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Friday, September 30, 2005

Put Up Or Shut Up

I am going to try to get through this without dipping into my alternative vocabulary, so this will necessarily be brief. Here's what former Republican Education Secretary, Bill Bennett stated on his radio program Wednesday:
if you wanted to reduce crime, you could - if that were your sole purpose - abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.
No need for discussion, here's the action items:
  1. Contact Salem Radio Network and tell them exactly what they need to do with Bennett's show (cancel it, not shove it [OK, not just shove it]).
  2. Contact each of Bennet's sponsors and tell them to either pull their sponsorship immediately or you will never again buy their goods or services - ever.
  3. Make sure that everyone you know is aware of this madness - send them this link to the letter from Congressman John Conyers (D-Spine) regarding this male-bovine fecal material.
Well, I almost made it...

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 1:00 AM :: (11) minds freed

Thursday, September 29, 2005

New Democratic Vision

You've probably heard by now about Tom DeLay getting indicted on conspiracy charges. After reading a few articles from the New York Times, Yahoo! News, and even the Wall Street Journal, it appears that the GOP is in a bit of turmoil. The articles bring up the fact that Tom DeLay is not the only prominent Republican with issues; Bill Frist has his own mo' money mo' problems scandal, investigations are on-going concerning the White House/CIA leak, and President Bush is dealing with Hurricanes Katrina & Rita (not to mention the War in Iraq and low approval ratings).

Without a doubt, the GOP is in a weakened state right now- at least the weakest since Clinton was in office. If things continue on this way, the Democrats have the best shot they've seen in years to make some significant gains. In order to do that, however, the Democrats can't just rely on Republicans shooting themselves in the foot; Democrats have to offer a new vision for America that will take us where we need to go as a nation. Democrats must put forth an comprehensive and cohesive agenda.

Have you been to the DNC website? Almost every time I go there I feel like I get more information on Republicans in the first five seconds then I do on Democrats. There's all this info about what Republicans are doing wrong, but not much info on what Democrats are doing right. What are Democrats doing right? What do Democrats want? Why should the people give Democrats contral of the House and/or Senate? What is the Democratic vision for America?

Do YOU know?

Emancipated by Talib @ 3:46 PM :: (0) minds freed

Monday, September 26, 2005

Monday Leftovers

I'm still sulking from my Steelers rumbling, bumbling, stumbling to a loss yesterday, so let's trudge through the leftovers.

RITA P.I.T.A.
Hurricanse Rita turned out to be more of a pain in the sphincter than the end of the world, but she left many homes destroyed and many more people displaced. I don't know if Louisiana can take another one of these. And I mean in the next decade.

FRIST FRISKED
Senate Majority Leader hasn't been read his Miranda warning yet, but the handwriting is on the wall. Considering the precedents set by the Whitewater inquisition and the Martha Stewart persecution Bill Frist is about to feel the business-end of a broomstick. Can't say that I'll shed a tear or light a candle for him.

DIVERSTIY IN NAME ONLY
Bush is hinting that his nominee to replace Justice O'Conner would be a minority and/or a woman. I have two words - Alberto Gonzales. You know he's going to be the nominee, so get ready for a WWE-style smackdown in the months to come. It's going to be ugly.


Emancipated by Athanasius @ 1:00 PM :: (1) minds freed

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Word For The Week

One thing that I have found to be absolutely certain is that hubris will always precipitate a fall. That is a Biblical principle that has come into play repeatedly in my life, both personally and vicariously. I am a huge University of Michigan fan - I bleed Maze and Blue - and my Wolverines went into Madison, Wisconsin yesterday thinking that the Badgers would just roll over and play dead for them. They were dead wrong and they lost a game that they should have won. I have been in Louisville long enough to have been assimilated into the ranks of the fans of the Louisville Cardinals - so long as they're not playing Michigan - and the Cards ran into the same problem in South Florida yesterday. Thinking themselves invincible and their potent offense unstoppable, they meandered down to Tampa for what they expected to be a cakewalk and got their hat handed to them. USF put foot to coccyx yesterday, beating the Cardinals 45-14, kicking that tail all the way to Kenya.

The lesson here, as Yogi Berra might put it, is that you haven't arrived until you've arrived. Too many Christians get to thinking that we have arrived, that we have already attained God-likeness such that everyone should be exactly like us, and this has no basis in reality. Paul, in our text today, noted that he had not been entirely sanctified, that he had not been made perfect, but that he pressed on toward that objective - to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus. This was Paul speaking - the writer of almost half of the New Testament - and if Paul can confess that he is not perfect then why do today's Christians get to thinking that we have already arrived, that we've got it all together?

