Thursday, January 31, 2008

Single Payer Health Care And The Iraq War

I have to give credit to PBS's "News Hour" show. They have been going around to 5 key "Super Tuesday" states this week to discuss the background of the economic state of the particular state. During the second half of the segment they gather roughly 8 citizens to discuss the most pressing issues that are on their minds. These issues impact their presidential choices.

In their visit to New Jersey the issue of health care was big on everyone's minds. New Jersey has skyrocketing rates for insurance coverage. One local car dealership with 700 employees saw 40% of their profits taken away by employee health care. They hired a nurse as a means of being preemptive about their employees health. They figure that if the nurse could monitor these employees she could do early detection on certain ailments that would prove costly if they weren't caught early.

On the round table discussion I was intrigued by the individuals who told of receiving a health care bill of $10,000, another of $65,000 and another of $200,000. The last one was sent to a lawyer who said she fought with her insurance company and reduced it considerably. It was this lawyer who was particularly interesting to me. She is a supporter of Single Payer Health Care. She argued that if we got out of Iraq we could pay for this system. That we should never, ever do such a war again.

I could not help but to wonder where all the funding was for Single Payer Health Care BEFORE the Iraq War. Oh sure we did indeed have a few years of budget surplus. This was mostly generated from the economic run up that was greatly driven by the "E-commerce" bubble and associated Stock Market/ Financial markets high jinx. The fact is the claim does not stand.

If Iraq is seen as $150 billion per year - squandered, as deficit spending - what do we say about a plan that at minimum adds double that amount per year PERMANENTLY to the federal budget? You don't think so? You are being low balled.

Last week there was a report that there is $173 billion per year spent on diabetes each year. If the health care debate is focused on 46 million uninsured; 110 million UNDER-insured then how are we magically going to provide first rate insurance to all who had little or no insurance previously and not do some serious budget busting?

What they don't tell you is that there are some serious TAX INCREASES ahead of us during the first 12 years of this new plan. You can bet that the feds are going to attempt to put a "skirt on this pig" by throwing money at it. This will come through tax increase. This is because the higher tax rates are going to produce a reaction to those who are being hit the most. People who are targets are going to shelter their money from being confiscated. There will be increased deficits as a result of this shortfall. After this first period there will be a tax revolt. Reformers are going to come in and seek to control the rampant expansion of the costs of the health care system. This is when the long queues and the GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRATS begin to make medical decisions.

This is very important. The lawyer in NJ said that she did not want an Insurance Company bureaucrat making medical decisions. The fact is that this bureaucrat is acting as a cost containment agent. This function will be adopted with the government system after the open floodgates prove to be a massive resource drain.

We need to face the facts folks. Rationing is a fact of life with scare resources. The Single Payer health care schemes have a short upside in that they will dump responsibility on the large pool of TAXPAYERS money. Once the system devours these funds and seeks even more - rationing will come in the form of a LONG QUEUE and or degraded services. Imagine the view of a single hospital building. If this hospital can only handle 1,000 patients per year through its front door. It can do RATIONING by charging more among the 2,000 people who are in need of services and thus decide which 1,000 get through the door. OR it can do as the government promises - take away the money question from the POINT OF SERVICE and make it a burden of the tax pool. STILL you have rationing because only 1,000 people can go through that front door. The government will simply have 1,000 people being treated and 1,000 WAITING IN THE QUEUE for treatment - the 1,000 capacity remains though. Yes they will attempt to build a new hospital on the upside of the slope - thus increasing costs as well as capacity. You can be sure, however, that it will be the COSTS that will spiral out of control and contraction will take place.

If more people where HONEST about what we are about to step into as a nation it would be more comforting. I believe that Hillary Clinton and others indeed know where they are taking us - high taxes and degraded service. They know that the average American voter, seeking to toss the hospital invoice off of his own shoulders are happy to seemingly be getting relief. Just as so many other taxes have shown to be the case - what starts out as a regressive tax on the rich soon rains down as a tax on incomes cascading downward.

Please just be honest and allow people to make up their own minds.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

So Long John Edwards. Now You Can Go Back To Ambulance Chasing



In my view - by far John Edwards was the most fraudulent candidate in the race among either party. This "Two America's" populist campaign only was attractive to those seeking to use the government as an agent of confiscation. How many of his followers were tuned into the fact that this man who is a multi-millionaire violated so many of his own campaign mantras in his personal financial practices.

I am happy that the Democrats have decided that this is not where they wanted to take the country - waging straight up class warfare with empty promises of "a chicken in every pot".

I would love to see this man empty his own bank accounts for the benefit of the very people who he CLAIMS to have seen the light upon. Instead they are more valuable to him as stage props.

Newspaper Article: Edwards To End Presidential Bid

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Roberts Companies



Michael Roberts' personal web site

In a recent gathering with Junior Achievement I was made aware of Michael Roberts of "The Roberts Companies". He is a multi-millionaire with over 74 companies operating within his conglomerate.

Roberts Companies Hotels Web Site
The Roberts Companies web site


Business Week Reference To Michael Roberts' cellular telephone purchase

BQPFRC Attracted To New Povery Journal Out of Stanford



For years upon hearing the attacks by the Black Quasi-Socialist Progressive-Fundamentalist Racism Chasers upon the one Stanford affiliated professor named Dr. Thomas Sowell I began to believe that something must be wrong with the school that allowed "unqualified" individuals such as Dr. Sowell and also Dr. Condi Rice to be associated with the university community in such a way.

Now it turns out that their hatred was not directed at the school but at the conclusions that this particular Black guy with a doctorate in economics was producing. Since his perspective complemented their as does salt takes to a snails back - they understandably repudiated his work.

With this new journalistic piece on poverty, inequality and social policy - FINALLY Stanford is now speaking their language. Who else knows about "Povery", "Inequality" and the "Social Policy" that is going to fix it all more than the BQPFRC? I predict that this journal, like the holy bible itself will be translated into all of the world's languages for mass distribution.

http://www.stanford.edu/group/scspi/media_magazines.html


Just look at this man's works. Does he look like he is attempting to make friends with the BQPFRC? Who does he think he is?








Sunday, January 27, 2008

Joseph Lowery: Barack Obama Will Deliver Us From "The Old Guard"





AJC Article: Why I support ... Obama: He'll deliver us from old guard

I know that with old age comes a bit of senility but Mr. Lowery seems to be much in control of his faculties to have this rendered as an easy explanation of his logic and reasoning.

Mr. Lowery is a charter member of the "Old Guard". He has been around so long that he is a member of the New "Old Guard" that he claims that Barack Obama is going to deliver us all from. It boils my blood to read such abstractions and lack of accountability as expressed by the various members of the Black Quasi-Socialist Progressive-Fundamentalist Racism Chaser front. Indeed the key problem with Black America is that no other members of our race are serving as CRITICS to this faction that has hijacked our cause for racial progress. When one is left to provide self-critique of his own tenure you can be sure that he will come out smelling like a rose while those of us in the gallery will have to deal with the stench of the fertilizer that he used to produce his blossom.

Do you notice how the passages from Dr. Lowery and the companion article written by Congressman John Lewis (Lewis' article here) make heavy reference to the "Civil Rights Movement". This is all that these men have to reference. When it comes to the modern day issues of Black on Black Crime, the need for the Black community to MANAGE the educational outcomes that we so desperately need as the locomotion of our own development and the need for us to change our ECONOMIC assumptions so that we can create our own jobs - Mr. Lowery and Mr. Lewis have little in their history to detail their fitness for leadership in these areas. I have reported previously on this blog that Mr. Lewis sponsored a bill to go after "Civil Rights Cold Case Files" all the while in the PRESENT DAY the area in his district called Vine City has about a 32% closure rate on murders of Black people today. The only think that can be said is that the Black community is both pacified by the nostalgia related to this Civil Rights past and harmed by the incompetent leadership that it keeps promoting as they fail to comprehensively address the key problems of this said community. They seem appeased that their solutions that require "America to buy into it on a wholesale basis" remains in its pending state and they are able to say "We tried. America turned us down due to its continued bigotry". THIS IS NOT LEADERSHIP IN SOLVING BLACK AMERICAS PROBLEMS!!! This is FUNDAMENTALISM. To FAIL TO FACTOR IN the innate OPPOSITION to such plans but to be settled that YOU have put forth the most perfect plan - but for this reality of opposition IS NOT evidence of a good plan. It is evidence of a GRAVELY FLAWED PLAN. It is this "old guard" that stands firmly upon this flawed plan. As they wait for "Reparations" or "The Marshall Plan for Urban America" millions of young Black people pass through their youthful period in which their lives are shaped with an environment where their leadership is largely ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL, reminiscing about the past. It is not only time for the "Old Guard" to go. It is time for the entire POLITICAL MACHINE that dominates Black America like the veil that is depicted outside of Tuskegee to go as well. Nothing short of its full removal can be said to be a successful progression forward for our people.

