hope to sell, citing the need to get congressional support for the measure first and skittishness among Arab allies that don't want the publicity. Current and former US officials and analysts familiar with the discussions say items under consideration include sophisticated air and missile defense systems, advanced early warning radar aircraft that could detect low-flying missiles, and light coastal combat ships that could sweep the Gulf for mines and help gather underwater intelligence.

This might be a gigantic leap of faith on my part, but I don’t think so. There will be no war with Iran.

You heard it here first, folks. (well, maybe not)

In my opinion, Iran is just too indispensable to the Bush administration as a geopolitical gamepiece; a spectre, if you will. They’re simply a tool; an imaginary foe that happens to instill fear in the hearts of Sunni Arabs, Kurds, Turkomen and Jews everywhere.

Do you think the fact that we took out Iran’s only two major threats was just a coincidence? Bush and Cheney know Iran is not seeking to build a nuclear weapon. At least not now. After all this time, both U.S. and U.K. intelligence agencies have failed to find any verifiable proof that they are.

The proposed expansive arms deals are nothing but a quasi-Cold-War-style geopolitical tactic designed for (1) maximum weapon profits, (2) to isolate Iran even further by arming its neighbors to the teeth, and (3) to piss off Russia.

Ok, the latter is just conjecture on my part but it does make sense.

More from the article:

"We should look at this in the broader context of what Secretary [Condoleezza] Rice calls the looming confrontation between extremists and moderates," Stephen D. Mull, the State Department's acting assistant secretary of political-military affairs, said in an interview. "We are on record as saying Syria and Iran sponsors these [extremist] forces."

The move could be an economic boon for New England, which manufactures some of the weapons systems that are believed to be under consideration for sale.

The current arms sale proposals grew out of a diplomatic effort launched last May called the "Gulf Security Dialogue" in which US officials sought to suggest ways to bolster the defenses of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Oman.

Apparently, not every Gulf Region country opted to spend their hard-earned oil fossil fuel money on overpriced, sophisticated weapons systems. Rather, some decided on improving port security and protecting key energy installations. But, don’t worry; we’ve got that covered too. Can you say Blackwater? I mean, shouldn’t every oil-rich country have their own privatized, mercenary force, right?

Efforts to finalize the deals prompted high-level meetings and a recent delegation of Gulf nations, traveled to Washington, led by the crown prince of Bahrain. Next month Mull and his counterpart at the Defense Department, Mary Beth Long, plan on traveling to Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia to continue talks.

However, there is a fly in the ointment… namely, Congress.

In recent weeks, State and Defense Department officials have begun visiting Capitol Hill to seek support for the arms sales. Congress has the power to block them. Nicholas Burns, undersecretary of state for political affairs, hopes to schedule classified briefings soon with members of the Senate and House International Relations committees.

The US government, which has military bases in Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain, has tried for years to persuade Gulf allies to purchase a region wide early warning radar system to collect intelligence and instantaneously detect a missile attack. But efforts faltered as some Gulf countries argued that the systems were too expensive, and that possible attackers - at that time, Iran and Iraq - were not enough of a threat to warrant the systems .

However, recent years have brought a change in attitude toward Iran, a neighbor that dwarfs most Gulf states in size and population. Now that Iran's two greatest enemies - the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq - have been toppled by the US military, Iran's stature in the region has grown.

I have to admit though, BushCo set this all up brilliantly. The Gulf nations, overwhelmingly Sunni Arabs, have sat back and watched Iran’s ever-increasing influence with Shi'ite politicians in Iraq and with Hezbollah, the Shi'ite militant group based primarily in Lebanon.

And, it even appears to me that BushCo is even using the U.N. in the grand plan. Iran’s defiance of Security Council demands plays right into the administration’s hands. The Arab states are complaining that Bush’s wars have emboldened Iran, reestablishing a major risk to the region. However, as angry as the Arabs get with Washington they still need them for protection against the perceived threat that is Iran.

"All of the Sunni allies came to America and said, 'What have you done? You have created this monster,'" said retired Marine Colonel Robert Work , vice president of strategic studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a Washington-based policy research institute.

Work said Washington responded by initiating the dialogue on Gulf security and the arms sales proposals as a way "to dissuade Iranian adventurism, deter Iranian attacks or direct subversion, and assure our Sunni allies."

Of course, some policy center analysts in Washington suggest that any major arms sales would be symbolic since none of the Gulf region nations have standing militaries capable of driving off an Iranian attack – not by themselves anyway.

But, then again, Mull stated that the sale of the weapons systems would be a vital way to enhance military cooperation in the Gulf. “We don’t sell weapons systems purely for symbolism,” he added.

A veritable cornucopia of newfangled machines of war exists for sale. Michael Knights, a fellow for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, who has worked with the Defense Department on military “lessons learned” research in Iraq, stated that many of the negotiations on arms sales in the Gulf this past year focused exclusively on selling the Royal Saudi Navy brand new Littoral Combat Ships.

The lean, mean lightly armored coastal defense ship, produced in Bath, Maine, in theory, could be equipped to sweep for underwater mines in the Persian Gulf, and would work in concert with unmanned undersea vehicles in conducting surveillance.

Another handy dandy weapon that no Gulf region nation should be without is the Northup Grumman slick & slinky E-2D Hawkeye 2000, an early warning aircraft that the United Arab Emirates tried to buy back in 2003 in order to bolster its feeble air force. At the time, the U.S. Navy killed the deal, disallowing the sale of essential communications software. The Navy didn’t disclose the reasons for the nixing. However, last month, a trade magazine, Defense News, reported that the deal might be on again.

