Friday, October 19, 2007

Black on XM Radio is now on XM Radio! " LIVE" hosted by Peter Groff and Charles Ellison every Thursday, 1:30pm - 2:00pm on POTUS '08 XM Channel 130.

Groff, Ellison & Robinson in the ASCENT Chamber on SCHIP politics, 3rd Party candidates and Black voters and whether or not Al Gore will call it a comeback

ALSO: SUNDAY NITE TALK ranked as one of Capitol Hill Broadcasting Network's Top 10 "Most Watched Clips" at


Congressman and GOP Presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-TX) is not the biggest friend of "civil rights" or anything remotely resembling it. In fact, he outright opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and there's a whole mess of stuff about him dissing the late and legendary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (D-TX) and his views on everything from affirmative action to the explosion of Black men in jail. Is he racist?

It is that comfort that has some pundits asking the question: can Obama or another Democrat close the God Gap? For the past 25 years plus Democrats have ceded that vote to the Republicans. But as elections have become increasingly close and margins increasingly thin, Democrats can no longer relinquish that vote.

ENUF OF ENOUGH CAMPAIGN is taking a break from the You Oughtta Be Shamed Awards because, a) these awards can and should be distributed on a rolling basis, and b) the fact that there are too many people who deserve said award gives a headache. However, we want to give props to those groups who have taken on the task of calling out degrading images and lyrics in media.

This isn't all of it. There's more! For the complete Groff/Ellison Political Report, go to

About the Center for African American Policy at the University of Denver

THE Center for African American Policy (CAAP) at the University of Denver is a unique blend of academics, public policy, community and public service. The Center was formed to encourage public discourse and increase the flow of information on issues, policies and trends affecting African Americans. The goal of the Center is to work for and achieve a positive change in the present and future lives of African Americans through academics, the arena of public discourse, community and public service.

Charles Manson should have had Barbara Bush for a mother.

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

click to enlarge
I understand a lot of people associate George W. Bush with the Nazi's. Prescott Bush's Nazi profiteering doesn't help to disassociate that notion. Bush has committed unspeakable war crimes, utterly destroyed the foundations for freedom in this country and he is responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people in his War On Terror. The constant barrage of propaganda that streams out of the White House is all written using the Nazi playbook - lie, lie, lie until they believe you.

That said, there may be another analogy that fits Bush to a tee and that is Charles Manson. Manson had mind-numbed followers whose beliefs and devotion to Manson was steel-strong. The same can be said for the Bush diehards. They excuse everything. Actually, they never acknowledge any wrong doing in the first place. They embrace Bush, the war, the piles of dead bodies while at the same time putting another flag pin on their lapel. They ignore the torture memos, the death squads, the concentration camps and staged crowds cheering "Bush, Bush, Bush" while the rest of the world looks on in horror.

Bush is not held accountable by the GOP or the Democrats. The absolute worst President in American history and undeniable war criminal has had the yoke of impeachment taken "off the table" by Nancy Pelosi. That makes her an appeaser in my eyes.

So what is the main difference between Manson and Bush? Manson never had a powerful father and grandfather there to bail him out of trouble. He never had the GOP backing him up and rallying to his defense whenever when broke another international law. He was never a Skull & Bones man.

He never had Barbara Bush as a mother.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"The Opposite of Rape is Enthusiasm"

Appearing at The Jaundiced Eye, the Independent Bloggers' Alliance, and My Left Wing.

The Rape of Proserpine

When Sara Wilson (not her real name), a 23-year-old woman was raped by a long time college friend, she found little support and a great deal of self doubt. Shortly after moving into her first apartment, Steve her former classmate, dropped in with a bottle of wine and some take out. One bottle of wine turned into two. Later that evening Sara suggested it was time for him to go. She remembers that out of the blue, "Steve was there kissing me. I tried to push him away but he just kept kissing me." Her head felt cloudy and hazy from the wine. Steve started to move her skirt up her leg. "I was telling him to knock it off, it wasn't what I wanted but I was so drunk. I definitely didn't want to have sex with him. We were friends for God's sake!" Sara recalls. But Steve did have sex with Sara that night. She remembers being pushed down on the couch. She remembers his hands on her shoulders. "It was like it was happening but not to me to someone else." The next day Sara awoke alone with her head throbbing to find a note on the kitchen counter from Steve. It read "I had a nice time. I'll call you later — S." Sara didn't know what to think but she knew what she felt — ashamed, betrayed, and embarrassed. Looking back at that morning Sara recalls, "I kept thinking how could this happen? I felt sick to my stomach and violated and I didn't use that word at the time, but looking back that's exactly what it was — a violation."