I have seen Dr. Lowery in person several times. Even been to his church while he was serving as the regular pastor. Dr. Lowery is a good man. He has a good sense of humor. At this point in our people's process of development, however, we need strict accountability for the RESULTS that stem from the POLICIES that activists such as Joesph Lowery advocate for. He does more to protect the poor from the consequences of their own actions that lead them to where they now stand.

We can continue to celebrate the birthday's of these historic figures like Dr. Lowery but their time of relevance to the CURRENT challenges that Black America faces has long since passed.



Bowen Homes - Who Will Be Held Accountable For The Killing Fields?



AJC Article: 'If I can survive here, I can survive anywhere.' --- Bowen Homes six-year resident Mario Evans; Crime-ridden Bowen Homes soon will be torn down, but its residents' future concerns some city and community officials.

Now, though, "I'm scared to walk to my car at night," she said.
If crime hadn't worsened, Veronica Forbes said she doesn't think people would be clamoring to leave. After all, for better or worse, Bowen has been home for many residents for years.
"This is where a lot of people grew up," Forbes said. "This is where they're from."
Shirley Hightower, the president of Bowen's resident association, is fighting the changes.
She clings to a conspiracy theory that the AHA is behind the killings at Bowen. She says she doesn't care if people think she's crazy.
Hightower's biggest fear is that the rules for housing authority housing vouchers won't be as lenient as the ones for public housing.
"Now what they're doing is tricking people and saying, 'We're sending you off to this beautiful place,' " she said.


In my ongoing review of the local news I can't help but to notice the increasing reference to "being terrorized" coming from the mouths of Black people regarding the conditions in their own communities.

At the end of the day I assure you that all of the politicians who CLAIM to be working in the "best interests" of the members of the Bowen Homes community and thus STOPPING the forward progress of this relocation - will walk away free without having to own up to the hazardous conditions that they have allowed these citizens to remain in. No doubt the conspiracy theory against the Atlanta Housing Authority is more powerfully ingrained in the people's minds than are any notions that their current condition is a confluence of FAILED SOCIAL POLICY come to roost.

The Kenedy's Support Obama - More Proof Of My Own Analysis Of Obama




For me - a Black man, who's mission is to turn an investigative eye upon my own people in order to understand the foundations of the problems that we face as a people and to promote some comprehensive ideas about how to address them - the man named "Senator Ted Kennedy" stands as a key target of mine. For me as a "Black man on a mission" to drive for a more INDEPENDENT, SELF-SUFFICIENT and CULTURALLY GUIDED BLACK COMMUNITY - Ted Kennedy, his policies and his rationale is a direct threat to the attainment of such a status in Black America or for any Black population anywhere around the world.

Fundamental to Ted Kennedy's threat is his core belief that in TRANSFERRING BURDEN from the backs of the individual and transferring it to the STATE and/or to a CORPORATE ENTITY that he is in fact HELPING to make his subject's lives easier. As we make a LONG TERM evaluation of this man's ideology in the real world we find that NOTHING IS FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.

Mr. Kennedy and his ideological soul mates are inclined to see an individual who is living "pay check to pay check" and listen in on the grievances that they face as they struggle to make ends meet. They no doubt have to spend MORE TIME at laboring in order to earn a marginal amount more just to survive. The solutions that the Kennedy-types are inclined to support are rooted in INCOME REDISTRIBUTION. One thing is for sure - THE POOR GUY DOESN'T HAVE TO DO A THING MORE TO RECEIVE THE BENEFIT THAT THE KENNEDY-TYPES HOPE TO ORCHESTRATE. They are going to introduce POLICIES that focus upon the entities that operate within the lives of the working poor - the employers, the governments, the insurance companies, the banks, the retail establishments and also their "neighbors across the tracks" - the WEALTHY that have abundance of the resource that the working poor has not - MONEY.

While Mr. Kennedy and his Black Quasi-Socialist Progressive Fundamentalist Racism Chaser cohorts in these policies will claim VICTORY in having relieved the financial pressures from the backs of the working poor - they will miss the fact that there was no REENGINEERING of the daily processes as lead by the "working poor" to either increase the worth of their unit of labor or reduce the expenses within their budget. There was no talk about how an enterprising retail establishment vying for the business of the working poor might come into the community and market goods at a lower price and thus stretch out their dollar. There was no consideration of the household organization - where, for example, married couples that stay together and both work - tend to fare far better than does a single head of household who has to work and juggle childcare responsibilities. Nope - all of these points and more were glossed over in favor of a government based solution that mainly drew upon the entities that had resources being forced to transfer more benefit to the working poor and at the same time bear more risk.

Again I must reference the recent US Census projections about the shift in population out of the "Ted Kennedy Northern" states down to the "Less Regulated" States in the South. As long as we have an ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY the negative targets of Kennedy's attacks will ALWAYS migrate to less hostile environments. There will be a long term net loss for the working poor in these economically engineered areas and their needs will simply intensify as less entities are left around to absorb the redistributive force of the "Ted Kennedy-type" policies.

It is with this insight of how macro-economics works when plotted over time that I review Ted and Caroline Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama. I don't know Barack Obama beyond his speeches. I have taken several "Who's Your Candidate" battery of questions in the past year. Nearly every single one of them have Barack Obama clustered in with John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich. I know John Edwards to be a populist ambulance chaser. I know Dennis Kucinich to be an extreme left wing operative who is greatly irrelevant. I make an inference to Mr. Obama by the company that he keeps. Throw Ted Kennedy into the mix and the blow against Obama becomes mortal from my viewpoint.

Mr. Obama has little to offer the Black community that is left behind after the macroeconomic cycle of relocation takes place away from the policies that he and Ted Kennedy will likely impose on the front end for temporary benefit. Mr. Obama has shown that on the subject of illegal immigration he is unwilling to "attack" the group of individual Hispanics that broke our laws in favor of the Black laborer who is being summarily displaced as they file into this country. Mr. Obama's response in this instance will be to attack the ENTITY rather than the INDIVIDUAL. He surely would make a rhetoric speech pointing to the EMPLOYERS that are hiring these illegals and how sanction should be placed against them for "exploiting" these workers. In the wake of all of this banter - the interests of the Black laborer will take a back seat. There will be a "government program" proposed to help them rather than a serious look at how all of the policies have fused to create the conditions that the working poor now face.

Again I only know Barack Obama from his feel good speeches. They actually have a the reverse effect on me than they do on most. I am not looking to be "inspired" by a president. I consume audio from plenty of subject matter experts that are relevant to me. I want a president who can both LEAD and MANAGE. A man who has the propensity to demonize one side of the issue, calling their desire to protect their own financial interests "selfish and mean spirit" is not a leader but an ideologue. In this country we are quickly assuming the disposition of a "Democratic Socialist" nation where the majority can vote their way into another man's private property and wealth. For me - the beliefs that I have crafted for so many years trumps any goals of seeing a Black man in the White House. I would like to see a Black president - just not this one - who is so favored by Ted Kennedy - a man who is such a threat to my racial interests.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Diabbetes Costs USA More Than Iraq & Afghan War and Katrina Each Year



USA Today Article: Diabetes costs USA more than wars, disasters, study says


Uncontrolled diabetes wreaks havoc on the body, often leading to kidney failure, blindness and death. A new study shows that the nation's unchecked diabetes epidemic exacts a heavy financial toll as well: $174 billion a year.

That's about as much as the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and the global war on terrorism combined. It's more than the $150 billion in damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.

The incidence of diabetes has ballooned — there are 1 million new cases a year — as more Americans become overweight or obese, according to the study, released Wednesday by the American Diabetes Association. The cost of diabetes — both in direct medical care and lost productivity — has swelled 32% since 2002, the report shows.


This story will not get much press beyond this one USA Today article that I came across. The logic goes - Iraq and Afghanistan is money squandered and no American is benefiting from these vast expenditures. Money spent on diabetes treatment according to this same rationale, however, is money well spent on addressing the needs of American people on our own shores.

We simply can't walk away from the lifestyle choices that are closely related to the increasing influx of diabetes in more of our population. The new "budget hawks" are more able to place their rallying cry against foreign policy or defense spending far easier than they could drive the call for Americans to alter their lifestyles as the prerequisite for reduced spending on the resulting outcomes. Behaviors that increase one's changes of catching AIDS also suffer from this same avoidance as shown by the usual suspects.

America currently spends $1 trillion each year on the big 3 entitlement programs. In 10 years this amount is estimated to double to $2 trillion. This is currently approximately 46% of the federal budget. It will grow to about 62% of the budget in 10 years.

Who will lead the charge to make the link between the money that this is consuming and th need for lifestyle changes in Americans?

Obesity and Lack of Physical activities are key problems that need changing.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Democrats In The Black Community - Series Part 1




2 years ago during election season I drove though two local majority Black counties and noted the array of campaign signs that were plastered all over. Two things that caught my attention were, first - that seemingly every single one of these posters had some reference to "Vote for XYZ for Change In The Community". The second thing I noticed among the signs in the Black community - all of the posters were for DEMOCRATS.

