For far too many people in America, the default color is white


….and Bobby Jindal is another example of that in what he allows his image to be seen as and how others perceive his image to be.  It speaks of racism and privilege which says nothing is acceptable if it’s not whitened and one is never good enough if he/she’s not lighter.  As was noted here

Arasalan Iftikhar was banned from further appearances on MSNBC for stating that Bobby Jindal was “trying to scrub some of the brown off his skin” after his anti-Muslim comments in London, but as offensive as his statement may have been, it looks as if he was right.

Some say Jindal may run for president next year. I don’t know but I care that he’s allowing the “lie” that white is right to continue to invade the Nation’s consciousness if he does by allowing this perception he has of himself and what he allows others to have of him.

This is Jindal's wikipedia photo

This is Jindal’s wikipedia photo

This portrait was drawn by an unnamed supporter of Jindal

This portrait was drawn by an unnamed supporter of Jindal

This is the governor's official portrait and hangs in the state capital

This is the governor’s official portrait and hangs in the state capital

Main stream media hypocrisy and presidential campaigning


There is no greater an indication of how desperate American society has become than Rick Santorum who is being considered a serious presidential candidate.  He has managed to escape the type of  media scrutiny of his racist rants that is currently being heaped on Ron Paul and this observer wonders why.  Perhaps it’s because his target, Muslims and Arabs, is the cause celebre of people who want to score points with Americans during an election year, whereas Paul’s newsletter attacks on African-Americans is viewed as far less acceptable.  Max Blumenthal hashes it all out in this piece

For the past two weeks, the entire mainstream American media homed in on newsletters published by Republican Rep. Ron Paul, an anti-imperialist, conservative libertarian who finished third in last night’s Iowa caucuses. Mostly ghostwritten by libertarian activist Llewelyn “Lew” Rockwell and a committee of far-right cranks, the newsletters contained indisputably racist diatribes, including ominous warnings about the “coming race war.” At no point did Paul denounce the authors of the extreme manifestoes nor did he take responsibility for the content.

The disturbing content of Paul’s newsletters was a worthy campaign outrage, and one he should have been called to account for, but why did it gain mainstream traction when the reactionary views of the other candidates stayed under the radar? One reason is that Paul threatened the Republican establishment by attacking America’s neo-imperial foreign policy and demanding an end to the US-Israel special relationship.

Those who pushed the newsletters story the hardest were neoconservatives terrified by the prospect of Paul edging into the mainstream with his call for a total cut-off of US aid to Israel. In fact, the history of the newsletters was introduced to the American public back in early 2008 by Jamie Kirchick, a card-carrying neocon who has said that Muslims “act like savages” and once wrote that I possessed “a visceral hatred of my Jewish heritage.” Having declared former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney as their favorite wooden marionette, the neocons had a clear ideological interest in resuscitating the newsletters story once Paul emerged this year as a presidential frontrunner.

Though Romney won Iowa, he succeeded by a mere 8 votes over former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. The mainstream press is now fixated on Santorum, praising him for his “authenticity” and predicting he will continue to win over “gritty Catholics,” as MSNBC host Chris Matthews said today. But now that Santorum is in the limelight, he is also going to be thoroughly vetted. So the question is whether the media will devote anywhere near the same level of attention it gave to Ron Paul’s newsletters as it will to Santorum’s record of hysterically Islamophobic statements and anti-Muslim activism. So far, I have seen nothing to suggest that it will.

In 2007, a few months after Santorum was ousted from the Senate in a landslide defeat, he accepted an invitation from right-wing provocateur David Horowitz to speak at “Islamo-Fascism Campus Awareness Week.” As I documented in my video report on Horowitz’s appearance at Columbia University that year, “Islamo-Fascism” week was a naked ploy to generate publicity for the frenetically self-promoting Horowitz while demonizing Muslim-Americans as a dangerous fifth column who required constant government monitoring and possibly worse. The event was so extreme that even Jewish groups like Hillel known for promoting Zionism on campus rejected it.