And, that announcement a couple months ago saying that he would deploy an additional Patriot missile battery to the Persian Gulf? That’s made by Raytheon, a Boston area company just aching to sell more of their efficient destruction-makers.

There are some Gulf nations reluctant to reach an agreement on arms sales because they didn’t want to send the wrong message.

Imagine that. But, of course, Mr. Mull has an answer to any such peaceniks:

“It’s a delicate neighborhood to live in,” he said recently. “There’s this looming power across the Gulf with who they must live.”

Indeed, there's a “looming power” all right, but it’s not in the Persian Gulf region.

Why the Religious Right Supports Bush

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Here is a true story.

A guy I worked with was a Christian, and in my mind he was a flaming right-wing Christian fanatical nutcase. He always ignored science in favor of Biblical teachings and he took it to a conspiratorial level. Of course global warming was bunk, evolution even more so because Jesus said so. Fossils in the ground? Placed there by the Devil. AIDS? A homosexual disease engineered by liberals to kill Christians. This is a 50 year old adult we are talking about.

I asked him why he voted for Bush. He said, with a cold, straight face, “To bring about the rapture.”

Once, after a pitch meeting in Santa Clara, I had the client ask me why the South voted against their economic interests by voting for Bush? I told them “to bring about the rapture.”

There was nothing you can do to fight that kind of stupidity.


That 28%-30% support for Bush? Those are the true nutcase believers.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Building bridges between "countries of the mind"

It was just last Thursday that I first learned about Daniel Tammet, a young man with Asperger's Syndrome who was featured on 60 Minutes due to his amazing math and memory abilities. The next day, I wrote Living together in different worlds, in which I shared some of the similarities I noticed between Tammet and my son, who also has a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome.

Later, in Daniel Tammet on Asperger's and "fitting in", I shared some of what he said in an interview on NPR's Talk of the Nation. I've been meaning to post one more segment of that interview. But as someone once said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." And there's been just a whole bunch of life happening to me lately. Some of it has involved my son, and a situation with his school.

And no, I don't mean a *good* situation, although I suppose you might have guessed that. There have been school "situations" to one degree or another since Son in Ohio first set foot inside a school--minus those three and a half years we homeschooled him. I wish I could say it's getting easier, or that we're building on past successes. But I can't.

I mention this because, as I was listening to the interview segments you see below, I was, of course impressed with Tammet's ability to convey something of his inner world to the rest of us. Because he is able to express, intelligently, his feelings of bombardment and isolation, and his experience of "being a foreigner in his own country", it is easy to feel empathy for him. Not so easy to feel that way toward a kid who has very similar feelings, but, since he has not yet reached that level of insight, they come out as behavioral issues. And that young person is going to have a much easier time learning appropriate coping and communication skills, and developing that sort of insight, if there are people *helping* him learn those things.

Some kids have disabilities when it comes to reading or writing or math, and they need special help in those areas. Other kids, like mine, seem to learn those subjects almost effortlessly. The skills my son, and others like him, need help learning are those social skills that many people seem to think are just supposed to come naturally.

Anyway, here's more of that interview. This caller can be heard just after the 20 minute mark...

Caller (Jeff): I work in the Portland area. I'm called in to evaluate people in emergency rooms who are there being held involuntarily for psychiatric reasons. And I've been absolutely appalled at how many misdiagnoses I've seen--people who've been diagnosed as schizophrenic, biploar, borderline personality disorder, who truly have Asperger's or some other pervasive developmental disorder, who have been struggling their whole lives. And once they're properly diagnosed, and their treatment is shifted from antipsychotic medications and things like that to a more supportive and involved treatment, they thrive! So, they've spent their entire lives in this limbo of being diagnosed as mentally ill and ostracized, and I was just wondering if that has ever happened to Daniel, or if he knows other people who face that kind of problem.
The host noted that Daniel, in his book, described taking "inappropriate medications" that made him drowsy. Daniel responded those were for his epilepsy. Daniel also said that he's read and heard of stories like that, but more so in the past, before the Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis was on the books. In the 1920s and 30s, before autism was well understood, many such children were diagnosed as having "infantile schizophrenia".

Daniel: So, I'm so grateful to be alive today, in the world in which we are now, where science is able to diagnose much more accurately, conditions such as this. And give people with autism a real shot at a good quality of life.
The host asked psychologist Ami Klin about the the nature/nurture issue--to what extent is autism hereditary, or caused by various environmental agents we've been hearing about in recent years. Dr. Klin responded: Strongly genetic. When we talk about environmental factors, typically we are talking about environmental factors in utero, and not things that happen later on.

Finally, at around the 33 minute mark, a mother of a child with high functioning autism called in talked about her son's facility with foreign languages, and the fact that he has taught himself Swedish and Russian fluently. He has explained to her that he feels like a foreigner in his own country, and, by immersing himself in foreign languages, he doesn't feel so ostracized.

The host then asked Daniel if that sounded familiar to him, since he also has a facility for languages.

Daniel Tammet: It sounds incredibly familiar. And in fact that description just there of being a foreigner in your own country, and learning foreign languages in order to feel less a foreigner, is absolutely right. I speak ten languages--I can learn a new language in a few days. For the documentary film Brain Man, I was flown to Iceland and had 7 days to learn Icelandic, and was put on a television interview program where all of the questions for me at the end of the week were given to me in Icelandic, and all of my answers were in Icelandic.

