Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Nader on Obama: "He is not willing to tackle the white power structure"

Ralph Nader called out Obama, AGAIN, and deservedly so. Will Obama have the guts to debate him? I think not.

Nader said the following:

"Senator Obama said earlier today that I haven't been paying attention to his campaign.

Actually, I have.

And it's clear from Senator Obama's campaign that he is not willing to tackle the white power structure - whether in the form of the corporate power structure or many of the super-rich - who are taking advantage of 100 million low income Americans who are suffering in poverty or near poverty.

Senator Obama is opposed to single payer national health insurance.


Because he favors the health insurance giants over the millions of Americans in poverty or near poverty who are uninsured or under-insured. Eighteen thousand Americans die every year because they cannot afford health insurance, according to the Institute of Medicine.

Senator Obama wants to expand the military budget which is loaded with waste, fraud and abuse - instead of cutting it and investing the long ignored peace dividend in the inner cities with good jobs and public works - including schools, clinics, and libraries.


Because he fears and favors those thousands of lobbyists in charge of enlarging the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us against.

Senator Obama says he favors a living wage. But he doesn't say he would immediately increase the minimum wage to $10 an hour, which is the equivalent of the 1968 minimum wage adjusted for inflation - because by doing so he would offend the big corporations who exploit labor in places like Wal-Mart and fast food chains. (The minimum wage needs to be increased immediately, not phased in over a number of years, as Senator Obama would have it.)

So Senator Obama, let's get specific.

We're looking for deeds, not, as Shakespeare put it, words, words, mere words.

Your public career, which I have also been paying attention to, is long on words, and short on action when it comes to consumer protection, cracking down on corporate crime, curbing the violence of toxic environmental racism, and extending clean, affordable public transit, among other issues.

For the purposes of the here and now, three things:

One, why don't you support single payer national health insurance, which is supported by a majority of doctors and the American people?

Two, why do you favor expanding the military budget which is replete with waste, fraud and abuse?

And three, why don't you come out and support an immediate increase of the minimum wage to $10 an hour?

When can we expect the authenticity of hope and change?"

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Contribute to the Nader for President 2008 campaign

Seven Things You Can't Say in an American Election

And, for those whose hopes for a better America are so strong and so heartfelt that they've placed their hopes in Barack Obama, I strongly suggest you examine the following:

Part 1 of Ralph Nader on Barack Obama: “It is Quite Clear He is a Corporate Candidate from A to Z”

Part 2 of Ralph Nader on Barack Obama: “It is Quite Clear He is a Corporate Candidate from A to Z”

Part 3 of Ralph Nader on Barack Obama: “It is Quite Clear He is a Corporate Candidate from A to Z”

TONIGHT ON THE TERRORDOME: Michael Parenti on Slavery, Imperialism and Racial Supremacy

6 PM Mountain Time

The slave holocaust and imperialism were two the greatest crimes of history, both of which were inflicted by the Euro-American empire on the civilisations of Africa. Over the course of three centuries, enslavement depopulated the continent of close to 50 million people, according to historian G. Stavrianos in his book Global Rift.

When that horror finally ended,
Europe began part 2: military occupation and colonization to exploit the vast natural and mineral resources of the richest continent on the planet. The Germans committed genocide against the Herero nation of Namibia, killing three-quarters of them.

In Congo alone, the Belgians murdered between 8 and 10 million people to extract rubber, and in the course of their slaughters formed miniature mountains of human hands from their amputated victims. As wars for independence proceeded and achieved state power, European and American governments guaranteed instability by fomenting coups and commissioning assassinations, as with the White House-ordered murder of Patrice Lumumba, Congo’s first prime minister.

To this day, that country suffers under the weight of centuries of exploitation, a civil war inspired by planetary scramble for Congo’s resources, including the world’s largest supply of coltan, a mineral used in almost all DVD players, cell phones and computers. That civil war has killed more than 5 million people.

So how is it that so much blood can be spilled for coltan, for rubber, for diamonds and more? The profit is obvious. What is sometimes less obvious is whose blood is being spilled. To address that, tonight we’ll hear from Michael Parenti, a tireless activist-academic whose work focuses on the abuse and exploitation of the many for the profits of the few.