There is no video documentation or transcript of Santorum’s speech at Horowitz’s “Islamo-Fascism Awareness” event. However, I was able to find a transcript of a speech Santorum delivered at Horowitz’s invitation in March 2007. During his address, the ex-Senator declared the need to “define the enemy,” but he made little effort to distinguish between the general population of Muslims and violent Islamic extremists. If anything, he seemed to conflate the two.

Here are a few of the remarkable statements Santorum made at Horowitz’s event:

“What must we do to win? We must educate, engage, evangelize and eradicate.”

“Look at Europe. Europe is on the way to losing. The most popular male name in Belgium — Mohammad. It’s the fifth most popular name in France among boys. They are losing because they are not having children, they have no faith, they have nothing to counteract it. They are balkanizing Islam, but that’s exactly what they want. And they’re creating an opportunity for the creation of Eurabia, or Euristan in the future…Europe will not be in this battle with us. Because there will be no Europe left to fight.”

We should “talk about how Islam treats homosexuals. Talk about how they treat anybody who is found to be a homosexual, and the answer to that is, they kill them.”

“…the Shia brand of Islamist extremists [is] even more dangerous than the Sunni [version]. Why? Because the ultimate goal of the Shia brand of Islamic Islam is to bring back the Mahdi. And do you know when the Mahdi returns? At the Apocalypse at the end of the world. You see, they are not interested in conquering the world; they are interested in destroying the world.”

“The other thing we need to do is eradicate, and that’s the final thing. As I said, this is going to be a long war.”

The Islamophobic rant Santorum apparently delivered at an event organized by a known bigot was no less extreme than anything contained in Ron Paul’s newsletters. But don’t wait for the American mainstream press to discuss Santorum’s disturbing views on Muslims as anything other than proof of his “authenticity.”

John McCain winner of the 2008 presidential elections


Please vote for Barack Obama.  Vote for Barack Obama, please.  I sincerely hope Obama wins the elections this coming Tuesday and I urge all who are reading this to vote for the man. He is a better candidate and person than John McCain, but despite all I’ve said, I don ‘t think he will win.  There are three main reasons why I believe this.

Our Country been betrayed by three; the government we elect to represent us and pave the way for the preservation of our freedoms and the fulfillment of our potential as a society, an obsequious press which has spouted every lie mouthed, and a candidate himself who has allowed and exploited political expediency over principle in this campaign.

September 11, 2001 was an awful day in the history of the country. It rocked the very foundation of the nation and allowed politicians and those who served with them an opportunity to expand government in ways not attempted since the Civil War.  From September 12, 2001 until today,  Americans have been fed a steady diet of hate and fear which has been difficult to remove from our collective consciousness and which politicians and members of the press have used to advance separate agendas which have had ramifications for this present election.

Our government failed us, using the fear generated by the terror attacks of 911 to turn American citizen against another, in its quest to expand government, open new lands for military conquest and limit the rights and freedoms it knew would get in the way of government tyranny.   Increased surveillance, forced renditions of people with strange names or faiths, denial of people to due process and the coercion of other institutions to achieve these goals, notably telecommunications companies, were all a part of government’s utilization of 911’s terror.  People of faith trusted their government and believed what they were told and re-elected that government a second time, while sending an “opposition” party to power in the alternative branch of government, the legislative,  to pick up where and perhaps enhance what the executive failed to do or could not do.  Unfortunately that branch of government too failed us becoming a rubber stamp for a government out of control, echoing the “lie” that would lead to such horrible acts of legislation as the Patriot and the Military Commissions Acts , passed, ratified and in some cases passed or extended a second time. We believed what was being told to us even though those that told us knew they were lying and those that reported what we were told didn’t care they were passing along the lie.  The press confused corporate responsibility with corporate profit, making yellow journalism the order of the day, using it to pit us against one another, and boosting a poorly run and essentially racist campaign to legitimacy.

