Archive for February, 2010

A poverty of expectations. Why racism did not end on January 20 2009.

February 25, 2010 19 comments

There are idiots and there are the outright deranged. These are both examples of idiots who think racism ended on January 20th 2009.

I see racists as very different to systematic instutionalised racism. Especially those from poorer backgrounds. The cross burners, the tea baggers and many of their followers are often victims of very similar prejudices to racism. This is why they need to find someone to blame. The only help that a lot of these people get from the Government is hindrance so they expose their frustrations through hate.

Poor schools with a poverty of expectation.
Poor medical treatment.
Bad and or ineffective policing.
Unresponsive bureaucratic local government.

As candidate, this comment drew me to Barack Obama

You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

When Barack Obama made the “bitter” comment, for the first time a main stream politician got it. A Presidential candidate no less. Badly worded or not, the reaction of other candidates who misquoted it and used the misquote for political advantage, at the expense of the very poorest, the people they claimed to speak for proved why they were not fit to be President.

Racism did not end on January 20th. I have seen so called Liberal blogs and reporters claim this to be the post racial Presidency. It is not. In just the same way the election of Clinton would not have ended sexism.

The fundamental system of racism has not changed no matter where you look. France, Britain, the US. All that has changed is that the real power behind racism has been reigned in and controlled by Institutions. I would argue it is more powerful now as a result because you can highlight hate groups, hate sites, idiot racists, but you can not fight corporate racism.

A racist teacher may not express their hate, but they can start with a low expectation of you, so that if you are failing, it is not because something may be wrong, it is because well you were not going to achieve anyway. Thus continuing a racist meme.

January 20th did not make racists in the police dissolve into a steaming pile of dogshit.

The system can still red-line you, it is now just credit scoring, which when you start out is affected solely by the area you live. So your ability to rent or buy somewhere else is affected. You will not see signs that say no Blacks, Irish Jews or dogs, that existed in 1960s England, but the effect is the same. You are red-lined but it no longer called that and even better, it is International and largely unaffected by the laws of any one Nation. Too big to fail, but no individual is safe from being failed by the time they turn 18.

The Anti-Nazi League successfully defeated P*ki bashing in the 80’s. Yet, years later, in the name of 9/11 and the War on Terror, racism against people from the Middle East and Pakistan is now pretty much legitimised. Fox News does everything to demonise the Islamic religion. How much is said about the downright disgraceful proposal of Uganda? Could it be something to do with the dominanceof Christianity in Uganda?

A plane was flown into a Texan IRS building by a lunatic who owed too much in tax. Imagine the reaction if this murderous maniac had been an Asian or African Muslim?
as opposed to an angry white rich guy?

The different treatment of abortion terrorist Scott Roeder, who did kill and the nut who set his balls on fire and thus created a World wide over reaction is telling.

The vast number of anti Islamic internet sites being set up should disgust anyone who knows anything of Second World War history. Since when did it become acceptable to attack entire people based on their religion?

Why is it becomes acceptable for a tv news network to whip up fear and anger against a whole religion, on a daily basis? I do have to ask what lessons did we learn from Germany 1939. All to often, I think the wrong ones.

Institutionalised racism is rarely considered and never blamed. The poor still are. When the housing bubble burst many blamed the poor for the misfortune of being poor and getting kicked out to tent city. Why? Because banks were forced to end much of he blatant discrimination against black people. So poor blacks were being blamed for the housing bubble and few people screamed at the stupidity of that.

The initial sifting of job applications, names can be picked out, or the area you live can in can rule you out. Who picks up the discrimination?

Recreational drug laws that protect the two of the worst drugs, after all there is nothing wrong with big tobacco and the drinks industry, but will put people away in the real still legal form of slavery that is the prison system. In many States you then lose your right to vote and your chance of ever getting a decent job are severely curtailed because of a little weed.

Then there is the acceptable racism. People who defend food stamps (or their even worse cousin the pre-paid credit card, complete with high transaction fees), who argue social assistance needs to be restricted because the poor would just real money it on booze and ciggies. So everyoe else can be free, but the poor, of which many are ethnic minorities can not be trusted, they need to have their freedom to choose restricted and their last vestiges of dignity stripped from them.

The public are increasingly accepting of what would essentially be a whites only line at airports or “ethnic profiling” to give it the more acceptable name.

As for the President, is he being treated differently because he is black? I do not know, but I do not remember Kerry supporters demanding to see the birth certificate of Howard Dean. Nor do I remember George Bush being asked for his. I also seem to remember that the ONLY other candidate whose Church was used against them by another Democratic candidate was Jesse Jackson. The exact same tactics were used all those years later, with attempts to associate the then candidate Obama with Farrakhan.As if he is a monster.