Lord knows that I fall short - I have a temper, I don't suffer fools gladly, and I can't abide stupidity. Yet I, of all people, know that sometimes the best way to identify an ignorant fool is to find a mirror, because we all get into foolish activities or foolish conversations or foolish thoughts. And sometimes it's not just foolishness but sinfulness - I'm guilty, and so are you. But the one thing that we must do is press on toward the goal - we have to keep our eyes on the prize - and when we fall short we much confess our sins for He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. But if we claim that we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives. Once our fellowship is restored through confession and repentance we must press on toward the prize, consistently trying to become more and more like Jesus Christ - that is sanctification, and it drives out prideful hubris.

Michigan lost yesterday in large part due to prideful hubris. Louisville lost yesterday in large part due to prideful hubris. Today, my beloved Steelers play the New England Patriots at 4:00 PM EST. I pray that they remember what prideful hubris brought them the last time they played the Patriots...

May The LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who implores you to press on toward the goal,
My He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 11:00 AM :: (2) minds freed

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

George Bush Don't Like Black People


Is there any truth to the accusation that George Bush Doesn't Like Black People? Kanye West believes it is true, and Dr. Cornel West agrees - and so does the vast majority of African-Americans. Colbert King is willing to give Bush the benefit of the doubt - for the moment - while Donna Brazile seems to believe that George Bush loves Black people.

I believe that George Bush favors his base - the Haves and the Have Mores - and I would give the last 5 years of his presidency as evidence. Who has benefited and who has not? Where was money taken from and where was money given? As in all things, follow the money. I don't think that George Bush is overtly racist - I think he's fairly egalitarian when it comes to the people that he doesn't care anything about - and as such the needs and concerns of the Have Littles and the Have Nots simply do not register with him or his administration.

But what do you think?

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 6:30 PM :: (1) minds freed

Monday, September 19, 2005

Monday Leftovers

The leftovers are pretty thin but let's dine on what's here.

DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN

Is it just me or does this look eerily similar to Katrina's path? Let us pray that it only appears to be similar.

FEDERALIST SOCIETY
Now I thought that it was Republican Dogma that dictated that state and local authorities know best what is in the interests of their constituents, that local governments don't need the federal government overriding local rule. So how is it that Bush can tell Mayor Nagin that it is not time to repopulate New Orleans? Is it that Bush wants a significant portion of New Orleans evacuees to get planted where they are and not return to New Orleans? That's Mayor Nagan's concern, and it's a valid concern. However, Tropical Storm Hurricane Rita is also a valid concern...

SPORTS SECTION
(I told you they were thin today)
If anyone wonders why I am a Steelers fan then I give you Exhibit A - my hometown Detroit Lions. If the Lions were any more inept they'd receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This is a team that makes the Keystone Cops look like Sherlock Holmes. A team that makes the Washington Generals look historically competitive. A team that couldn't find Roy Williams with two hands and a flashlight. I suppose that in many ways these days, being a Lions fan is a lot like being a Democrat...

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 11:30 AM :: (2) minds freed

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Word For The Week

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

Was Hurricane Katrina the wrath of God being poured out on a sinful New Orleans? This meme has been asserted repeatedly in OpEds across the country, but is there any merit to it? The answer is an unqualified NO. Earlier this week, I responded to a LTE which made that very assertion - that Hurricane Katrina was God's wake up call for America - and made the point that if New Orleans needed a wake up call then the Church needs a wake up call all the more. We who call ourselves a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, we need to wake up because judgment is indeed coming, but it's coming to the Church first.

I often wonder what the Religious Right is thinking with their politics - what's their goal? It seems like they are trying to enforce external conformity to The Law instead of trying to induce an internal transformation through the renewing of people's minds. Are they Christians or Pharisees? Do they not know that we all have sined and fall short of the glory of God? Surely they are familiar with the wages of sin and the gift of God, but why is it that we never hear the name of Jesus from the lips of those who claim to be His followers? Christianity without Christ is insanity. Christianity is not about outward conformity to the Law, Christianity is about a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, so why do political conservatives call themselves Christians when they are not advancing or advocating the cause of Christ? Going to church no more makes you a Christian than does going to McDonalds make you a happy meal. It is those who have received Him, those who have believed on His name that have been given the right to be called the children of God. We have too many Pharisees mascerading as Christians today.