But unfortunately, Barack Obama shares some blame in this debacle.  He in the minds of some, and me didn’t really do a good enough job distinguishing himself from his opponent.  Sure, there is the obvious  which makes this an historic race of enormous proportions, but Mr. Obama fell prey to political expediency, the order of the day with politicians, which basically says don’t take a stand, always fall in-between, be middle of the road, let the absence of your actions make you a winner.  In doing so he allowed a significant portion of the population to be smeared, i.e. Muslims and Arabs, he did not clearly delineate his policies from those of his opponent and in the process showed an absence of character.  It is not enough to reduce campaigns to simple sound bites and one word slogans that are different from those of your opponent; leaders lead not imitate, and above all they challenge and inspire not duck and dodge.  People intuitively are able to sense the absence of leadership despite all the faux pas trappings surrounding it, and this may account for the close poll numbers in the final days.

Simply put we are not ready nor are our leaders for what it is Mr. Obama wants.  We have been traumatized by foreign and domestic enemies who have sapped our will and spirit in ways that heretofore were unimaginable.  We, in time, will recover but time will be the medicine that heals our wounds, not phony profiteering and slogans.  For now, and for reasons mentioned above, our destiny appears to be that of continuity, doing what we have been accustomed to these last 8 years and regrettably that’s more of the same, status quo….not change.  I wish it weren’t so but that’s how I see it from where I stand.  Meanwhile, please go vote Obama and let’s hope I’m wrong.

Palin is not helping matters


More than one person has said the choice of Sarah Palin as a vice presidential candidate was enough to convince them not to vote the Republican ticket.  That fact has been emphasized by a Washington Post article which states, ‘Perceptions of Palin grow increasingly negative’.

In polling conducted Wednesday and Thursday evenings, after the disclosure that the Republican National Committee used political funds to help Palin assemble a wardrobe for the campaign, 51 percent said they have a negative impression of her. Fewer, 46 percent, said they have a favorable view. That marks a stark turnaround from early September, when 59 percent of likely voters held positive opinions.

The declines in Palin’s ratings have been even more substantial among the very voters Republicans aimed to woo. The percentage of white women viewing her favorably dropped 21 points since early September; among independent women, it fell 24 points.

It was an insult to the electorate for McCain to choose Palin. It was a sexist choice; he wanted someone who looked photogenic next to him, physically attractive even if she had nothing intellectually to offer. However saying that you are voting for a pair of legs in a skirt is not the politically correct thing to say. Realizing they are being played the people are voicing their disapproval.

In reality Palin is her own worse foe, or enemy.  Public gaff after the next seems to follow her everywhere she goes, from the trooper gate scandal to being ill prepared for media interviews to revelations that the RNC has spent money for clothes she claims were off the rack but are really tailor made, etc. she is dogged by missteps and inaccuracies that are too easily documented.

Al-Qaeda pulling for John McCain


Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes … known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

James Madison, Political Observations, 1795

That’s not the kind of news John McCain wants to hear so close to the elections, but it’s what intelligence agencies are reporting in their monitoring of the airwaves.  We’ve been told how important it is to have super secret sensitive monitoring of all forms of communications and the best money can buy is saying that Al-Qaeda wants John McCain to win the presidential elections.  That’s not news however, for the same can be said for the 2004 elections when bin laden himself used the old disinformation ploy to claim support for John Kerry’s race against Bush while secretly hoping for Bush to win.

Why would terrorists want their ardent enemies to win elections in order to continue the fight against them? Quite simply the US is paying a greater price fighting terrorism than they are in securing American interests against terrorism, and especially in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. As for the former, it was never a threat against American interests nor those of its allies, and America knew that going into the war.  What that war has done is destabilize an oil producing country and its neighbors, caused a refugee problem that numbers in the hundreds of thousands, if not more, and presented America with the specter of war with another country, Iran.  Afghanistan, a perpetually poor country which had the misfortune of once hosting bin laden now looms large as a staging ground for incursions and another possible war in another Muslim country, Pakistan.  In both conflicts we are no closer to getting bin laden, if you think that was ever our goal, and yet we’ve alienated millions of Muslims telling them in the words of Thomas Friedman to ‘suck on this’.  It would appear to me therefore that Thomas Friedman and bin laden have much more in common than bin laden and the Muslim masses he purports to represent; neither one of them is interested in seeing the peaceful coexistence of Muslims with the West because in post cold war international relations there would be no one to justify the tremendous defense spending currently taking place in world governments, and especially ours. The current budget for defense is twice what it was in 2000 when Bush took office and with fighting taking place on two fronts, the US military will need to be rebuilt at a tremendous expense, no matter who wins the November elections.

