Saturday, July 7, 2012

One of ‘the best and the brightest’ died last week, and in Richard Holbrooke we had a perfect example of the dark mischief to which David Halberstam referred when he authored that ironic label. Holbrooke’s life marks the propensity of our elite institutions to turn out alpha leaders with simplistic world-ordering ambitions unrestrained by moral conscience or intellectual humility.

July 5, 2012 - Issue 479
A Few Good Women:
Response to “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All”

Represent Our Resistance
By Dr. Lenore J. Daniels, PhD
BC Editorial Board

As a modern female proletarian, the woman becomes a human being for the first time, since the [proletarian] struggle is the first to prepare human beings to make a contribution to culture, to history of humanity.
-Rosa Luxemburg, “The Proletarian Woman” (1914)

In her day, Marxist theoretician and activist, Rosa Luxemburg, was criticized for not defining herself as a “feminist” and advocating exclusively women’s suffrage. She attempted to explain her refusal to be identified solely as a feminist by arguing that, as a committed Marxist thinker and activist, she wanted to see the end of oppression for all people, women and men like - universal freedom, beyond the electoral process, full human rights for all. “Every day enlarges the hosts of women exploited by capitalism,” Luxemburg writes, (“Women’s Suffrage and Class Struggle”. (The Rosa Luxemburg Reader, 2004). Until women recognize that following the path of the worker’s struggle, rather than joining bourgeois women’s movements, inequality and injustice will remain and capitalism and its facilitators (bourgeois women included) will profit from “exploitation and enslavement” of the masses of women and their children.

“Bourgeois advocates of women’s rights want to secure political rights in order hen to assume a role in political life.”While I am reading Anne-Marie Slaughter’s “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” in the cover story of The Atlantic, July/August, issue, I am asking myself, what world does this woman live in? But then I know.

“I am well aware that the majority of American women face problems far greater than any discussed in this article. I am writing for my demographic - highly educated, well-off women who are privileged enough to have choices in the first place.”

Slaughter is writing for the women who seek leadership positions, who pursue and maintain “their place on the highest rungs of their profession,” preferably the political profession, and who assumed, unlike their mothers, that they, women born in the 1950s, would be able to “have it all.”

Have all of what?

Let me back up and list Slaughter’s complaint. Certain ambiguous women, highly educated and privileged, born in the 1950s, are, like Slaughter, having to give up their dream jobs in high, prominent positions alongside their male counterparts because, some, like Slaughter, have at least one or more teenage at home already exhibiting a “pattern of skipping homework, disrupting classes,” while failing math, and tuning out any adult” who tries to reach him or her. Apparently the nannies cannot do it all either. The husband, in this case Slaughter’s, spends more time with the children, but it is not enough. A “foreign-policy dream job” of leadership and power, “a rise up the ladder” job, and job in which she struggled to balance family and work as the “first woman director of policy planning at the State Department under Secretary of State Hilary Clinton had to come to an end after just two years.

If only the “system,” “the American economy and society,” would allow these women to have it all, they would be able to help out those poor sisters working at Walmart! Really! Not as equals but as leaders, of course,--we could “create a better society...for all women” if we could just “put a woman in the White House” so we are able to “change the conditions of the woman working at Walmart.” Yeah, wow! One less woman in a “leadership” position, so the rest of us are in deep shit with one less leader, particularly those of you women working at Walmart! Slaughter still believes, “strongly believes,” that women can “have it all,” but the “system,” the “American economy,” “society” needs to reform its ways!

Before I return to what it is we women, or only those highly educated and privileged women, want, let us briefly consider the “genuine superwomen,” according to Slaughter, in “leadership” positions. Well, of course, there is Hilary Clinton, wife of Bill, mother of Chelsea, lawyer, former First Lady, former candidate for president of the U.S., and now Secretary of State in the Obama, drones-dropping-on-womenand-their-children administration. Who can forget Condoleeza Rice. But, as Slaughter tells us, Rice’s success comes with a cost. She was the only “national security adviser since 1950s not to have a family.” Woe! Well, Condi Rice still managed to overlook a certain memo about apossible attack on the U.S. just prior to September 2001, and she went on as Secretary of State to help plan and enforce Bush II’s foreign policy, which included that little business of “shock and awe” drama in Iraq. Some people call it a war!