But the Religious Left isn't much better. If the Religious Right would be today's Pharisees then the Religious Left would be the Sadducees. The Sadducees didn't believe in the resurrection and only believed certain parts of Scripture were authoritative, both in Jesus' time on earth and today. Then as now the Sadducees put much more weight on their own thinking than on God's revelation, but reality is not based upon man's thinking. It was not man who said, "Let there be light!" to spark the Big Bang. It was not man who said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water" and distilled breathible air. It was not man who said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds" and flora flourished, each according to its kind. It was not man who created God, but God who created man. It is God who is our unmoved mover mover. It is God who is our uncaused cause. It is God who has created all that is according to His design. It's all about God! It's time for the Left and the Right to figure that out, because the whole duty of man is to revere God and to keep His commandments, because God will bring every deed into judgment. All of us have sinned and we will have to pay the penalty for that sin, but God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We simply have to accept His atoning sacrifice on our behalf. The choice is yours.

May The LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who will bring every action into judgment,
My He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 11:00 AM :: (0) minds freed

Friday, September 16, 2005

Notes from the Underground

Like so many people, I am deeply concerned about the evacuees from Hurricane Katrina. What I think most about is how so many have had their political voices effectively cut off by being scattered to adjacent states and all around the country.

Presently, the way I look at it breaks down into three things:

1. Who are the evacuees? How can we get real data of who they are, capturing the variety of people who are out there? How can we get communicate who the evacuees are, in ways that break down any presumptions or stereotypes we may have?

2. What would it look like to have all kinds of evacuees reconnected with each other, wherever they may happen to be now? Surely, we know that this is happening already, due to the efforts of governments, churches, families, and numerous volunteer efforts. Is there some kind of order to these reunions that we can all opt-in to?

3. What would it look like to have evacuees speaking for themselves in a systematic way, despite being spread out all around the country? Could they be reconnected with the local and state politicians already elected to represent them? (I hear these officials are all congregated in Baton Rouge).

Are you motivated to work on any of these issues? Do you know others who are contributing to these issues already?

Emancipated by Quintus Jett @ 9:49 AM :: (2) minds freed

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Rebuilding Begins, But For Whom?

"We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did." - U.S. Congressman Richard Baker of Baton Rouge


"The mostly African-American neighborhoods of New Orleans are largely underwater, and the people who lived there have scattered across the country. But in many of the predominantly white and more affluent areas, streets are dry and passable. Gracious homes are mostly intact and powered by generators. Yesterday, officials reiterated that all residents must leave New Orleans, but it's still unclear how far they will go to enforce the order." - Wall Street Journal 9/8/05 Old-Line Families Escape Worst of Flood And Plot the Future

I was listening to National Public Radio yesterday. Two seperate stories reported from New Orleans. Both reported early steps in a slow return to normalcy. Both stories reported from Jefferson Parish. It would take at least some knowlege of New Orleans to appreciate that Jefferson Parish's the least diverse (most predominantly white) portion of the city.

The more white and affuent the sections of New Orleans were the least damaged and have the least chance of having an evacuation order enforced. The more black and/or poor sections were the most damaged and were more likely to have that evacuation enforced. And the more black and/or poor the evacuees, the more likely that they will never return - or return to "temporary" trailers outside of New Orleans.

New Orleans: Segreated before Katrina. And after too?

Emancipated by Quintus Jett @ 9:26 AM :: (0) minds freed

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Compassion and Justice for Katrina Victims

It was so good today to read some insights from Dr. Cornel West on the people affected by Katrina.

One of my favorite insights that he made was that "prophetic Christianity is compassion and justice for those who have least." And I would add that part of the tragedy of the Katrina aftermath is how many working class people have now joined the group of those who have the least.

Another favorite insight from Dr. West's piece is the obligation of the "black bourgeoisie." By many critieria, I am a member of this group - or the "talented tenth" as some would put it. But I find such terms set the bar too high.

You don't need to be rich or the most highly-educated African American in order to contribute. The relief efforts in our community demonstrate that. The biggest fallacy of this black-bourgeoisie and talented-tenth talk is that you have to be extra-ordinary to make a difference for other black people. We are all ordinary people. It's our mission that is extraordinary.

All that needed is the most basic human functions: Can you speak? Can you read? Can you communicate? Did you feel anger? A sense of right and wrong? Do you want to do something?