Late last night, or early this morning, depending on your timezone, thereisnospoon attempted to clarify statements that have earned him the moniker "thereisnorape." While I witnessed the original exchange -- much of which was subsequently deleted due to administrative error -- I have always thought said moniker was overstating his position. He absolutely did not say that rape did not exist. He simply narrowed the definition beyond what many of us particularly those of us who have lived experiences of date rape, would be comfortable with. Sadly, he has done little to diffuse such judgments with his most recent statement, nor, in my opinion, the discussion which followed.

what I said, very specifically (0.00 / 0)

was that women who are intoxicated and conscious and do not specifically say "no" to sex while intoxicated and conscious, should not be able to say later that they were unable to assent to sex because of their intoxication.

Dear god.

I cannot help but notice the total absence of the word "yes" in that statement. It is ideas like this which make necessary campus prohibitions against sex with any intoxicated person. Think of the latitude a fella gives himself by using such criteria as a guide. Well her eyes were open and she didn't actively resist, so... Sadly, for a fair number of men and boys, such passivity is an open invitation.

I contend that fundamental to this confusion is the idea that women "consent" to sex, rather than actively choose it. It is an ingrained notion; this idea that men should always be the pursuers, women the pursued, and that women have a responsibility to actively "opt out." It falls to us to be gatekeepers, responsible not only for our own sexual choices but for those of men who might want to fuck us.

A tip of the hat to the blogger formerly known as nonpartisan who introduced, into that heated discussion, the ideas of Hugo Schwyzer. Here is what that history and gender studies professor says about the word "no" when it comes to consent.

Most boys, for example, get the “no means no” message pretty loud and clear in high school and college workshops. It’s a worthy if basic message, and one well worth repeating over and over again. But as anyone who works around young people and sexuality will tell you, in and of itself a “no means no” reminder is woefully insufficient. Many of the young men and women I work with, for example, talk to me of what I’ve come to call the “stoplight” phenomenon. Traffic signals, of course, have three colors: red for stop, yellow for caution, green for go. Good drivers are taught to stop on “red”, which functions as a “no”. But of course, even at the busiest urban intersections, no light stays red indefinitely. If you wait long enough at a stoplight, every red will become green. And when all we do is teach young men that “no means stop” when it comes to sexual boundaries, we often send them the message that if they just wait long enough (or pester, push, nag, beg, play passive-aggressive games) they’ll get the “green light” they’re so hungry for. Good “sexual boundaries workshops” go beyond the “no means no” message.

That relentless cajoling will be familiar to many women and girls who have dated. I have also encountered a fair number of men who doubt that women enjoy sex enough to actively choose it. Having sex with a woman or girl who has been thusly cajoled tends to reinforce that notion. There comes a time, for many, paricularly young, girls, when they resolve that their resistance is futile, and finally lie back and think of England. Convince enough gals to have sex on those terms, and you will likely deduce that women are far less sexual than men.

Hugo Schwyzer again:

The message that needs to be repeated over and over again is this one: true consent is never tacit, it is never silent. Too many young men become date rapists by confusing silence with a clear, verbal affirmation.

Believe it or not, females do enjoy sex. If the woman you're with does not appear to enjoy sex, you really should consider the following possiblities:

  • She doesn't want to have sex with you, but has consented because you wore her down.
  • She is a rape and/or childhood sexual abuse survivor and has sustained significant damage to her sexuality. (This requires sympathy and patience.)
  • She is asleep.
  • She is dead. (This may sound over the top, but I have been with men who were so self-serving, that I'm quite certain they would not have noticed if I had been dead.)
  • You are terrible in bed and incapable of interpreting meta-communication, so she has resigned herself to just getting it over with.
  • She is too intoxicated to know quite what is going on.

Some but not all of the above are examples of rape. None of them are "good" for her.

