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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Equal Rights and Justice

It's a beautiful day in these United States , and that's besides the rhetoric of the usual 'self aggrandizing doom and gloomers,' that you are only too familiar with, that there is simply no need to bore you with any of  their names, agreed?
    In an effort to appeal to the conscience , and moral decency ,of the seemingly heartless across the global village ,South African Archbishop , and eventual Nobel Peace Prize winner, Desmond Tutu , a very  staunch opponent of  his country's   barbaric ,and dehumanizing  Apartheid system,  was forced to say the following:-  “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
 My question is leveled at you fellow global citizens - where do you stand on glaring unresolved INJUSTICES AND ATROCITIES  that are still existing ,starting at home ,and including  the entire spectrum of  the developed industrialized , Global  North , all the way down to those insignificant ,developing/ emerging ,members of the  Global South ?
For the record , many of the problems I am referring to , threatens to make Apartheid  SA back then ,or early pioneering American or Canadian neo genocidal Cherokee nation land grab,   appear like a Mother Theresa Sunday School picnic in comparison.
    I know that  you were  not hiding under a rock on Planet Pluto ,for the past two decades since "the end of history," when the two alleged global Cold War enemies decided to start their tribal  love feast, after decades of ideological divisions ,  proxy wars, as well as exploitations for human, and or  natural resources , often via  enabling of  brutal regimes , 'primarily' amongst black , brown, yellow , and red folks outside of Europe.  
   As you tune in to the useless baseless  shenanigans of the complicit, conglomerate , corporate media  agents , you are more confuse ,  overwhelmed, and suffers more from  a sense of intellectual fatigue, coupled with powerlessness , to do anything tangible, and so you fall for the many typical excuses in explanation. 
   Many of the assertions are familiar , and might have emanated from your own mouths occasionally , I am certain. These include , but are not limited to the following:- 'They don't like us ,and our ways of life.' 'These folks are simply uncivilized ,hopeless , unrepentant ,savages.' 'We already have enough on our own plate to deal with , and so cannot afford to grapple with the problems ,and challenges that others are left with- even if our respective leaders were the initial causes of the present social maladies.' 'Our respective countries should do whatever is necessary to ensure that our immigration laws are tightened ,so as to ensure that such stay miscreants and their degenerate off springs ,stay away from our continent, as we do not wish that they eventually try to impose their will, and way of life upon us.' Sound familiar?
Now that's the easy part, but what about the plight of freedom loving , conscionable ,second and third generations folks  that are either born , or lived here for decades ,who  are troubled at prevailing affairs both domestically, and internationally that affects others that look like they are?
 You justifiably denounce and punish the overzealous amongst them that choose to resort to illegal , unlawful methods, to make perceived  wrongs right, but what about that decent, caring ,social and political activists, that views peace, security, and sustainable development  for all, in a more progressive , all embracing , mutually respectful way? Time to take a stand , by deciding to get socially and politically engaged beyond the typical narrow, pro- tribal, ideological , or class oriented premise.The reasons  are simple - a family, society,nation, or world  cannot fully strive and  reach it's full potential , if any of it's respective members are left behind, or stuck in hopeless socio economic , and or political state.
 Let me in ending leave you with a letter along with the admonitions of two courageous members of Blacksungod nation, as they play some role in uplifting an oppressed people ,and making America much greater  , by taking moral stance in the quest for peace , security ,and  justice via political empowerment. These are Dr MLK Jr, and my dear loving  Brother, Stokley Carmichael.
 I wish you well. I wish you well.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sustainable development is not a catch phrase

  I like the speech very much, and feel happy for the fact that she is indirectly speaking truth to justice, for the millions of voiceless Native Canadian Indian kids,and their parents  ,that are still treated as 4th class citizens in their own country , by the kids and grand kids of colonizers.
 I myself always  find it intriguing when the poor , backward countries in the  Global South are used as examples to shock the conscience of the world and spur them into so form of action in terms of perhaps  aid , yet at the same time little is mentioned of the deprivations, Human Right abuses , and other forms of wanton neglect  at home within the enclaves of the Global North. 
We do have an obligation to enlighten our kids  such as Severn Suzuki,and make them understand that charity can begin at home,and likewise the abuses , and callous activities that commence at home, often can  be translated to a skewed Foreign Policy that can contribute to destruction of the global environment .It is for this reason that civil society needs to be monitored , so as to ensure that false values, and will are not imposed on others , under the guise of development. 