Black folks have all we need to make a difference in a lasting way from this Katrina tragedy. Would you like to participate? Email: info@africanamericansfordemocracy.com

Please forward this message to other African Americans who have consciousness

Emancipated by Quintus Jett @ 12:19 PM :: (0) minds freed

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Tuesday Leftovers

You know when the leftovers make it to Tuesday that they have to be disposed of rather quickly, so let's get to it.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS
Bush nominee John Roberts has affirmed his support for stare decisis - and by extension, Roe v. Wade - essentially assuring his confirmation as Chief Justice. We will be dealing with him for the next 30-40 years. Enjoy.

DOOR-->BUTT-->BANG!
FEMA Director Mike Brown has hit the bricks. Mr. Brown said that he felt that his role had become an obstacle to the agency's work. I suppose that would be similar to Omarosa's role being an obstacle to Kwame's work on The Apprentice. We wish Mr. Brown well in his next endeavor, hopefully as a sanitation engineer...

CREDULITY GAP

And they wonder why we don't too much want to fool with them - they just don't get it. When you're safely bunkered behind levees seperating the Have Gots from the Have Nots you don't have to face these issues, but us'ns have to deal with it e'r day. They don't get it and we don't have time to teach them - two tears in a bucket...

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 1:00 PM :: (4) minds freed

Monday, September 12, 2005

Democracy for New Orleans Evacuees

There is a lot of anger in the African American community in response to what happened in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, and there is a need for concrete actions in order to direct this anger constructively.

African Americans for Democracy is developing steps to re-establish democratic mechanisms to empower New Orleans evacuees, particularly those in the poorest and predominantly black parts of the city which also bore a catastrophic level of destruction.

There are three steps, in order of priority and complexity:

1. Putting a more personal face on the evacuees (online posts, audio, video)

2. Helping the evacuees develop local "meetups" where they are now displaced

3. Reconnecting the evacuees with the local elected officials who represented them in New Orleans

This last step is the most ambitious, but offers a tangible vision that speaks to our ideals as Americans. It is providing a mechanism for "virtual democracy" for the people of New Orleans, given that events have scattered them throughout the country and effectively shut off their political voices.

The handling of Katrina's aftermath has reveal some plain truths about racism and classism. These truths provoke many of us to anger. Through this project, we can turn our anger and the tragedy of this hurricane into something lasting and positive for affected Gulf Coast residents

Please circulate, post comments, and/or suggest ways that you will contribute. Feedback and help are already coming in from many sources.

Emancipated by Quintus Jett @ 2:10 PM :: (2) minds freed

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Word For The Week

Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: "Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you."

One of the things for which I am most grateful is the fact that I serve a God who gives us yet another chance. I know that I am less than perfect - as does everyone who was on the conference call yesterday when I ran over a piece of debris on the freeway that tore up the undercarriage of my car. The words that came flying out of my mouth were much less than holy before I could extract myself from the call, but the Word of God says that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. But if we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives. I have confessed my sins and have committed myself to stay on the straight and narrow way, and I know that God has heard me and will forgive me, cleanse me, and restore me. The question that I have is how many of us are hearing God? God has been trying to get our attention because He has as job for us to do, yet we ignore Him and openly defy Him and then wonder why we have so much drama in our lives. God is asking a simple question:

Can you hear me now?

Four years ago everyone went running into churches because their peace of mind and security had been taken away from them by 19 terrorists. Everyone made vows to get with God and to commit their lives to Him, but less than a month later it was business as usual - the immediate stimulus was past and Americans were back to their life's ultimate purpose: consumption. But God has more in store for us than to be merely cattle in an economic slaughterhouse, God wants us to have life and to have it more abundantly. God wants us to live in pursuit of His righteousness and for the advancement of His Kingdom, not for our own trivial pursuits. As the old hymn-writer once said, "Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling -- Calling for you and for me;" Jesus is asking that one simple question:

Can you hear me now?

In our text, Jonah had spent three days inside of a fish. Once he submitted to the will of God the fish spit him up on the shore and the Word of God came to Jonah a second time. God asked Jonah, "Can you hear me now?" Why is it that we have to go through fish-belly experiences before we will submit to God? Why is it that it took 9/11 to get a lot of folks into church? Why is it that it takes Hurricane Katrina to get people to focus on spiritual matters? Why is it that just like the Israelites of old we go right back to our sinful ways once we get delivered from our stressful situations? Why is it that we don't seem to have any bars in our prayer life when God is trying to talk to us yet we expect five strong bars when we need to present our requests to God? It is our sinful disobedience that has separated us from our God. It is our disobedience that has hidden His face from us so that He will not hear. It is our disobedience that blocks our prayers from being answered. It is our disobedience that has us roaming in the wilderness. It is our disobedience that has us falling on our knees screaming at God, "Hello? Can you hear me now?"

