Category Archives: Activism

Anti Palin Rally in Alaska

A bunch of pictures of that rally:scroll to the end to read the description from the woman who cooked up the idea

Psssst…pass it on!

[The] Alaska Women Reject Palin rally was to be held outside on the lawn in front of the Loussac Library in midtown Anchorage. Home made signs were encouraged, and the idea was to make a statement that Sarah Palin does not speak for all Alaska women, or men. I had no idea what to expect.

The rally was organized by a small group of women, talking over coffee. It made me wonder what other things have started with small groups of women talking over coffee. It’s probably an impressive list. These women hatched the plan, printed up flyers, posted them around town, and sent notices to local media outlets. One of those media outlets was KBYR radio, home of Eddie Burke, a long-time uber-conservative Anchorage talk show host. Turns out that Eddie Burke not only announced the rally, but called the people who planned to attend the rally “a bunch of socialist baby-killing maggots,” and read the home phone numbers of the organizers aloud over the air, urging listeners to call and tell them what they thought. The women, of course, received some nasty, harassing and threatening messages.

I felt a bit apprehensive. I’d been disappointed before by the turnout at other rallies. Basically, in Anchorage, if you can get 25 people to show up at an event, it’s a success. So, I thought to myself, if we can actually get 100 people there that aren’t sent by Eddie Burke, we’ll be doing good. A real statement will have been made. I confess, I still had a mental image of 15 demonstrators surrounded by hundreds of menacing “socialist baby-killing maggot” haters.

It’s a good thing I wasn’t tailgating when I saw the crowd in front of the library or I would have ended up in somebody’s trunk. When I got there, about 20 minutes early, the line of sign wavers stretched the full length of the library grounds, along the edge of the road, 6 or 7 people deep! I could hardly find a place to park. I nabbed one of the last spots in the library lot, and as I got out of the car and started walking, people seemed to join in from every direction, carrying signs.

Never, have I seen anything like it in my 17 and a half years living in Anchorage. The organizers had someone walk the rally with a counter, and they clicked off well over 1400 people (not including the 90 counter-demonstrators). This was the biggest political rally ever, in the history of the state. I was absolutely stunned. The second most amazing thing is how many people honked and gave the thumbs up as they drove by. And even those that didn’t honk looked wide-eyed and awe-struck at the huge crowd that was growing by the minute. This just doesn’t happen here.

Then, the infamous Eddie Burke showed up. He tried to talk to the media, and was instantly surrounded by a group of 20 people who started shouting O-BA-MA so loud he couldn’t be heard. Then passing cars started honking in a rhythmic pattern of 3, like the Obama chant, while the crowd cheered, hooted and waved their signs high.

So, if you’ve been doing the math Yes. The Alaska Women Reject Palin rally was significantly bigger than Palin’s rally that got all the national media coverage! So take heart, sit back, and enjoy the photo gallery. Feel free to spread the pictures around to anyone who needs to know that Sarah Palin most definitely does not speak for all Alaskans. The citizens of Alaska, who know her best, have things to say.

For more click here.

Denver singer opts for black national anthem lyrics over ‘Star-Spangled Banner’

Rene Marie

Rene Marie’s unexpected choice at a mayor’s event where she was asked to sing the more traditional song has prompted a chorus of criticism.
By DeeDee Correll

DENVER — The jazz singer, invited to perform the national anthem before the Denver mayor’s annual state of the city address, stood at the microphone and let loose her voice.

What came out were the lyrics of the song known as the black national anthem, set to the tune of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“Lift ev’ry voice and sing, Till earth and heaven ring,” belted out Rene Marie, as the expressions of city officials behind her grew puzzled.

It was, Marie later said of the unpaid gig, an artistic expression of her emotions about being a black American and a decision she made months ago to no longer sing the national anthem. But instead of telling that to the mayor’s office beforehand, “I pulled a switcheroonie on them,” Marie told the Denver Post.

READ MORE

Woman dies of Leptospirosis

Just received the following email from a friend:

This is Serious!

This incident happened recently in North Texas.

