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Be sure to see all of the videos – Parts 1-3.
Excerpt from The New Yorker’s Endorsement of President Obama:
In the realm of foreign policy, Obama came into office speaking the language of multilateralism and reconciliation—so much so that the Nobel Peace Prize committee, in an act as patronizing as it was premature, awarded him its laurels, in 2009. Obama was embarrassed by the award and recognized it for what it was: a rebuke to the Bush Administration. Still, the Norwegians were also getting at something more affirmative. Obama’s Cairo speech, that same year, tried to help heal some of the wounds not only of the Iraq War but, more generally, of Western colonialism in the Middle East. Speaking at Al Azhar University, Obama expressed regret that the West had used Muslim countries as pawns in the Cold War game of Risk. He spoke for the rights of women and against torture; he defended the legitimacy of the State of Israel while offering a straightforward assessment of the crucial issue of the Palestinians and their need for statehood, citing the “humiliations—large and small—that come with occupation.”
It was an edifying speech, but Obama was soon instructed in the limits of unilateral good will. Vladimir Putin, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Bashar al-Assad, Hu Jintao, and other autocrats hardened his spirit. Still, he proved a sophisticated and reliable diplomat and an effective Commander-in-Chief. He kept his promise to withdraw American troops from Iraq. He forbade torture. And he waged a far more forceful campaign against Al Qaeda than Bush had—a campaign that included the killing of Osama bin Laden. He negotiated—and won Senate approval of—a crucial strategic-arms deal with the Russians, slashing warheads and launchers on both sides and increasing the transparency of mutual inspections. In Afghanistan, he has set a reasonable course in an impossible situation.
[In contrast,] Mitt Romney has embraced the values and the priorities of a Republican Party that has grown increasingly reactionary and rigid in its social vision. It is a party dominated by those who despise government and see no value in public efforts aimed at ameliorating the immense and rapidly increasing inequalities in American society. A visitor to the F.D.R. Memorial, in Washington, is confronted by these words from Roosevelt’s second Inaugural Address, etched in stone: “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide for those who have too little.” Romney and the leaders of the contemporary G.O.P. would consider this a call to class warfare. Their effort to disenfranchise poor, black, Hispanic, and student voters in many states deepens the impression that Romney’s remarks about the “forty-seven per cent” were a matter not of “inelegant” expression, as he later protested, but of genuine conviction.
If the keynote of Obama’s Administration has been public investment—whether in infrastructure, education, or health—the keynote of Romney’s candidacy has been private equity, a realm in which efficiency and profitability are the supreme values. As a business model, private equity has had a mixed record. As a political template, it is stunted in the extreme. Private equity is concerned with rewarding winners and punishing losers. But a democracy cannot lay off its failing citizens. It cannot be content to leave any of its citizens behind—and certainly not the forty-seven per cent whom Romney wishes to fire from the polity.
The Romney-Ryan ticket represents a constricted and backward-looking vision of America: the privatization of the public good. In contrast, the sort of public investment championed by Obama—and exemplified by both the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Affordable Care Act—takes to heart the old civil-rights motto “Lifting as we climb.” That effort cannot, by itself, reverse the rise of inequality that has been under way for at least three decades. But we’ve already seen the future that Romney represents, and it doesn’t work.
The re-election of Barack Obama is a matter of great urgency. Not only are we in broad agreement with his policy directions; we also see in him what is absent in Mitt Romney—a first-rate political temperament and a deep sense of fairness and integrity.
[Read entire article]
The injustice suffered by Africans in America and around the world at the hands of vile and vicious European slavers is coming to bear with the rough reality of the shooting of 20 people in Arizona, murder of two Miami police officers, natural disasters that are destroying luxury properties owned by Europeans in Europe, Australia and other parts of the world. That there is justice in the Universe is evidenced by the rebellion of poor people everywhere. There is no vile act that will not be reconciled. As poor people, black, brown, red, yellow and white awaken, the powers that be need to pay attention and accept that their actions reap reaction, not only from people but nature, itself.
This is why it is so important to hold our Saturday classes where all these facts can be brought out so our children understand the price paid for them to have so many opportunities available to them. Also, I agree with you that today’s Blacks are lacking in courage; but, additionally, they have adopted the white man’s ways to the extent that keeping up with the Jones and conspicuous consumption causes them to have a false sense of security.They have become “comfortable” and are satisfied with the fact that they can own and drive expensive foreign cars and homes they can’t afford to pay for. It’s all about appearance instead of reality. No Black person in America is free and will NEVER be free until we understand how our history and culture were stolen from us; and, we are no longer original people. We are the white man’s slaves and clones. The more we emulate him, the more satisfied we are with ourselves. We must seek and embrace our own culture because our roots are not only deep, but they are richly profuse in every aspect of human advancement in every area and aspect of life. We are the original people; but, we’ve allowed ourselves to be relegated to an inferior status. Never, will any white person make me think I’m inferior to him or her. If I were to take a more subjective view, I would say that the Black race is the superior race. No race of people has been able to endure the horrendous treatment to which we have been subjected and still we rise! Additionally, there are false assumptions based on education, color and other shallow values that keep us separated, unlike other ethnic groups who come together to support each other as they help the other one to advance. We are so busy pulling each other down that we don’t take time to realize that together we are stronger than we are as one. I pray daily for my people and pray that I can live long enough to see them open their eyes, their hearts and their minds to realize that we are our brothers’/sisters’ keepers.