Acorn existed for years in America. McCain when he was a once reasonable person spoke at their functions. Now Obama is elected, it is the most evil thing ever and has its hands on everything. Two rich kids with too much time on their hands should not have been able to get a Democratic Congress in a panic over a dubious tape.

Racists may be fewer in number, they are however be louder when all ganged up, however it is hard to give a fuck about people who hate you anyway. The ironic thing is, many of them are now part of the great suppressed. Institutional, systemic racism has not ended, it is still as pernicious as ever.

All of that however is just a part of what is faced by Barack Obama. He managed to overcome many obstacles, often placed there by his own Party, to become President. On top of all that is the beautification of Saints Hillary and McCain. They would have been perfect Presidents. The blue dogs would have folded, there would have been no division in the House. No divisions in the Senate. The deficit would not be there and full employment would have retuned on January 21 2008. They would have won more votes and seats than the record won by Barack Obama. Hillary would have ben the most Liberal & Conservative President ever. They could have taken down Goldman Sachs (why that bank and not others??) without taking down the whole banking industry. She wanted a no mandate with no mandate on health care. Saint Hillary would have been perfect.

I could go on, a lot of that is just simple jealousy. Their candidate lost. A lot is the bot syndrome that they accuse Obama supporters of. The bitter PUMAs (and they still, like the birthers exist in their own universe) do not see a politician in Hillary, they see someone who could have magically disappeared away the problems that they themselves have if she had been elected.

Regardless of who won in 2008, the problems facing the World today would not have been different.

People wanted change, they voted for it, but that change was never going to be instant. Politics is not like that. When you are in power in politics you realise how little you can affect change, it is piecemeal. Nothing is overnight. Small things can however make big differences. There are issues that can sideline your whole agenda. Yet too few remember that. 30 years of bad policy will not be changed overnight.

For the disappointed Obama supporters on the left, the problem I see is that many heard the stories put round by Fox, Clinton and Mccain, that Obama was the most Liberal Senator and they liked it. They wanted a left wing George Bush.

They believed it in part because he is black. They assumed all black Democratic politicians hold more radical views. They were surprised at his pragmatic approach.

The growing distrust of congress is often blamed on the President. However the President can not be to blame for a Democratic Congress that has spent the last year using the Republican Party as a way of imposing their own personal veto. From Stupak in the house, to Nelson in the Senate, they have decided that their own personal agenda is bigger and worth more than that of the President who got elected with 69 million votes.

The Democratic Party has forgotten how to govern. Just as Republicans did, they needed to get behind their President. Their failure to do so, could cost them dear. Divided parties lose elections. There is time to correct that but do they want to? It is far easier to oppose something than support something.

They either get behind a President who remains vastly more popular than they do and join him in taking small steps towards a better America, viewed as a friend not a foe around the World, or they hand back power to those who spent the last 30 years destroying every bit of progress America has made and whose only lesson from defeat was not to look at how to improve the Country but what could they do to move America ever further to the very hard right.


When is a fundamentalist not a fundamentalist?

February 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Last night a 250lb car bomb went off in the streets of Newry, Northern Ireland. The explosion could be heard from 2 miles away. Thankfully it killed no one, however that was more by luck than design, the bombers left only a seventeen minute warning. While police were still evacuating the area, the bomb went off.

It is quite clear that these people are nothing but religious fundamentalists filled by hate; they want to drag Northern Ireland back from its still relatively uneasy, but very much appreciated peace.

A peace won by the ballot, not the bullet.

So it sickens me to see these wannabe murderers and failed terrorists described as “dissident republicans“.

They are not dissidents. They are not like the Soviet dissidents, they are not setting off bombs on the streets of Northern Ireland because they are fighting an oppressive government. They are fighting their own people.

The Government of Northern Ireland is comprised of a very broad spectrum of people, from catholic to protestant, unionist to nationalist. People who were once facing each other through the barrel of a gun or the remote of a bomb. For the greater good of the people who have to and choose to live in those once troubled 6 counties, they have come together to make the Government work for the people of Northern Ireland.

The terrorists who want to kill the peace process carry no support in any part of the island of Ireland.

They are fundamentalists, extremists, terrorists.

They are the same kind of fundamentalist nuts who carry out extremism in the name of Islam, only this time they claim it in the name of Christianity dressed as Nationalism.

To hell with them and the cross they ride on. The people of Northern Ireland want and deserve better. Savage fundamentalists are not going to break the Irish spirit or their much deserved peace.