A woman went boating one Sunday taking with her some cans of coke which she put into the refrigerator of the boat. On Monday she was taken to the hospital and placed in the Intensive Care Unit. She died on Wednesday.

The autopsy concluded she died of Leptospirosis. This was traced to the can of coke she drank from, not using a glass. Tests showed that the can was infected by dried rat urine and hence the disease Leptospirosis.

Rat urine contains toxic and deathly substances. It is highly recommended to thoroughly wash the upper part of soda cans before drinking out of them. The cans are typically stocked in warehouses and transported straight to the shops without being cleaned.

A study at NYCU showed that the tops of soda cans are more contaminated than public toilets – full of germs and bacteria. So wash them with water before putting the m to the mouth to avoid any kind of fatal accident.

Please forward this message to all the people you care about.
(I JUST DID)

And responded:

Yeah, I’ve died quite a few times from all those pops I drank when I was a kid and teenager and didn’t bother wiping off anything. Of course rat urine has gotten a lot stronger than it was back in the day.

I just get the shivers thinking about all the times I had my hands in my mouth after touching God knows what when I was a toddler. It is said, though, that God looks after babies and fools. Why do we pray over our food before we eat it?

Poor lady. Must have just been her time to go, huh? Maybe she could have saved herself if she would have read the information on the CDC site before she bought those cans of coke. Anyway its sad to think that she wasn’t alone. It seems other women have died under the same exact circumstances. Weird, huh?

Don’t take my word for it, check for yourself.

What does it mean when so many people get lured in and even propagate this kind of stuff?

Is it any different from the old woman who answers the door and lets herself get talked into signing on the dotted line for a second mortgage with astronomical interest rates? Any different from the college student who signs up for credit card after credit card without any kind of education about finances or debt? Any different that the Y2K scare? The Iraq war? Iran? Hmmm…

Blackstar Project: taking back the community

On Saturday, June 7, 2008, at 11:00 am C.S.T, seventy-five courageous, principled and hardworking men–ministers, former gang members, law officers, fire fighters, teachers, construction workers, business owners, social workers, retired elders, community members, and students–will bring this movement of Black men to the community where the mass arrest occurred. Men will come together to walk the streets, talk to the people and bring hope to a community that has not seen much hope.

They will knock on doors, visit youth in schools during the week, take youth to churches on Sundays, play basketball and baseball with young males, teach teenagers how to “hustle legit,” encourage young fathers to take care of their children and encourage young men who have had a brush with the law to finish school, secure gainful employment and remain law-abiding. These Black men will be role models for other Black men around the country to launch a similar Movement of Black Men, while standing up for their communities, their families and their children. Chicago’s Roseland, Woodlawn, Englewood and Uptown communities are also scheduled for this effort

Organizations collaborating to do the work that needs to be done to stop the violence among our youth in Chicago are ABBA Church of Renewed Faith, Afrikan American Council of Islamic Brotherhood, Black Souls Organization, Block Club University, Blyden Delany Academy (Milwaukee, WI), Center for Community Development Initiatives, Citizens for a Safer Community, Hip Hop Detox/L.E.A.R.N Charter School, Kidz Off The Block, P.E.A.C.E., Peoples Army, Ministry Network Coalition, No Limit Ministries, TEECH Foundation, Williams Youth Services, 100 Black Men of Chicago and The Black Star Project.

This effort has no funding. Although funding would help the Movement of Black Men with its overall mission, these organizations are not waiting for foundation or government money before they start their work. We are simply the laborers doing the work that is necessary in the vineyard of Chicago’s mean streets. We are not the police. We will not arrest anyone. Our communities don’t need more policing; they need more strong, positive Black men. And we will not try to be tougher or more macho than the men with whom we will speak in these communities. We want to work with them as we replace the violence and fear in Chicago communities with hope and promise.

Please join us. If men want to participate in this effort or if you want to bring the Movement of Black Men to your city, please email blackstar1000@ameritech.net, call People Acting Responsibly Empowering Neighborhoods Together (PARENT) – 773.285.9600 or visit

Boondocks’ creator Aaron McGruder to BET: %@*$% ^ & !