This second point cannot be diminished in that other areas of the metro region that are more racially diversified or even lily White had more party diversity in their campaign signage. Indeed among the White liberal areas which surround the colleges or intown places indeed there were more Democratic posters but party diversity none the less. In the case of the Black community EITHER the Republicans don't even bother competing or the candidates who evaluate all of their competitive advantages for winning don't dare try their lot in the state's general election where they will go one on one with the sole Democratic selection. Instead they feel they have a better chance in being a part of the crowd of contenders in the Democratic primary. At least they will go unopposed in the state's general election. This is a sad circumstance indeed.

As with the 80% cities of Philadelphia, Baltimore and Detroit - such concentrated single party positioning removes the natural partisan "checks and balances" that keeps politicians looking over their backs. This is the case so much so in Philadelphia that even a liberal inclined activist who I heard on an interview longed for the days when there was party conflict to curtain the party cronyism and other corruption that was going on in the city.

I could not help but notice that in regards to this local majority Black county that indeed has known problems because the problems appear on the news so frequently - that those who were advocating for CHANGE were fellow Democrats who were criticizing the already Democrat dominated machine that was throughout the county. Years earlier this Black political machine had finally gotten control of the reigns of this county from the WHITE DEMOCRATS who had long dominated the "good ole boy" system.

The cheers of "We run things now" were quickly put to the side as intra-party squabbling kept the county in the local news. First the battles between the school board and the School Superintendent and then among the board members themselves. Next came the battle between the new county sheriff and the head of the county board who is a former police chief himself.

Admittedly some things have stabilized in Clayton County Georgia. Though they have had their share of store closings related to the great demographic changes that have taken place - other entities have built up the retain strips with big box stores as well as a flurry of strip malls that allow smaller owner/operators to set up shop.

Thus far there has not been a REVOLUTION as a result of this Black Democratic take over. It has been more the case that a "person who looks like us" is in power and is largely doing the same ole same as the guy before. There are some good leaders and there are some that need to be tossed out. Some have their egos too closely tied with their position of power and some place their public trust above themselves.

The first task of "gaining the positions" has been accomplished. Now we must see if their GOVERNANCE and their ability to solve community/cultural problems that show up as academic performance lag, crime rates and the level of skill embedded within the work force can be addressed. Some of these points are not political. I am simply observing if these political official will recognize this and appeal to the community resources to actually do their part in the matter.

Detroit Watch: Clearly The Hip Hop Mayor Needs To Focus On His Job More




Article: Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick shamed by text messages

"I think Detroiters have reached their tipping point," said Sam Riddle, a longtime political consultant. "This is going to change the political landscape in the city."

In some of those more than 14,000 messages, Kilpatrick, 37, and Beatty -- both were married at the time -- exchanged sexual banter, declared their love and arranged trysts in motels in Metro Detroit and on out-of-town business trips.

But under oath last summer in a whistleblowers suit filed against the city by two former cops, they both denied a romantic or intimate relationship. They also testified that they didn't plot to fire Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown, but the text messages include exchanges about dismissing him.


LET'S FORGET ABOUT THE SALACIOUS PORTION OF THE STORY and talk about the MONEY SPENT by the city defending this man's actions and the careers that were destroyed in the process:

Article: "I knew that my career with Detroit police was over," former Officer Walt Harris said, choking up. "And I told two of my friends what I knew, because I knew I was either going to be murdered ... or I had to get out of Detroit."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The 2nd Wealthiest Black County In America Lays To Rest Two Of Their Own

Article: Hundreds gather to mourn fallen officers

Today I attended the public memorial for the 2 murdered Dekalb County GA police officers - Ricky Bryant and Eric Barker.

My reason for going was to pay my respects to the 8 children in total that they left behind. To pay my respects to the 2 Black widows that are left behind. To pay my respects for the 2 Black resident fathers that were snatched out of their homes. To pay my respects to 2 men who's jobs were to keep a whole community of other Black people safe from the 'bad guys' who meant them all harm as they terrorized the one housing complex in question. To pay my respects for two more Black men killed by the violence and mayhem on our streets.

Yes I realize that these two men were police officers and US Military men before that. But I connected with them as a Black father who also has to do what I have to do to protect and provide for my family. In their cases they both were working side jobs as security officers for a problem plagued housing complex in the heart of Dekalb County. They both were wearing their standard issue police uniforms when they were savagely gunned down in cold blood by fools with automatic weapons. They never had a chance to defend themselves in this ambush. They were responding to a call from a resident about a suspicious character in the complex who was threatening others. In having to go into a situation where others are able to run from - they paid with their lives.

This blog entry, however, is about what I witnessed during this public memorial. The ceremony was held at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia GA, home of Bishop Eddie Long. This is a large, Black "mega church" and the facility was bought and paid for by Black people in the community. It was a cavernous and modern facility with all of the latest audio/visual equipment. This is what the community had built.

Outside of this building was an army of Dekalb police department cadets who were on traffic duty. By the time I parked my car and walked in to the service - they were all huddled in front, ready to walk into the service. This cadet class was nearly all Black as well. Seems fitting that this majority Black county is now bringing in a brigade of new recruits that look like the complexion of the county.

Upon taking my seat in the service - as I peered across the room I saw a solid pack of uniformed officers from all of the various departments in the metro area in attendance to pay their respects to one of their fallen brothers. Once again African-Americans where heavily represented among their ranks - especially among the core metro Atlanta departments.

Me and police officers have a "love/hate" relationship. I am usually proud of them and the job that they do. I don't like to see them in my rear view mirror, however. This is not because I have ever been a "Driving While Black" victim as I have been treated with respect in every engagement that I have had with them. This is because I was a "Driving while speeding" victim of their enforcement. I don't take too kindly to people who can pull me over and draw money out of my wallet in fines. On this day there were too many of them present for the comfort of anyone with a police-phobia.

As the program started there was a steady stream of African-American ministers, police chaplains and gospel singers paying tribute to these fallen officers. The service was indeed imprinted with the mark of a Black baptist church service - through song and through preaching style. This was the Black community putting on a tribute show on behalf of the two fallen Black officers for all the others to see.

The bottom line of all of this that I saw is to make note of the power and pervasiveness of the "Black Community" in all elements of the community today. Just as the old style Sesame Street snippet talked about "Who Are The People In Your Neighborhood" as they went through the firemen, policemen, mailman, mayor, etc - in this present time in this particular community - the African American is represented comprehensively in this list.

I direct this fact at those of my people who want to pretend it is still 1908 instead of 2008 in America. Oh yes some of these same people show hopeful pride that indeed a Black man may be elected president or might come inches close to doing so. This is great on the front end to have such aspirations. My challenge to them is with regard to the BACKEND. With all of this attainment of power, representation and control indeed must come RESPONSIBILITY. Who at the end of the day is responsible for the conditions upon the streets of Dekalb county but the residents and the elected representatives that they promote to govern their interests?

It was telling that hours later on my ride home from work there was a radio interview with a gentleman who will announce his candidacy for Dekalb County CEO on tomorrow. In his travels around the county as he listened to the people he hopes to represent it was CRIME that was the number one issue on the minds of the people with - Educational Quality, Code Enforcement and Taxes following closely behind. I am indeed proud that "my people" are running several local governments in the metro Atlanta area. For me as a conscious Black person, however, I don't allow the sight of Black folks in office deter me from my ultimate viewpoint that the goal of the community is to have certain OBJECTIVES to be reached. It is these "Blacks in office" that serve as subordinate function to the goal to have these objectives attained. Too many of us get it wrong in this area. Functionally they seek to expand the Black political power base with the satisfaction that "We run things now!!". This perspective says nothing about the crime on your streets, the quality of you education and the value you get from taxes paid. With this as a goal all you can be sure of is that you'll likely have 'people who look like you' coming to you and explaining how the NEXT GUY HIGHER UP is to blame for 'shortchanging US' and you being more inclined to believe him than to HOLD HIM ACCOUNTABLE.

This is not a game of "Permanent Friends". Dekalb County along with Clayton, the City of Atlanta and Fulton have major problems that need to be addressed. Yes the other counties around Gwinnett, Cobb, Douglas and Henry have their own set of challenges to deal with as crime spreads throughout the metro area but it is these 4 political entities that are most challenged in having to deal with balancing their interest as they shape the environments of the many Black majority communities that are contained within them.

At the end of the day - REPRESENTATION from 'people who look like us' simply can't be used as an excuse any longer. It is time for the Black Community to manage the people who we promote to represent us and our interests so that effective results can be had. This will hopefully lead to less young Black men being lead to an early grave in our midst.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Letter About The Hard Leftist Publisher Of "The Black Agenda Report"

It was great to hear your debate with Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report. I have been following the works of Mr. Ford since the days of work on "Black Commentator.com". Though I have traded many e-mail barbs with he and his partner in crime Mr. Gamble over the years and thus disagree with them both - I have never called them "stupid" because they do indeed represent their perspective well.