Categories: UK Politics

The Dick Flops – but he is recovering.

February 23, 2010 4 comments
See no good. Speak no good. Hear no good.

See no good. Speak no good. Hear no good.

Washington (CNN) — Former Vice President Dick Cheney was hospitalized Monday with chest pains, according to his office.

Cheney, 69, is resting comfortably at George Washington University Hospital, and his doctors are evaluating the situation, his staff said in a statement.

A family source told CNN that Cheney will be kept in the hospital overnight for observation and additional tests.

Cheney has a long history of heart problems. He has suffered four heart attacks dating to 1978, when he was 37. He had his second in 1984 and a third in 1988 before undergoing quadruple bypass surgery to unblock his arteries. His fourth heart attack happened in November 2000, after he was elected vice president. At that time, doctors inserted a stent to open an artery.

Source CNN

So the Dick has a heart? Who knew?

For him the best healthcare the World has to offer.

I wish the Dick well. I still want to see it and Blair facing a War Crimes Tribunal. I want him fully able to understand the consequences of his crimes against humanity.

Categories: Republicans, US Politics

Courtroom FAIL

February 19, 2010 Leave a comment

It is hard enough to take a photograph in London, without some clipboard carrying pretend police officer harassing you,

High visibility wastes of money

High visibility wastes of money

worse you may even get stuck in jail by a real cop for terrorism.

So you would expect that this Country, which has more cctv cameras per person than anywhere else in the World, would find it some what difficult to lose a suspected armed robber deemed to be highly dangerous.

That is of course what has happened. A man accused of a violent armed robbery just happily strolled out of Court.

Highly dangerous - so allowed to go free

Highly dangerous - so allowed to go free

Peter Blake is considered so dangerous that his trial is the first major Crown Court criminal trial in something like 400 years to be held without a jury, after previous trials collapsed because of jury nobbling.

The robbery Blake is accused of was extremely violent. Sixteen members of staff were tied up and held hostage, at least three shots were discharged, two employees were pistol-whipped, and one employee was kicked so hard he had to be treated for fractured ribs.

So of course, Blake was let out on bail.

Reportedly, the Court Service thought he was a good boy. According to the BBC a spokesman for the Judicial Communications Office said: “Mr Blake has complied with bail conditions throughout the two-and-a-half years.

“He attended the morning session and the start of the afternoon session. He left the court building having been permitted to consult his legal team.”
The spokesman continued: “Mr Blake failed to return to the courtroom.”

He simply walked out of the Court and not a single person was there to stop him.

Blake did not exactly go on the run. He went on the stroll.

It gets better. They then gave him a massive head-start. Not a head-start of a few minutes, or a few hours. A 24 hour head-start. The Times reports :-

He was last seen at the start of the afternoon session. But at about 2.15pm he is understood to have been granted leave to speak to his lawyers about a relative who wanted to withdraw a large amount of his £250,000 surety. If the funds had been withdrawn, Mr Blake, who has been on bail, would probably then have been remanded in custody.

Soon afterwards Mr Blake, wearing a black raincoat, walked through the security arches, pushed open the heavy wooden double doors overlooking the Strand and disappeared into the bustling city street.

He was reported missing on Wednesday afternoon but an urgent police appeal could not be issued until Thursday, when the court became available to approve the decision to alert the public. Closed-circuit television footage is being analysed to see if he had an accomplice acting as a getaway driver.

Blake, is one of four defendants in the trial. The Prosecution was near to finishing their case. The three other defendants are still on bail.

All of the above makes this statement, somewhat ironic

Det Supt Stuart Cundy, of the MPS Flying Squad, said: “Peter Blake is considered dangerous and we ask members of the public not to approach him, but if they do see him to call 999 immediately.”

So far the only people to get stiffed by this trial is the taxpayer. It has cost £22 million so far.

I can not say I am surprised. He wasn’t speeding, didn’t drop litter, wasn’t a group of kids hanging round a park, he wasn’t taking a picture of a policeman. As for dangerous, he doesn’t look “foreign” and he wasn’t carrying a rucksack. Why would he be a priority?

If I wasn’t bald I would be.

Categories: Police State, UK Politics

Hypocrisy is just for..

February 18, 2010 Leave a comment

They get Obama, we get Brown. Tax cuts for 95% of Americans v tax rises and benefit cuts for the very lowest paid.

What effect would the Liberal Democrat proposal of raising tax thresholds to £10,000 have had on the economy? A lot more than the 2.5% vat cut.

Time for change. A change even Norman Tebbit supports. Where are you Mr Cameron?