Did anyone tell 13 year old Severn Suzuki  about the genocide , and   real history about the aboriginal folks in her country, at the hands of her ancestors?

I too grew up reading the fairy tales about indigenous folks causing global warming as a result of lighting a few log wood fires for cooking and warmth.

 The quest for sustainable development , in the face of lies and half truths can be very challenging indeed. I am to continue a dialogue on these and similar subject as we move forward, for yes we are indeed happy to see efforts aimed at the poor that are far away,but  unless a charitable spirit is developed at home, much progress will not take place. Take a stand against all from of injustice. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Environmental Justice Revisited

Former Presidential candidate Al Gore is making the news quite frequently of late , but one can be certain it’s for issues he would soon forget . These range form break up with his long standing wife,and one time high school sweetheart Tipper, to accusations of sexual misconduct by a questionable female masseuse . We wish him well, as he move forward . The world owes a bit of gratitude, not only to Al Gore ,but to the US Supreme Court, for by their 2000 political election , Hanging Chad legal gesture in halting his political power ambition on one front. He was energized as a result to become an ‘eco- political’ champion ,and because of him ,we became more sensitize as to the problems that confronts us across the global commons , as well as the urgent necessity to take drastic actions to halt the continual degradations that we were unleashing upon our planet as a whole.

Like his legendary internet creation claims fiasco -he was tempted to take credit for- Al Gore did not introduce global warming theories to the world as such, but again , he came on to the grand stage, at an opportune time , and so became that much needed ,respectable,solid , coherent voice, which helped highlight concerns on matters such as disposal of chemicals, nuclear toxic waste, deforestations,acids rains, soil erosions, pollution, and climatic changes.
Most importantly, we were force to indirectly reassess questions of peace, security, and economic well being , away from narrow classical , state centric , self interest perspective , to now include a multilateral political cooperation , interdependency. It becomes clearer that we are all part of the global commons, and rapid advance in technology has made each member of the global village , a potential victim.
It has therefore force states large and small , regional, and global international bodies led by the UN to enter discussions, as well as come up with new and innovative laws and treaties , and agreements to grapple with such overlapping problems , before we all suffer.

Of course each of us is now fully well , of the billions of dollars worth in damage committed in the US Gulf Coast recently by the BP oil giant, but should not forget that for over 30 years ,similar and worst results occurred  in the Niger Delta due to oil exploration and extraction.

So yes , Nigeria might be plagued with numerous political problems, but such should not let us ignore the role, and adverse destructive health human rights injustice  handiworks of profiteering multilateral corporation at play, at the expense of fellow citizens in the global village.

The situations in Latin America led by Ecuador against it’s abused indigenous indian population are legendary .
I became acquainted with this issue , and was drawn to environmental justice politics due to an undergraduate seminar by a brave , unflinching and committed female Professor I had , to whom I'll forever be grateful.
Many might have forgotten the Bhopal Union Carbide tragedy that took place in India , as it happened some quarter century ago , but the families of the 28,000 victims of the American owned pesticide plant cannot , especially if some are still awaiting compensations, by unscrupulous corporatist, now known to have been in bed with complicit , and typically corrupt , local political elitist officials.
In the Middle East and most of the Persian gulf , years of successive wars, oil spillage, oil fires , and other wanton destruction must have some negative on the environment, and long term negative effects on health , both for victims , and participants in the struggles.