Obedience is better than sacrifice.

Our problem is that we focus on ourselves instead of focusing on God. We pursue the things that please our eyes, the things that please our flesh, and the things that boost our egos, but none of that truly matters. I was watching Dateline the other day and they interviewed one of the New Orleans survivors who was holed up in the dry part of New Orleans. The survivor noted that while he didn't drink liquor himself, he had a massive stash of liquor because it served as currency now - greenbacks were worthless in a ravaged New Orleans, but a fifth of bourbon could rent you a day-laborer or be traded for supplies. In a barter system money is nothing more than printed paper - useless - and when we are planted into the ground and they shovel dirt upon the corpse in which we used to reside all of our stuff will be absolutely useless - you can't take it with you. Instead, we should place our hope in things eternal and hold to God's unchanging hand. God wants us to get with Him, to pursue Him, to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness. The Holy Spirit asks:

Can you hear me now?

To obey or not to obey - that, my friends, is the only question that matters eternally. The decision - the choice - is yours.

May The LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who wants to hear from you now,
My He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 11:00 AM :: (3) minds freed

Friday, September 09, 2005

Diaspora Covenant

As African-Americans in the United States, we have achieved much of what we have due to the grace of God and our own efforts to liberate ourselves. We would still be enslaved if many of our ancestors had not freed themselves and forced our issue of enslavement onto the agenda of Caucasians in the North and South. We would still, in fact, be enslaved if we hadn't forced segregation onto the world's stage at a time when America was trying to present a benevolent face to the world. Nonetheless, our current condition is not purely of our own making – only looking inward at ourselves to explain our condition without looking out to the wider society is short-sighted and a path to self-hatred:
We know that no political party deserves our support if the price is our ability to openly question its direction and agitate when the party risks harming our community through its actions or neglect. We covenant together that we will restore for African children in America the assumption that life can be better.

COVENANT

We enter into covenant, one with another, to:
  1. Ensure that every African in America votes in every election.

  2. Nurture and discipline our sons and daughters throughout our communities such that they do not become burdens on society.

  3. Create quality community clinics where our people can receive treatment and preventive care.

  4. Refuse to speak evil of Africans in America, to refuse to run our own people down with our own lips.

  5. Have Africans run for every elective office available

  6. Leverage our voting power in order to force politicians to accede to our demands.

  7. Support each others’ families – to help fathers head their households, to help mothers maintain order in the home, and to help children heed their parents’ words of wisdom.

  8. Acquire the means of production such that our businesses are solely dependant upon other Africans, from the raw materials through recycling.

  9. Take control of the streets in our own neighborhoods, to police our own communities, and to maintain order among ourselves.

  10. Never again silently stand by when violence is perpetuated against an African in America.

CONTRACT

As we covenant together to take steps to improve the condition of Africans in America, we must also present our demands to society. We demand the following:
  1. Permanent Voting Rights Act: The notion that the right of Africans in America to vote is renewable, hence deniable, is an abomination. We demand that this travesty of justice be corrected immediately.

  2. Boston Tea Act: One of the founding principles of America is the notion that there can be no taxation without representation. Felons who have served their time must either be allowed to vote or they must be exempted from all taxation.

  3. Single-Payer Universal Health Care: America is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not have single-payer universal health care system. This must be corrected, and until it is corrected there must be a bankruptcy exemption for health care costs.

  4. All Men Are Created Equal Act: All language from state constitutions which denigrate Africans in America must be immediately stricken.

  5. Any political party which expects the support of Africans in America must have Africans in positions of significant authority at every level of command.

  6. Campaign Finance Reform: No donations over $100 are to be allowed to parties, campaigns, PACs, or 527’s. 527’s and PAC’s are not to be allowed to air advertisements within 90 days of a primary or within 90 days of a general election.

  7. Value Families Act: The greatest family value is to value families. There must be a livable minimum wage, reliable mass-transit, and at least 4 weeks paid vacation so that families can spend quality time with the people who matter most.

  8. Teddy Roosevelt Trust-Busting Act: Media conglomerates must be broken down to individual outlets, as must the many oligopolies within the American economy.