Then there is Ambassador Susan Rice, good ole’ Susan at the UN who, in March attended an AIPAC conference to echo the commitment of her boss to Israel’s “safety”: “Not a day goes by -- not one -- when my colleagues and I do not work hard to defend Israel's security and legitimacy at the United Nations” (Huffington Post, March 6, 2012). Along with Susan Rice, we have other “genuine superwomen” such as Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Michelle Gavin, Nancy-Ann Min DeParle,” all Rhodes Scholars. And then there is Samantha Power (of Rwanda and other political intrigues) who “won a Pulitzer Prize at age 32” - how are younger highly educated, privileged women with choices to measure up to the standards of “these very talented professional women,” Slaughter asks. “Such a standard sets up most women for a sense of failure.”

Never mind that these women nod and agree with and represent the U.S. Empire in exploiting and enslaving workers, women, and children, and whole populations of sovereign nations. Slaughter does not mention Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, great at her job of following policy and deporting mothers, fathers, children. As of this month, however, Obama’s regime, visionaries, recognize the need for the Latino vote this coming November, not to mention future engineers, techies, drone operators, and plain old ordinary combat soldiers.Today, with more women “leaders” finding the exit door and returning home to families and less demanding jobs, these would-be super women are confronted by the “genuine superwomen” and the leader men who blame them for not working harder!

“Let’s briefly examine the stories we tell ourselves, the clichés that I and many other women typically fall back on when younger women ask us how we have managed to ‘have it all.’ They are not necessarily lies, but at best partial truths,” writes Slaughter.

It is possible if you are just committed enough! But we are, writes Slaughter. But there are these “trade-offs and sacrifices; these children, particularly teenagers who need us; these planes to catch, conferences, and meetings. “Dry cleaning,” “hair appointments,” “Christmas shopping,” along with “children’s sporting events, music lessons, family meals” have to be done on the weekends, for heaven’s sake!

It’s possible if you marry the right person! Well, Slaughter did and it still does not matter because having a “high-powered” career means she misses the experience of caring for children. It is not the same for men like the former diplomat Richard Holbrooke whose “absence” from his family “was the price of saving people around the world - a price worth paying.” Yes! There are omissions in Slaughter’s narrative that have to gloss over the reality that Democrats are equally warmongers, committed to sacrificing truth on behalf of the Empire’s interests. In case you do not remember Holbrooke, because Slaughter will not tell you, she has an agenda and she assumes she is writing for that highly educated and privileged crowd and maybe some young college wouldbe women “leaders,” this is the same Holbrooke of Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, U.S. foreign policy of bringing democracy and saving the “little people” of the world; the same Holbrooke journalist Robert Scheer wrote of in his article, “Speaking Ill of the Best and the Brightest,” Truthdig, December 22, 2010, shortly after 

Holbrooke died.

Scheer writes:

One of ‘the best and the brightest’ died last week, and in Richard Holbrooke we had a perfect example of the dark mischief to which David Halberstam referred when he authored that ironic label. Holbrooke’s life marks the propensity of our elite institutions to turn out alpha leaders with simplistic world-ordering ambitions unrestrained by moral conscience or intellectual humility. Holbrooke was “successful,” in Vietnam with the pacification program that, as Scheer writes, “herded peasants off their land into barbed-wire encampments” while the U.S. Empire bombed surrounding areas. He was “successful,” indeed, “infamous” as an operator with the CIA Phoenix program, also in Vietnam before the Obama regime sent him off to do his thing in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Once he was near death he muttered to physicians that the U.S. needs to end the war in Afghanistan.

This Holbrooke, for Slaughter, saved lives, period! But she has a problem with this “ethical framework” - not Holbrooke’s so-called “leadership.” Slaughter asks: “Why should we want leaders who fall short on personal responsibilities?” Yeah!

“Workers who put their careers first are typically rewarded; workers who choose their families are overlooked, disbelieved, or accused of unprofessionalism.” Would it have something to do with giving the U.S. Empire 110% in the task of saving lives, bring democracy and freedom to the world by way of the IMF, UN troops, Monsanto, Exxon Oil, and an assortment of high-tech weapons and air craft? Let us not go there; Slaughter does not, cannot. The material reality of a capitalist economic regime must not enter this narrative!