I definitely think that one of the real challenges for people with autism is that we really do feel uncomfortable in this world. There is so much bombardment of our senses: too much noise, too much texture, too much information, and it can feel overwhelming. And then we retreat into our own private world to feel calm and cope with that experience. And language, like numbers, is another way of doing that, of creating anther world in which you can belong. And for me, I'm very lucky--in a sense, I have dual nationality. I belong in the world of people, *and* the world of numbers. I belong to two countries of the mind simultaneously.

And the challenge, I think, for any person with autism, is to find that bridge from one country of the mind to that of people. Because we need people, we need social interaction. We need people that we can love, people we can trust, people we can have emotions towards and to believe in and to hope for the better of. And language, actually, is a wonderful way of doing that, because, if your son is learning Swedish, hopefully he can interact with Swedish people. It can give him a way of forming that bridge. Maybe your son is taking the words of Swedish, and one word at a time, he's building a bridge as we speak.
Daniel Tammet's book: Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant.

Karl Rove WILL answer the subpoena!

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It just won't be the answer you want to hear. But it won't matter. I think if Karl Rove actually does testify, he will be just as evasive and belligerent as Inhofe was with Al Gore this past week. And Americans are getting very tired of the "blame someone else" tactic that spews like rat vomit out of the Bush White House. That crap is just played out.

Americans are sick of this war. Bush's poll numbers are lucky to get out of the 20's and we all want answers. And our list of unanswered questions gets longer ever day. And I hate to say this, but I am surprised that this is now the mood of the Nation. I fully expected for the Bush lovers to love him forever. Whenever the right wing latches on to someone like they did Reagan, they never let go. Kinda like ebola.

My other shock has been how cable news has been treating this story. For the most part, they have been giving BushCo grief over the bullshit deal the White House offered Congress. And to my utter shock, Chris "I bark at cars" Matthews has been beating the snot out of the White House position.

AND WHAT THEY HELL HAS HAPPENED TO SCARBOROUGH? Sweet Goddess in the tree, Joe has totally left the plantation and has called BS on the whole thing.

If you look back to a year ago, Congress was silent unless the Hammer was committing crimes. Who knows what Mark Foley was up to. And Bush was ripping the Constitution and the foundations of democracy to pieces.

And against all of this, the GOP still embrace their most corrupt with warm, moist kisses. Case in point, Tom "The Hammer" DeLay. Why he is even allowed on TV to push his nonsense anymore I beyond me.

If This Be Treason knocks it out of the park:

I suppose Mr. DeLay might think he has written a twentieth century Confessions of Saint Augustine. He tells of his early career in congress when he was a drunk and a philanderer. Like George Bush, he says he was saved, that he met Jesus.

It is strange to see this born again Christian on television. He is a gnome, a gargoyle, but he has gleaming white expensive new teeth, through which he lies shamelessly.

Over the last 10 weeks, the Dems in Congress have turned the Government upside down and is shaking it as much as they can.

All we can do now is watch all the cockroaches fall and hit the ground.

A "domesticated" blogosphere?

Big day at work today, and I should actually try to get in early, but I wanted to make sure I pointed out this essay by Nonpartisan at My Left Wing. It, in turn, refers to an op-ed piece written by former ("A-list") blogger Billmon way back in September of 2004. It ends with this...

To be sure, there are still plenty of bloggers out there putting the 1st Amendment through its paces, their only compensation the satisfaction of speaking the truth to power. But it’s going to become more difficult for those voices to reach a broad audience. If the mainstream media are true to past form, they will treat the A-list blogs — commercialized, domesticated — as if they are the entire blogosphere, while studiously ignoring the more eccentric, subversive currents swirling deeper down. Not the most glorious ending for a would-be revolution, but also not a surprising one. Bloggers aren’t the first, and won’t be the last, rebellious critics to try to storm the castle, only to be invited to come inside and make themselves at home.

Blues for New Orleans

In a just world, folk singer Mary Gauthier would be making Britney Spears money.

Unfortunately, we’re living in a world where pop music has been kidnaped by teenagers. Instead of hearing adult music informed by hard-earned experience, we’re subjected to smug children rummaging in Mommy and Daddy’s closet and wearing clothes much too big for them.

Sure, they work hard pretending they’re grownups, but how much does Justin Timberlake really know about loss, betrayal and heartache? Or Pink? Or Christine?

Mary Gauthier does. This songwriter from Louisiana has been around the block a few times. In a husky growl sandpapered by shots of whisky, cigarettes, and yelling at the backs of lovers walking out the door, Gauthier sings bleak, unsentimental tales shimmering with a haunting beauty. Drunks, losers, and abused wives live in her songs, and Gauthier’s sorcery keeps these broken people lost in America chillingly authentic. And tragic.

Speaking of tragic, Mary Gauthier’s song “Mercy Now” is a grim soundtrack to this video directed by Demetria Kalodimos. It’s about what happened in New Orleans after Katrina came. What Katrina did was bad. What the government didn’t do (“You’re doing a heckuva job, Brownie!”) was worse. Other than making rich people richer, the Bush Administration has been monstrously incompetent. And seeing New Orleans slowly drown as dozens of stupid politicians did nothing but make useless speeches was, and is, an American tragedy that will haunt this country for years.

Because of what happened at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, 9/11 aren’t just numbers anymore.

