Denmark Vesey's Plantation

A place to discuss whatever comes to mind.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Dead Guy Quote

The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending, then having the two as close together as possible.
- George Burns

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Conditional Love???

I recently shaved my lil' moustache off & my wife doesn't like it....she's even treating me differently because of it. LOL.

Protesting the Da Vinci Code???

Ummmm....You people really need a life.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Yellowman:My Musical Mentor


* Birth Name: Winston Foster
* Real Name: Winston Foster
* Genre: Reggae
* Active: '80s, '90s, 2000s
* Instrument: Vocals

Jamaica's first dancehall superstar, Yellowman ushered in a new era in reggae music following Bob Marley's death. His early-'80s success brought the popularity of toasting -- the reggae equivalent of rapping -- to a whole new level, and helped establish dancehall as the wave of the future. For better or for worse, he also epitomized dancehall's penchant for "slack" lyrics -- that is, casual violence, sexism, homophobia, and general rudeness. Graphic sexuality was his particular forte, reaching levels of explicitness previously unheard in Jamaica. It brought him numerous detractors, but it was also a big reason for his early popularity. There was more to it than that, though; Yellowman was one of the most verbally nimble toasters of his time, with a loose, easy flow, a talent for improvisation, and a definite wit in his wordplay. Plus, all the boasting about his prowess on the mic or in the bedroom had to be over the top to be convincing: true to his stage name, Yellowman was an albino, which carries a tremendous social stigma in Jamaica. His rise to stardom was unlikely enough, but his transformation from untouchable outcast into sex symbol was staggering -- and may not even have taken place without his trademark lewdness. Shocking though it could be, it affirmed him as a sexual being just like his listeners, and was delivered with enough humor to let the audience know that he wasn't taking himself too seriously. Bouts with cancer pushed him into more thoughtful, socially conscious territory in the '90s, but his initial style remains the most influential, paving the way for countless dancehall toasters to follow.

Yellowman was born Winston Foster in Negril, Jamaica, in 1959 (some accounts say 1956). An early target for abuse because of his albinism, he grew up in an institution in Kingston, with little to keep him company besides music. Influenced by early toasting DJs like U-Roy, he practiced rhyming and got a job with the Gemini Sound System as a substitute DJ. Christening himself Yellowman and dressing in a bright yellow suit, he peppered his lyrics with jokes about his skin color and outlandish tales of his sexual conquests. In 1979, he won a landslide victory at the well-known Tastee Talent Contest, and within months he had become one of Jamaica's top concert draws, thanks to a dynamic, humorous stage show in which he often used the microphone to mimic his anatomical gifts.

Yellowman recorded prolifically in the early '80s, at one point flooding the Jamaican market with more than 40 singles. His first full-length album, Them a Mad Over Me, was recorded for Channel One in 1981 and featured the hit title track and the single "Me Kill Barnie," an answer record to Lone Ranger's hit "Barnabas Collins." He also scored with singles like "Operation Eradication" and the infamously slack "Shorties," which Peter Tosh condemned as degrading to women (hardly the first time such a criticism would be leveled at him). Despite this success, Yellowman didn't truly hit his stride on record until he hooked up with groundbreaking dancehall producer Henry "Junjo" Lawes. The 1982 LP Mister Yellowman kicked off their collaboration; released internationally by Greensleeves, it started to break him in the U.K. and U.S., and is still often acclaimed as his best album. It also launched a series of Jamaican hit singles over the next few years that included including "Yellowman Getting Married" (a rewrite of the My Fair Lady number "I'm Getting Married in the Morning"), "Mr. Chin," "Who Can Make the Dance Ram" (a rewrite of "The Candy Man"), "Zungguzungguguzungguzeng" (sampled by several hip-hop acts), "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," "Soldier Take Over," "Nobody Move Nobody Get Hurt," and "Wreck a Pum Pum," among others. Many of his recordings during this era featured vocal contributions from fellow DJ/toaster Fathead, whose specialty was punctuating lines with animal noises ("ribbit" and "oink" were his favorites).