Animated episodes that never aired, which take swipes at black cable network executives, will be included on next Tuesday’s DVD release.

By Greg Braxton, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

The battle between “The Boondocks” creator Aaron McGruder and Black Entertainment Television is about to get a lot more animated.

Two second-season episodes of the biting cartoon series that attack the black-themed network but were never aired — possibly because of corporate pressure — are slated for DVD release Tuesday. The pair of shows take aim at BET’s top executives and lampoon what it views as the cable network’s harmful negative imagery and stereotypes that work as a “destructive” force within African American culture.

The episodes amplify a familiar chord struck by McGruder, who has regularly targeted BET, first in his politically and culturally charged comic strip, published in more than 300 newspapers, and subsequently in the TV adaptation on Cartoon Network’s edgy late-night Adult Swim.

But these particular installments, which like many in the animated series feature violence, foul language and frequent use of the N-word, apparently went too far in mocking BET’s top brass. In “The Hunger Strike,” a main character refuses to eat until BET is off the air and its executives commit hara-kiri.

And in “The Uncle Ruckus Reality Show,” a foul-mouthed black man who hates African Americans gets a show on BET. The hot-button series centers on two young black boys, militant Huey Freeman and his gangsta-wannabe younger brother, Riley, who live in the suburbs with their grandfather.

When BET executives learned of the shows, they complained to Turner-owned Cartoon Networks and Sony Pictures Television, which produces “The Boondocks,” and urged that they be blocked from broadcast, according to sources close to the program who requested anonymity for fear of network reprisal.

Initially, Cartoon Network resisted, but when legal action was threatened, the episodes, written by McGruder and co-executive producer Rodney Barnes, were yanked, according to sources. Both McGruder and Barnes declined to comment.

Executives at Turner and Viacom-owned BET, however, deny there were any discussions about removing the programs between the two companies. Still, Turner officials would not explain why the two installments were eventually withheld.

Both episodes are highlighted by fierce satirical attacks on two top BET executives, portrayed in thinly disguised caricatures.

Chairman and Chief Executive Debra L. Lee, who succeeded the network’s founder, Robert Johnson, is shown as Debra Leevil, patterned after “Dr. Evil” in the “Austin Powers” films. Leevil declares in a staff meeting: “Our leader Bob Johnson had a dream, a dream that would accomplish what hundreds of years of slavery, Jim Crow and malt liquor could not accomplish — the destruction of black people.”

And BET President of Entertainment Reginald Hudlin is depicted as Wedgie Rudlin, a culturally insensitive buffoon coasting on his Ivy League education. Hudlin, a former friend of McGruder, is ironically credited as an executive producer on the series, the end result of a professional partnership that ended bitterly over creative differences before the series premiered in 2005.

A BET spokesperson said that the network was aware of the episodes and did not, as a network that runs its own satirical content, begrudge those who made fun of its programming.

The DVD release features stinging commentary from McGruder and Barnes about the episodes, which are uncut. In the introduction, McGruder said he went after BET because network executives, in his view, failed to elevate the network’s standards — something Hudlin had pointedly promised to do when joining the network three years ago.

“I was looking for changes and improvements, and I didn’t see any,” McGruder said on the DVD. “I didn’t see them. So I said, OK, it’s fair game. It’s hard not to address it. It really was an important part of the strip.” Because of legal reasons, he adds, he cannot mention the real names of the people satirized in the episodes.

Barnes added: “You expect white television to present black people in a particular way. The anger comes from black television portraying us in a particular way. That brings out a different sense of frustration, and at the heart of these episodes is that frustration.”

greg.braxton@latimes.com

Obama Claims Nomination; First Black Candidate to Lead a Major Party Ticket

By JEFF ZELENY

Senator Barack Obama claimed the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday night, prevailing through an epic battle with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in a primary campaign that inspired millions of voters from every corner of America to demand change in Washington.

A last-minute rush of Democratic superdelegates, as well as split results from the final primaries in Montana and South Dakota, pushed Mr. Obama over the threshold of 2,118 delegates needed to be nominated at the party’s convention in Denver in August. The victory for Mr. Obama, the son of a black Kenyan father and white Kansan mother, broke racial barriers and represented a remarkable rise for a man who just four years ago served in the Illinois State Senate.