The history that your teacher never taught!
Our ancestors did not have TV or Newspapers and most could not read but they understood the difference between existing as slaves or living as free men. This is a value and a courage that is non-existent in today’s society. It appears that one thing is certain, there will never be another Crispus Attucks in this country!!!!
Untold story of U.S. slave rebellion retold centuries later
January 23, 2011
Details of paintings depicting 1811 Louisiana slave revolt by New Orleans folk artist Lorraine Gendron.
By Mitch Potter Washington Bureau
DESTREHAN PLANTATION, LA.—A long-lost chapter in American history is being written anew, today, as southerners begin to come to terms with the previously untold story of the continent’s largest slave revolt.
And, while historians today debate the details, a consensus is forming around just how close New Orleans came to becoming a free black colony precisely 200 years ago when a makeshift army of some 500 slaves, some just a few years out of Africa, rose up in carefully calculated unison with epic consequences.
Here at the pastoral Destrehan Plantation, the aftermath of the January 1811 insurrection was especially brutal — newly unearthed colonial records show the estate was the epicentre for a judicial reckoning, with the white slaveholders ordering as many as 100 ringleaders shot or hanged.
The black rebel leaders then were decapitated, with their heads mounted on stakes in a horrific necklace of retribution stretching 70 kms down the Mississippi, all the way to the gates of what was then America’s most crucial frontier city.
“It is one of the most striking moments of amnesia in our national history. What you had in the end were plantation owners sitting down to sumptuous five-course meals as they looked out the window at their own beheaded slaves,” said historian Daniel Rasmussen, who began his investigation as an undergraduate student at Harvard.
“The planters were outnumbered and terrified. They thought of their slaves as sub-human and they saw ritual beheading as a prime way to get their message across.
“And what followed this gruesome display was a concerted attempt to write it out of the history books. The southern newspapers suppressed the story, either refusing to publish or delaying for months. Only a few papers much further north published small paragraphs condemning the savagery of the planters.”
Tulane University, the African American Museum in Treme and Destrehan Plantation all are filling in the blanks with the launch of a yearlong look at the 1811 uprising.
But it is Rasmussen’s riveting new book, American Uprising: The Untold Story of America’s Largest Slave Revolt that is turning the most heads, in academia and beyond.
Collating clues from dust-encrusted plantation ledgers, colonial court records, obscure snippets of antebellum correspondence and the oral memory of slave descendents, Rasmussen’s study recreates the intense planning and careful timing that underpinned the audacious bid for freedom, involving slaves from a dozen plantations, along the river.
Two Asante warriors, Kook and Quamana, likely battle-hardened from wars in Africa, conspired with Charles Deslondes, a mulatto slave-driver of mixed parentage, who Rasmussen describes as “the ultimate sleeper cell.”
All had been, in one way or another, “sold down the river” — a cliché first conceived to describe the especially horrific nature of slavery at the southernmost end of the Mississippi, where extreme violence underpinned the extreme wealth of the lucrative French sugar plantations.
Spiked collars were the norm for the uncooperative — the spikes pointing inward to prevent sleep. Deslondes, working on behalf of his plantation owner, was responsible for administering punishment, including the lash for those who would dare refuse the backbreaking labours of harvesting, beating, boiling and refining the sugar cane.
Haiti was also a factor. The slave revolution of 1791 was, in its own way, a shot heard round the slave world, as French colonial refugees and their slaves washed into New Orleans. It remains unclear whether Deslondes came from Haiti.
Louisiana was a vital American territory 200 years ago, but just barely — Napoleon had sold France’s claim to the vast Mississippi watershed to the United States a few years earlier for a paltry $15 million, a gift that would ultimately open the drive to the Pacific. But Louisiana’s French colonial class had nothing but contempt for its new American overseers, who were in January 1811, preoccupied in battles with the Spanish to secure a tract of west Florida. New Orleans was nearly defenceless.
“The attack came at just the right moment — the Americans were fighting the Spanish and with the harvest completed, the French planters were focused on the month-long series of lavish carnival balls and all-night parties leading up to Mardi Gras. And several days of steady rains had turned the road to mud, impeding any counterattack. Their guard was down,” Rasmussen said in an interview with the Toronto Star.
