illustrated character The Right Rev. Dr. Greedygut made his debut
in last week's issue, but it is evident that many readers have known
him all of their lives. He's the preacher who is always ready with
a biblical justification for his own enrichment. The Republican
faith-based offensive, captained on the Democratic side by Connecticut
Senator Joseph Lieberman, was conceived for the purpose of buying
Rev. Greedygut's endorsement of George Bush's "compassionate
conservatism." (See "De-funding
the Right Rev. Dr. Greedygut," January 2.)
Lavalle, of McKinleyville CA, enjoyed cartoonist Khalil Bendib's
work, and our analysis.
you for the excellent article on faith-based bribery. The cartoon
of The Right Reverend Dr. Greedygut was wonderful, too. Bush hasn't
the faintest idea what the poor or ill or elderly face in this
country, people of all races and nationalities.
ago when my children were young and we were penniless due to a
divorce, I had to turn to our local Mission. We were given a meal,
but not before a twenty-minute sermon. When we went to get clothes
at the Mission outlet, a Mission worker said to my strikingly
beautiful 16 year old daughter, "You will go to Hell! You
are the child of the devil!" because she said she didn't
go to church. My daughter was very hurt, as you may imagine, and
never forgot the exchange. That attitude is exactly why we didn't
go to church, in fact. Sometimes you don't find much Christianity
in Church. Besides, the Mission did not represent our religious
convictions! That same daughter now has her Master's in Social
Science, is married, and caring for a two-year old at home - but
she still doesn't go to church, even to the Unitarian's.
point being: we need public, secular, government programs for
those who find themselves in dire straits. The Churches may serve
as an adjunct and provide alternative services in the community,
that's fine, but the security of the people is the responsibility
of the government to which we pay taxes, not of faith-based organizations
over which we, the people, have no control, and who may discriminate
against the poor and sick and "different," in terms
of the delivery of services and the employment of workers who
deliver those services.
Bush's massive bribery scheme is successful, the poor will find
themselves even more isolated, as ministers scramble for federal
contracts to replace public social services. Welfare rights activists
have experienced the political sea change that occurs when organizations
that once advocated for the poor suddenly become part of the privatization
process. Cat Sullivan writes, from Seattle.
I have discovered your excellent and insightful website, I want
to tell you that it has been wonderful. Please keep it up. I am
an activist for low-income issues in my area and your recent writings
about the faith-based initiatives is creating a lively conversation
on the list-serv of our organization, Welfare
Rights Organizing Coalition. This is because you said what
many of us, especially the recipients, are very realistically
afraid to say. But it has opened up a dam of response and discussion
which is needed....
we did not declare a class war, it has been declared upon us by
the upper class. So be it. Just keep this in mind as well: As
in Venezuela when they found to their surprise that poor people
too can get together and vote, together there are more of us than
them, there is power in numbers. So please keep writing. I admire
your courage to address some real issues!
encourage readers to click on the Welfare Rights Organizing Coalition
site. Ms. Sullivan's group provides, among other things, "training
in public speaking, working with the media and telling your story
from a position of power." These skills will be more necessary
than ever, in the face of a Republican Black bribery strategy that
aims to silence dissent through creative contracting.
Bush's faith-based legislation is formally known
as the Charity Aid, Recovery and Empowerment Act. Bob Snowed sent
us his assessment of the bill.
agree that this act is so wrong in so many ways. One thought that
I'm sure you've heard or have thought about: What about Islam?
Meaning, if this is "Faith-Based", well Islam is a faith,
yes? I would think it would be perfect if different Islamic faith
organizations would apply for funds. Of course if they are refused,
then sue the living crap out of the government.
the Bush bribery and patronage legislation become law,
urges that the resulting political patronage network be challenged
by every legal means available, in every locality - with an eye
toward the future prosecution of Rev. Dr. Greedygut and his ilk,
since it is unavoidable that they will commit numerous crimes and
misdemeanors. Upon release from prison, he can then line up for
soup and counseling at the faith-based facility of his choice.
Brown sees the busy hands of the Moonies at work among the GOP's
hit the nail on the head. Please check into the influence of Sun
Myung Moon on the faith-based AND the marriage initiatives. Moon
has been targeting black ministers and lawmakers for a few years.