  9. Community Policing Act: All police officers must reside within the precinct that they patrol – suburban cops can no longer patrol urban streets, and north side residents cannot patrol the south side.

  10. Dixiecrat Apology Act: The United States of America must formally apologize for failing to act on anti-lynching legislation at any point prior to the Civil Rights Movement.
Come, let us reason together. Let's discuss this in the comments.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 10:00 AM :: (3) minds freed

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Filth, Flarn, Filth


I've been dealing with a variety of writer's block the last couple days. It's not that I don't have anything to say, it's just that I'm having trouble saying it without reaching deep into my "alternative vocabulary" because my contempt for the Bush Administration is reaching Biblical proportions. I mean, the preferential treatment of the Have-Gots over the Have-Nots is galling - people should never become accustomed to dead-body smell. And then to make sure that we don't have an open and honest discussion about race, class and the embedded mentality of White Supremacy that pervades American culture and reinforces the American caste system, the press is forbidden from showing the bodies of those (overwhelmingly Black) victims who have died as a result of the inaction of George W. Bush's Administration. We don't need no stinkin' 1st Amendment. And what is Congress' response to this unmitigated disaster? A tax cut for Paris Hilton. Somebody needs to make the point that we need Big Government for Big Problems like Katrina. It seems obvious, doesn't it? Even Thomas Friedman gets it.

And just when I come to believe that my opinion of the Bush Administration can't possibly get any lower, I find out that BushCo is using firefighters who are search-and-rescue certified, paramedics, and haz-mat (Hazardous Materials) certified for public relations while people are dying in the gulf coast. Excuse me while I lock myself in the bathroom - I'm about to have cause for washing my mouth out with a few bars of soap. In the meantime, have some Rude Punditry - the very last sentence is prescient, if rude. And once you've taken that in, have some more Rudeness - if you can handle the rudeness. Me, I've got a date with the bathroom...

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 10:00 AM :: (2) minds freed

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Speaking Out

It's been a bit difficult to process what's been going on lately with respect to Hurricane Katrina. I can't even imagine what it must have been like to be in Mississippi, Louisiana, or Alabama over the past week or so.

Harder still is to imagine being in New Orleans, and witness an entire city fall into chaos. Local officials demanding federal support day by day, while life continued to slip away.

The news media showed suprising diligence, grilling federal officials on their ineptitude. Press conferences, it seemed, were the only medicine

Then, one man stood up amidst the chaos.

One man dared to speak out and say what was on the minds of so many.

"George Bush does not care about Black people."

Kanye West single handedly delivered one of the most classic moments of live television history. After going off-script, and giving a heart-felt, emotion filled sermon on the state of affairs, Kanye capped it off with a bold indictment of the President of the United States.

Now, some may say that regardless of the accuracy of his statements, the time and place were not appropriate. That may be true, but if Kanye West had said the same thing on an MTV interview, would everyone be talking about? Sure maybe the 18-34 year old fan base that MTV relies on anyway. Or if he had same the same thing in an interview with BET, he'd basically be preaching to the choir. The time and place of Kanye's statements were as effective as the words he spoke.

For all of the social problems we have in the United States of America, I love and cherish the First Amendment.

Don't let Kanye stand alone. Use your First Amendment right to speak out.

Emancipated by Talib @ 2:38 PM :: (1) minds freed

Monday, September 05, 2005

Labor Day BBQ

Before we go out and sacrifice a number of chickens and cows on the hibachi altar, here's a couple morsels for you to chew on:

LABOR S.W.O.T.
Labor is in deep caca right about now. It is a buyer's labor market and the AFL-CIO refuses to reorganize in such a way as to adjust to the clear and present danger of labor unions going the way of the convection oven. "Wal-Mart provides a chilling example of the damage that low-wage, non-union corporations can wreak, and their business model is going to set the standards for our children unless we do something now," Andrew L. Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), wrote in 2004. "Wal-Mart is the sewer pipe through which good jobs are being flushed." Moreover, the Mechanics are about to be broken at Northwest Airlines and this will lead to most every other airline union being broken in time. Adapt or die - that needs to be Labor's new motto lest it become Labor's epitaph.



CONTEMPTIBLE CRONYISM
America is in deep caca. I never thought that my contempt for the Bush Administration could get any stronger, yet when I read about how they destroyed FEMA over the last 5 years and how they sat around and debated lines of authority while people were dying in the bayou I can only conjure up words unfit to print. May God have mercy on their souls.