“You chose to listen not to your doubts or your fears, but to your greatest hopes and highest aspirations,” Mr. Obama told supporters at a rally in St. Paul. “Tonight, we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another — a journey that will bring a new and better day to America. Because of you, tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States.”

Mrs. Clinton paid tribute to Mr. Obama, but she did not leave the race. “This has been a long campaign and I will be making no decisions tonight,” Mrs. Clinton told supporters in New York. She said she would be speaking with party officials about her next move.

In a combative speech, she again presented her case that she was the stronger candidate and argued that she had won the popular vote, a notion disputed by the Obama campaign.

“I want the 18 million Americans who voted for me to be respected,” she said in New York to loud cheers.

But she paid homage to Mr. Obama’s accomplishments, saying, “It has been an honor to contest the primaries with him, just as it has been an honor to call him my friend.”

Mr. Obama’s victory moved the presidential campaign to a new phase as he tangled with Senator John McCain of Arizona in televised addresses Tuesday night over Mr. Obama’s assertion that Mr. McCain would continue President Bush’s policies. Mr. McCain vigorously rebuffed that criticism in a speech in Kenner, La., in which he distanced himself from the outgoing president while contrasting his own breadth of experience with Mr. Obama’s record.

“The American people didn’t get to know me yesterday, as they are just getting to know Senator Obama,” Mr. McCain told supporters. Mr. Obama’s victory capped a marathon nominating contest that broke records on several fronts: the number of voters who participated, the amount of money raised and spent, and the sheer length of a grueling battle. The campaign, infused by tensions over race and sex, provided unexpected twists to the bitter end as Mr. Obama ultimately prevailed over Mrs. Clinton, who just a year ago appeared headed toward becoming the first woman to be nominated by a major party. The last two contests reflected the party’s continuing divisions, as Mrs. Clinton won the South Dakota primary and Mr. Obama won Montana.

The race drew to its final hours with a burst of announcements — delegate-by-delegate — of Democrats stepping forward to declare their support for Mr. Obama. The Democratic establishment, from former President Jimmy Carter to rank-and-file local officials who make up the ranks of the party’s superdelegates, rallied behind Mr. Obama as the day wore on.

When the day began, Mr. Obama needed 41 delegates to effectively claim the nomination. Just as the polls began to close in Montana and South Dakota, Mr. Obama secured the delegates he needed to end his duel with Mrs. Clinton, which wound through every state and territory in an unprecedented 57 contests over five months.

Every time a new endorsement was announced at the Obama headquarters in Chicago, campaign workers interrupted with a booming round of applause. They are members of Mr. Obama’s team — a political start up — that is responsible for defeating one of the most tried and tested operations in Democratic politics.

While the Democratic race may have ended, a new chapter began in the complicated tensions that have defined the relationship with Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton.

On a conference call with members of the New York Congressional delegation on Tuesday, Mrs. Clinton was asked whether she would be open to joining a ticket with Mr. Obama. She replied that she would do whatever she could — including a vice presidential bid — to help Democrats win the White House.

In his speech on Tuesday evening, Mr. Obama paid respect to his rival.

“Our party and our country are better off because of her,” Mr. Obama said, “and I am a better candidate for having had the honor to compete with Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

Before she arrived at her rally on Tuesday in New York City, Mrs. Clinton and a few close advisers huddled at her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., to discuss the timing of her departure from the race. In the afternoon conference call she conducted with fellow New York lawmakers, she asked their patience as she decides upon her next move.

Representative Nydia M. Velásquez, Democrat of New York, asked Mrs. Clinton whether she would consider teaming up with Mr. Obama. “She said that if it’s offered, she would take it,” Ms. Velásquez said.

Mrs. Clinton said she would do “anything to make sure a Democrat would win,” according to several participants on the call. While her advisers played down the remark’s significance, the Democrats on the call said that by not demurring or saying she would simply think about it, they said they were left with the impression that it was an offer that she wanted to at least consider.