After 1983's Zungguzungguguzungguzeng album, Yellowman signed a major-label deal with CBS Records, which encouraged him to maintain the stylistic versatility of his previous work. However, his lone album for the label, 1984's King Yellowman, sported mixed results, attempting everything from slack toasts to R&B and pop-tinged crossover tracks, including covers of "Sea Cruise" and "Take Me Home Country Roads," and the much-maligned fusion attempt "Disco Reggae." He subsequently released several albums on Shanachie, including 1984's Nobody Move Nobody Get Hurt, 1985's Galong Galong Galong, 1986's Going to the Chapel, and 1987's Don't Burn It Down. The latter found him delving more into social consciousness; the title cut was a pro-marijuana protest, while "Stop Beat Woman" condemned domestic violence, and "Free Africa" criticized apartheid. Around the same time, he suffered a bout with throat cancer, but fortunately recovered. He returned to action with the hit Fats Domino cover "Blueberry Hill," and moved to the Ras label to record the well-received Yellow Like Cheese album with producer Philip "Fatis" Burrell.

Yellowman's recording career continued apace, as his sexual boasts and gay jokes kept getting raunchier and nastier. His popularity had slipped after 1985, due in part to less consistent material, and also in part to the emergence of a legion of new dancehall artists, many of whom harked back to his early material for inspiration. Things changed, however, after an early-'90s bout with skin cancer. Greatly shaken after this second life-threatening illness, Yellowman completely rethought his approach to music, and thereafter devoted himself almost exclusively to spiritual and social concerns. 1994's Prayer album (still on Ras) was the first effort in this new direction, and it was followed quickly by Message to the World in 1995. 1997's Freedom of Speech continued in a similar vein, after which Yellowman switched over to the Artists Only label. His first effort was 1999's Yellow Fever, which concentrated on conscious reggae but also featured some good-natured party tracks. New York followed in 2003, and Round 1 in 2005.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Don't Cross That LINE!!!

Person shot dead at US border
From correspondents in Washington
May 19, 2006
US authorities shot dead a person apparently trying to illegally cross into the United States from Mexico, police said.

The victim was apparently in a car trying to drive past the San Ysidro border control post in southern California when border patrol officers fired, Gary Hassen, a spokesman for nearby San Diego police, said.

The San Ysidro post, between the Mexican city of Tijuana and San Diego, is one of the busiest in the world, with 14 million cars and 40 million people crossing into the United States every year.

The shooting comes amid a heated debate in the US over illegal immigration from Mexico.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Bible vs. The Bible!!!!

The creation story

GENESIS 1: The Seven Days Creation Story

Day 1 - Light and darkness: day and night
Day 2 - A "vault" separating the 'waters' that make up the oceans and the (blue) sky
Day 3 - Earth, followed by plants
Day 4 - The Sun, Moon and stars (as calendrical and navigational aids)
Day 5 - Animals
Day 6 - Humans (both sexes at the same time - many of them, apparently)
Day 7 - A day of rest

Note that there are "days", "evenings", and "mornings" before the Sun was created.

GENESIS 2: The Story of Adam in Eden

First, God made earth and heaven.
Then he placed Adam on an otherwise lifeless Earth.
Next he made plants grow in Eden, including the trees of life and of knowledge of good and evil.
Then he placed Adam in this garden.
Only then did he create animals.
Finally, he made Eve from Adam's rib. (The rest is history - or so literalists would say.)

The current scholarly hypothesis as to the Pentateuch's origins is that the divergent stories of different Hebrew tribes were put together at a comparatively late stage. GENESIS 1 is thought to embody the 'Priestly' tradition, GENESIS 2 the 'Yahwistic' (so-called because God is called 'Yahweh', rather than being referred to as 'Elohim', which is a plural literally translated as "the Gods").
Should we own slaves?

* LEVITICUS 25:45-46 "Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, . . . and they shall be your possession . . . they shall be your bondmen forever."
* GENESIS 9:25 "And he [Noah] said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren."
* EXODUS 21:2,7 "If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. . . . And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the manservants do."
* JOEL 3:8 "And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off: for the Lord hath spoken it."
* LUKE 12:47,48 [Jesus speaking] "And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes."
* COLOSSIANS 3:22 "Servants, obey in all things your masters."


* ISAIAH 58:6 "Undo the heavy burdens . . . let the oppressed go free, . . . break every yoke."
* MATTHEW 23:10 "Neither be ye called Masters: for one is your Master, even Christ."

In the American civil war, churches cited the numerous pro-slavery verses in the Bible as justification. And indeed, according to the Bible, slavery is clearly justified as there are only a very few, highly ambiguous, anti-slavery quotes and many emphatic statements in favour of slavery. The word servant comes from the original Greek word for slave - this is just some creative translation.
Should we steal?

* EXODUS 20:15 "Thou shalt not steal."
* LEVITICUS 19:13 "Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbor, neither rob him."