Moving on: It’s possible if you sequence it right! That is, have the marriage and babies when you should, when you can devote all your time to the business of Empire as did “Madeleine Albright, Hilary Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sandra Day O’Connor, Patricia Wald, Nannerl Keohane” who got those babies born and in the hands of nannies while Empire’s women “leaders” were still in their 20s and early30s.. With babies all grown and on their way, these women were able to take advantage of the “freedoms and opportunities” that came their way. Today, you are too old at 40 to jump aboard the Empire’s train and you are at ripe age in your 30s, but now you have these little ones at home. How are your weekdays, starting at “4:20am on Monday” and ending “late on Friday,” weekdays “crammed with meetings” and “a never-ending stream of memos, reports, and comments on other people’s drafts,” to include children?

Woe to us trying to be women leaders!

“I would hope to see commencement speeches that finger America’s social and business policies, rather than women’s level of ambition, in explaining the dearth of women at the top,” writes Slaughter. And what is up there in these high-powered positions? Power! There is an entire structuring of social relations based on this power. Hierarchal, to be sure! Every rung on the ladder consist of people to conquer, conflicts and wars to promote for the good of “democracy,” of course. Slaughter implies what an Alter Net article seems to spell out - that the Democrats are good, saving-lives-people unlike those Republicans, conservatives, right-wingers, who, for example, employ the highly educated, privileged law graduates “to expand on their scholarship as private consultants,” (see the June 18, 2012, Alter Net), which suggests that only Republicans, conservatives, right-wingers “develop procorporate strategies in papers and are far better paid than their liberal 

counterparts.” Obama, the constitutional lawyer has done his share of contributing to the development of banking institutions and corporations, has he not? Slaughter’s immediate boss, Clinton, and their Commander-In-Chief, Obama, expanded the drone program. Under his regime, there has been more suffering in this country and around the world, yet Slaughter wants to see more women at the top, more women, preferably Democratic women, at the top, wielding power - just tweak whatever might be “America’s social and business policies.” [T]he responses heard from my peers and associates prompted me to write this article. Women of my generation have clung to the feminist credo we are raised with, even as our ranks have been steadily thinned by irresolvable tensions between family and career, because we are determined not to drop the flag for the next generation.

She does not want to “drop the flag.” The race to the top is not over! Slaughter feels guilty for lecturing young women, not all women - just those ambitious young women - that “if they cannot manage to rise up the ladder as fast as men,” and have families and “be thin and beautiful to boot,” then they are to blame! (“Why Women”).

If we question what might motivate the highly educated and privileged women to “leadership” positions in government, academia, corporate, banking, and other spheres in which they wield the power of the Empire rather than the power of the people, we would have to concluded, given Slaughter’s account, that these women mean to begin in partnership with the Patriarchy of Empire, an equal lion’s share of positions of authority and an equal distribution of wealth. If these women are not successful at reforming the system from within, then begin the movement to bring about the domination of women, predominately  white women, bourgeois women, to power.This drive to be included in the Patriarchal structuring of humanity, to join rather than challenge the injustice experienced in Black, Chicano and Indigenous communities, forced Black, Chicano, and Indigenous people to break from “feminism” in the late 60s and early 70s to develop feminist theories that spoke to their particularly heritage, social, political, and cultural issues. Still valid, these theories have,  since the 1990s, been marginalized, if not silenced by what Slaughter offers as the best hope for “women”: “to close the leadership gap: to elect a woman president and 50 women senators.” Women must be “equally represented in the ranks of corporate executives and judicial leaders.”

Only when women wield power in sufficient numbers will we create a society that genuinely works for all women. “That will be a society that works for everyone.”

Sounds familiar? This is Slaughter’s trickle down “freedoms and opportunities” theory, I suppose. Wait on these highly educated, privileged women, predominantly white women, running the race to the top for us women, for all of society! They will save us just as Richard Holbrooke did! For Slaughter and her cohorts in “leadership,” working class Black, Chicano, Asian, Indigenous, Arab women ALL agree with this insane logic - even if we were not asked - and dismissed as subjects (sisters) within Slaughter’s article.

We have plenty of this dehumanization and marginalization from Patriarchal Empire as it is now, and the leadership we seek calls for striking down the power of Empire to benefit from the destruction of our lives and the lives of our children. Instead, Slaughter and her cohorts of women “leaders,” in marginalizing the true nature of their work within, on behalf of the Empire and the work of the Empire itself, marginalizes by omission the history of the masses of women and their struggle against the “leadership” of capitalist and corporate rulers. We have yet to experience a feminist movement, thanks to these betrayers of feminism!

