Archive for January 9th, 2012

Ron Paul’s Eye-Opening Ad on our Wars. This Ad Needs to go Viral.

The ad is brutally effective in fixing many of our misconceptions about the current so called war on terror. And I think it absolutely needs to go viral. It needs to be posted on forums, political blogs (both republican and democratic blogs alike) and Facebook pages everywhere. This is not about getting Ron Paul elected, because republicans absolutely hate him and will never give him the nomination. This is about opening as many eyes to the truth of what we’re doing, as possible before 2012.

In reply to the comments below, I want to reiterate, this is about the message, not the messenger. The message in the ad resonates and just because this message comes from someone we disagree with on several issues, doesn’t make it any less valid or any less important to get out there.

Ignoring this ad just because you disagree with the messenger on other issues, would be akin to ignoring Barack Obama’s message on the plight of the middle class just because you disagree with his stance on marijuana.


The White Myth: That BLACK PEOPLE Love Living On Government Issued FOOD STAMPS

Loop21 Composite
Loop21 Composite
A deconstruction of the theory that blacks love eating on the government’s dime

Check, please!

This week, I think we’ve all devoured enough processed garbage from the current crop of GOP presidential candidates to last a lifetime.

What might amaze many critically thinking, fair-minded individuals is how often unchecked the myth of “black food stamp fraud” goes. That, somehow, truly impoverished African Americans are unashamedly proud to swipe an EBT card in a crowded supermarket, where they have no doubt felt the stinging eyes of some misinformed snob’s fraud accusation. That they could otherwise afford the food and all other living expenses with their “pocket change” paychecks.

Let’s stop and really consider what we hear incessant griping about. A family takes the initiative to seek and use the vital benefits that are available to them. We’re not talking about an Air Jordan stipend, or per diem to see a movie every weekend. We’re talking a monthly allowance to insure children (and adults) don’t go to bed, to school, or to work with growling stomachs.

Just let that marinate.

When candidates serve up red meat to their base of voters, who already cannibalize their own manufactured outrage, it’s no wonder comments like this can go over well:

An easily fooled voter might go away not only believing that African Americans make up the majority of food stamps recipients, but are also the root cause of the federal waste bankrupting the nation and decaying its moral fiber.


Food Stamp Use By Race* (as of the 2010 FY)

Whites: 35% participation | 63.7% of US population

African Americans: 22% participation | 12.2% of US population

Hispanic: 10% participation | 16.3% of US population

Asian: 2% participation | 4.7% of US population

American Indian: 4% participation | 0.7% of US population

Unknown race: 19% participation | 0.2% of US population

*Sources: U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Census


It’s funny how “40 acres and a mule” got downgraded to food stamps, Section 8 housing and conservative white (and black) disdain. Where have we gone to in this country when feeding your family — even if with candy bars, sodas and oily potato chips – is an irresponsible and unpatriotic pursuit?

Truth is, we’ve been there since before the ending of Jim Crow. The working definition of white supremacy is the belief that the white race is superior to other races. But it’s not just a feeling of superiority. I’d like to add a sense of white immunity from the societal ills facing all creeds. Let me interject and state that I’m by no means inducting Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich into the Ku Klux Klan.

I do want to draw attention to the numbers. There are more white recipients of food stamp benefits – now aptly named the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – than there are black recipients. However, relative to their size of the population, African Americans disproportionately receive the benefits. It is a boldfaced lie to claim any group, white or black, can cause budgetary disarray if even 1 percent of that group fraudulently collected those benefits.

Why entertain that notion, as you run for the highest office in the world’s most powerful nation? If asked, Santorum and Gingrich would quickly disavow and condemn the white supremacist ideology with seasoned gusto. Instead, they choose to burn a new flaming cross into the concrete sidewalks and patchy strips of grass lining urban projects where American citizens, not just blacks, will sit down to meals paid for with EBT cards.

