Number 24 - January 9, 2003
of Rev. Dr. Greedygut
More Confederates in GOP closet
Its a bitch being rich
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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.)
of McKinleyville CA, enjoyed cartoonist Khalil Bendib's work, and our
Thank 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.
Years 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.
My 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.
If 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.
Since 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....
While 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
We 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
Bush's faith-based legislation is formally known as the Charity Aid,
Recovery and Empowerment Act. Bob Snowed sent us his assessment of the
I 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.
Should 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.
Linda Brown sees
the busy hands of the Moonies at work among the GOP's church-based politicians.
You 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
A 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:
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.
As 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 entrepreneurs.
Who 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
John Sibley Butler
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
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.
too. LOVE it.
I 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.
By 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."
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, discrimination, etc.
Thanks 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."
It's a bitch
Last 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.
We got this reaction
from Ken Driessen, of Hayward, Wisconsin:
Bush 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.
to the South
It 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.
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.
For a start,
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.
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.
I'd 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.
Note 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 day.
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
Well, 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....
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.
Thaddeus Delay is
definitely in his right mind. We know this, because he has recognized
the value of .
I 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.
Jerry 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:
This kind of insight is
exactly what everyone, in general, needs and definitely what African-Americans,
in particular, need.
Sadly, 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 downright
Keep up the good