“Scarcely a resident in New Orleans had a musket. The city had a weak detachment of 68 troops.”
The rebels rose first at André Plantation, after sunset on January 8, 1811. And within hours, they were on the march to New Orleans. A ragtag army, perhaps, but one that marched in uniform, having seized militia clothing and weapons from plantation armories. Their numbers grew as the march advanced and as rumor of the uprising swept down the river road, the ruling class fled for the safety of the city.
“The planters couldn’t understand it — the idea that the slaves were not just savages, but that this was something planned. You had an army marching in military formation, wearing military uniforms, carrying flags and banners and chanting, “Freedom or death,” said Rasmussen.
New Orleans was on the edge of chaos — not least because its own population was 75 per cent black, awakening the fears of a second front rising up within the town itself. The city would order its taverns closed, imposed a curfew on all black males and summoned able-bodied whites to arms. Simultaneously, fleeing French planters regrouped on the West Bank of the Miscopy upstream from the city.
The two forces, American regulars and French planter militia, ultimately were able to confront the freedom fighters from both sides in a series of pitched battles beyond the city gates in the days that followed. Surviving slaves fled to the swamps and manhunts ensued, with dozens rounded up for the rough justice to come.
In the end, 21 slaves were interviewed by their colonial overseers in a bid to piece together the roots of the conspiracy and assign criminal blame. Elements of the story, says Rasmussen, survive in the oral histories of slave descendents, passed down and told “even to the present day at family reunions.” But the main snippets are to be found, refracted through the writings of the white ruling class, which show extent of fears never before told.
“They were sitting on a powder keg and, when it exploded and was put down, everything changed. Instead of a mini-Haiti, Louisiana society became militarized. The revolt pushed this old aristocratic society into the hands of the American government,” said Rasmussen.
“What you see is that the foundations of American power in this part of the deep South were built upon the commitment to restore and uphold slavery. Essentially, the French planters decided to cling to the United States as an ark of safety.”
As for Kook, Quamana, and Charles Deslondes, only now are historians weighing how to elevate them alongside the likes of far better known revolutionaries like Nat Turner and John Brown as major figures in the American struggle for emancipation.
“None of this has ever been taught in American schools and the hope now is that these men, who were executed for the strongest ideals will take their rightful place in history,” said Rasmussen.
“They were political revolutionaries, they deserve a place in the national memory and there is a sense now that they are getting it. We need to wrestle with this history if we are ever to truly understand it.”
By Helen L. Burleson, Doctor of Public Administration
I am exhausted listening to people talking about their exhaustion defending the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama. As I listened to the lady at the recent town hall meeting who said she was exhausted with trying to defend President Obama to others who are disenchanted, I became even more exhausted.
Not once did I hear her say that she was exhausted with the obstructionisms, the odious smears, innuendos and lies being told about our president. I also did not hear her say that she would do all she could to discourage the GOP from blocking and preventing most of the progressive, humane agenda that the president has laid out to benefit all of America’s citizens. What is so troubling to me is that Democrats are sitting back and allowing the tea party and the Republicans to dominate the conversation by perverting all the good the Obama Administration is doing. These detractors are deliberately twisting and distorting the truth. Their 24/7 attention to the constant repetition of lies has so numbed and confused the average person that they are accepting these lies as the truth.
I am exhausted listening to people criticizing and disrespecting our president.
I am exhausted listening to all the ranting and ravings of the tea partiers and ultra conservative Republicans, all designed to derail the Obama presidency.
I’m exhausted realizing how many stupid, non-thinking and easily manipulative people there are in the United States of America.
I’m exhausted witnessing how the American education system has deteriorated to the point that Americans are ready to embrace mediocrity, ignorance and prejudice. We have produced a nation of automatons and clones who are incapable of thinking and cannot make decisions that are in their own best interests.
I’m exhausted knowing that President Obama inherited the biggest and most chaotic and devastating situation ever to occur in American history.
Today, September 23, 2010, the Republicans came out with their manifesto which in essence will paralyze America. To return to the policies that put our country in the greatest financial crisis since the original Depression of 1929 is criminal. They openly admit that they will dismantle all the progressive programs advanced and passed by the Obama Administration.
Now if you want to see exhaustion, wait and do nothing and let the Republicans replay their scenario of man’s inhumanity to man, catering to the rich and powerful, decimating the middle class and totally dissolving the lower class until they become the underbelly of society.
Should the Democrats be negligent enough because of lack of fervor to allow a Republican takeover, then I want to hear that same lady who so eloquently dressed the President down for the millions of people all over the world to see and hear; I want her to speak out. Speak out if she has a voice left after bemoaning our country going to hell in a hand basket as they take us back to the conflagration that put us in the condition we are in now. Dante’s Inferno could be no worse.