He even helps to fund Louis Farrakhan's events - Farrakhan calls
him a "prophet". How the hell the public is unaware
that Moon is so closely aligned with Bush, Falwell, Lahaye (Left
Behind books), Farrakhan and many other right-wingers, separatists,
and ministers is beyond comprehension. Please do what you can
to open more eyes. Thank you for your wonderfully sane site.
Texas educator sent us a letter that we, initially, thought to be
satirical. Now we're not sure. Here's John Sibley Butler's take
on faith-based initiatives:
interesting comments. But I grew up faith based in New Orleans.
I went to a High School that was grounded in faith (there was
no Federal Government to bail us out). Both my Grand Parents and
Parents went to Historical Black Colleges that were grounded in
faith, and were forced to attend church everyday. I can remember
my congregation taking up collections so that students at Dillard
University could have spending money. Of course none of this was
connected to politics, because we could not vote and thus could
care less about who the President was.
an adult, my children were taught a lot of faith, a lot of sports,
and how to make money. I basically tried to keep them out of politics
and live in America like my parents, their parents, and their
parents. Black Americans who are grounded in faith, but do not
wear it on their sleeves, support education (Morehouse College,
Spelman College, Dillard University, Huston-Tillotson College
and about 100 black colleges and universities) and tend to be
cares who the President of the U.S. is? You have to work yourself
into wealth and prosperity. I do agree that ministers who believe
only in the "bye and bye" afterlife (that is not all
of them) are not good. As a matter of fact, I think that the black
population began to decline in the importance of making money
when ministers took over the leadership.
Professor of Management and Sociology
The Gale Chair in Entrepreneurship and Small Business
Director, Herb Kelleher Entrepreneurship Center
McCombs School of Business
The University of Texas at Austin
Lott's crowded GOP closet
readers perform invaluable services to the publication - even the
ones with no last names, like "Jim." A resident of San
Francisco, Jim called our attention to the outing of a high-ranking
Confederate in the California GOP. Jim also tends to get excited
when he finds himself among intelligent people.
Accurate, too. LOVE it.
just found your site. The issues you cover may primarily affect
Black Americans, but I believe they affect ALL Americans. We're
all in this mess together and we have to work together to stop
the corporate hostile takeover currently in progress.
the way, yet another repiglican, in California, of all places,
is showing his racist side, claiming that, basically, if the South
had won (paraphrasing and channeling Lott), "we wouldn't
have had all these problems over all these years."
finally showing their true, uh, for lack of a better word, "colors,"
and it's hilarious to watch them badly pretending to be "surprised"
and "outraged" and "shocked! SHOCKED!" when
their christopublican buddies reveal their true feelings about
how "great" the nation was in the good old days, when
it practiced the "Christian" values of slavery, anti-Semitism,
for working to add a refreshing, truthful, challenging voice in
a sea of ditto-heads and fundies regurgitating RNC press releases
and freerepublic.com rants as "facts."
a bitch being rich
week, we discussed Bush's plan to eliminate the tax on stock dividends
- a dream of the Hard Right since Ronald Reagan was a baby. (See
"Bush plans more gifts for the
rich," Briefs.) White House "sources" had been
telling the corporate press that Bush would seek to cut dividend
taxes 50%, another boondoggle for the super-rich. Some "advisors"
urged caution, warning of a public backlash. Bush decided to go
for the whole hog; he now proposes eliminating the tax entirely,
a $300 billion gift to his friends.
got this reaction from Ken Driessen, of Hayward, Wisconsin:
plans a tax cut on dividends? I do not know about you but my retirement
fund is losing money. All of my family and friends are loosing
money on their investments so how can they get a tax break on
their profits when they only have losses? The only people who
are going to profit from such a dividend tax break are the ones
who have invested in bombs and war. Bush's daddy sits on the Carlyle
Group board which controls United Defense Industries, a large
military equipment contractor. This is absolute Reagan era blow
back. Now can people see Bush as he is, a liar, a corporate thief
and an illegitimate president? If we don't send him back to Texas
I swear he is gonna start World War Three and try to profit from
it. Please God help us.