As I listened to your perspective on America and his rebuttal I thought of the proper way to put Mr. Ford on the spot with respect to his claim that that Blacks are still "less than" that of Whites in America. You see Mr. Ford in both of his web projects over the years has put forth a particular ideology. He is strongly anti-corporate in his prognostications and seeks to "Recapitalize The Cities" using government programs. The proper way to place Mr. Ford on the defensive is to have him to explain how his economic polices actually CREATE the capital that "capitalism" has proven so effective at.

Thus - if White people are more arrayed in CAPITALISTIC exploits throughout the economy and thus the super-rich among them skew the income average for White folks as compared to Blacks........and Mr. Ford is an anti-Capitalist.......how does he use the imbalance in average income between Black and White as his index of fairness and equality among races in America? It seems to me that he should first prove that his economic ideology can in fact provide for the whole of America as he desires - Universal Health Care, Rebuilding Of Our Cities and though he is against it THE DEFENSE OF OUR NATION - as we may not always have foreign interests who are as peace loving as he and Dr. King is.

In fact - Mr Ford has even more reconciliation to do with regards to his plan to "rebuild the cities". The fact is that it was the force of CAPITALISM and INDUSTRIALIZATION that built up Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, Camden, Newark, Cincinnati, Buffalo and yes even his vaulted Gary Indiana where he hearkens back to the gathering among Black labor in this city that was named after and founded by an executive from US Steel. The first time around CAPITALISTIC INDUSTRY built up these cities. The companies that were hiring people attracted Blacks from the South and Whites from all over, including immigrants to come to town and heat the hearth furnaces of these industrial cities. Now that this labor is gone, largely due to the LABOR POLICIES that drove these industries to lower cost of production sites....Mr. Ford seeks to have THE GOVERNMENT to build up what CAPITALISTIC INDUSTRY did the first time.

I wonder if Mr. Ford ever thought about the situation these cities would be in if in 1870 people like him asked THE GOVERNMENT to build up the top 40 cities in America rather than the industrialists and their capitalistic backers to do as they did? Would he even have an America to dream about the "good ole days" with?

Mr Ford:

At the end of the day, Mr. Ford - it is YOUR POLICIES that are out of line. You will be on the continuous chase for settlement largely because you are not settled with reality.

Today there presides a Black Political Machine over much of where Black America lives. Our schools, our mayors offices and our city councils have the Black representation that Bayard Ruskin once dreamed about. Though I know you will probably not claim this political machine as your own - it is damned sure closer to your ideological reference point than the White, Conservative "Good Ole Boy" network that you protested against back in the day. We now see Detroit, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Newark and Camden dominated by this political machine. At this point in time the Democratic Party should be able to come to these cities and say "Look Black people! Look at what we have accomplished together. You gave us your trust and your vote and we together built up these great cities that you and your children grow up in and flourish. Thank you for sticking by us. We plan to do even more in the future." Instead these same cities.....these "Capital Flight Cities" are the graveyards of Blacks hopes and dreams and prosperity. All the while you have been fighting against the CORPORATIONS that are now gone - the political forces over Black America were growing stronger in these same places. We as Blacks now have POLITICAL CONTROL but little ECONOMIC FOOTING to speak of. Though you no doubt will try to deny it - you are indeed part of this Left Leaning political machine that now has control but knows not what to do to effectively - EMPLOY, EDUCATE, PROTECT and CARE FOR Blacks in our health care needs.

You and other Black Quasi-Socialist Progressive Fundamentalist Racism Chasers have a whole lot to be held accountable for. You are better on the "activist offensive" than you are on the "accountability defensive" as represented by the political positions that you all have.

Obama, Clinton, Rush Limbaugh, Wal-Mart and Ronald Reagan






How might all of these people and entities be related?
Ronald Reagan and Wal-Mart were subjects on the minds of the leading Democratic candidates for president this week.

A few days ago candidate Barack Obama made reference to Ronald Reagan as a "transformative figure" in American politics. He spoke of Reagan as a man who came at a particular time of need in this country. This was Obama last week or so. Of course the word "Ronald Reagan" is like the word "anti-Christ" among a significant portion of the base of support that Barack Obama has. If figured that there is no way in hell that the issue of "Ronald Reagan" would be inserted into the campaign and then allowed to depart so easily.

As I tuned into the "Rush Limbaugh Show" last week I heard Rush talk about Obama's reference and point to an article that provided analysis to Obama's use of Reagan's "imagery" but not his "substance".

As a Black man it is my editorial obligation that when ever I post a reference to either Fox News Channel or to Rush Limbaugh that is not a savage attack of them I must retain my "street cred" by indicating that I also watch left wing Link TV and "Democracy Now" on the radio. Now back to the subject at hand.

Rush Limbaugh pointed to the following blog entry in the Contentions blog

But Obama’s words also reflect on him. So far his campaign is largely about capturing a mood rather than about advocating a set of ideas–and at the end of the day, changing the trajectory of America depends on ideas and policies, not sentiment. Reagan was an optimistic person–but that is not his lasting achievement. And if Reagan’s policies had failed rather than succeeded, his optimism would have looked badly misplaced and would now be used against him. Barack Obama, who so far has shown himself to be an utterly orthodox liberal (as has Hillary Clinton), now has to take the next step and show that he is bold and creative in the realm of ideas and policies, which was a hallmark of Reagan. So far Obama hasn’t–and that has been the glaring weakness in his otherwise impressive campaign.


So in summary - they acknowledged Obama's analysis that Reagan was a transformative figure but they made note that Obama did not grab the essence of Reagan's ideas. In fact Limbaugh argued that Obama despised Reagan's substance while at the same time appreciating his style.

It took only a few days and another debate for Mr. Limbaugh to be proven right. There is simply no way that Mr. Obama regard for Reagan to reside unchallenged. As the blows between he and Ms. Clinton were exchanged Mr. Obama did indeed strip any pretense of regard for Reagan's policies. In fact he made the case that it was Reagan who motivated workers to vote against their own best interests in supporting Reagan's presidency. Mr. Obama claimed to have been working in the streets at the time to overcome the negative impact of the policies that Reagan had interjected in the poor communities of Chicago and elsewhere in America - according to the view of Mr. Obama. More on this is a second.

In the next volley between Obama and Clinton - Mr. Obama fires back - attacking Hillary Clinton for her position on the board of the Wal-Mart corporation. Just as my sidebar on "Fox News" and "Rush Limbaugh" above - it is well understood in left wing circles that one can tar and feather one's opponent by linking him or her to the much demonized "Wal-Mart".

About 2 weeks ago in the Avondale Estates section of Atlanta there were about 10,000 people lined up to acquire about 400 jobs that the new Wal-Mart was proposing for the area. You see in this the 2nd wealthiest Black county in America - Dekalb County Georgia - the Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Avondale Estates had replaced the long closed and abandoned Avondale Mall. A few miles again just the same - a new Wal-Mart on Grehsham Road replaced a long abandoned flea market that was an eyesore for the community. Despite the attacks upon its character - nearly all Wal-Marts in the metro area have a majority Black set of both employees and shoppers.

One gets tired of those who THEORIZE about the low wages that the firm pays and the claim that every Wal-Mart shuts down several "mom and pop" shops in the area and thus they are a net negative for the community. It seems that Wal-Mart is like the liquor store or the strip joint in the community - it is good to condemn such an entity on Sunday in church but the same person sneaks to the venue themselves at night so no one can see that they too consume from the tree of ill gotten goods and worker exploitation. From my perspective the "vote against one's best interest" is the choice to go with the politician that makes heavy use of rhetoric while failing to employ the great amount of resources in the same community that remain idle despite their pronouncements. Love them or hate them - Wal-Mart provides value to many people who shop there. In my next bit of research I plan to find more information about the occurrence of protests in Harlem years ago as the Black females revolted against the HIGH PRICES that they were charged by grocery stores in their communities. Its funny how we can advance several years in the future and have a business that offers lower prices and yet people have a negative sentiment because these low prices come as a consequence of $10 per hour wages rather than a union wage of $25 per hour that would break the business model and turn these stores back into the vacant buildings that they once were.

Once again the concept of "voting against one's best interest" - a word that is more frequently cast upon the working class White male who seemingly turns against his economic interests and votes for the "party of the rich" - the Republicans. Upon careful investigation and as we shift from the spot point in time where the block buster union contract or government regulation that provides the worker a pay raise - over to the decades long view of how the market responds in aggregate, where capital investments have run their course and the business entity (some say "The Empire") STRIKES BACK - it is clear to me at least that the concept of "VOTING AGAINST YOUR BEST INTERESTS" is a word that is best applied to the Quasi-Socialists and their proclivity at government engineering. From the current sub-prime mortgage crisis that had its start in a desire to provide financing and a home to those who formerly didn't qualify; to the predictions that the Rust Belt States that are in decline will yield congressional representation to the "Right To Work" states of the South.

Those who speak the most rhetoric believe that they can operate with "the will of the people" but they have little concept of economic reality and how to balance their rhetoric with marketplace reality and the people's needs for JOBS.