Twenty five years after the Ukraine Chernobyl disaster , the region and it’s people are still trying to come to grips with the environmental catastrophe- the worst in the history of mankind- that resulted in thousand of dead ,as well as similar numbers of long term sufferers , that experienced pollution across the neighboring region.

In the forward to her book ‘Voices from Chernobyl:- The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster,’ Author, Svetlana Alexievich, made a telling commentary, as she juxtaposed the American 9/11 Islamist terror attacks, with effects of the 1986 explosion , and nuclear fire at the Chernobyl plant. She said , “There were few survivors of the collapse of the two towers... however ,the effects at Chernobyl was the opposite. The initial blast killed just one plant worker. ...but in the next few weeks, no fewer that 30 workers and firemen died from radiation poisoning. But tens of thousands received extremely high doses of radiation- it was an accident that produced, in a way, more survivors than victim.”

America and many of her European allies are waking up to a stark reality , and that is they are stuck with deadly nuclear waste on the domestic plains , the result of spin offs from peaceful energy technology , they have come to depend on. Many of their citizens are saying however , not in our back yard, and so other poor and politically weak neighborhoods , as well as desperate countries ,are being forcefully encouraged to be the convenient toxic disposal garbage heap.

Now if, one wonders, Mr Convenience Truth Al Gore, and lawmakers , cannot save a bunch of native Nevadians from turning Indian Country near the Yucca Mountain into a nuclear waste land , then who can have the courage to prevent desperate tourist Caribbean Islands , and fishermen in similar areas from being the unwholesome beneficiaries of nuclear waste garbage , often for a few dollars more , or sometimes without their full knowledge?
Grace Thorpe, who is the Sac and Fox Tribal Health Commissioner ,stated to the National Congress of American Indians, "The nuclear waste issue is causing mental and possibly genocidal decisions regarding the future of our people. It is wrong to say that it is natural that we, as Native Americans, should accept radioactive waste on our lands, as the US Department of Energy has said. It is a perversion of our beliefs and an insult to our intelligence to say that we are natural stewards of these wastes.

It is not only in the Native American Indian communities that this social malady of Environmental Justice is prevalent, but in many Black neighborhood.According to Dr. Robert Bullard - a lone voice crying in the wilderness-enough is not being done in the media , academia, or in governmental agencies such as the EPA, to highlight the ghastly environmental situation, often with long terms health implication for African American citizens , and that's a tragedy in my estimation.
He is further quoted as saying,"Black communities became the dumping grounds for various types of unpopular facilities, including toxic wastes, dangerous chemicals, paper mills, and other polluting industries. The path out of this environmental quagmire is clearly one that involves more communities in activities designed to reclaim the basic right of all Americans---the right to live and work in a healthy environment."
He added, "A political strategy is also needed that can draw from a wide cross-section of individuals and groups who share a common interest in preservation of environmental standards.

Wider afield ,the situation is even more telling. The question needs to be asked , what about the blow back when a few developing countries are also prepared to say , not in our back yard as well?

This commentary might appear scandalous, when the folks from that surrounding region have been demonized in the media , as uncontrollable , savage thugs and pirates , with little sense of appreciation for globally acceptable norms and practice. An interview I conducted recently with folks intimately familiar with the region , seems to indicate that the allegations of toxic dumping , and the 'alleged pirates,' reactions ,to that as a result to a rash of illnesses that have struck the folks from the Somalia costal regions and lands , might make us pause.

In ending , let me hasten to add that not only is the cost of nuclear energy, and war machine technology , extremely burdensome , but the devastating , and long term negative impact on the environment, and health of all life , are worst than any thing imaginable, as proven by Chernobyl .