Hugo Schwyzer introduced a concept, which has become viral to some extent, and should be spread far and wide.

A dangerous line I sometimes use: “The opposite of rape is not consent. The opposite of rape is enthusiasm”. It’s dangerous because it’s shocking, and of course, it’s dangerous because it twists the purely legal meaning of the term “rape.” But from the standpoint of one who cares desperately about the well-being of young people, my goal in offering workshops like these is not merely to prevent sexual assault that meets the legal standard of a criminal act. My goal is to prevent that, of course, but to also offer shy and uncertain young people tools to prevent them from having bad sex characterized by obligation, confusion, and detached resignation. I always argue that anything short of an authentic, honest, uncoerced, aroused and sober “Hell, yes!” is, in the end, just a “no” in another form.

This is my advice to men who may be still be confused. No matter how homely, or stupid, or assholeish, or loserish you are, there is a gal out there who will genuinely want to fuck you. (Lid for every pot, and all that.) She will not have to be persuaded, begged, convinced, coerced or plied with alcohol. Look for her. And until you find her, keep it in your pants.

Making the case for World War III.

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

click to enlarge

If an alliance of first world nations like France, Germany and the UK joined in battle to stop America's reckless foreign policy, it might be good for America in the long run. It might be a good wake-up call to dead-end citizen demographic who simply don't give a shit about anything other than themselves.

They don't care about kids.

They don't care about economics.

They don't care about law.

They sure as Hell don't care about the environment.

But they do want to control you and monitor you in every way imaginable.

If America is conquered, we might get our taxation realigned with reality, we might get universal healthcare - we might even get our economy rolling again.

In all seriousness, if the Esercito Italiano (Italian Army) came knocking on my door, I think I might just say "Ciao! Sangiovese?"

Colbert '08

Okay, it's "old news" at this point, but I thought I'd front page it anyway...

Colbert announces presidential pursuit (Yahoo News)


Stephen Colbert announces presidential bid, but is it the truth or truthiness? (CNET)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Satan Can’t Sleep Because of GOP Nightmares

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

click to enlarge
The trolls are out in full force today trying to beat down the Al Gore movement. As shown in this troll thread on Daily Kos and throughly debunked here the neo-cons will use any and all means and measures to lie where needed.

It seems Rupert Murdoch's Sky News is twisting Al Gore's standard response of "I have no plans to run" into "I will not seek the office of the Presidency." Murdoch, for those not in the know, owns Fox News and now the Wall Street Journal, typically not known to be the bastions of truth.

But I will give props to the Murdoch camp. By lying about Gore, it puts puts the meme out there that he is not a contender and forces Gore to denounce the statement. It should be further mentioned that for what ever reason, Rupert Murdoch is backing Hillary Clinton and at this point, Al Gore is the ONLY one who can disrupt her campaign. Notice how Fox News goes after Gore repeatedly and leaves Hillary mostly unscathed? And after Gore's video releases on Monday, Murdoch may have felt the time was right to ratchet up the attack on the Goracle.

However, I am tapping my foot and I am not signaling for a Senator Craig reach-around.

P.S. If you find time today, please take my reader survey.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Goracle of Memphis and his stealth campaign.

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

click to enlarge
On May 20th, 2007 in the New York Times, Gore remarked...

Having spent 30 years as part of the political dialogue, I don’t know why a 600-day campaign is taken as a given, and why people who aren’t in it 600 days out for the convenience of whatever brokers want to close the door and narrow the field and say, ‘This is it, now let’s place your bets’ — If they want to do that, fine. I don’t have to play that game.

With recent Current TV video uploads, I must wonder what kind of campaign is he running?

In marketing/advertising terms, this is a stealth product release. The candidate is running, but the paperwork hasn't been filed. The Current clips are strong. In the link above, some of thecommenters suggest Gore may be trying to frame the debate. I doubt this. First of all, with the exception of Edwards and Kucinich , none of the other Dem candidates really have an environmental platform that does anything about global climate change. If they aren't listening to Gore now, they never will.

Gore has been successful in moving the issue to the front of the news, and the melting icecaps, crop failures and record drought have all backed him up with common sense observation - just ask the average family farmer.

I have no idea what the game plan is for Gore but he has been successful in keeping himself and more importantly the issues he cares about, at the forefront of the news since he stepped in front of microphone and blasted the Bush administration over Iraq.