You think you’ve got it bad now? Why? Is it because you are ungrateful for all this Administration has produced despite the obstreperousness of the right wingers? It will be worse than during the Bush Administration because we have not learned from history or psychology. Doing the same failed things over and over gets the same failed results.
It is time for Democrats to stop moaning and groaning and to knock on every door, open the white pages and call everyone in the telephone directory to save our country. We have a good team and it is getting better. We have made enormous strides and progress in less than two years. The jobs are coming and they will be created here in America to make products by Americans and for Americans so that we can all get above the flood waters that we have been drowning in because of the Bush years – eight to be exact. Painstakingly these were eight years of mismanagement, pandering to the rich and the elite, shipping our jobs overseas depriving American workers of the ability to sustain themselves, and running up overwhelming debt while borrowing money to fund two wars. We have destroyed lives and properties in two countries, simultaneously; and, now we are rebuilding what we have torn down. Our own infrastructure is outdated and seriously in need of repair or replacement. Let’s bring our money home to take care of home. We had an ill conceived education program which did nothing except further dumb down America’s children and turn them into drones for passing tests. It did not matter that they were not learning or gaining knowledge or being prepared as lifetime learners, as long as they could pass these arbitrary tests, they were passed along.
Is this what we want for our children, America? Is this what we want for ourselves? Haven’t we suffered enough, America? If you say yes, then do something about it. If you don’t have genuine enthusiasm, fake it until you make it. Don’t allow our country to become paralyzed again with ill prepared, ill informed tea partiers replacing knowledgeable, forward thinking Democrats. Let’s go forward! Let’s defeat the prognosticators! Let’s take our country back to the Clinton years, to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt years, to the good old days when a man and a woman who were willing to work were able to find a good paying job and then be able to circulate money within our country to stimulate our economy so we can again know the prosperity that wiser, humane Administrations created for us. This is our Democracy, let’s practice what is necessary to sustain a thriving Democracy by voting for the Democratic lawmen who really and truly practice, COUNTRY FIRST. It is time to EXHAUST all your energies and your resources to keep the bums out! We don’t need witchcraft or voodoo economics, we don’t need to be paralyzed. We need a functioning, thriving Democracy where all of her citizens are given an equal opportunity to pursue life, liberty and happiness. This is what we owe ourselves. This is what we owe our children and their children and their children’s children. This is America. We are Americans. Let’s start acting like Americans who have always heeded the call to treat the least of these as we would want to be treated ourselves. We are our brothers and sisters keepers. This is our manifest destiny!
AMERICA’S OIL-RICH DEPOSITS
Mountrail County is a rolling, fertile grassland of nearly 2000 square miles in northwestern North Dakota. The county’s economy has long been based on agriculture. It is a land of farms and ranches together with small towns providing services to the rural population.
In 2007 the county found itself in the heart of the state’s oil development, thanks to the Bakken Formation.
The Bakken (BAH-ken) is a vast, deep formation of permeable rock rich in both natural gas and quality crude [link to photo of Bakken crude]. The Bakken is also being tapped in Montana and Saskatchewan.
AMERICANS NEED TO WAKE UP! You better sit down for this.
About 6 months ago, the writer was watching a news program on oil and one of the Forbes Bros. was the guest. The host said to Forbes, “I am going to ask you a direct question and I would like a direct answer. How much oil does the U.S. have in the ground?”
Forbes did not miss a beat, he said, “more than all the Middle East put together.” READ more. . .
In 1998, Frank and Audrey Peterman won the The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Award for Outstanding Citizen Advocacy on Behalf of the National Parks, 1998. Of course, I was proud of them and knew that they deserved this honor, after witnessing their hard work to bring African-Americans to the awareness of the splendor of our National Parks. But, in good consciousness, I had to ask Audrey if there would be as many homeless people in America, if the National Parks were accessible to everyone, like land was before the European colonialists arrived.
My contention was and still is that a great percentage of human beings are nomadic and the forests are where they would live, if they were not designated as National Parks.
Since I knew the Petermans had the ear of National Parks administrators, I suggested that they propose that several acres of the parks could be developed as free camping grounds and lodges to house those who would normally travel from site to site, similar to how Native Americans did six centuries ago. To my chagrin, Audrey skimmed over my idea and the discussion ended abruptly.
Now, 11 years later, I’m reading their newly published book, LEGACY ON THE LAND and truly enjoying Audrey’s descriptive writing of the couples joyous romps through the Badlands and other vistas of our glorious country. Yet, homelessness is evident in higher numbers as thousands of American families are evicted from their apartments and foreclosed homes. Mothers and their children are living in their vehicles, while the National Parks stand in pristine and lavish splendor. There is definitely something immoral and downright wrong with this.
Continued at http://nativeamericablues.ning.com