REHNQUIST R.I.P.
The Law is heading into - you guessed it - deep caca. Chief Justice Rehnquist has gone to meet his maker, and Bush is going to appoint a new Chief Justice. This is not going to be a kinder, gentler experience for anyone. Here's the thing to watch - and mark my words on this one - if Bush nominates Clarence Thomas to replace Rehnquist then you know that he is serious about overturning Roe v. Wade (and everything else going back to Marbury v. Madison). You see, in order for them to overturn past Supreme Court decisions without a Constitutional Amendment you need a Chief Justice who does not hold to stare decisis, and Clarence Thomas does not hold to stare decisis. It should be noted that Antonin Scalia - Scalia! - was freaked out by this. If Thomas is nominated and confirmed as Chief Justice then life as we have known it in America will come to an abrupt halt. I know that sounds preposterous, but let it come to pass and you will see that it was actually prescient. If the Roberts nomination goes through then this is a moot point - abortion is off of the table for a generation. The question that the Democrats will have to ask him is whether or not he holds to stare decisis. That will answer the abortion question.

Enjoy your BBQ.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 8:30 AM :: (0) minds freed

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Word For The Week

ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?
(MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?)

Pain. Suffering. Death. Why is this kind of catastrophe allowed to happen? How can a just and loving God allow people to suffer through the effects of Katrina? Yes, He sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous, but I am sure that there are people asking these questions because when times get tough we often go to God and ask, "My God! Why have you forsaken me?" When things get tight you have to have a personal relationship to call out, "My God!" Not some god, or a god, or momma's god, but my God! My God who created the heavens and the earth. My God who sits high and looks low. My God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, the car dealerships on a thousand corners. My bridge over troubled waters. The LORD my provider. The father to the fatherless and the mother to the motherless - my God. When you find yourself in a jam you have to call out to the God who can make a difference in your situation, because with my God all things are possible! So when I'm in a jam I call out to my God, "My God!"

Now I don't know about you but sometimes I have to ask my God, "Why?" Yes, I'm saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Spirit, but sometimes I want to know why. A police officer was shot here in Louisville for no apparent reason. Why? My brother-in-law is 37 and suffering from cancer. Why? George W. Bush is still in the White House. Why? I don’t know about you – maybe it’s just me – but sometimes I’ve got some questions for my God. Sometimes I’ve got to cry out, "My God, Why?"

Can I be really transparent here? Have you ever felt like God let you down? Have you ever felt like God didn't come through for you? Have you ever felt forsaken by God? I know that I have - and maybe it's just me - but I've had to ask God, "Why have You forsaken me?" I expect people to let me down - people are fickle and trifling. People will smile in your face today and run your name through the mud tomorrow. People will always do you wrong, but I expect more from God. I expect friends and loved-ones to forsake me from time to time, but have you ever felt forsaken by God? Is it just me? Sometimes I've asked my God, "Why have You forsaken me?"

While we're being honest, let's also 'fess up that we are most concerned about God forsaking us. It's a pity if someone halfway across the globe fells forsaken, and it's not cool if someone we know feels forsaken, but if it's me then it's the end of the world as we know it. "My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?" No weapon formed against me shall prosper, but weapons certainly form and sometimes they get to looking pretty prosperous. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I ask My God, "Why have You forsaken me?"

But God has not forsaken us.

It's hidden in the text, but like Ragu, it's in there. Jesus spoke Aramaic in his daily life. When he taught His parables He spoke Aramaic. When He performed miracles He spoke Aramaic. When He healed the sick He spoke Aramaic. When He was angry He spoke Aramaic. When He was sad He spoke Aramaic. Jesus spoke Aramaic, so why is this cry recorded in Hebrew? It is recorded in Hebrew because Jesus was quoting the Hebrew Scripture, Psalm 22 which foresaw the death of the messiah by crucifixion. Jesus was not screaming out of anguish of being forsaken by the Father, He was quoting Scripture to people who should have known the Word of God. If you read Psalm 22 you will see that the messiah is not forsaken, but is instead highly exalted to the right hand of the Father.