We have new numbers now to think about now:


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Some stories of interest

Some links I want to pass along before I turn in tonight...

At My Left Wing, Bring the Hammer Down: More Pet Deaths and Class Action Lawsuits Filed Against MenuFoods by: annatopia

And there are a number of posts (with links) at Buckeye State Blog about Phillip de Vellis (who claims to be the one who did the "Big Sister" anti-Hillary ad.

A Name From The Past
Calling BS on De Vellis - It Wasn't Him
Politico Weighs in on DeVellis
Continuing our Conversation: De Vellis' Deception & BSD

What would Hillary, Obama or Edwards do?

AAPPundit says: I just finished revisiting the article Carribbean Boat People: Clinton's First Crisis, written by Daniel James back in December 1992. It's a great article. I read it again after posting the fact that (hat Tip Angela) Hillary Clinton is getting support from Timbaland.

I wondered, why are people deciding who to support so early in the election cycle, when we don't know the full positions of the candidates yet. Then I wondered, if elected President what would Hillary, Obama or Edwards do if confronted with the Haitian and Cuban boat people crisis? Would Hillary do things different from what her husband did? What would Obama Do? What would Edwards do? Has anyone ever posed the question to them? Did Timbaland?

Read the article if you would. Then ask the question: What would Hillary, Obama or Edwards do?

Do you know?


Carribbean Boat People: Clinton's First Crisis

by Daniel James

By the time he is inaugurated on Jan. 20, President-elect Bill Clinton may be faced with a record flood of both Haitian and Cuban boat people. Besides, immigration from the Dominican Republic -- our biggest Caribbean immigrant sending country -- and Jamaica is even greater, though underpublicized. The convergence of these trends could produce a major crisis.

Clinton's election, reports The New York Times (Nov. 23), made Haitians "giddy" with expectation that he will either restore democracy to their unhappy country or welcome them into the U.S. "with open arms." Hundreds of boats are now being readied to sail the nearly 500 miles of choppy Caribbean waters to Miami, Coast Guard aerial surveillance reveals. Some are being built with wood ripped from their ramshackle homes.

A parallel rush of boat people is expected from that other oppressed Caribbean island, Cuba. They have continued crowding into Florida since the 1980 Mariel boatlift, when 125,000 of them arrived. They are not necessarily reacting to Clinton's election. Quite simply, as one Cuban refugee explained: "There is nothing in Cuba. Everyone wants to leave."

The Haitian Problem

Haiti's situation is worst of all. Generations of corrupt politicians, businessmen, and generals have virtually destroyed a once-flourishing economy, while illiterate peasants have eroded the once fertile land and cut down the trees to burn and sell them for charcoal.

To aggravate matters, Haiti's population grows exponentially. The UN estimates (official Haitian figures are notoriously unreliable) that it has increased from 4.5 million in 1970 to about 6.8 million today. Its natural increase rate is 2.9 percent, highest in the hemisphere.

The underlying problem is that Haiti, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean countries suffer from economic growth rates that are too low to support high population growth rates. (Cuba, though with a lower population growth rate, nevertheless has more people than its economy can afford.) Unless steps are taken to reduce population to sustainable levels, boatlifts are virtually guaranteed to continue indefinitely.

President-elect Clinton has not yet addressed the much greater overall Caribbean problem, but has commented on the Haitian exodus. During the election campaign, he said he opposed President Bush's policy of interdicting and repatriating Haitian asylum-seekers. He indicated that he would be generous toward them, implying that they were fleeing to the U.S. to escape persecution under Haiti's military regime. That attitude, however, aroused concern among his own followers as well as opponents that he would open up the floodgates to Haitian boat people.

At a Capitol Hill press conference on Nov. 19, Clinton tried to allay such fears. He said that he stood by his opposition to Bush's policy yet agreed that "the distinction between economic and political refugees was a legitimate one and if you wipe it away altogether you do violence to our immigration laws" -- the policy's raison d'etre. He further reassured, "I've tried to send out a clear signal...that I think it would be very unwise for anybody to think that I'm going to articulate a policy that would promote mass migration."

But he also said he wanted to give Haitians "the chance to make a case that they should be granted asylum in this country temporarily until we can see a democratically elected government restored to Haiti." However, the return to office of freely elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was ousted by the military in September 1991, would not "restore" democracy and halt the tide of boat people. Democracy has been non-existent in Haiti since its independence, in 1804, and emigration is likely to continue rising as it has for over a generation regardless of who rules.

The net result, so far, of Clinton's offer to grant Haitians "temporary" asylum has been to tacitly encourage them to prepare to flee their country en masse by Jan. 20.

The Bush Administration argues that its repatriation policy is justified because Haitians are leaving their country not for political, but economic reasons -- one cannot make a living there.

Nevertheless, in July the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the Bush policy violates the Refugee Act of 1980. The Administration has persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case, holding that the ruling interfered with its foreign policy. The Supreme Court is expected to issue its verdict early in 1993.

The chief difference between Bush and Clinton is that the latter would give Haitians a "chance to make [their] case" for asylum. But Clinton did not specify where that might take place -- a key question. No third country is willing to accept Haitians en masse for screening. Our naval base at Guantanamo, Cuba, where Haitians have been interned before repatriation, can accommodate only 12,500. That leaves the continental U.S. as the only alternative site. But such an option is fraught with frightening implications. More>

This entry is crossposted on African American Political Pundit and the Independent Blogger Alliance

Edwards to continue campaign

I imagine most people have heard by this point that John and Elizabeth Edwards held a press conference today to announce that her breast cancer had returned, but that the campaign will continue.