Slaughter’s article does not purport to prepare for the rise of human beings who contribute to culture, or to history; unfortunately, it urges the indoctrination of a new generation of women, a few good women, highly educated at corporatized colleges and universities, (preferably at the top Corporate Leadership Cloning Factories, the Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and University of Chicago), privileged, predominantly white American women and colored imitators, to lord over the working class Black, Brown, Yellow, Indigenous, Arab young women who do not fit the bill and wait to be saved from your misery.

Follow those who KNOW!

Bourgeois women are nothing if not “co-consumers of the surplus value their men extort from the proletariat,” writes Luxemburg (“Women’s Suffrage and Class Struggle”). “As long as capitalism and the wage system rule, only that kind of work is considered productive which produces surplus-value, which creates capitalist profit” - capitalist wars. But do not expect an anti-capitalist, anti-corporate, anti-war campaign from these ambitious women who are more in “love” with Patriarchal power than they are their own children.

Have all of what?

More of the inhumane and insane! Slaughter is not speaking of “freedom and opportunities” for all, but more patriarchal women engaged in the exploitation and the enslavement of the working class! Editorial Board member and Columnist, Lenore Jean Daniels, PhD, has a Doctorate in Modern American Literature / Cultural Theory.

"What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" Speech by Frederick Douglass July 5, 1852

June 28, 2012 - Issue 478

"What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" 
Speech by Frederick Douglass
July 5, 1852

Frederick Douglass gave this speech on July 5, 1852 at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, held at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, New York. 

Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great men, too great enough to give frame to a great age. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men. The point from which I am compelled to view them is not, certainly, the most favorable; and yet I cannot contemplate their great deeds with less than admiration. They were statesmen, patriots and heroes, and for the good they did, and the principles they contended for, I will unite with you to honor their memory....

...Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? and am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?

Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions! Then would mytask be light, and my burden easy and delightful. For who is there so cold, that a nation's sympathy could not warm him? Who so obdurate and dead to the claims of gratitude, that would not thankfully acknowledge such priceless benefits? Who so stolid and selfish, that would not give his voice to swell the hallelujahs of a nation's jubilee, when the chains of servitude had been torn from his limbs? I am not that man. In a case like that, the dumb might eloquently speak, and the "lame man leap as an hart."

But such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrevocable ruin! I can to-day take up the plaintive lament of a peeled and woe-smitten people!

"By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down. Yea! we wept when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there, they that carried us away captive, required of us a song; and they who wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How can we sing the Lord's song in a strangeland? If I forget thee, 0 Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth."

Fellow-citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, to-day, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shoutsthat reach them. If I do forget, if I do not faithfully remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, "may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!" To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs, and to chime in with the popular theme, would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world. My subject, then, fellow-citizens, is American slavery. I shall see this day and its popular characteristics from the slave's point of view. Standing there identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine, I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this 4th of July! Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity which is outraged, in the name of liberty which is fettered, in the name of the constitution and the Bible which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery 'the great sin and shame of America!' "I will not equivocate; I will not excuse"; I will use the severest language I can command; and yet not one word shall escape me that any man, whose judgment is not blinded by prejudice, or who is not at heart a slaveholder, shall not confess to be right and just.

But I fancy I hear some one of my audience say, "It is just in this circumstance that you and your brother abolitionists fail to make a favorable impression on the public mind. Would you argue more, an denounce less; would you persuade more, and rebuke less; your cause would be much more likely to succeed." But, I submit, where all is plain there is nothing to be argued. What point in the anti-slavery creed would you have me argue? On what branch of the subject do the people of this country need light? Must I undertake to prove that the slave is a man? That point is conceded already. Nobody doubts it. The slaveholders themselves acknowledge it in the enactment of laws for their government. They acknowledge it when they punish disobedience on the part of the slave. There are seventy-two crimes in the State of Virginia which, if committed by a black man (no matter how ignorant he be), subject him to the punishment of death; while only two of the same crimes will subject a white man to the like punishment. What is this but the acknowledgment that the slave is a moral, intellectual, and responsible being? The manhood of the slave is conceded. It is admitted in the fact that Southern statute books are covered with enactments forbidding, under severe fines and penalties, the teaching of the slave to read or to write. When you can point to any such laws in reference to the beasts of the field, then I may consent to argue the manhood of the slave. When the dogs in your streets, when the fowls of the air, when the cattle on your hills, when the fish of the sea, and the reptiles that crawl, shall be unable to distinguish the slave from a brute, then will I argue with you that the slave is a man!For the present, it is enough to affirm the equal manhood of the Negro race. Is it not astonishing that, while we are ploughing, planting, and reaping, using all kinds of mechanical tools, erecting houses, constructing bridges, building ships, working in metals of brass, iron, copper, silver and gold; that, while we are reading, writing and ciphering, acting as clerks, merchants and secretaries, having among us lawyers, doctors, ministers, poets, authors, editors, orators and teachers; that, while we are engaged in all manner of enterprises common to other men, digging gold in California, capturing the whale in the Pacific, feeding sheep and cattle on the hill-side, living, moving, acting, thinking, planning, living in families as husbands, wives and children, and, above all, confessing and worshipping the Christian's God, and looking hopefully for life and immortality beyond the grave, we are called upon to prove that we are men!

Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? that he is therightful owner of his own body? You have already declared it. Must I argue the wrongfulness of slavery? Is that a question for Republicans? Is it to be settled by the rules of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of justice, hard to be understood? How should I look to-day, in the presence of Americans, dividing, and subdividing a discourse, to show that men have a natural right to freedom? speaking of it relatively and positively, negatively and affirmatively. To do so, would be to make myself ridiculous, and to offer an insult to your understanding. There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven that does not know that slavery is wrong for him.

What, am I to argue that it is wrong to make men brutes, to rob them of their liberty, to work them without wages, to keep them ignorant of their relations to their fellow men, to beat them with sticks, to flay their flesh with the lash, to load their limbs with irons, to hunt them with dogs, to sell them at auction, to sunder their families, to knock out their teeth, to burn their flesh, to starve them into obedience and submission to their masters? Must I argue that a system thus marked with blood, and stained with pollution, is wrong? No! I will not. I have better employment for my time and strength than such arguments would imply.

What, then, remains to be argued? Is it that slavery is not divine; that God did not establish it; that our doctors of divinity are mistaken? There is blasphemy in the thought. That which is inhuman, cannot be divine! Who can reason on such a proposition? They that can, may; I cannot. The time for such argument is passed. At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could reach the nation's ear, I would, to-day, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy -- a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.

Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival....

...Allow me to say, in conclusion, notwithstanding the dark picture I have this day presented, of the state of the nation, I do not despair of this country. There are forces in operation which must inevitably work the downfall of slavery. "The arm of the Lord is not shortened," and the doom of slavery is certain. I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope. While drawing encouragement from "the Declaration of Independence," the great principles it contains, and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age. Nations do not now stand in the same relation to each other that they did ages ago. No nation can now shut itself up from the surrounding world and trot round in the same old path of its fathers without interference. The time was when such could be done. 

Long established customs of hurtful character could formerly fence themselves in, and do their evil work with social impunity. Knowledge was then confined and enjoyed by the privileged few, and the multitude walked on in mental darkness. But a change has now come over the affairs of mankind. Walled cities and empires have become unfashionable. The arm of commerce has borne away the gates of the strong city. Intelligence is penetrating the darkest corners of the globe. It makes its pathway over and under the sea, as well as on the earth. Wind, steam, and lightning are its chartered agents. Oceans no longer divide, but link nations together. From Boston to London is now a holiday excursion. Space is comparatively annihilated. -- Thoughts expressed on one side of the Atlantic are distinctly heard on the other. The far off and almost fabulous Pacific rolls in grandeur at our feet. The Celestial Empire, the mystery of ages, is being solved. The fiat of the Almighty, "Let there be Light," has not yet spent its force. No abuse, no outrage whether in taste, sport or avarice, can now hide itself from the all-pervading light. The iron shoe, and crippled foot of China must be seen in contrast with nature. Africa must rise and put on her yet unwoven garment. 'Ethiopia, shall, stretch. out her hand unto God." In the fervent aspirations of William Lloyd Garrison, I say, and let every heart join in saying it:

God speed the year of jubilee
The wide world o'er!
When from their galling chains set free,
Th' oppress'd shall vilely bend the knee,
And wear the yoke of tyranny
Like brutes no more.
That year will come, and freedom's reign,
To man his plundered rights again
God speed the day when human blood
Shall cease to flow!
In every clime be understood,
The claims of human brotherhood,
And each return for evil, good,
Not blow for blow;
That day will come all feuds to end,
And change into a faithful friendEach foe.
God speed the hour, the glorious hour,
When none on earth
Shall exercise a lordly power,
Nor in a tyrant's presence cower;
But to all manhood's stature tower,
By equal birth!
That hour will come, to each, to all,
And from his Prison-house, to thrall
Go forth.
Until that year, day, hour, arrive,
With head, and heart, and hand I'll strive,
To break the rod, and rend the gyve,
The spoiler of his prey deprive --
So witness Heaven!
And never from my chosen post,
Whate'er the peril or the cost,
Be driven.