Pray the day when scenes out of “Precious” or “Crooklyn” aren’t the conservative Republican’s reference point for black blight. More egregiously, nobody (white or black) is going to ask these two banners of American society, Gingrich and Santorum, to apologize for demonizing the economically disadvantaged.

I won’t hold my breath for either.

Farmers in China’s South Riot Over Seizure of Land

BEIJING — Rioters in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong have besieged government buildings, attacked police officers and overturned SWAT team vehicles during protests this week against the seizure of farmland, said officials in Shanwei, a city that skirts the South China Sea not far from Hong Kong.

China Shuts Solar Panel Factory After Antipollution Protests (September 20, 2011)
Chinese Protesters Accuse Solar Panel Plant of Pollution (September 19, 2011)

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The New York Times

Lufeng residents have long engaged in a battle over land.

According to a government Web site, hundreds of people on Wednesday blocked an important highway while others mobbed the local headquarters of the Communist Party and a police station in the city of Lufeng, injuring a dozen officers. Some witnesses, posting anonymous accounts online, put the number of rioters at more than 1,000.

The protests continued Friday, with farmers gathered in front of a government building banging gongs and holding aloft signs that said “Give us back our farmland” and “Let us continue farming,” Reuters reported.

The authorities say the violence escalated Thursday after rumors spread that the police had killed a girl. At least four people were arrested, including a man officials accused of instigating the crowd.

The violence was the latest outbreak of civil unrest in China fueled by popular discontent over industrial pollution, police misconduct or illegal land grabs that leave peasants with little or no compensation. Such “mass incidents,” as the government calls them, have been steadily increasing in recent years, providing party leaders with worrisome proof that official malfeasance combined with a dysfunctional judiciary often has combustible results.

Last week, hundreds of residents protesting environmental contamination by a solar panel factory in Zhejiang Province stormed the factory and destroyed office equipment and vehicles. Weeks earlier, 12,000 people peacefully gathered in the city of Dalian to demand the closure of a chemical factory.

In Lufeng, the protests were just the most dramatic manifestation of a long-running battle over land that residents say their ancestors reclaimed from the sea. According to a local Web site, the Lufeng city government has already sold off more than 800 acres of the property for industrial parks and high-priced housing. The proffered compensation per acre, villagers said, has been barely enough to buy a new bed.

“Wake up, my neighbors, if we don’t unite now, the land of our ancestors will be sold off to the last square meter! If we don’t unite now, our children will be homeless!” read one posting on the site.

“We will have no where to bury our parents or raise our children!”

Municipal governments, which own all land in China, largely depend on sales of long-term property leases to fill their operating budgets. In many cases, private real estate companies collude with officials to clear and develop the land as quickly as possible.

The latest seized plots were sold to a developer for about $156 million, according to The South China Morning Post, which first reported the sale and seizure. According to the company’s Web site, the complex is to be called “Country Garden” after the name of the developer.

“To shape a prosperous future through our conscience and social responsibility,” is one of the company’s mottoes.

News of the demonstrations and photos and videos were quickly deleted from the Web by censors, but a few images persisted Friday. In one, demonstrators carried a banner that read “Give back my ancestors’ farmland.” A video lingered on overturned police vehicles, including one with graffiti that read “running dogs,” an insult once directed at perceived enemies of the people.

The continuing unrest could pose a threat to the political aspirations of Wang Yang, the provincial party secretary who has partly staked his reputation on promoting the well-being of Guangdong’s 104 million residents and by trying to gauge the level of their happiness.

“Happiness for the people is like flowers,” Mr. Wang wrote this year. “The party and the government shall create the proper environment for the flowers to grow.”

The province is China’s most populous and a manufacturing powerhouse that produces roughly one third of the country’s exports.

Mia Li contributed research.
A version of this article appeared in print on September 24, 2011, on page A5 of the New York edition with the headline: Farmers in China’s South Riot Over Seizure of Land.

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