Mrs. Edwards has been one of her husband’s closest confidantes in both of his presidential campaigns. A former bankruptcy lawyer, who often spends hours a day on the Internet, she is among the campaign’s chief advisers.

Through her book, “Saving Graces,” she wrote about the loss she felt after their son, Wade, was killed in a car accident in 1996. At age 48 and 50 she had two more children, saying it was the only way to bring joy back into their home for her, her husband and their daughter, Cate.

During the 2004 presidential race, Mrs. Edwards became a fixture on the campaign trail. She often would be dispatched to blue-collar settings, hardly stereotypical audiences for a political spouse. Her military upbringing, she once said, made her perfectly suited for a life on the road.
There is a discussion thread at the Edwards campaign site here.

Light a candle for Elizabeth Edwards

Republicans depend on good intelligence.

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Inhofe is a sterling example of what the GOP is, stupid, willfully ignorant and whiny. Yesterday's confrontation between Gore and Inhofe shows clearly who the adults are in the room.

From our friends at Grist:

First, he spent the beginning of the hearing whining about the rules, and whether Gore submitted his testimony in time, and whether he was going to get his full 15 minutes, and whether if Gore's answers were too long he'd get time added, and etc. etc.

Then when time came to question Gore, he started by demanding yes-or-no answers to charged and misleading questions. He repeatedly cut Gore off and talked over him. At one point he demanded that Gore respond in writing! Then he said verbal responses are OK if they're "brief." When Boxer tried to intervene to give Gore a little time to answer, he snapped and her and whined about not getting his full time.

Then -- the hacktacular coup de grace -- he asked Gore to sign a pledge to reduce his personal home energy use to that of an average American. As gimmicks go, this one would embarrass a high school student, but Inhofe's band of knuckle-draggers seems quite pleased with themselves. I'm sure there were frat boy back slaps all around.

But every time Gore tried to respond, Inhofe cut him off - typical of those who are unwilling to listen. They are only concerned with their agendas and have no care about America or its future.

When the bulk of Gore's message is that we are in a "true planetary emergency" one would hope all Senators would ask more poignant questions besides ones dealing Gore's electric bill.

Emboldened Democrats go on the Offensive in Florida

Cross-posted at BlueSunbelt

As a 25-year-long -- often frustrated -- Florida progressive, all I can say about this is… hallelujah! (it’s about time)

Eager to augment their newfound majority status, Democrats are going into attack mode regarding U.S. House races in 2008, and they’ve set their sights high this time. One of their goals: nothing short of defeating the longest-serving House Republican, Representative C.W. Bill Young of Florida. It’s the latest sign that the party, fresh from November’s takeover of Congress, is aggressively targeting longstanding members who represent moderate districts they haven’t seriously challenged in years.

But, Florida isn’t the only place Democrats are trying to make inroads.

This from The Politico:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has also singled out GOP Reps. Mike Castle (Del.) and Joseph Knollenberg (Mich.), who have won comfortably in recent years but represent increasingly Democratic territory.

Young, 76, has won mostly landslide victories since his first House election in 1970. He hasn't faced a serious challenge since 1992, and he has won at least 66 percent of the vote since then, including running unopposed three times. Even in 2006, a huge year for Democrats nationally, Young still defeated his under-funded opponent by a 2-1 ratio.

But despite Young's success, his St. Petersburg-based district is about as competitive as Republican-held seats come. The district supported President Bush by only two points in 2004 and backed Al Gore by a two-point margin in 2000.

The DCCC believes that with the right candidate and enough funding, Young could be vulnerable. "He is one of our top targets," said DCCC spokeswoman Kyra Jennings.

The committee sent its regional operative to St. Petersburg two-weeks ago to meet with local party members and scout out potential candidates, including State Senator Charlie Justice, State Reps. Rick Kriseman and Bill Heller, former State Senator Lars Hafner, and hospital administrator Susan Brody.

Justice, Kriseman and Heller all picked up Republican-held seats in the state legislature last year. Their success bolsters state party officials’ confidence that the region is trending more and more Democratic. Party officials say any challenge to Young would be expensive though. The Tampa-St. Petersburg area recently surpassed Miami as the largest media market in the entire state. Last year, the party poured $10-million dollars into a state senate race in the area, which comprises much of Young’s district.

More from the article:

Young also has close ties to much of the district. As House Appropriations Committee chairman from 1998 to 2004, he brought home plenty of federal bacon. He chaired the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee until Republicans lost control of the House in 2006. The district, which includes the coastal communities in Pinellas County, south of the Clearwater area, is among the most veteran-heavy in the country, making up more than 18 percent of his constituency.

In targeting Young, Democrats are seizing on comments he made to the Washington Post indicating that he was aware of the conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center but became so frustrated that he didn't speak out. At a subsequent House Appropriations, defense subcommittee hearing, he testified that he did not publicize his concerns because he "did not want to undermine the confidence of the patients and their families and give the Army a black eye while fighting a war."

In response, the Florida Democratic Party launched a new feature on its Web site, hammering Young for being "more concerned about not embarrassing the Army than he was about the care of America's wounded veterans."

Reportedly, Young was stunned by the criticism because of the substantial amount of time he and his wife spend visiting wounded soldiers at the medical center.