Our bondage is not only economic, it is mental, and is supported by constantly tweaked tyrannical and unjust laws and extremely brutal police forces throughout this nation. Our slavery is further reinforced by a corporate owned and controlled "news" media that is as pathetic as it is insidious

July 5, 2012 - Issue 479
Corporate Brand Obama – The 'Kill List' Assassin
Keeping it Real By Larry Pinkney - BC Editorial Board

"The madness of this course, we believe, is admitted now...but we fear the lesson is wholly lost on our present ruler."
-Frederick Douglass, from his speech, What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?

"The challenge remains. On the other side are formidable forces: money, political power, the major media. On our side are the people of the world and a power greater than money or weapons: the truth."
-Howard Zinn

The truth is that at this moment of time in this, the 21st century, the vast majority of everyday ordinary Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow people in the United States are de facto slaves. That's right - slaves.

We are slaves to the psychological, economic, and physical dictates of a self-legitimized organized corporate / military crime syndicate known as the United States government. Our bondage is not only economic, it is mental, and is supported by constantly tweaked tyrannical and unjust laws and extremely brutal police forces throughout this nation.

Our slavery is further reinforced by a corporate owned and controlled "news" media that is as pathetic as it is insidious. Unfortunately, much of 'Black America' exists in a vacuum of delusion and has yet to heed the burning significance of Harriet Tubman's words, when she said, "I freed a thousand slaves - I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves."

Now, this nation has as its president [i.e. chief executive] a dangerously alluring man, of somewhat darker pigmentation, who has, in the fallacious name of 'hope and change,' ushered in a corporate controlled police state, and has shamelessly taken on unconstitutional powers to overtly and/or covertly militarily attack peoples and sovereign nations in Africa and the so-called 'Middle East,' etc. Yet, much of Black America has remained deafeningly silent about these horrors.

This man, Barack Obama, was four years ago, and remains today, a deceivingly packaged corporate brand whose actions have repeatedly belied his obfuscated rhetoric. His demonstrative message to Black America is, in reality, "Shut up! You should consider yourself lucky to have someone who looks like you in the White House! So just shut up and support me! Ignore your conscience and your common sense, while I do what I want!" Meanwhile, Barack Obama, relying upon his obfuscated rhetoric, his well-honed hypocrisy, and his now meaningless pigmentation is going about the business of making an utter mockery of the hundreds of years struggle and enormous sacrifices collectively made by Black America.

Notwithstanding his hypocritical and strong support for the trillions of dollars given to Wall Street's banksters and other corporate robber barons, at the terrible expense of everyday people of all colors in this nation, Obama has now blatantly taken it upon himself to be the judge, jury, and executioner of people (including U.S. citizens) around the world that he decides will be eliminated, i.e. murdered, without the bother of a trial, a jury, or legal defense. He is the corporate brand assassin with his very own secret 'kill list.' How can so much of Black America, after years of lynchings and Jim Crow, etc. be silent (and therefore complicit) in this? Another word for 'kill list' is government terrorism, and covertly murdering those persons on a kill list does not diminish so-called terrorism - it enhances it, which is the height of "madness" and hypocrisy.

As if the internal U.S. government outrages of COINTELPRO [counter intelligence program], the Patriot Act, and the NDAA (the so-called National Defense Authorization Act) are not already more than egregious and draconian enough, Obama now has his own murderous hit list [i.e. 'kill list']. What will it take for the slaves under the yoke of this organized government terrorism against everyday people to recognize and resist their / our slavery?!

Moreover, make no mistake about it: What this corporate selflegitimized organized crime syndicate U.S. government practices abroad, it most assuredly will, or does already, practice covertly right here at home. A hit list abroad means there is a hit list at home. Wake up Black America! We must wake up and regain our collective conscience and common sense.