The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees should have known this passage of scripture - it is one of the primary messianic Psalms - yet they thought that Jesus was calling for Elijah. They didn't even know their Hebrew! Isn't it amazing how things never change? Those who would hold people accountable to their interpretation of the Word of God don't know the Word of God for themselves - the more things change, the more they stay the same. There is truly nothing new under the sun. Look at their response to Jesus' declaration: "Let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him." The problem with too many Christians is that we have a "Let us see" kind of faith. You have to believe it in order to see it - seeing is believing only to the carnal-minded, because without faith it is impossible to please God. Don't you know that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him? But when you don’t know the Word of God then you can’t know the Will of God – that which is good and acceptable and perfect. You have to know the Word of God in order to get a word from God.

So hear this Word from the LORD – God has never forsaken you, and He will never forsake you. God cannot deny Himself. Jesus Christ is the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God. God did not distance Himself from Jesus on the cross, for that was not the point of atonement. The lamb of God was slain before the foundation of the world. Before "Let there be" the lamb was slain. In the beginning the lamb was slain. In the beginning atonement was made. In the beginning God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son. This deal was done in the beginning, such that as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. We who believe in His name are secure until the end, as God has sealed us and given us the Holy Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. He cannot forsake us lest He forsake the Holy Spirit, and He cannot forsake Himself.

The reason that we feel forsaken from God is that we are focused on ourselves. Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” All of these concerns will be taken care of if we make the Kingdom of God our first priority. The writer of Hebrews said, “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” This thing is all about God in Christ, and we have to run this race for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. That has to be our priority – God has promised that if we take care of His business then He’ll take care of our business. When we feel forsaken it isn’t that God has forsaken us - we have forsaken God and the advancement of His Kingdom.

So seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all of that other stuff will be handled. After all, He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him, such that if you seek first the Kingdom of God, if you thirst after righteousness, you will be blessed and you will be satisfied. The songwriter Tonex put it best, “God has not forgot. God has not forgot. God has not forgot. God has not forgot!”

May The LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who will never leave you nor forsake you,
My He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 11:00 AM :: (2) minds freed

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Rude Pundit

As always, The Rude One gets it:
Before Katrina, one way that white middle and upper class people in New Orleans used to show that they were hip, cool, and down with the city was to find out where the coolest bars and clubs and the tastiest restaurants were in the black neighborhoods and streets of the Crescent City. White people loved discovering these places (if by "discover," you mean the same thing as "Columbus discovered America") and then bringing their white friends to chow on the soul food at Chez Helene or listen to the funky brass bands at Donna's. When these places showed up in your Fodor's and filled with tourists, the DeSoto-like white people would keep searching for the the Fountain of Authenticity that, of course, only the poorest, blackest places could bring. Chez Helene closes? Move on to Big Shirley's in Treme. Donna's not dark enough to be exotic anymore? Head deep into the Bywater and go to Vaughan's for Kermit Ruffins' Sunday Barbecue and Jazz. Yessirree, nothin' showed how cool you were as a white person than bein' able to come down from Uptown to party where the negroes played.
Read the rest of it here.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 8:45 AM :: (0) minds freed

Friday, September 02, 2005

Requiem for New Orleans Part II

The following is an untitled poem by Ed Ntiri

Lives lost,
mothers crying
babies floating in water.
We sit still, in dark and cold
waiting for our soldiers.

They're on the way
lets stay together.
They'll bring our lives back
a volunteer tells us no ones coming,
...they're all off fighting in Iraq.
-Ntiri

Emancipated by Talib @ 7:33 PM :: (1) minds freed

Black Commentator Nails It

The Black Commentator raises an issue that all Africans in America need to be asking - will the "New" New Orleans be Black?
One of the premiere Black cities in the nation faces catastrophe. There is no doubt in my mind that New Orleans will one day rise again from its below sea level foundations. The question is, will the new New Orleans remain the two-thirds Black city it was before the levees crumbled?

Some would say it is unseemly to speak of politics and race in the presence of a massive calamity that has destroyed the lives and prospects of so many people from all backgrounds. But I beg to differ. As we have witnessed, over and over again, the rich and powerful are very quick to reward themselves as soon as disaster presents the opportunity. Remember that within days of 9/11, the Bush regime executed a multi-billion dollar bailout for the airline industry. By the time you hear this commentary, they may have already used the New Orleans disaster to bail out the insurance industry – one of the richest businesses on the planet. But what of the people of New Orleans, 67 percent of whom are Black?
Read the rest of the article here.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 12:45 PM :: (1) minds freed

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Male-Bovine Fecal Material

Sometimes the difference between "looting" and "finding" is Black and White...

Naturally, Yahoo! apologized for being blatant in their racism...

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 5:50 PM :: (2) minds freed

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