"When I first heard about it, I couldn't believe somebody was attacking me on this," Young told The Politico. "If I have a strong issue, this is it. Beverly has spent over hundreds of days at the military hospitals -- even before Afghanistan and Iraq -- just to help the wounded kids over there. And now she's been brutally attacked by some anonymous accusers."

Young added that he had never visited the part of Walter Reed that has been the source of the latest controversy, and his past criticism of the medical center’s patient care dealt with problems in other parts of the facility.

In a response to Karen Thurman, a former Democratic House member, Young conveyed his “… great surprise that you have joined the personal smear campaign, especially since you know better.” He then dared Thurman to identify any member of the U.S. Congress who has done more for wounded soldiers and Marines than had he and his wife.

Recently, Young has been the subject of retirement rumors, fueled by his newfound minority status on the Appropriations Committee. But the Walter Reed scandal seems to have refueled Young’s desire to run for re-election.

"I think their idea is to convince me this would be a hard campaign and I should just retire," he said.

This one will be a tough nut for the State party to crack. In my humble opinion, Charlie Justice is the only Democrat with a chance of beating Young.

The Politico’s 2008 presidential candidates page.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Episcopal bishops reject ultimatum

Episcopal bishops reject ultimatum from Anglican leaders

Episcopal bishops risked losing their place in the global Anglican family Wednesday by affirming their support for gays and rejecting a key demand that they give up some authority to theological conservatives outside the U.S. church.

In strong and direct language, the Episcopal House of Bishops said it views the Gospel as teaching that "all God's children, including gay and lesbian persons, are full and equal participants" in the church. The bishops also said they would not agree to an Anglican plan for leaders outside the U.S. denomination to oversee the small number of conservative American dioceses that disagree.
Read the rest here.

Wish I had time to write something about this, but I only just learned the news when Demetrius read me the headline on Yahoo, and I have to get to sleep soon. But I've pulled together a few links...

An Important Letter from The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson

Presiding Bishop's homily at House of Bishops' closing Eucharist

From Father Jake: House of Bishops to Primates: "NO!"

Integrity Applauds Bishops' Strong Stand Against Primates

"A terrifying message from Al Gore"

When I went to find the video of Al Gore's global warming testimony on You Tube, I noticed the video entitled "A terrifying message from Al Gore", which featured a cartoon Al Gore and Bender the robot from Futurama doing an ad for An Inconvenient Truth. And I remembered I'd transcribed that, complete with screen caps, a while back--for anyone who might not be able to view the video for whatever reason.


"Hello, I'm Al Gore, and I'm here to scare you about global warming. If we don't take immediate action, our planet, Earth, will become a deadly smog ball that chokes out all human life."

"Good! More beer for the robots!"

2D Al Gore goes on about the risks to the Earth, including noxious gasses...

...and then says "It's all in my movie."
Bender: You're in a movie? What do you play? A burned out cop? A streetwise pimp...?
Gore: (deadpan) Yes, I play a streetwise pimp with a hybrid pimpmobile.
Bender: Boooring!

Gore: It's not boring! I'm trying to save us all from certain death!
Bender: "Save us all from certain death." Less talk, more action!"
Gore: You want action? Here's some action!

Voiceover: An Inconvenient Truth. The movie that will make you feel like you should probably do something!

Gore: And don't forget to recycle!

They Might Sing Science

I've been working on a project involving 5th grade science today. One of the questions is about the sun, and, since I spent a fair amount of time reading statements like, "the sun is only a medium sized star", I had The Sun Song running through my head for much of the day

The sun is a mass of incandescent gas
A gigantic nuclear furnace
Where Hydrogen is built into Helium
At a temperature of millions of degrees

The sun is hot, the sun is not
A place where we could live
But here on Earth there'd be no life
Without the light it gives

We need its light, we need its heat
The sun light that we seek
The sun light comes from our own sun's
Atomic energy

The sun is a mass of incandescent gas
A gigantic nuclear furnace
Where Hydrogen is built into Helium
At a temperature of millions of degrees

The original version is by Lou Singer and Hy Zaret (1959), but I first heard it when They Might Be Giants sang it. You can hear it at about the 14 minutes mark of this concert which is available at NPR.

They Might Be Giants sang a couple other science-themed songs. Mammal is one that comes to mind.

What other fun science songs to you know of?

the wizard of kos

cross-posted at skippy and a veritable cornucopia of other community blogs.

we know that several, if not a plurality of you out there, think that our contant harping on the blogroll purges of the big box blogs is not only boring and unseemingly, but it's just plain juvenile.

upyernoz specfically defends anybody who wants to shape their blogroll in any way they want. and that's a point that is not easily refuted. this is america, after all, and we believe that the founding fathers actually foresaw blogs and blogrolls in the future of this country when they added the first amendment to the constitution.