Diaspora to the South
is long past time that Black Americans awoke to the African-descended
world to the south of our borders, comprising millions of other
African Americans who are daily growing more self-consciously active.
Attorney D. Adrian Bryan wants to see more articles like "African
Venezuelans fear new U.S. coup against President Chavez,"
from our December 26 issue.
article about the African Venezuelans. Not surprisingly, the U.S.
has allied itself with entrenched power against a people's movement
working for justice "in fact" not just in name. Give
us more on Blacks in South and Central America. We know so little
about them and how our policy choices can help make their lives
better. We can help them and help ourselves at the same time.
from which the December 26 article was reprinted; Narco
News, the best, daily coverage of the U.S.-financed, cocaine-fueled
war in Colombia, which has been disastrous for the Black population;
an excellent cultural and political source.
re-floated Bush's pirate ship for this week's cartoon, but readers
are still writing in about our initial commentary on the war profiteers,
"Rule of the
Pirates: The $200 payday," December 5. Eileen Flanagan
dropped us a line, from New York City.
like to commend you on your excellent article, "The Rule
of the Pirates." You shed light on many important subjects
that are not being talked about by the "liberal media."
I'm going to send this to many of my friends
and hope that it will open up some closed minds to the true agenda
of these corporate buccaneers. If the members of the Business
Roundtable have any sense, they'll move to force Cheney and Bush
and their fiendish cabal to open up their records to public scrutiny.
However, I don't think that's likely (at least in the near future).
We need more media outlets that are unencumbered
by corporate censorship to get the news to the American public.
We are being lied to, aggressively and repeatedly. Thanks for
helping to reveal the true motives of these corporate pirates
and their parasitic friends.
that we placed Sen. Joseph Lieberman at Bush's right side in our
current cartoon. The Connecticut presidential candidate and top
spokesman for the rightist Democratic Leadership Council is indistinguishable
from the Bush buccaneers. Any Black elected official who endorses
Lieberman's candidacy should be made to walk the plank, next election
action was never effectively implemented in any sector of U.S. society,
yet it remains a near-universal scapegoat for white failures and
frustrations. Helen Keniston Oney, of Huntsville AL, hears the ugly
lamentations all the time. She was compelled to write to us after
reading Tim Wise's December 12 article, "Selling
I found the article interesting enough to ask my husband to help
me understand the math better (I never took statistics and I also
wanted him to read the article). And, even though it is true that
Wise does not investigate the problems on the Left, I am glad
that someone is refuting the *"reverse discrimination"
magical math and backlash that is so gleefully and pervasively
reported by the press. Many, many Caucasians I know - even those
who say they are committed to racial justice - believe that many
white kids are kept out of college (like in the tens of thousands)
because of Affirmative Action in the college acceptance process,
and that simply isn't true. As Mark Twain said, "There's
lies, damn lies and statistics."
*That term bothers me so much, since the
reverse of discrimination is the lack thereof....
construct a world of their own, and a vocabulary to go with it.
They founded a continental asylum based on genocide and slavery.
Now they are intent on dominating the planet by much the same rules.
It is somehow logical that their most prominent, deadly foreign
opponents are crazy, too.
Delay is definitely in his right mind. We know this, because he
has recognized the value of .
just recently discovered your website. It is essential in helping
raise awareness in our community. Time has come to move from the
role of oppressed to reclaim and assert our existence as viable
and absolutely necessary. Our forefathers would be saddened indeed
by the lack of involvement and sense of urgency we see today in
our youth. I hope (but know better) we will wake up and do some
'think tanking' ourselves, of which we are more than capable.
Keep up the good work and I thank you.
A. Stanley is a friend of ours, although we have never met him.
Mr. Stanley caught a mistake of the factual kind in our last issue
that, uncorrected, might have brought down our carefully constructed
edifice of erudition. Yes, it was that bad. But Mr. Stanley, like
the guy who tells you something is hanging out of your nose before
the meeting, proved himself to be a friend. Therefore, we believe
everything he says about us:
kind of insight is exactly what everyone, in general, needs and
definitely what African-Americans, in particular, need.
I'm not sure if everyone is reading your articles and paying attention
as I have found that many people are actually afraid to even think
the truth about politics and race in America...which is
up the good work!