Notwithstanding the phony rhetoric and statistics emanating from the corporate-owned U.S. government crime syndicate, the reality is that the rate of joblessness for everyday people of all colors in this nation has skyrocketed, and the actual rate of joblessness in Black America is deep into the double digits. Yet, Barack Obama and his political accomplices in the symbiotically-joined Democratic and Republican parties are doing quite well even as the elite Wall Street banksters and other corporate robber barons have annual criminal 'salaries' that are in six and seven digits. This is not only insane - it is criminal. Without economic 'democracy' in this nation for the masses of everyday ordinary people, there is no 'democracy' at all! Remember: Obama's 'kill list' has many forms, not the least of which is economic, and most of us are targets. We must first recognize our slavery, in order to eradicate it.

We must trust that 'Black America' collectively will re-awaken and regain its rightful place among our everyday sisters and brothers of all colors in this nation and throughout Mother Earth. This will not happen by osmosis. We must work to make it so!

Each one, reach one. Each one, teach one. Onward, then, my sisters and brothers. Onward!... Editorial Board member and Columnist, Larry Pinkney, is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self-authored his civil / political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In connection with his political organizing activities in opposition to voter suppression, etc., Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on the nationally televised PBS News Hour, formerly known as The MacNeil / Lehrer News Hour. For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker, by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn].

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sometimes, it is just nice to find something nice because a friend was nice enough to invite you to a place they really liked!

To: Bill Bishop 28 July, 2012

% Willard Bishop LLC

840 S. Northwest Hwy

Barrington, IL 60010

Re: Adventures in Dining and Shopping at Mariano's Palatine store

Dear Bill,

I (finally) found an excuse to get my father over to Mariano's Palatine store yesterday (27 June, 2012). He was hungry, we were about out of groceries, and all the planets seem aligned.

We started at the lunch counter, and each of us went for one of the $6.00 meals plus two sides. While waiting in line, I tell dad, “Grandpa Harry (dad's dad, who was a butcher) would have liked working here!” Dad replies, “Yes, but he would have spent too much time flirting with all the beautiful women.” And NOW, after being totally embarrassed by my father's overt flirtatious habits (CONSTANTLY flirting with women I should be dating) which I have been aware of for almost forty years, I discover something new about my Grandfather Harry, and observe (not for the first time) that sons either embrace or reject their father's idiocyncricies (never total rejection; never total acceptance, either).

Dad selected the pulled pork, with baked beans and one of the pasta salads; I selected the teriyaki tuna, the same pasta salad dad ordered, and a hot veggie combo – brocolli and cauliflower. Dad pays the cashier $12 plus tax. He whispers (“This place is gonna put a lot of restuarants out of business.”). I ask what he's like to drink. He wants a soft drink, hands me two dollars, and asks if that will be enough. “Better make it $3.00,” says I. Get him a ginger ale (one of his personal favorites) and a very tall can of Green Arizona Tea for me. I return with $1.27 in change. At our favorite Italian joint, Sergio's in Barrington, we'd have spent $15.00, and the pulled pork portions would have been comparable (Mariano's would probably win out, but not by very much; I would have been the loser – can't get teriyaki tuna at Sergio's). All of a sudden, the Ganzer's have a conundrum of loyalties. Hopefully, it will resolve itself.

Dad also inotes that it is not too hot in the store. This is a matter of GREAT importance to him. He is constantly admonishing the Jewel Store employees that they need to keep the temperature lower.

After lunch, we shop, picking up $76.99 in groceries (which includes laundry detergent, laundry softener, and paper towels) on twenty-six items. We have enough meat / poultry for me to fix at least 10 main courses for two bachelors, saving money all the way over that store in Barrington whose only redeeming feature is its convenience, at about one and a half miles from home.

Hell, I haven't even told you how incredibly efficient and fast they were in processing us through the check out line and taking dad's debit card (he ALWAYS gets flustered when he has to use it in a new place). Such nice, friendly people work for Mariano's. Just how in the world (or where) does one located and train such a wonderful staff?

Please feel free to share this with anyone from Mariano's (or where ever) who might find it useful or interesting. They just picked up two consumers for life and really deserve to know at least some of the things they are doing REALLY well. Other store chains might also profit from our experiences. Accept my apology for suggesting to tell you how to do your business.

With Warm and Fond Regards,

Mark Raymond Ganzer