Michael Parenti has taught at many colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. He is a celebrated lecturer whose humour and anecdotes have delighted audiences across the world, in person and via broadcast. Over 250 of his articles have appeared in scholarly journals, political periodicals and popular magazines and newspapers. Michael Parenti is author of seventeen books on the power of media, political elites and the wealthy. His writings have been translated into 17 languages including Bangla, Chinese, Greek, Korean, Farsi, Polish, Serbian, and Turkish. His books include:

The Terrorism Trap, September 11 and Beyond

Democracy for the Few

To Kill a Nation, The Attack on Yugoslavia

and the Pulitzer-nominated The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People’s History of Ancient Rome.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

TONIGHT ON THE TERRORDOME: Actor-director Clark Johnson on Hollywood, filmmaking, race and Obama

6 PM Mountain Time

Clark Johnson is an actor and director of vast experience. He’s best known for playing Det. Meldrick Lewis on seven
seasons of NBC’s
Homicide: Life on the Street, but one of his earliest roles was in two episodes of CTV’s The Littlest Hobo.

He also directed the blockbuster feature film SWAT which earned $207 million worldwide, television shows such as The Shield, Soul Food, NYPD Blue, The West Wing, Third Watch and La Femme Nikita, and the forthcoming feature Chinese Wall.

He has numerous Canadian connections, having lived in Canada since his teen years, once played in the CFL, and later acted in Canadian feature films On Their Knees and Rude, and Canadian television programmes including ENG and Night Heat, and the TV movie The Planet of Junior Brown.

His sister is Canadian jazz singer Molly Johnson, who was recently inducted into the Order of Canada.

Clark Johnson recently starred in season 5 of HBO’s The Wire as newspaper editor Gus Haynes, and directed the first two and the final episode of that series.

Stay tuned in the weeks to come on The Terrordome, when I’ll be presenting a feature series on The Wire, and what it says about race, policing and power in the United States.

I’ll be speaking with actors, directors, writers and producers of the series, as well as sociologists, political scientists, journalists, critics and others who are keenly interested in the impact of a show which has routinely been called the best American television series ever.

Clark Johnson spoke with me by telephone from his home in Toronto on June 3, when we discussed his career, Hollywood, filmmaking and race, and his work for the Barack Obama campaign. During our discussion, Johnson refers to “Simon,” namely, David Simon, the creator and executive producer of The Wire.

We started by discussing Johnson’s connections to his adopted home of Canada. I later asked Johnson about his work as a special effects artist on the film The Dead Zone, the 1983 adaptation of the Stephen King novel by Canadian director David Cronenberg. Along the way, Johnson discusses a sad truth of Hollywood—its continued racial exclusion.

Clark Johnson informed me during our discussion that he had been campaigning to help Barack Obama win the presidential nomination of the US Democratic Party. I asked him what he thought about how Barack Obama had dealt with Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the influential Chicago pastor whom Obama used a springboard for his political ascendancy, only to condemn him when it became expedient.


Last fall, South African novelist Rozena Maart visited Edmonton on a book tour with her novel The Writing Circle. She joined us on The Terrordome for a discussion at that time. Rozena Maart has practiced psychoanalysis and worked as an English professor.

In 1987 when she was 24, Maart was nominated for the “Woman of the Year” award hosted in Johannesburg, for her work opposing violence against women and for starting, with four women, the first Black feminist organization in Cape Town, Women Against Repression [W.A.R]. She has been a researcher and writer for the Canadian Panel on Violence against Women.

Maart spoke in November with another African-Canadian programmer at FM88, Yo’vella Mizraahi-Ellis of the CJSR programme News Room. She discussed with Maart the vicious reality that fighting Whitesupremacy in apartheid and neo-apartheid South Africa did very little to address the violence and repression of malesupremacy.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Please nominate DOCTOR BRAIN

Please nominate my novel From the Notebooks of Doctor Brain for the Carl Brandon Awards. For information about my book, please check the sidelinks with interviews and more! But what are the Carl Brandon Awards, you ask? Read on, gentle ones:

The Carl Brandon Parallax Award is given to works of speculative fiction created by a person of color. Nominees must provide a brief statement self-identifying as a person of color; creators unwilling to do so will not be considered for this award. This Award includes a $1000 cash prize.

The Carl Brandon Kindred Award is given to any work of speculative fiction dealing with issues of race and ethnicity; nominees may be of any racial or ethnic group. This Award includes a $1000 cash prize.

We are now accepting nominations for the 2008 awards for books published in 2007. The nominations period runs through July 2008.