The previous migration of Black folks from the South to the North was motivated by the sting of racism in South coupled with the availability of plentiful jobs in the North - jobs that were created by entities that would likely be attacked by Mr. Obama or Mr. Edwards. Today's migration of Blacks and other folks from the North back down South is due to the economic climate that has been created both in the North and in the South due to government policy.

The facts are all too clear on who actually is working against the best interests of the poor and middle class in America with their policies. It just takes a bit of time and a whole lot of "counter-spin" to bear this out.

John Lewis Attacked In Phone Message



AJC Article about John Lewis Automated Message

I am happy that someone from the community saw fit to send out a message that is critical of US Representative John Lewis who has been in office for 22 years. I am unhappy that they waited to be critical of this man due to his support for Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Instead they should have sent out this message long ago due to the various issues within his district that have gone unchallenged for a long period of time. Mr. Lewis has not had to run against a competitor - Democrat or Republican for a long time. One gets off track when there is no competition forcing you to consider your effectiveness. In fact when money was being doled out to districts last year - those Democrats who were in tight district races against Republican competition received an undue share of the money because the Democrats sought to retain their seats. Mr. Lewis' unchallenged seat is harmful to the 5th district in this and other ways.

Why wasn't there an automated message sent out against Mr. Lewis last year when he proposed millions of dollars for "Cold Case Civil Rights Murders" around the country, murders that are 40 and 50 years old? His partner in crime US Senator Christopher Dodd added that no killer in America should sleep comfortably knowing that he has gotten away with his deed. This viewpoint should be considered in the context of the CURRENT events in the Vine City portion of John Lewis' district. In this area of Atlanta there is approximately a 33% closure rate for homicides TODAY! This area was labeled "the most violent zipcode in Atlanta" by a local investigative reporting team researching crime reports.

Ultimately when there is such a disconnect between the sensibilities of the people on the street as they fear that the killer's gun will be trained on them next and the aloof, symbolism lead priorities as expressed by their elected leadership - it is time to allow that leadership to be released - go become the Civil Rights historian that you will to be Mr. Lewis. Allow LEADERSHIP that is more reflective of the community TODAY to take your place.

Didn't Barack Obama just say something about "voting against your own best interests"? Why is this only applied to poor people who voted for Ronald Reagan and not more clearly the case here?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Martin Luther King Jr - On Black on Black Crime




Violence is wrong whether it's violence of Negroes against White people or violence of White people against Negroes or violence of Negroes against other Negroes all violence is wrong because it is immoral and impractical. - Martin Luther King Jr.


Truer words have never been said to give us guidance today. Unlike so many other words of Martin Luther King Jr that will be cherry picked today - these will be likely ignored or emphasis placed on the middle portion of the passage but not the last pronouncement.

As we celebrate the birth of Martin Luther King Jr across America today there will be many speeches given from many pulpits. This is a special day. A day where those at the podium are able to put images and key messages into the minds of the people who are listening attentively.

These speakers have an open canvas upon which they can paint their message. On this day in particular the image and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr is taken and ran with by various operatives who stand in these same pulpits. There will be many politicians seeking to retain or obtain office that will use King's image for their own purposes. George Bush and his wars will not fare too well on MLK day. Indeed the Democratic Presidential Candidates will likely enjoy free campaign time this day among the huddled masses.

What of the Black mother who resides at home in the inner city, fearing to allow her children to play outside in the melting snow because the snowball thrown in jest might be a bullet returned in anger?

In my recent viewings of the local news, over the past few months I have heard the words "we are terrorized in our own communities" said on television from more Black people than I have heard broadcast from the mouths of Iraqi people. How many of our eloquent speakers today will take up the cause of the Black person who is living in the fear of violence in their own community?

Martin Luther King Jr was a man of his times. He saw a force that was attacking, suppressing and killing Black people and he refused to be silent let this for be perpetuated through to yet another generation of Black people in the wake of his fear of speaking out. MLK Jr and others said "Enough". They used their knowledge of being on the right side of the issue - the side of justice - and walked into the den of fire that those who sought to maintain the status quo would burn them in. It took real courage knowing that their lives were under threat.

Who in 2008 is going to go up against the factions of death within the Black community that has the murder counts in various cities breaking the century mark by the spring time weather of April comes upon us?

Can you tell me what other greater negative force is cast upon the Black community today than internal violence and death as enacted from another Black man? When do we walk out of the church in the middle of the speech that refused to talk about this let along do something about it? No doubt many of us would walk out upon hearing the preacher speaking in tongues. Why is it that the foolishness that will be likely heard today any less worthy of early dismissal?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Ed Gordon - Water Toter For The Black Establishment




I am a weekly viewer of "Our World With Black Enterprise". I was a daily listener of "Ed Gordon News & Notes" on NPR. I used to watch his work on BET years ago.

Ed Gordon is a talented media personality. He obtains access to the most illuminating Black figures that are present today in politics, in entertainment, in business.

As I have said many times in the past - the "Black Press" was originally created in America because the mainstream press would not give a voice to Black figures nor would they capture the Black perspective on major issues. Indeed Ed Gordon does a good job in carrying forth the torch of the "Black Press".

Unfortunately Black America 2008 has changed substantially since that dictated the Black news products of 1948. Today we have a significant number of Black elected officials. They preside over a significant number of our municipal, and state entities. They are in Washington DC representing their districts interests. In one specific case they represent their entire state in the US Senate.

Where as Mr. Gordon will insure that he remains in the good graces of all of the said operatives above - at some point in time we need a Black press that will CHALLENGE these same operatives as they currently HAVE THE POWER to produce certain results for our Black communities and thus should be prompted to do so by a press who will hold them accountable.

It is my opinion that Mr. Gordon and other entities in the Black press/ Black media see their job as assisting these battered Black politicians get their word out. He allows them to express their perspective and shape the argument per their version. We need a Black press who will bring the REALITY OF BLACK AMERICA TO THE INTERVIEW TABLE and redirect the interviewee to focus on this as the reference version for the interview.

I can imagine if Mr. Gordon were to interview Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. They both are very stylized individuals. The interview would be light with a whole lot of laughs. They no doubt will talk about "back in the day". I would imagine, however, that if the question about the depressed economic situation for Detroit and for Michigan and the negative impact on the Black citizens of Detroit I assure you that Mr. Gordon would again allow the Mayor to shape the conversation on his terms. Their will be no questions about the Mayor's POLICIES and by extension the policies of the political machine that the Mayor is a part of. As I did my daily walk today I listened to a news report about the unions and their influence in the 2008 political campaign. All 3 major Democratic presidential candidates promoted their "pro-Union" positions and made the case that they would be the "Union President". Indeed the political fabric that these national Democrats are a part of is the same that Mayor Kilpatrick and many other elected official in the Rust Belt are a part of. Mr. Gordon would never make the connection within the interview and challenge the interviewee for an answer.

Instead in this hypothetical interview Mayor Kilpatrick will layout the case that he is an unassuming victim of Globalization. He will tell about how the hard times of the Big 3 in Detroit has translated into hard times for his city. He will be allowed to talk about the hotels that have been built in downtown Detroit as proof of the resurgence of the city. He will be allowed to tell about how the Bush Administration has shortchanged the cities that are in distress, instead spending money in Iraq.

At the end of the interview Mr. Kilpatrick will thank Ed Gordon to high heaven because he would never have been given a platform to craft his version of the situation in his city while being interviewed in many other venues.

From this hypothetical interview what has been gained by the Black community? Certainly this leader was not actually challenged to justify the impact of his POLICIES. He was only allowed to tell his version of why it all happened. From this interview the "party line" and the "ideological line" has been reinforced. The Black viewers consuming this version will make note of the importance of getting the "right people" in Washington DC so that the Federal government can give money to the cities - just like Jimmy Carter did back in the day.

This is why I distinguish between the "Best Interests Of Black People" as measured on the streets versus "The Best Interests Of The Black Political Establishment". This is a confidence game. As long as Black America buys into the version of the story that those who they are inclined to vote for - they will remain in power. It has been proven already that their growth in power is not synonymous with good times in Black America - beyond the election night celebration of their victory that is.

Currently there is a void in Black journalism. There is a clear need for Black professionals who are committed to the COMMON GOALS OF BLACK AMERICA (Education, Economics, Public Safety, Healthy Lives). This new style journalist is not interested in METHODOLOGY and loyalties to the players as much as he is interested in commitment to THE COMMON GOALS!! The bottom line, if you will. What is the downside of this shift? I can't think of any. We indeed might have to purge some dead weight. The journalist might never be granted an interview again. At the same time the interests of Black America remains intact. Our public officials are made more aware of their mission on behalf of the people rather than the MACHINE.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Clayton County Schools - We Told You That Things Were Going To Change Once WE Took Over - I Give Them Credit For Warning Us In Advance




There he goes again - it will be said. Picking on Black folks. Showing his "self hatred" as he runs to put up yet another news story about a LOCAL Black controlled political entity.