What is happening to the US economy? It is growing at nearly 6% a year. The UK grew by 0.1%.

THIS is Senator Hottie McAwesome

February 15, 2010 1 comment

The US Congressional elections look as though they will be far more interesting than the Presidential election in 2008 and the Republicans are going to play every trick in the book in their attempt to take back one or both Houses of Congress. For foreign observers of US elections, there are a number of seats to watch out for. Certainly there is no reason at all to believe that the Senate elections will swing entirely to the GOP.

The right got themselves all in a buzz after a certain hate site named Scott Brown Senator Hottie McAwesome shortly before the Massachusetts special election.

Scott Brown Tea Bagging in Lovell

Hottie? Nah, a bit of an every man really. Glen Beck, the tea-bagger hero said of him

I want a chastity belt on this man. I want his every move watched in Washington. I don’t trust this guy. This one could end with a dead intern. I’m just saying. It could end with a dead intern.

Well, I know you should not judge a book by its cover, especially when it comes to politics. The title Senator Hottie McAwesome looks very likely to be stolen.

Meet Jack Conway he is running in Kentucky against tea bagger and Palin endorsed candidate Rand Paul.

Come January, when Jack Conway gets elected, I fear C-Span will be on my tv on a continuous loop. If the real Senator Hottie McAwesome (and not the ex nudey everyman) ends up on a boring committee, it would be enough to mute the tv and just watch those dream worthy eyes.

And at least the Democratic Party does not need to worry about their Senators having a wide stance, or needing to be shackled with a chastity belt either.

Every Republican who opposes civilian trials for terrorists should hold their head in shame.

February 14, 2010 2 comments

In a Democracy there is no political cause that justifies terrorism. Every politician who stands by the rule of law should accept that as a basic truth. If there is a time that terrorism can ever be justified, it is when democracy has failed. When all is lost.

There are no ideas that can not be debated in America. There is no desperate cause that would morph someone from being a terrorist to a freedom fighter. Kalid Sheikh Mohammed was not leading an Army of revolutionary soldiers. To compare him to a soldier, or a revolutionary insults every American who fought against British rule to the valiant Private serving in the Army today facing gunfire in Afghanistan.

To appease terrorists is to concede victory to them and to condemn more people to lose their lives. The underpants bomber is not a freedom fighter or a political prisoner, he is a failed terrorist. A joke. A common criminal.

Felix Frankfurter said, “Limited as law is, it is all that we have standing between us and the tyranny of mere will and the cruelty of unbridled feeling”.

Yet a once great Political Party, would for short term political gain hand back a Country founded to the rule of law to the baying mob.

Edmund Burke, very often quoted by the Right said “It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do: but what humanity, reason and justice tell me I ought to do”.

That surely has to be to stand firm in support of your Judicial System, against those who only win by seeing you depart from Centuries of history founded on the rule of law. American values of justice pre-date America as a Nation. You share with Britain the Magna Carta and Habeas Corpus. Common Law principles are shared. Decisions of the Courts on one side of the Atlantic have standing on the other. The United States of America, through the Declaration of Independence confirmed that it is a Country founded on the rule of law.

You can not however claim to be a Party of law and order while working to undermine the courts which administer the law and the police who enforce it. Yet we see Republican politicians doing that on a daily basis, on not just National, but International tv.

You can not choose who gets a fair trial and who does not. Justice is not divisible. You do not enhance the rule of law and justice by selectively choosing who is entitled to a fair trial, in fact you smother it. The principle of a fair trial is then ended. It becomes a decision of a Politician, swayed by short term political desire and the need to catch the right headline.

Once you end that principle of fair and open trials, the baying mob rules. That mob may bay for you now. What will it bay for in the future?

If you are guilty of the Crime, let the Court establish the guilt, not the mob.

A terrorist uses force because they cannot win by democratic means.

Their aim is to induce fear in the hearts of people.

No democratic politician should resort to that.

Military tribunals are succour for the mob. You have a Judicial system built on centuries of tradition that has successfully tried criminal after criminal.

Civil societies must not use the weapons of terrorism to fight a terrorist. Law and order is not rule of the mob.

Abu Musab al Zarqawi, took hostage two Americans, Jack Hensley and Eugene Armstrong, and a Briton Kenneth Bigley.

They were murdered for the blood lust of those who followed and supported the kidnappers. That is mob rule.

What separates civil society from the blood lust of murderers and kidnappers is the rule of law and a fair but firm Judicial system.

It saddens me to see that the Politicians shouting the loudest about liberty are the ones who are the least of its defenders in the wake of the baying mob.