Everything he claimed in his "In The Balance" book, his 2000 campaign and everything else since has proven to be right. Whereas everythingBushCo has said since then has turned out to be a lie.

Bush may be the guy Middle America wanted to have a beer with, but once in office, Middle America learned Bush just stiffed them for the bar tab. As I speak with people across the country, they tell me they can't help but look at Gore and wonder "what if?" Since the Clinton/Gore administration was all over AlQaeda and the Taleban before Middle America knew they existed, would 9-11 have happened at all? Would all of America have their phones bugged and emails read? Would China have eaten our lunch? Would Summer at the North Pole feel like a spring day in Myrtle Beach? Would we be bogged down in a Vietnam style war in Iraq while ogling the oil underneath Iran?

If Bush invades Iran, the US will control everything in the Middle East from Saudi Arabia to the former Soviet Union - from Europe to China. There hasn't been a land grab like that since (yes, I am going to say it so get over it already) the Nazi's controlled everything from Paris to with 15 miles of the Kremlin.

Where Gore takes us from here is anyone's guess, except maybe Karl Rove. I think he might be sweating.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Derangement and Denial

Appearing at The Jaundiced Eye, the Independent Bloggers' Alliance, and My Left Wing.


Update: Blog Action Day 2007 has been declared by its organizers an "unprecedented success." They have documented the participation of 20,603 bloggers who blogged on the environment on October 15, 2007.

With that the Blog Action Team appears to have folded its tent and gone home, taking their graphics with them. (Art for this entry has been replaced.) Thanks for reading.

Krugman hits it out of the park once again, with a send-up of conservative dissonance. Faced with the reality of Al Gore's Nobel win, denial rules the right.

On the day after Al Gore shared the Nobel Peace Prize, The Wall Street Journal’s editors couldn’t even bring themselves to mention Mr. Gore’s name. Instead, they devoted their editorial to a long list of people they thought deserved the prize more.

And at National Review Online, Iain Murray suggested that the prize should have been shared with “that well-known peace campaigner Osama bin Laden, who implicitly endorsed Gore’s stance.” You see, bin Laden once said something about climate change — therefore, anyone who talks about climate change is a friend of the terrorists.

And so the slime machine slugs along in its tireless disregard for troublesome facts. Still more merriment was to be found on Fox News Sunday, where Bill Kristol and Charles Krauthammer came not to praise Gore but to bury him.

Sarcastically calling Gore’s win “deeply moving,” Kristol disparaged Gore and the Nobel prize itself, saying “it’s a prize given by bloviators to a bloviator”:

KRISTOL: Friday, I felt a warm glow thinking that this man got the Nobel Peace Prize for bloviating about global warming. I mean, it’s a prize given by bloviators to a bloviator for nothing. What did he — he was Vice President of the United States for eight years. I missed the Clinton administration’s bold initiatives on global warming and carbon caps. Did they enforce the Kyoto Treaty? I don’t think so. You know, so he gets the Nobel Peace Prize for talking.

Claiming that the Nobel Peace Prize is “the Kentucky Derby of the world left,” Krauthammer was even more shrill than Kristol, saying “Al Gore now joins the ranks of Yasser Arafat, the father of modern terrorism.” He then claimed the award “has nothing to do with peace” and that “it gives it to people whose politics are either anti-American or anti-Bush, and that’s why [Gore] won it.”

Laying aside, for the moment, the hilarity of warmongers like Kristol and Krauthammer discussing what does and doesn't advance peace, I must point out that the issue of global warming, which the Nobel committee has underscored with Gore's award, has a very direct connection to issues of peace and security. Or so the Pentagon learned when it commissioned a risk assessment study... which they promptly buried. Appointed to head that study was Edward W. Marshall, or "Yoda," as he is referred to in Pentagon circles. The findings could only prove embarrassing to an Administration in denial of the reality of global warming.

Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters..

A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents.

'Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life,' concludes the Pentagon analysis. 'Once again, warfare would define human life.'

Global warming, a bigger threat than terrorism! Where is our war on greenhouse gases? Krugman explains why the Bush Administration has it's head in the sand -- looking for oil, presumably -- while we are teetering on the brink of a genuine security nightmare.