* EXODUS 3:22 "And ye shall spoil the Egyptians."
* EXODUS 12:35-36 "And they spoiled [plundered, NRSV] the Egyptians."
* LUKE 19:29-34 "[Jesus] sent two of his disciples, Saying, Go ye into the village . . . ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. . . . And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath need of him."

God good to all, or just a few?

PSALMS 145:9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

JEREMIAH 13:14 And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the Lord: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.
How long was Jesus in the tomb?

MATTHEW 12:40 has Jesus prophesying that he will spend "three days and three nights in the heart of the earth", and MARK 10:34 has "after three days (meta treis emeras) he will rise again". As far as I can see from a quick look, the prophecies have "after three days", but the post-resurrection narratives have "on the third day".
What was Jesus given to drink?

MATTHEW 27:34 says vinegar. MARK 15:23 says it was wine with myrhh.
War or Peace?

EXODUS 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.

ROMANS 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Is strong drink OK?

See PROVERBS 31:6,7 But... see JOHN 2:11-11
For or against me?

MATTHEW 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
(ie. against)

MARK 9:40 For he that is not against us is on our part.
(ie. for)

LUKE 9:50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.
(ie. for)
Which first--beasts or man?

GENESIS 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

GENESIS 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

GENESIS 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

GENESIS 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
Is it folly to be wise or not?

PROVERBS 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

ECCLESIASTES 1:18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that in- creaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

1 CORINTHIANS1:19: "For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and wil bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent."
Should good deeds be publicised or not?

MATTHEW 5:16 says "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (NIV)

MATTHEW 6:3-4, though, says "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secert. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (NIV)
Did those with Saul/Paul at his conversion hear a voice?

ACTS 9:7 "And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man."

ACTS 22:9 "And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me."
Who killed Saul?

SAMUEL 1 31:4 Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.

SAMUEL 1 31:5 And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him.

SAMUEL 1 31:6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.

SAMUEL 2 1:15 And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died.
When second coming?

MATTHEW 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

MARK 13:30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.

LUKE 21:32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

See also 1 THESSALONIANS 4:15-18

More a contradiction with facts, this - as far as I can tell, we're still waiting.
Ascend to heaven

"And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven." (2 KINGS 2:11)

"No man hath ascended up to heaven but he that came down from heaven, ... the Son of Man." (JOHN 3:13)
Is (human or other) sacrifice the way to go?

* Deuteronomy 12:31 "Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God: for every abomination to the Lord, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods."


* GENESIS 22:2 "And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."
* EXODUS 22:29 "For thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors; the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me."
* JUDGES 11:30-39 "And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hand, Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering. So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon . . . and the Lord delivered them into his hands. . . . And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: . . . And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed."
* 2 SAMUEL 21:8-14 "But the king [David] took the two sons of Rizpah . . . and the five sons of Michal . . . and he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the Lord: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest . . . And after that God was intreated for the land."
* HEBREWS 10:10-12 " . . . we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ . . . But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God."
* 1 CORINTHIANS 5:7 " . . . For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us."

Is God omnipotent?

* JEREMIAH 32:27 "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?
* MATTHEW 19:26 "But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."


* JUDGES 1:19 "And the Lord was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron."

Did Michal have children?

* II SAMUEL 6:23 "Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death."


* II SAMUEL 21:8 "But the king took the two sons of Rizpah . . . and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul."

When was Jesus born?

According to Matthew, Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great (Matthew 2:1). Herod died in March of 4 B.C., so Jesus had to have been born BEFORE that time. According to Luke, Jesus was born during the first census in Israel, while Quirinius was governor of Syria (Luke 2:2). This census took place in 6 AD and 7 AD, about 10 years after Herod's death.
How old was Ahaziah when he began to reign?

22 in 2 KINGS 8:26

42 in 2 CHRONICLES 22:2
How old was Jehoiachin when he became King?

8 in CHRONICLES 36:9

18 in 2 KINGS 24:8
The number of animals in the ark

GENESIS 7:2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.

GENESIS 7:8 Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth, GEN 7:9 There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.

LEVITICUS 11:6 And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.

This may not contradict anything the Bible says, but it does clash with reality - hares don't chew cud.
The shape of the earth

ISAIAH 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

MATTHEW 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

As everyone now knows, the earth is spehrical (actually, ovaloid), so you cannot see its entire surface from any one place. Greece, Crete, Egypt and Middle Eastern kingdoms could not have been seen from even "an exceeding high mountain."
Should we swear an oath?