It is about time for a new paradigm , and that should include , new safe Green revolutionary tools, as well as transparent and enforceable legal actions. Peace Security and economic prosperity , must of necessity be part and parcel of Environmental Justice for the strong , as well as the weak and defenseless.
It is obvious as to why critical matters, that relates to the global environment , must not only be the purview of the rich , privilege , and elite of any society , country , continent or region. We are part of a global village, and destruction of one section , or community , affects us all. The time for action is now.
Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Post Dead /None Existent God

Does God as we know it really exist, or is he/ she some mystical creation , and figment of the imagination, that initially emanated within the minds of primitive humans in efforts to grapple with the complexities of a dangerous , hostile world, which included fear of wild animals , inability to find sufficient food, concern for injuries ,diseases , and all forms of natural phenomena such as thunder, lightening, floods ,and volcanoes ?

Noted German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsch,was known to have said, “Your god is dead and only the ignorant weep. And if you claim there is a hell, then we shall meet there.” Buddha added ,“Gripped by fear people go to the sacred mountains, scared groves, sacred trees and shrines.

There is indeed a strong argument to be made to substantiate this viewpoint that concern for security by man was the prime reason why an idea of god was created. One should note that particularly in times of crisis some folks become even more religious , and adhere to the distorted notion of a god , as it hopefully brings comfort, and strength to deal with life. Put more broadly gods are made to give comfort in good times, courage in times of danger, and consolation when things go wrong. Instead of prostration on the ground , and before and alter and praying in times of needs , then believe that such prays were answered or not depending on this caring, loving, long suffering and revengeful god, here is a more prudent approach that deviate from the god- idea , which is essentially a “ response to fear and frustration.”

Just a thought , but is it better to try and understand our fears, to lesson our desires and to calmly and courageously accept the things we cannot change, or is it better to cower in fear that if we are disobedient to predetermined rules ,one day we will burn in hell fire, as opposed to go to heaven where the streets are paved in gold, as well as milk and honey flows , and white angels , are the order ? In short, live a life of rational understanding, as compared to having non realistic fixations to irrational belief. Since no conclusive scientific evidence exist to support a heaven, verses hell in the sky god theory, or an all forgiving universe creation god , that caters to all our sufferings , disabilities,handicaps, enormous odds and difficulties, then we should kill this concept of a salvation god forthwith, as it serves no useful purpose whatsoever.

In a world that is plagued by earthquakes,droughts, floods, tsunamis,and similar catastrophes ,including debilitating and deadly diseases , it becomes extremely difficult to phantom the idea that a loving creator ,would fashion man into his own likeness, or develop such a beautiful paradise ,and subject his children to this carnage, pain , and wanton unexplainable destruction and suffering.

To conclude , if I am going even beyond Nietzsch ,by saying that god is not only dead , but does not exist, then what am I subscribing to , outside of putting one’s hands into the air in despair , in the thought that all is lost? Here it is from a Buddhist standpoint:- “Do not believe in god , but instead in ... humanity. Believe that each human being is precious and important, that all have the potential to develop into Buddha- a perfected human being.Believe that human beings can outgrow ignorance and irrationality and see things as they really are. Believe that hatred , anger, spite and jealousy can be replaced by love , patience,generosity and kindness.Believe that this is within the grasp of each person if they make the effort, guided and supported , by their fellow Buddhists, and inspired by the example of the Buddha. “
Venerable Shravasti Dhammika

As Buddah further admonished us ,“ No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path, But Buddhas clearly show the way.”
“A word to the wise is sufficient.”
Stay tuned for future thoughts ,from ‘Buddahsungod1.’

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

“From my Cold , Dead Hands”

It was the sort of welcome ,rally the troops ,war cry ,that was expected at a 2000 NRA Convention ,by an excitable national gun obsessed crowd , and they were not disappointed by their aged , respected , Conservative Hollywood icon, and NRA President Charleston Heston ,aka Moses .
On April 5, 2008,the much beloved NRA lifetime member ,Mr. Heston passed away peacefully at the ripe age of 84. Unfortunately, millions of innocent victims to gun violence , won’t be so lucky . With some almost 109,000 shot per year , a few would obviously fall through the crack.
9 people are now dead, after 10 were shot in a 45 minuets workplace hunt ,in Manchester Connecticut by an angry co worker.
In Chicago , the Commander in Chief is about to eat a birthday cake all by his lonesome, as the family including his lovely girls, are away on summer break. 113 people have lost their lives in the murder capital of America , most are innocent kids. This prompted two lawmakers to suggest the introduction of the National Guards to rectify the problem , after the Supreme Courts in all it’s wisdom, overturned a recent handgun ban.