Today, being a good Republican means believing that taxes should always be cut, never raised. It also means believing that we should bomb and bully foreigners, not negotiate with them.

So if science says that we have a big problem that can’t be solved with tax cuts or bombs — well, the science must be rejected, and the scientists must be slimed.

Gore not compatible with Evangelicals?

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

click to enlarge
When I was a teen, I got kicked out of Sunday School. I was not disruptive, drunk, high or violent, my crime for banishment was curiosity.

Actually, I got suspended, then booted for good. Here is how it went down. The teacher was discussing Noah's Flood and how the water covered all the Earth, then the waters receded and the ark came to rest upon the land.

I asked in all sincerity, "So where did the water go?"

"The water is now frozen in the North and South Poles."

"That can't be. If you melt all the water on the Earth, the sea level would rise less than 100 feet. To cover the whole of the Earth with water, you would need to cover Mount Everest with water, thus raising sea level by almost 30,000 feet. That is a large amount of water, so where did it go?"

"Well, Mt. Everest wasn't there then."

"Then neither would Mt. Ararat."

Out I go for three weeks.

Once they let me back in, I sit and mostly ignore the teacher until this whopper came out of her mouth.

"In the Garden of Eden, Adam named all the plants and animals and dinosaurs."

"Excuse me Ma'am, the dinosaurs didn't exist when humans were around. That is why you never find dinosaur bones mixed in with human bones. They never co-existed."

And that was it for me, that was when I left Christianity.

These events were in 1979 and I think the Evangelical movement has become MORE anti-science and MORE separatist since then. In recent years, the only thinking Christians I have come to know have been from liberal blogs. I haven't met any since 1979 is my offline life, they only get more hard core as the years roll by.

I understand "real" Christian values would support things like universal healthcare, eradication of poverty, world peace, and support the cherished possession of the thing we call The Earth, but "mainstream" Christians embrace war with a callous disregard for human life, support torture of the human body, mind and spirit, support tyrants and seek the raping of all natural resources.

These aren't "Gore People" and probably never will be.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Are Voters Irrational: An Interview With Economist Bryan Caplan

The topic below was originally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal as well as The Peace Tree, the Independent Bloggers Alliance and Worldwide Sawdust.

People across the political spectrum routinely question the senses, intelligence and values of their fellow voters. A decade ago conservatives chafed, as President Bill Clinton remained popular in spite of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. In recent years liberals like myself seethed while Republicans maintained one-party dominance in spite of their incompetence and criminal policies. They’re also citizens who challenge the wisdom of any voter who supports the two-party duopoly.

Bryan Caplan, an economist at George Mason University and co-editor of EconLog challenges the rationality of voters with his book, The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies (Princeton University Press). Caplan, a libertarian, contends that democracies fail because of voters themselves rather than favorite scapegoats such as special interests. He argues that voters are regulated by four irrational prejudices:

1. Too little faith in the free market;
2. A distrust of foreigners;
3. Undervaluing the conservation of labor;
4. Unjustified pessimism that the economy is going from bad to worse.

Referencing those four biases are a reoccurring theme of Caplan’s book that skillfully mixes economics, political science, and psychology to analyze how voters think and the public policies that result from what they want. Overall his book is compelling and provocative. On July 30th, Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times referred to Caplan’s book as “the best political book this year.”

I concur with Caplan that for too many voters ideology is analogous to religious faith and evidence doesn’t penetrate their entrenched worldviews. However, as a liberal I disagree with Caplan’s equating skepticism about the free market or free trade agreements with irrationality.

In my opinion the free market isn’t appropriate for all sectors of the economy such as healthcare or education and free trade has too many imbalances that require attention. Furthermore, I believe too many conservative/libertarian economists ignore the hidden economy that isn’t measured by the Gross Domestic Product or quarterly statements. Caplan of course disagrees and I suppose by his definition I’m one of those irrational voters.

Each of us can become imprisoned by our own belief systems and it’s healthy to challenge our perspectives. Caplan graciously agreed to a podcast interview with me over the telephone about his controversial book. Our conversation was approximately forty minutes. Please refer to the media player below. This interview can also be accessed via the Itunes store by searching for "Intrepid Liberal Journal."