HEBREWS 6:13-17 says "For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself . . . for men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath." But JAMES 5:12 clearly says ". . . swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation."
The sins of the father

ISAIAH 14:21 Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.

DEUTERONOMY 24:16 The fathers shall not be put to death for the chil- dren, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
Was Jesus a peaceful man?

* JOHN 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you."
* ACTS 10:36 "The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ."
* LUKE 2:14 " . . . on earth peace, good will toward men."


* MATTHEW 10:34 "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household."
* LUKE 22:36 "Then said he unto them, . . . he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one."

Does God change his mind?

* MALACHI 3:6 "For I am the Lord; I change not."
Numbers 23:19 "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent."
* EZEKIEL 24:14 "I the Lord have spoken it: it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent."
* JAMES 1:17 " . . . the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."


* EXODUS 32:14 "And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people."
* GENESIS 6:6,7 "And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth . . . And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth . . . for it repenteth me that I have made him."
* JONAH 3:10 ". . . and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not."

How are we saved?

"For by grace are we saved through faith...not of works" EPHESIANS 2:8-9.

"...and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works" REVELATION 20:13.

"Ye see then that by works a man is justified, not by faith only. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also" JAMES 2:26
What happened to Judas?

MATTHEW 27:5 states that he threw down his silver, ran from the temple, and hanged himself. ACTS 1:16-19 states, however, that he bought some land with his money, and that he had a fall, causing him "to burst open in the middle" so that his "bowels gushed out. And it became known to all of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their language Akaldama, that is, Field of Blood."
Jesus' last words on the cross

"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, eli, lama sabachthani?" that is to say, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" [PSALMS 22:1] ...Jesus, when he cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost." (MATTHEW 27:46-50)
But . . .
"And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, "Father, unto thy hands I commend my spirit:" and having said thus, he gave up the ghost." (LUKE 23:46)
But . . .
"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, "It is finished:" and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." (JOHN 19:30)

This is clearly a folk legend - the operative word being legend - in the making.
Is God cruel, destructive and unmerciful or good, kind and merciful?

"I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy." (JEREMIAH 13:14) "Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not, but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling."

"The Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy." (JAMES 5:11)

"For his mercy endureth forever." (1 CHRONICLES 16:34)

"The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works." (PSALMS 145:9)

"God is love." (1 JOHN 4:16)

"And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off: for the Lord hath spoken it." (JOEL 3:8)

Immigration And America's Bad Karma

Immigration And America's Bad Karma
By Margaret Kimberley,

Lou Dobbs, Bill O'Reilly and other cable television blowhards have appointed themselves crusaders against illegal immigration to the United States. If tempted to succumb to their awful siren song, just think of the Wampanoag Indians.

In 1621 the Wampanoags watched as the Pilgrims landed at what is now known as Plymouth Rock. You know the rest of the story. The Indians were killed by warfare and disease. Treaties were broken and land was stolen. The horrific scenario played out across the rest of the nation for almost 300 years. The Iroquois, Seminoles, Choctaws, Lakotas, and Apaches all got the same treatment.

You reap what you sow. What goes around comes around. Payback is a bitch. All of those colorful expressions are apropos when the issue of immigration arises and especially when Dobbs, O'Reilly, and Congressional Neanderthals foam at the mouth.

The British, the French, the Spanish and the Dutch didn't get green cards when they showed up on Indian lands. O'Reilly's and Dobbs' ancestors didn't either. This nation was built by people who took what they wanted, land that belonged to someone else. The people who followed them accepted the terms of the original deal with the devil.

Before complaining about immigrants, compare yourself to a Wampanoag. Are Mexicans giving you small pox? Are they attacking your neighborhood and slitting your throat? Have they claimed your town as a colony for Mexico? Present day Americans are getting a much better deal from newcomers than the original Americans ever had.

Speaking of Mexico, a good chunk of the United States west of the Mississippi originally was part of Mexico. From 1846 to 1848 the United States government made its awful vision of Manifest Destiny a reality when it fought a war to steal half of Mexico's territory. Present day Texas, California, Utah, Nevada, parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming were all Mexican territory.

New immigrants from Mexico to the American west are just going back to their old neighborhood. What goes around does quite literally come around. Of course, Mexico was Indian territory stolen originally by the Spanish. So much bad karma, so little time.

America cannot have an honest discussion about immigration without revisiting its sordid past. Indians must be laughing as the descendants of their oppressors stay in a snit because newcomers arrive without permission.