It is not only at the domestic level that the impact of guns have caused havoc , but many countries mainly in poor developing countries in the Global South.
Is it time to make non proliferation of small arms , a priority , like that of dangerous WMD nuclear technologies?Perhaps . Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tribal wars

So you naively think immigration is a Mexican /Hispanic problem only , or that the entire politically charged affair should only be viewed from a typical white/black angle as depicted on CNN and Fox5 , yes? Think again , and look closely at divide and rule realities , as played out within segments of global African Diaspora ,tribal groups in the land of the free. While others are busy consolidating power, via vibrant,interest developmental networking, in these United States of America,folks with African DNA instead ,choose to go for each other jugglers.

“Marvin Dunn, chairman of the psychology department at Florida International University in Miami, says: "Whether you talk to Haitians, Bahamians, Jamaicans or Africans about African-Americans, you hear the same things: They are violent, they don't respect their elders, they have no sense of family, they don't want to work, they depend on welfare. When you talk to African-Americans about the immigrants, you hear: They're here to take our jobs. They'll work for nothing. They're cliquish. They smell. They eat dogs. They think they're better than us." “A Haitian-American who became the first elected black mayor of North Miami was attacked by as an interloper by some US-born Blacks. In New York City, one-third of Blacks were born abroad. The recent contest between a Jamaican-American and a US-born black American for a Congressional seat was an unusually bitter electoral battle.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Roots 2010, or the Immigrant Dollar & Dreams