You could not be more wrong. I am only showing the hollowness that is contained in the typical cajoling push that is placed upon Black folks to support a candidate BECAUSE he is Black and thus he is going to "represent our BEST interests once in office". I am not sure about you but the way I see it the BEST interests for Black people with regards to education is that our children actually ATTAIN certain performance targets. The bulk of this has to do with matters when two types of doors close - one when their parents close the door at home and have their kids focus on the educational task at home. The second is when the school teacher closes the door in her classroom and performs instruction for the same kids. The sales job about how things are going to be great once WE run things is done to fit someone else's idea of their self importance than it has to do with the children.

By the way I make reference to "things are going to be different now that WE run things" because this appeared on a campaign sign several years ago just after the population of Clayton County turned majority Black. The task of the Black Democratic Political Machine was to take as many seats from the WHITE DEMOCRATIC Political Machine that had been running the county with the fabled "Good Ole Boy Network" which was the subtext of many protests over the years that I have lived in the metro Atlanta area.

So now we have reached the point where the current Black Democratic Political Machine has settled in with about 3 years of control over most of the county's political functions as well as those of many of the cities within the county.

Underlying all of my statements is the personal HOPE that my people are doing this not for the sake of increasing their political POWER for the sake of POWER for Black people and for their Democratic Party but instead for the sake of translating all of this to the measurable benefit of the people who they CLAIM to be working "in the best interests of". I have learned a long time ago that there is a wide cavern between the WORDS "I am working in your best interests and FIGHTING on your behalf" and the measurable proof on the streets that this is the case. Often times people mistake POPULARITY of a given set of policies with the EFFECTIVENESS as measured on the ground of said policies. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Will all that said as a background we get to the latest chapter of the on going saga of the Clayton County Public Schools. One would think that when an entity just escaped by a hair from losing their accreditation, knowing that they are being watched from the outside that the LEADERS of this said entity would redouble their efforts to focus on the bottom line and keep the foolishness at a minimum for everyone's sake. If you believe this to be reasonable - you would be wrong about the Clayton County Public Schools. It is clear to me as an outsider that the powers that be are more caught up in the inner engagements and conflicts that they have no clue what the outside world (this would be the parents, the students, the legislators and the accreditation board) is expecting of them.

Article: Investigators: Entire Clayton school system riddled with problems

Maybe it is just easier to form a protest posse and go down in front of the Atlanta Journal Constitution and claim bias in their reporting so that everything will be covered up?

Don't the students of the school system deserve better than this?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Another Detroit Fix

Audio Report - Results Of the Michigan Primary

I know it seems that I am on a run about my favorite distressed city - Detroit.
I have been running through the audio reports on the two NPR programs "News & Notes" and "Tell Me More".

This particular audio report is chock full of interesting comments and scenarios that are too tempting to pass up.

First was the comment about Detroit being a "segregated city". Upon hearing this I couldn't help but ask if people would view Salt Lake City UT or Boise ID as "segregated cities" as well BUT make note of the vast differences in economic fortunes that both of these cities has in comparison with Detroit. Clearly the state of being "racially segregated" alone does not produce poverty or economic abundance. There must be some other underlying truths that produce these ends.

In addition the Black Republican guest hit upon some key difficult truths that need to be accepted by the Black community. He talked about how the homogeneous partisan slant of the city of Detroit does not serve it well in the state legislature which has more of a partisan spread.

The fundamental question needs to be asked of the Black community - are we in the game to be the Best Democrats We Can Be? Are we in the game to be Ideological Fundamentalists and Purists - remaining true to what is POPULAR despite the little that we have to show for it? OR are we in it to bring the maximum amount of resources and benefit home to our community thus we adapt to what is needed to do so - or we flip the script and not even operate in the framework of the system that is assumed to be the defacto channel for operations?

I have little doubt that in facing the situation that is the case between the city of Detroit and the state legislature the people with power over the political machine in Detroit will choose to run to the Federal government and charge RACISM BASED DISCRIMINATION IN THE ALLOCATION OF RESOURCES. Thus either by policy or by court mandate the state government will be forced to allocate its funds via mandate and the entire machine that dominates Detroit without any sort of accountability for its outcome will remain. Yet another step toward total nationalization of all government functions will have been achieved.

Is it possible that it was not RACISM as the primary operator but partisan political reality that was being shown in the relationship between the city and the legislature? Certainly this point is argued each time we have a redraw of the voting boundaries. Any move against "Blacks as Loyal Democrats" rather than "Blacks - the dastardly Blacks" is seen as racist. The fact is that if Blacks were loyal Republicans, the opposition party would seek to do the very same thing as a means of gaining advantage.

I continue to scratch my head as I attempt to understand exactly what we as a people are receiving from this arraignment? I could easily be shut up IF:

* Our school were in top notch shape having been administrated by people we favor
* Our streets safe for community bonding having been administrated by a favorable mayoral administration
* Our business districts with plentiful help wanted signs detailing the master work in zoning that the city council that we put in place has done

There are only a few examples of this to speak of yet the machine that is presiding over all of this seem more entrenched than ever.

Maybe its just me? What do I know anyway? I never marched with King.

City of Baltimore Sues Wells Fargo Bank Over SubPrime Loans


Audio Report: The City of Baltimore Sues Wells Fargo Bank

Please listen to this audio report above.
Listen to the line of thinking that the participants have with respect to responsibility.
Listen to them with respect to assuming the burden of financial risk.
Listen to them on their views about the obligation to read a contract that is placed before a party prior to engagement in that contract agreement.


These are the people who on the front end protest about "red lining" and the "flight of capital" from our cities". They are the ones who demanded that banks lend money to people who otherwise did not qualify.

Now that the banks found a loan product to address people with a certain credit standing these are the same people who are complaining again.

First we must set the stage. 15 years ago there was a national coordinated effort to bring loan products to those who otherwise did not qualify. The present CEO of Countrywide Bank made the case that the credit report should be demphasized and that that minimum down payments were irrelevant. (Harvard University Joint Center For Housing Studies - press release )

It is clear to me, despite the claims otherwise, that this crisis is rooted in GOVERNMENT POLICY and everything else stemmed from that drive - the inappropriate behavior from the banks, the mortgage brokers and even the fudging of numbers by the borrower himself. All of this was done under the auspices of providing more loans to more people who otherwise did not qualify under previous rules.

The underlying concept is the issue of RISK. Who is going to bear the burden of the risk associated with these loans? The activists that have been assembled in this interview seek to have the banks to assume all of the risk. The benefit of the house goes to their constituents that they represent. Where as in the past when the banks denied their constituents loans due to their risk mitigation policies - this was seen as discriminatory. Normally the government steps into this situation and provides government backing for loans (ie: student loans) as a means of achieving the policy objectives. This is the case with the FHA loans that we have today. These subprime loans, however, are outside of this FHA process for a variety of reasons.

There is no doubt that the mortgage brokers was the hand that knocked over the stack of cards. Over the past few years I have noticed several associates having printed business cards and thus entered the mortgage brokering business. Their job is to find clients for new loan origination or for refinancing. They got paid from each new deal that they brought to the table. As the audio interview stated - these people went through their list of friends and known associates seeking to write a new loan. It was their more intimate relationship than what could be achieved from a piece of junk mail that allowed some of the loans that never should have been accepted to be so. There is no doubt that some brokers assisted the borrowers in fudging the numbers so that they qualified when they should not have. At the end of the day the broker only got paid when the loan got approved so there was some interest involved in misrepresenting the numbers.

The activists would argue that it was the bank or underwriter who accepted this paper that should have done more diligent verification of the information before accepting the loan. No doubt this is true but this does not justify their unwillingness to critics the brokers and the borrowers for the hand that they have played.

The activists argue that the underwriter of the original loans knew that they would not be burned because their were simply packaging up multiple loans that they had originated and sold them to investment banks such as Merill Lynch and Citibank. Thus when all of the real numbers representing the borrowers financial life came to light and thus the loans blew up - the man holding the hot potato is left with the shrapnel in has face.

Indeed this was a SYSTEMATIC problem and tighter controls need to be placed on the process and the industry. My point is that these activists should not be so hesitant to blame the two entities that are on the extreme ends of this mess - the GOVERNMENT officials with their expressed desire for increased home ownership rates and the engagement between the borrower and the broker to misrepresent the borrowers real financial condition in order to get the loan. Absent these two forces as well we would not be in this mess.

The activists should call a spade a spade rather than just going after their standard adversaries with their condemnation.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"Level Playing Field" vs "Trickle Down Economics"

I tell you - I love the various forms of media that are available now. This allows different people to express their viewpoints for the rest of the world to understand how they think.

Such was the case on the Shelley Wynters show on WAOK this afternoon. A proud "Black Democrat" called in and told of his unwillingness to be tricked by a "Black Conservative" such as the talk show host, attempting to spread division among the ranks of Black Democratic voters with regards to the presidential election. All of the other stuff he said was irrelevant. The point that I want to focus on is his comment with regard to his preference for the Democratic party. He stated that he favors "a level playing field" over "trickle down economics" as the reason why he is and will continue to be a Democrat.