Like the Indians, African Americans have a singular experience and therefore a unique view on immigration. Poor, uneducated immigrants compete most directly with low wage Americans for jobs. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, European immigrants were directly recruited to take jobs that could have easily been given to black Americans. That history and our perpetually precarious economic condition create a justifiable wariness.

Yet the answer to black Americans economic oppression is not to join with the likes of right wing Republicans. These hypocrites act only to improve the economic well being of the haves and the have mores. If they truly cared about the American worker they wouldn't cut taxes for the wealthy, try to end Social Security, and create a Medicare drug plan that is nothing but a windfall for pharmaceutical companies.

Instead of whining that some illegal immigrants use Medicaid, they should advocate for national health insurance. If Americans had this and other benefits that citizens of the rest of the world have, resentment against immigrants would diminish.

Are immigrant day laborers in Home Depot parking lots causing the worst problems for American workers? The wholesale disappearance of high paying blue collar jobs is the real problem. Images of Mexicans sneaking across the border make for a great distraction when the plight of union workers at Delphi and GM ought to be addressed.

Once again the supposedly generous nation brings out the worst in its citizens because it isn't generous at all. Americans live a dog eat dog existence, watching as corporate interests plot to destroy what little is left of the safety net. Because there is never a serious discussion about the economic system in this country, phony debates are deliberately created to keep the public from thinking about the issues that really cause their problems.

Of course, racism is at the heart of the anti-immigrant backlash and will be at the heart of any so-called solutions. Republican Congressperson Dana Rohrabacher (CA) had an answer to the argument that immigrants take jobs that Americans won't:

"We do not need more people from foreign countries coming in and taking American jobs - even jobs in the fields. I say, let prisoners pick the fruits. [Emphasis added] Let's not bid down the wages of American workers."

America has a greater percentage of its population under lock and key than any other country on earth. Now we have a new justification for mass incarceration. Prisoners can be used for free labor. The bad karma list is already too long.

As Republicans fight over whether they ought to be overtly racist or keep commerce and cheap labor flowing through the border, don't fall for the hype. Think about how life for American working people could be improved if cynical politicians weren't indulging in cheap theatrics. Then imagine being a Wampanoag in the 17th century.

Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BC. Ms. Kimberley is a freelance writer living in New York City. She can be reached via e-Mail at You can read more of Ms. Kimberley's writings at

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

They love executing BLACK MEN....

SAN FRANCISCO - The more “black looking” an African-American man charged with murdering a white victim, the more likely he is to be sentenced to death, a Stanford University researcher said Tuesday.

Using scores given by white and Asian-American Stanford undergraduates to rate facial features of 44 black men tried for murder in Philadelphia over 20 years, researchers found that 57.5 percent rated to have “stereotypically” black features such as dark skin were sentenced to death.

By contrast, 24.4 percent of black men in similar murder cases and rated by the students as less stereotypically black were sentenced to death, said Jennifer Eberhardt, a Stanford psychologist involved in the research.

Despite the use of ratings from only white and Asian-American students, the findings suggest jurors use stereotypes of black features as a proxy for criminality and punish murder defendants with those features more severely, Eberhardt said.

“They do link although the students have no knowledge of who they are or who they murdered,” Eberhardt said, referring to the defendants, their features and their sentences.

Researchers also set ratings for facial features against a pool of 118 black men tried for murdering other blacks and found no relationship between their features and sentences.

“You could not use the features to predict whether they got a death sentence,” Eberhardt said. “You’re more likely to get a death sentence in the white cases than in the black cases.”

The study adds to other research showing murderers of whites are more likely than murderers of blacks to be sentenced to death, Eberhardt said.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Anthem should be sung in any language....

President Bush is a hypocrite according to the latest research. Dubya says the national anthem should only be sung in English, but he was apparently singing a different tune during his first run for President and at his inaugural festivities. On the campaign trail in 1999, Bush would often sing along as the national anthem was sung in Spanish during stops in Hispanic communities, GOP scholar Kevin Phillips wrote in his book “American Dynasty.”
After Bush was elected, Cuban exile and pop vocalist Jon Secada also sang the “The Star-Spangled Banner” in both English and Spanish at the 2001 opening ceremony of the presidential inaugural, according to media reports at the time.The White House had no immediate comment,Nonetheless, Bush still appeared to have amnesia when he suggested last week that the “The Star-Spangled Banner” is an English-only tune.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Another dead guy quote

This racist fool made sense with THIS one....

In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination.
- Mark Twain