("i tell you, adams, all blockquotes are created equal!")

let us assume that our audience is right, and this meta talk about getting unceremoniously dumped off of big rolls is indeed boring and unseemly. we apologize for that part.

however, we maintain that discussion of the massive purges is anything but juvenile (well, maybe the name-calling part). our good buddy liberalcatnip has forwarded to us proof that inclusion on "high quality" blogrolls adds greatly to the chance that a blog post will be recognized by the google search engines. from internet marketing and search engines optimization research and services (seo by the sea):

first step involved in deciding a quality score has the search engine obtaining information about a blog document. that information may be from:

the blog itself,
the post,
metadata from the blog, and/or;
one or more feeds associated with the blog document.

the next step is to identify positive indicators of quality:

popularity of the blog,
implied popularity of the blog,
inclusion of the blog in blogrolls,
existence of the blog in high quality blogrolls,
tagging of the blog,
references to the blog by other sources,
a pagerank of the blog, and;
other indicators could also be used.

what google says about each of those:


popularity could be based upon news aggregator subscriptions:

a blog document having a high number of subscriptions implies a higher quality for the blog document. also, subscriptions can be validated against “subscriptions spam” (where spammers subscribe to their own blog documents in an attempt to make them “more popular”) by validating unique users who subscribed, or by filtering unique internet protocol (ip) addresses of the subscribers.

implied popularity

instead of explicit subscriptions, an “implied popularity” could be calculated from data collected from people searching on blog search, and examining the click stream of search results:

for example, if a certain blog document is clicked more than other blog documents when the blog document appears in result sets, this may be an indication that the blog document is popular and, thus, a positive indicator of the quality of the blog document.

inclusion of the blog in blogrolls

blogrolls are a dense collection of links to external sites (usually other blogs) in which the author/blogger is interested. a blogroll link to a blog document is an indication of popularity of that blog document, so aggregated blogroll links to a blog document can be counted and used to infer magnitude of popularity for the blog document.

existence of the blog in high quality blogrolls

a high quality blogroll is a blogroll that links to well-known or trusted bloggers. therefore, a high quality blogroll that also links to the blog document is a positive indicator of the quality of the blog document.

this is also based upon the assumption that a well-known or trusted blogger would not link to a “spamming blogger.”

[emphasis, and righteous indignation, ours.]

the article goes on, discussing other factors such as tagging of the post, position of the post on the page, etc. it's very interesting and written so non-techie schlubs like us can understand it.

the bottom line is, there is no way that markos, being the i t guy that he is, didn't take into consideration the effect his roll purge would have on search engine result placement for liberal blogtopia (y!wctp!) in general.

and this brings us back to our original point which we tried to make back in february when the the fiasco began. if markos, and to a lesser extent, duncan, had only dumped skippy’s humble site from their rolls, we would not be bringing the matter up over and over and over and over and over again.

we would have pouted, and swore to never mention their names again, and bought some dryer's slow churned cookies n' cream and complained to ourselves how little we get back in return for the literally minutes we spend, every day, copying and pasting other people's work from legitimate news organs and then making snarky remarks about it.

but what markos, and to a lesser extent, duncan, did was to injure liberal blogtopia (y!wctp!) as a whole in the arena of national media availability.

it was, among others, jon swift who pointed out that the conservative blogs are ironically quite liberal with their blogroll links. and, when google searching any number of stories, you may notice that more often than not there appears a higher number of conservative (vs. liberal) blogs in the search results.

now you know why. and now you know why we continue to make a fuss about the blogroll purge. it doesn't just hurt our feelings. it hurts liberal blogs' ability to be recognized in daily news searches. and techie markos would have had to have known this, if we can use the passive-aggressive voice.

we have, we are sure you are glad to hear, nothing left to say about this (tho we reserve the right to kvetch later on). we want to, however, announce the addition of liberal catnip to skippy's blogroll, in our continuing amnesty day program. remember, unlike some blogs, if you link to skippy, skippy will link to you!

Bush throws a tantrum, but will he throw someone under the bus?

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I was really amazed (not sure why I am ever shocked or amazed these days) to see Bush's presser on the White House response to the subpoenas Congress threatened to issue. His speech was full of starts and stops, "uhs" and "ummms" without end. Really, he looked either panicked or high and paranoid. Can't be sure without a drug test.

Like a petulant child, Bush whined about how this was a political witch hunt and moaned about how the Democrats need to stop the investigations. For what this jerk as done to America, it is of great pleasure to watch him squirm.

The CSPAN ratings should be through the roof today as House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, Jr. promised to issues the subpoenas.

Polar Bear SOS

More here at Polar Bear SOS.

Cool Hand Rosenberg

You can only work with what they give you.

In Hollywood, I’m sure there’s countless actors, writer, directors and other creative people who stayed lost in obscurity because they never found that special, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Sometimes hard work, talent, luck, and a confluence of events will work: What happens to the rest of Jack Nicholson’s career if Rip Torn didn’t turn down Easy Rider? Would Chevy Chase have won a Oscar for Best Actor playing Lester Burnham in American Beauty if he accepted the role his agent dropped on his desk?

Sometimes it never happens.

And sometimes it only happens once.

Cool Hand Luke happened to Stuart Rosenberg.

Rosenberg wasn’t no big-time movie director. He wasn’t in the class of John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Preston Sturges, or Billy Wilder. He was a meat-and-potatoes, B-movie director who never had a lot of money to work with, but always got it done on time and when he had a good script, good actors, and a good producer (which wasn’t often), he made very good movies. My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, his last film, was a good movie. So was The Laughing Policeman and The Pope of Greenwich Village.

And sometimes he did junk so bad he hid behind the “Alan Smithee” pseudonym.

But then he got Cool Hand Luke and made a great movie. Adapted from Donn Pearce’s novel and starring Paul Newman as an anti-hero who refuses to conform, it’s a prison drama set in the deep South that can also be defined as a political allegory, a comedy, a love story, or a existentialist thriller. It’s a funny, poignant, vigorous, passionate film that also, of course, has one of the most quoted lines in cinematic history.