These two particular talking points get constant replay within our community. I would like to dissect both of them and put them into the context of REALITY as we know it today.

The much sought after "Level Playing Field". Ahhh isn't life nice! The defenders of our interests are like little "Bobcats", smoothing out each bumps in the playing field. There is no rut that has been carved in the Earth by years of erosion from the rain that is going to escape them! This statement is akin to my "racism chasing" element of my label "Black Quasi-Socialist Progressive-Fundamentalist Racism Chaser". They are always in "ground prep" mode but don't know how to play the game.

Let's take a personal tour - go to www.google.com/maps and type in "57th and haverford, philadelphia, pa" (Google Earth actually works better). As you zoom out by just a few clicks you should note that THIS is West Philly. "We" are all by ourselves in all of the streets that you see around you. My challenge to this caller is - How do you talk about a Level Playing Field when the ADVERSARY HAS LEFT THE FIELD and you are standing there ALL BY YOU SELF - with YOUR PEOPLE waiting for you to do something so that they can get into the game?

The concept of "Level Playing Field" speaks to racism, the deck stacked against you before you even try, unfairness. Again - what happens when you are in an area ALL BY YOURSELF and thus you run the field? The concept of fighting for a "level playing field" seems rather empty. So hollow you can hear your echo.


Now "Trickle Down Economics". This is an interesting one. It goes back to the Reagan years - hero for the Conservatives, the anti-Christ for the Progressive. As the theory goes - take care of the wealthy and the corporations and via their financial transactions the benefit will flow down to the little people. Now keep in mind that "taking care" of the wealthy means not TAXING them as much as the progressives believe that they should be taxed.

In the weird world of "private property" and "fair share" the Progressive sees a policy in which a private citizen is "allowed" to keep more of the hard earned money that he made as a "BENEFIT" to him!!! In their parlance from the government perspective it is said "I could have taken 60% of your money away but instead I am only going to take 35%. Don't you love me for it? Well why don't you act more gratified toward me?"

The bottom line of the matter is that more foundational to the debate over "Trick Down economics" is the question of private property and the role of the government to tax/confiscate private property that is in the form of income in order to fund the government's agenda. We all realize that the government needs money to provide for its basic services. The ideological split comes when we consider the expanded role of government in the areas of social welfare, promotion of public health (or more accurately - the abstraction of the consequences of people's behavior from the outcomes they are forced to recognize) and general commercial regulation - just to name a few.

I accept that "the rich" are going to not only pay more absolute dollars in the world of a flat percentage of taxes because they make more but I can also agree with a "progressive" tax where their percentage is higher than the poor so that they are paying both a higher absolute amount in dollars and a higher percentage of their income. The problem comes with respect to the level of punitive assumptions that one side seems to enter the debate with. It is almost as if the rich STOLE ALL OF THEIR FORTUNES and thus the role of the government is to "correct the imbalance". To this I say If you believe that the rich stole their money and thus your punitive disposition to them is justified then the LEGAL SYSTEM is the more proper channel for you to achieve your vengeance against them rather than the tax code! I will join you in filing your lawsuit whenever you find evidence of gross malfeasance that has resulted in their profit. Thus the great class wars are rooted in these assumptions.


One common theme of this blog, however, is to focus upon the results of each respective economic ideology when "they are left all alone" and are forced to produce a given standard of living for their constituents. The "level playing field" versus the "trickle down theory". Which of the two endures this test more sufficiently? In my recent post about the current fortunes of the city of Detroit - it seems that they indeed have a "level playing field". In fact so many real world bulldozers have come in and torn down old factories and abandoned houses that they are just WAITING for this brilliant economic concept to take hold and actually produce something of value. In last summer's Harper's Magazine they attempted to save face with the situation in Detroit - point to how so many of the vacant lots have been turned into urban gardens where organic fruit and vegetables are now produced. Great!!! As long as the labor unions don't come in and attempt to organize the workers and force $30 per hour wage rates out of them - they just might have the ability to sell tomatoes at market prices rather than at $15.99 per pound as they rot on the shelves.

What about "trickle down" in Detroit? It seems that the bulk of their problems started when the "tricklers" packed up their manufacturing operations and moved outside of the city/state/regional limits to other areas. I will say it again - I have NEVER seen a manufacturer built a new plant having been motivated by the sight of a gleaming new UNION HALL right near by. I have indeed seen many union halls ring the sight of a new manufacturing plant. In fact it is interesting to drive through an urban community today and note the labels that remain upon the buildings long after the core manufacturing operations have shut down. I am thinking of a particular union hall right now on 14th street in Atlanta that was blocks away from the former Atlantic Steel site that is now closed, having been turned into "Atlantic Station" the new urban retain and residential hot spot in Atlanta.

It is quite possible that I am biased. But it seems to me that in the battle between the two - Trickle Down wins over concept of a Crafting a Level Playing field.

I respect the work of the activists. They are needed as a means of countering the concentration of power. There is no doubt that certain powerful trusts have a tendency to get together and run over the interests of the public. At the same time there are periods in the economic cycle in which the "tricklers" must be allowed to regenerate themselves against the changed backdrop that they face in competition. We are going through one of these situations in the macro-international level right now. In this case it is reasonable and practical to allow the big picture framework to be settled upon THEN allow the labor activists to come in and fine tune and customize the outcomes for the best interests of the workers. If they operate too early however - they turn potential workers into the permanently unemployed as their region loses out. (I will accept the claim that might be made against me that I am accelerating "the race to the bottom" just as long as YOU accept the claim against you that you are an "unemployment maker" where you have a theoretical $30 labor rate with the problem of not having a firm to allow you to actually EXPRESS this self valuation that you have. Which flaw is more destructive? Look at Detroit and other cities for your answer.)

Detroit - Not A Single Ounce Of Accountability

The Ruins Of Detroit


News & Notes Interview with Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick


Sometimes when I watch events transpire and I listen to people who are able to view the same events that I have just witnessed and come up with a totally different viewpoint I realize that this world operates in a very strange way. It is thus not what you can PROVE to be the source of the harm to the masses, what matters more is how you can CONDITION and SHAPE people's viewpoint into believing that what you say is true.

So it is with the saga of Detroit. I am not mad at Mayor Kilpatrick. If he is not the #1 salesman of his city - who else is going to do it? If he can indeed hoist the blame for his city's deflation onto someone else and then point to the small glimmers that reside on the trash pile then he surely is the better man.

I just don't understand some things folks!!!!

How is it that the MACHINE THAT PRESIDED OVER THE DECLINE OF DETROIT is allowed to stand tall and get the issues focused on OUTSIDERS who they claim to have failed them?

Let me add structure to what Mayor Kilpatrick said so that we can better analyze what his position is and where the fate of Detroit resides.

Mayor Kilpatrick:

1) Blamed the decline of his city upon job loss due to GLOBALIZATION
2) Blamed the Bush Administration for diverting much needed funds to Iraq rather than spending money on domestic issues
3) Applauded President Carter for spending more money within the cities than "THIS Administration"
4) Said that the future of his city resides in forming a Local/Federal Partnership for job training and employment.

Whew!
Where do I start?


1) Globalization. Does everyone notice that the people who preside over or who are at least riding in the same vehicle that is in effect the "Political Machine" that ushered in a certain set of policy prescripts - never seem to talk about THEIR CONTRIBUTION to the current state of affairs?

Fundamentally - what is Globalization? On the job side of the issue: It is the redirection of manufacturing operations to LOWER COST venues as a means of remaining competitive against market adversaries who are able to run their companies efficiently while controlling the costs of production.

In truth, Mayor Kilpatrick - Detroit did not suffer a decline BECAUSE OF "globalization". It was Detroit that group big and powerful in the ABSENCE of Global competition. All of the union negotiated $35 per hour contracts for an assembly line worker to repetitively tighten a screw using a power screw driver finally caught up to you. You were not prepared to deal with competitors who were nimbler, committed to quality, who gave the buying public what they wanted and who's employees did not see their employer as the 'enemy'.

Answer this Mayor Kilpatrick - why is it that all of the foreign auto manufacturers who built plants in the United States to get around the protectionist trade caps that were implemented chose NOT TO build in Detroit and in the Rust Belt but instead choose the Sun Belt which have "Right To Work" labor laws? Why is it that the United Auto Workers union has not yet successfully gotten to represent a single one of these new plants despite years of trying? Now they are hoping that UNEMPLOYED Auto Workers from the North will relocate down South and get jobs in these new plants. With enough of them planted the UAW hopes to win the majority vote and thus unionize the work force. In other words - recreate the same conditions that ultimately left them unemployed.

Why is it that this version of the story is never told Mayor Kilpatrick?