“If Senator Obama asked her to be the V.P., she certainly would accept that,” said Representative Carolyn McCarthy, Democrat of New York. “She has obviously given some thought to this.”

Neither Mr. Obama nor his associates commented on the speculation, and he made no reference to it in his speech on Tuesday evening in Minnesota, which was delivered at the same arena in which Mr. McCain is expected to accept the Republican nomination at the party’s convention in September.

“You can rest assured that when we finally win the battle for universal health care in this country, she will be central to that victory,” Mr. Obama said. “When we transform our energy policy and lift our children out of poverty, it will be because she worked to help make it happen.”

The competition between Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama has been sharpening for weeks, but the close of the Democratic primary formally raised the curtain to a five-month general election contest. The race, as their respective speeches foreshadowed on Tuesday evening, will unfold against a backdrop of an electorate that is restless about soaring gas prices, mortgage foreclosures and the Iraq war.

It is also a generational battle of personalities and contrasting styles. Mr. McCain staged an evening event in Louisiana, so he would be included in the evening’s television narrative that otherwise belonged to Democrats.

About two hours later, Mr. Obama responded in a speech before a thousands of supporters.

“There are many words to describe John McCain’s attempt to pass off his embrace of George Bush’s policies as bipartisan and new,” Mr. Obama said. “But change is not one of them.”

Michael M. Grynbaum contributed reporting.

America’s fear of China

from ecrivain01 and The Manchurian Letter

Do you care about America and the future of the world?

If you do, wake up. Start paying attention to the fact that there’s a real world out there, and that strange things are happening in it. While the U.S. military is being battered to the point of nearly breaking in Iraq (where we are bogged down now over a war for oil that we can do well enough without — McCain just admitted this week end that we are there for the oil), CHINA IS PREPARING FOR A NUCLEAR WAR. Wake up and smell the coffee you people.

New Chinese SSBN Deploys to Hainan Island

China views us as an obstacle to world domination, as do the Islamic fundamentalists. (Too bad they can’t fight it out between them, but that would only happen once we were toast.) While we are fighting in the deserts of Iraq and our army is being stretched to the breaking point, China is arming for war.

McCain gave a speech recently in which he stated that China and Russia should be excluded from the G8 and isolated from the rest of the world. All that does is prove once again how isolated and insular the Republican Party is and how little they know about the world they want to play bully in. While the U.S. and Europe are preoccupied with oil in Iraq that we will never control anyway, China has been assembling a navy to rival any navy on Earth, and now has many nuclear subs which are completely untrackable by any technology the West has as of the present time. Time to wake up, people.

Armchair Sleuths Uncover Strange Military Sites in China

I would like to hear from people with a working brain who can see what is happening. I think we should be writing about this and contacting our Senators and Congressmen. Do you care enough about America and your own futures to read the articles I’ve listed here and respond?

Your own futures could well depend on the actions of China and Russia but particularly China. READ THE NEW FROM ASIA. This will undoubtedly be the Pacific Century but it would be nice if we were still here as a thriving country, not heaps of slag and decomposing bodies.

The response:

To presume as truth that which is speculative in nature is, to be frank, irresponsible. The links you posted to support your “theory stated as fact” rely heavily on interpretation and paranoia. What does China owe to the rest of the world – especially to the United States, in terms of transparency, when the U.S. Administration feels free to do what they please when they please. As leaders of the free world, isn’t this the example we set?

You incorrectly stated that nuclear war would effectively destroy anything “beautiful” anywhere. Japan was nuked twice. Nukes have been tested since then around the globe. Wouldn’t a superior strategy effect the same end as in WWII? While millions suffered the hell of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Americans still went to baseball games, picnics, and movies. Apple pies still found themselves in kitchen windows to cool off, and daydreamers still sat in lush fields chewing on a stem of wheat while basking in the sun. Beauty (which is in the eye of the beholder) was abundant in some areas of the globe, even while Jews were being incinerated in Germany, the Japanese massacred Chinese in Nanking, or millions starved in Russia under Stalin.