The idea that bin laden is an instrument for US foreign policy has traction when one considers the large amounts of money spent to “fight” him and the members of his group, but what is happening on an even larger scale is the fight the US is waging with Muslim societies world wide.  Under the leadership of the neoconservative cabal wing of the Republican Party, Islamofascism has taken expression and become the enemy of our Nation.  It is defined as any body of Muslims who are not ok with the notion that the US can go anywhere, break any law and do anything to fight its perceived enemies and in the process make more and new enemies.  It is a policy of perpetual confrontation which only benefits a large military complex that needs conflict on which to survive, which gets us back again to Osama bin laden who can only survive as a “hero” for Muslims if there is conflict between them and who “he” defines as their enemy, the US. What’s interesting to me is we have more than enough people who are willing to whet the appetite of both parties, the neocons of Washington, and al-Qaeda of some cave in the Hindu-Kush mountain range somewhere.  Perhaps it’s time to break this cycle.

Palin’s selective use of the term “terrorist”


It had to happen sooner or later.  Palin has put her foot in her mouth again in a nationally televised interview with NBC’s Brian Williams.  Not even John McCain, sitting at her side, could help her get out of the mess she put herself in, refusing to call some people who want to harm innocent Americans terrorists, while claiming the likes of Bill Ayers, and of course by extension Obama, qualify for the term.  Check it out here.

But isn’t that what terrorists are?  People who inflict death and destruction against “innocent people”?  It just so happens that those who Palin was hesitatnt to give that name to, the people she was referring to were those who oppose abortion!  (Eric Rudolph would probably go on air to endorse the McCain/Palin ticket with the news of that proclamation. ) It’s not enough that Palin has problems back home in Alaska with the troopergate scandal,(Republicans regret the day they gave Clinton such a hard time with his own trooper problems), now she has to go and minimize or redefine terrorism so that her political cause which sometimes has expressed itself violently in the Homeland escapes that designation.  One can only wonder how long will it take for Palin to deny she ever said that? Judging by her past gaffs, it won’t be long.

UPDATE

THE REPUBLICAN PARTY is so steeped in political hypocrisy that they don’t know right from wrong, up from down.  In an effort not to offend their base, they dance all around terms like terrorism,domestic terrorism when talking about abortion, but use the same terms vigorously and glibly when talking about their opponents.  Keith Olbermann does a pretty good job of disarming the GOP’s terrorist bomb with this piece.

Colin Powell-In Your Face!


I  really was not that much of a fan of Colin Powell, but I might change my mind after his blistering endorsement of Obama where he scorched today’s  REPUBLICAN PARTY, taking no prisoners.  He said what Obama should have said, and what I have been hollering for him to say ever since the RACIST RIGHT has made being a Muslim an issue.  In case you missed it, this is what Powell said:

I wish more people would stand up to this right wing cabal that has played every racist card in their deck to keep Americans off balance and in the dark while they rob the country blind of its money and its wealth of freedom and liberty.  I hope Powell’s declaration in support of Obama will start a trend long missing in the political arena where people are confronted when they make racist, insane accusations against other Americans because of their dislike or hatred of them.  It’s clear we still have a tendency to do that here and not talking about it has only made it worse in the last eight years.  Powell said some things that needed to be said and I take my hat off to him.  Finally, some one with balls!  In fact, in my opinion, more balls than the man he’s endorsing, but at this stage in his life, Powell has nothing to lose and such a proclamation is appropriate for him to make.  Surely he’ll receive a lot of political fall out for it, but why should he or any of us care?  There’s more at stake than the professional career of someone who’s on the downswing of that career.  Powell’s imagery made us all confront our prejudices, that though we may have, should never get in the way of our rights and freedoms as citizens of this great country.  Oh, and it’s more than appropriate to show you the mother  who made Colin Powell proud to be American….and me too.