“A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.” Edward R. Murrow

Ain’t life grand for those living in these United States of America. Well,let me preface that by saying , it depends on who you are referring to. America just experienced it’s equivalent of a second elitist ,Presidential ,Royal wedding, in the form of the beautiful , classy, Chelsea Clinton, and her Prince Marc Mezvinsky. In case you recently arrived from Mars , and so was unaware ,her wedding ,was the biggest event in all the history of Rhinebeck prestigious upscale New York, since her mom abandoned Arkansas, and hitched her political bandwagon to the Empire State, in route to independent, post Bill, political power .
Remember when this charming , once typical awkward , and emerging young teenager , experienced a barrage of attacks , from left , right and center ,as she was defined as an ‘ugly duckling,’ by mainly callous, insensitive , media types, led by the bombastic ,Conservative fraud Rush, as he and others ,attempted, in almost childish ,no holds bared fashion, to score cheap points against her dad ?
Guess those days are long gone now , as the gawky 13 year old innocent girl , Rush described as a "White House dog," is all grown up, and has captured her own version of a frog.
By the way,Rush ,and opportunist pal Newt Gingrich, collectively are on what, their fourth marriage all together, since they attempted to destroy his slickness, and her majesty Hilary, a professed lifetime , pro feminist?
Let me hasten to add , that as much as I enjoy them like the next fellow ,there is still something about these high profile political marriages ,that irks me somewhat ,though I am trilled for the eager, excitable , nuptials , ready to face the world full of hope,misplaced idealism, and like young Karenna Gore,the money grabbing ,divorce lawyers.
I had this same revolting, gut feeling when I observed G .W . Bush, the one time ‘Yale Skull and Bones , Frat boy,’ as he proudly walked down the isle with his once playful twin daughter Jenna in tow , about to give her away to her husband to be, in much the same manner, as Papa Clinton was yesterday.
It was five years ago G.W was walking down the White House lawn, hand in hand , with a famous billionaire Sheik , and political pal ,King Fahd.
His guest had that sly look on his face , as if he had just stole the canary from the West Wing, or a piece of slave, stone carved, artwork in the Lincoln bedroom ,whereas the President had his usual grin for the cameras, and along with that machismo Crawford Texan strut ,that Oliver Stone treated us to in the funny blockbuster movie W.
As I ,like many others later observed G.W. ,his daughter Jenna , her mama Laura, and the bridegroom Henry Hagar, on that beautiful day, I said to my self , the folks that landed on Plymouth Rock decades ago ,did well, as they were able to build a great democracy without the European , anachronistic groveling , favored by cousins left behind on the Continent. I then juxtapose this with his bear and grin, for oil maneuvers with Saudi King ,the pro Wahhabi, Islamist in Chief , I asked myself , do lower caste women in the Saudi Kingdom have any rights ,including even driving a vehicle?
Now folks , if the President of the United States ,do not have a problem being in bed with a leader who treats the women in his country worst than forth class citizens , then what does that say about the leader himself , especially if he is depicted as a God fearing Christian , that would quicker cut off his both arms, rather than allow such foolishness in the land of the free ,under the guise of some 12th century , pagan ideology to control his behavior.
Now fast forward to July 30th 2010 , and here again ,I,like millions of delusional fans ,obsessed with power in all it’s manifestations, were just as busy trying to get a peek at the lovely Irish American bride, and her Jewish American husband as they' tie the knot.' One could not help but feel a sense of pride to be part of this great immigrant melting pot , toss salad experiment ,called America , where capitalistic dreams can materialize via hard work, prudent networking investments ,and skillful manipulations of various social chess pieces to suit one's interest- even at the expense of others.
Imagine ,I ask myself , where the Clintons ,or Mezvinskys would be today, if America was not as welcoming to their Irish and Jewish ancestors , and quickly provided a part to full citizenship - unlike the millions that are being denied such today, as a result of faulty thinking , fear-mongering ,scapegoating, and racially skewed Immigration policy.
Immigration in this country has always been linked to labour needs , and this started the day slavery officially ended , continued to the expansion of the industrial northern, and North Eastern, regions, as well as railroad constructions, and other developmental needs in the West.
The irony of the main distinction should not be lost on anyone , unless they are awaking from a long coma. Immigrants today , are not given similar chances , and are forced to enter illegally, whereas in a distant era, all that was needed where Europeans to show up with an often unsubstantiated sad story, and they were soon repeating the pledge of allegiance as American citizens.

As a student of history , I also recalled a time where Irish, or Italians could not apply for certain jobs in ,for example ,New York City, or Jews across the length and breath of the country , were treated in similar negative, stereotypical , discriminatory ,fashion, by neo racist KKK, or similar minded ,genocidal maniacs ,like millions of Black ex slaves ,that escaped the Southern plantation- hence the reason why many are still residing together in the same communities , long after other groups have departed.
Should we have hope for the 12 million or more , chiefly brown , black , and brown immigrants in this country today ? I am an optimist, and doubt that the terminator California governor , ably assisted by his Irish American wife, or the Arizona tough talking broad , and cold hearted Governor ,will be allowed to get their way to prevent millions of American children opportunities , who like the kids of these two presidential dynasties ,along with their respective husbands were given , to be part of this wonderful experiment ,in the land of the free. Hate to say it , but where is Ronald Reagan when we need him?
GH Bush perhaps was very correct when he dismissed Ronald Reagan Trickle down , unregulated ,Voodoo Economic , as being bad in the long run for the nation,for he had the political scars to prove it when he had to do a 360 on his read my lips , no tax jig and dance. One should however , never say that the Gipper was not in the end ,a friend of immigrant .
See what it means to have a President who , in his case remembered his Dutch roots! Heavens forbid that we have to deal with ‘mama grizzles,’ who perhaps might be unable to spell immigration even if she sees it staring her in her face in Alaska.

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Uniondale New York, NY, United States
Speaking truth,as one major prerequisite, to concrete justice. A novel form of social advocacy.