You may be correct in guessing that China is planning a nuclear war, or you could be 100% deluded. Time will tell. Whatever the case may be – war, the symptom of a deeper root, is not the answer. Shall America repeat its policy of pre-emptive engagement the way we did in Iraq and Afghanistan and are now pushing for Iran – under false pretenses?

If you really want to deter the threat of nuclear war, stop talking it up, don’t get a gun, get some understanding, take some lessons in conversation, and pick up the phone.

The Chinese have economic interests in the United States which far surpass any justification for nuclear engagement. Knowing the U.S. to have acted as international bullies (if not terrorists) I would suppose that China is merely getting its side of the board together in case the U.S. Administration decides to do anything foolish. History has discovered many non-violent ways to accomplishing national, political, and economic interests. I am sure China hasn’t missed those lessons.

Here are some links for you to read at your convenience:
Chinese City Partners with New York School
British to help China build ‘eco-cities’
China’s Military: A Second Opinion
Heeding Sun or Mao? Assessing China’s Military Thinking
Chinese firms bargain hunting in U.S

America waking up to scope of black liberation theology

MICHAEL VALPY

White Americans are making a discovery: that in a country where the black church is an antidote to the six days of the week in which race matters, Rev. Jeremiah Wright is not a radical kook but a mainstream voice of righteous anger and uplifting hope.

They’re also discovering that Barack Obama’s former pastor is not one of a kind, that there are a lot of Jeremiah Wrights across their land, preaching in the prophetic tradition of comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.

And they’re discovering that Mr. Wright is not only a national black celebrity, but also that he is cemented in the black-preacher tradition of applying the Christian Gospel to black experience, otherwise known as black liberation theology.

Dwight Hopkins, a professor of theology at the University of Chicago Divinity School who specializes in black religious studies, said that, with the current media furor around Mr. Wright’s comments on everything from AIDS to 9/11 and the rule of the United States (he has called it “the U.S. of K.K.K.A.”) by rich, white people, Americans are suddenly discovering a church that has been invisible since the arrival of the first blacks to America in the 1700s.

“It’s been thought of in the public realm as a place for good music, a place you can draw on for a political demonstration or people to walk the picket line if the clergy people endorse the cause. But a systematic appreciation of the black church has never been done.”

In reality, Dr. Hopkins said in an interview, “there are a lot of black churches across the country where you’re going to find Rev. Wrights. Many, many black churches where the preaching will have similar content.”

And the message will be, as black theologian James Cone of Union Theological Seminary in New York puts it, that “in a world in which values are defined by white domination and white supremacy, in that kind of a world, God sides with those who are the victims in it.

“What you have in Jeremiah Wright is someone … speaking to the hurt in the African-American community. The suffering.”

A number of academics who specialize in studies of the black church in America have pointed out the similarities in language of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mr. Wright.

Prof. Cone noted that “when King spoke out against the war in Vietnam, he said America is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”

Dr. Hopkins said: “Strip away the formal presentation, black preaching is a ritual of performance, and once [Rev. Wright] lays out his facts, I don’t think a lot of African Americans would be put off by what he says” regardless of class or educational levels. “He is a national black pastoral leader, one of the top 100 preachers in the country.”

Mr. Wright was pastor of Trinity Church of Christ in Chicago for 36 years until his recent retirement. It is the church that Mr. Obama, candidate for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, has attended for 20 years. Mr. Wright officiated at the Illinois senator’s wedding and baptized his children.

Mr. Obama has now denounced the 66-year-old cleric for, among other things, invoking God’s damnation of the United States for its militarism and legacy of racism, declaring the war on terror to be based on lies, claiming that 9/11 was the result of U.S. foreign policy and suggesting that the U.S. government might have unleashed the AIDS virus to attack the black community.

And while many media commentators have suggested Mr. Obama’s campaign for the Democratic nomination could be hurt by his one-time close association with Mr. Wright, at least one scholar, Peter Paris, professor emeritus of Christian social ethics at Princeton Theological Seminary, has worried that the senator’s condemnation of Mr. Wright could hurt him in some black churches.

“Jeremiah Wright is seen as a major prophetic voice in the black community, and there are many people who adore him.”

from The Globe and Mail.