2) The Iraq War. Can we all agree that the Iraq War and its associated spending started in 2002? Since certain people have latched onto this as their key reason for being short changed - let me ask you a question: Prior to the consumption of funds by the Iraq War - what happened tot the abundance of money that they were receiving for their causes? The answer is - they didn't get jack!!! The Iraq War spending is nothing more than a nice rallying cry for those who have long been looking for something to tie up fractured endpoints behind.

3) Even Mr. Kilpatrick points to the worthy "investments" by the Carter Administration to the cities. I assure you that there is a whole bunch of Black folks who will be debating the upcoming November elections telling us all about the "Clinton Surplus". But wait a minute - DETROIT didn't vote for Bush and they DID vote for Clinton. Why is it that there is not more anger about how IN SURPLUS YOUR FRIEND did not come to your aid but IN DEFICIT your POLITICAL ADVERSARY did not come to your aid as a city? You duly punished your adversary for failing you. What did you say to YOUR FRIEND? (Maybe it's just me and how I think?)

In a blog entry from last year I detailed how the author of the movie "New Jack City" bragged about all of the Federal money that was flowing into NYC as a result of President Carter's "jobs programs". He then detailed the horrors that occurred when President Reagan cut these programs, arguing that this is what ushered in the murderous drug trade as people needed money and were also in need of mental stimulation to get them out of their "Reaganomics Created" depression. Isn't past prologue? Didn't such an episode teach the masses within the Black community that a DEPENDENCY on a government program is tentative and that the withdrawal is massively destructive?

Mayor Kilpatrick had the nerve to point to the fact that it was Henry Ford and his auto manufacturing operations that caused the initial growth spurt for his city. This was INDUSTRY who drew our forefathers from the South because their labor was needed to make the system go. Now Mayor Kilpatrick sees the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT playing the role of Big Industry to revitalize Detroit and other Rusty cities who have failed to keep up with the times.

My major challenge to this notion is - If a group of people living in an UN-incorporated land mass, upon deciding that they have enough resources and industry to go it alone and thus they petition the state for a city charter and thus INCORPORATE.........why do we ask of that same city upon reaching a point at which the sum of their whole parts is not greater that the individual but instead it is a net dependent upon an external source for its continuing operations? Isn't this a primary candidate for DE-INCORPORATION?

4) Federal Partnership. I recently posted two articles that detail the fate that Detroit and other deflating cities are in:

Tax War Between The States

Northern States Stand To Lose Congressional Representation
Article #2 On The Subject

The bottom line question must be asked - IF these other cities/states are able to put together a package of POLICIES, Partnerships, Regulations, and Business Arraignments to result in a net increase of corporate investments, jobs and thus POPULATION INFLUX?

When will the operatives who proclaim their POWER over these same deflating territories be held accountable for their aggregate package which they have brought forth in these regions? I proclaim that their long held claim that they represent the best interests of the WORKER cannot be proven when one stretches this inspection out over several decades. Yes they might be able to run up a compensation from that of being underpaid and at safety risk to that of middle class.....yet if we don't also include the tail end of the story in which there is a decline - this image remains unchallenged.

Let me let you in on a secret - a person who can detail his good works for labor - getting them pay raises, benefits, increased safety and even a discount on their purchases of company goods CANNOT be called a saint if in fact they ignore the fundamental concepts of the MARKETPLACE in which these policies must fit within. YES INDEED you may call these corporations "greedy" as they choose to abide by these unfavorable contractual arraignments because they hadn't exchanged their ROI on the billion dollar plant that are tied to. You have better believe, however, that once they reach a point at which the plant and its current machine equipment reach its natural life span that they will evaluate the financial consequences between retooling this same plant along with the base of workers and their related salaries OR building a new, state of the art plant in a less hostile land where they are not the bad guys in the view of the labor force.

The WORKER is made to deal with this reality of the market place. It is now time for the POLITICIANS and LABOR LEADERS to be HELD ACCOUNTABLE for the ultimate consequences of their policies. Thus far officials such as Mayor Kilpatrick and the political machine from which he comes have been able to duck such accountability as they redirect the vision of their constituents over toward some other scoundrel.

How long will you continue to be used and then lose?

(I won't even bother to talk about John Conyers on this post)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Trying To Understand Black Democrats

The current General Election in Black America that is going on right now during the Democratic Primary is quite confusing and enlightening to me at the same time. It is confusing because of all of the previous Clinton Administration supporting Blacks have come out to make the claim that they never "really" liked Clinton anyway. Most of the vitriol is apply to Bill Clinton's wife as she operates as the main obstacle blocking the way of their goals of having the "first Black President" and the first Black "First Family" in the White House.

At the same time the split in support between the Obama camp and the Clinton camp has shown some interesting points of distinction between the Black folks who all call themselves "Democrats" and yet still who would not be offended if someone called them a "Progressive".

On the Barack Obama side is the typical young, idealistic politico who is seeking change in America and who is attracted to Obama's speaking style and visions of hope for America. Many young Hollywood Stars and entertainers in general (Black and White for that matter) have come out in support for Obama. In the Blogosphere this same segment makes their support for Obama known as well.

Over on the side of Hillary Clinton is the establishment Black folks. With Oprah as the exception - many "monied" Black folks have their bets on the Clinton machine - Magic Johnson, Bob Johnson, Willie Gary and other multi-millionaire Blacks in business or the business side of entertainment are going for the Clintons. So too are many old line Civil Rights stalwarts such as John Lewis and Andrew Young.

To the Obama Camp these others are old and tired. When given the chance to support a Black man for president - they went with the establishment White folks in the party. To the Clinton Camp those in the Obama camp are idealistic. They will one day have their chance on stage but in 2008 this is not the time to be making up the script as we go along.

I want to go a bit deeper with this analysis though. Beyond the two camps detailed above is a struggle for the heart and soul of Black America's political consciousness. Sadly and unfortunately these factions have pasted themselves to the framework of the Democratic Party rather than having defined themselves distinctly and THEN gone after the political entity that best represents their interests. Instead they have done the reverse. They have viewed what the Democratic party has put forth and then cleaved to the major points that they have in kind with the respective factions while casting aside the other major points that remain to be addressed WITHIN THE BLACK COMMUNITY.

There is simply no getting around it folks. The over all machine that you see as expressed between these two factions is STILL the Machine that ultimately presides RIGHT NOW over the Black Community. There is a difference without a distinction.

If we expand the argument to the national level my point above will be expressed. At the national level we have at least two parties. Each of these respective factions are able to go into their corners to convene about strategy as they duke it out for another round. The only time they would think to come together, putting their differences aside for a greater cause would be upon some national tragedy such as an attack by a foreign force against the United States. In normal order however "unity" is a threat to the attainment of their own specific goals.

Compare this with the supposed factions within the Black Democratic fabric. Aside from a few dust ups that occurred at the Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Weekend last year (most of which was over support for Obama vs Clinton) there really is no IDEOLOGICAL differences between these two groups - only the occasional tactical difference in how each believe something should be done. At the end of the day they convene together in the same strategy sessions and the operate and vote more or less as a machine.

To most observers the response to this would be "GREAT! We have 'Black Unity' within one political machine. What is the problem that you have with this?" The problem is that counter to the needed UNITY and suppression of differences when an outside attacker harms America as a whole....Black America is in an injured state currently and this is the worst time for UNITY as a means of looking past that which this same political machine is currently governing over.

The dominant theory that is currently in place is that if the Black voters grows the POLITICAL MACHINE that it will one day have the POWER to redirect resources into our communities and thus address our academic, economic, public safety and health care concerns. The primary framework for doing this is the Democratic Party. As they inspect the histories of the cities that they took over and make note of the failure of this plan they will trump it up to the problem that "White Flight" caused in the "de-capitalization" of these cities and thus, robbed of funds, they fell short of their goals. THIS TIME!, however things are going to be different. We plan to do it at a national level and they have no where to run from the tax man's reach - or so they say.

All the while that this "one off" assumption is made (that being grow the machine for future accomplishment of our goals) it is the Democratic Party which grows while our collective problems remain, despite this growth. The Black Collective Political Consciousness, as with the Public School Lobby has fallen into a mentally protective theory that no one should expect to see any INCREMENTAL BENEFIT until our master goal is accomplished and THEN all of the benefit will come gushing through to the community. This in itself plants the seeds of the current abstraction and non-accountability that is present with this machine that dominates us. It is simply INSANE for a people to suppress criticism of a machine lest they fear derailing it from its long term goals. The fact is that long term goals are nothing more than an aggregation of a bunch of SHORT TERM GOALS having been met along the way. We have been perverted to believe that the "short term goals" that we should be focusing on is the collection of political offices that are under our control - first as Democrats having won the seats away from Republicans and then as Black Democrats having won the seats away from White Democrats and all other. All the while that we have indexed our SUCCESS to the placement of a person who "thinks like us and who represents our best interests"........it is OUR BEST INTERESTS as PROVEN ON THE GROUND that have been squandered!!! No sane people would continue along this course.

(PS: If I there were not ample evidence pointing to the truth of what I am saying then I could understand why certain hard hearted and skeptical people would choose to ignore the obvious points that I am making).