Cool Hand Luke was a successful, Oscar-winning film that should have propelled Rosenberg to the next level but it didn’t, and he went back to the hit-or-miss career he had before. Sometimes it happens that way.

Stuart Rosenberg did his best with what they gave him. Not a bad way to go.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


I am always amused at how sensitive some blacks-particularly black conservatives-get when you talk about the house negro field negro dichotomy among black folks. Black conservatives are always quick to lash out at the house negro moniker as if it's directed at them. They see it as a straw man and red herring set up to distract from the real issues confronting black America. Well, it's not. The moniker is one that was created by Malcolm X in one of his more famous speeches to make a point about certain blacks not giving their all to the movement because of their so called stake in America. That speech, is so inspiring, and so on point, that it is from where I find the inspiration- not to mention the name- for my blog. I use it, because I think it's still relevant for today's discourse in matters of race, as well as the black political movement in this country.

When I post comments on other blogs, I always use the handle field-negro, and the vitriolic responses I get for my handle alone -from whites and blacks- is at times frightening. "Why must you use that handle, it's so degrading to blacks?" "Shame on you for such a despicable handle", "you embarrass yourself and all self respecting black people by using such a handle". And so it goes; and this is just from the black folks. You can just imagine what I get from my fellow white bloggers on the web; or, for that matter, the fringes of the web.
But once again, I would like to set the record straight about this house negro field negro metaphor-and yes it's just a metaphor-and where I stand on this issue. Think of this post as field negro 101 for your self improvement.

First, being a house negro has nothing to do with how you look, how much money you have, or where you live or work. The same can be said about being a field-negro. It's not about how radical you are, or how African you may appear in your features. It's why I explain my background in detail to all who come to my blog. It's important to understand, that in spite of my upbringing and background, I am firmly entrenched in the fields. It's not about my credentials, or how I grew up, or what privileges were afforded to me. No, it's about my state of mind at this point in time, and how I choose to engage in the struggle to uplift black people in modern day America.

For instance, I consider wealthy people such as Bill Cosby and Denzel Washington field negroes. But on the other hand, I consider some not so wealthy people, such as Jessie Lee Peterson and La Shawn Barber, house negroes. I consider certain sports icons, such as Jim Brown, Magic Johnson, and Muhammad Ali field negroes. But icons like Michael Jordon, O.J. Simpson, and George Foreman, house negroes. Oprah Winfrey in my book is a house negro, while her good friend, Maya Angelo, belongs in the fields. Jessie Jackson-yes Jessie Jackson-is a house negro, but John Lewis, the congressman from Georgia, is a field negro. In terms of appearance, the very dark Clarence Thomas should be in the dictionary beside house negro, while the fairer skinned Thurgood Marshall was a big time field negro. So it's not about your appearance either. It's all about who is contributing to the cause of advancing black issues in the right way. Period.
Now let's look at this phenomenon literally for a moment. I have no problem with someone living in the house, and wanting the things the house offers for his or her family. The better schools, the safer neighborhoods, and a better quality of life. Only a fool would think otherwise. I don't even have a problem with the house negro running to put out the fire if massa's house catches on fire, or if he tries to save massa's life. After all, if massa and his house are gone, where is the house negro going to live, and who is going to hire him to work?

On the other hand, I do have a problem if the house negro tries to save massa before his own family, that type of house negro is a problem, and he is the one I speak so disparagingly of when I make fun of the house negro. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of house negroes like the latter around today. They are the ones who write the books for massa's ears only, kicking black folks harder than massa would ever kick us, by telling us how bad we are. They are the ones -insert Thomas Sowell here- who write about America and her problems, as if the white man is blameless, and we, black folks, brought all the problems on ourselves. They are the ones-insert Clarence Thomas here- who we all know just wish that they not only worked in the house for massa, but wish that they were a part of massa's family as well. That is the dangerous house negro; the self hater, who will do anything to be more white than the very white person himself, because just working and living in the house is not enough for him. The house negro wants a stake in the house, and like the slave catcher, he will sell out the rest of us out to get it.

I will give you an actual example: I have a black colleague who does very well for himself and his family. He recently purchased a home in a very affluent predominantly white neighborhood, and has from time to time bragged of being the only black in his development. Now this individual is a classic house negro. And living in his all white subdivision didn't make him one, but being proud that he is the only black in said subdivision does. Like the "house nigger" in Malcolm X' s speech, he was proud to be the only negro living among the whites. This is the inclination and fixed way of thinking of an individual who has fled from his people and would not mind if he never sees a black neighborhood or anything associated with black people again. This negro didn't flee to white suburbia for better schools, safer neighborhoods, and cost effectiveness. No, this negro fled to white suburbia because he wanted to be around massa and his house. This house negro is the one I refer to when I make my lists, and speak of when I try to point out the negroes that are holding us back by projecting to white folks-insert Oprah here- a false image of what black folks are going through. The field negro, given the same circumstances would find himself going back to the old neighborhood, volunteering his time, and helping when and where he can. He would not care about how many other negroes lived in his development, as long as his family was receiving the benefits I outlined above.

So for all of you who see the handle, and wonder why a field negro. Think about that for a minute. Think about what makes a field negro: Hard worker, cares about his family and his race, always with the masses so he knows what it will take to improve their plight, understands -because he works so hard in the fields- that it will take not just talk, but action to make things happen. And finally, that the house is not his, and ultimately, he will have to build his own. That folks, is the essence of the field-negro, and that is what every negro should strive to be, even if he finds himself living in the house.