Thursday, April 19, 2007

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Quote of the Week

You don't want to get mixed up with a guy like me. I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel.
Pee-Wee Herman
Pee-Wee's Big Adventure

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Proverbs

Out of the Mouths of Babes

A first grade teacher collected well-known proverbs. She gave each child in her class the first half of a proverb, and had them come up with the rest. Their insight may surprise you...

Better to be safe than ....Punch a 5th grader.

Strike while the.....Bug is close.

It's always darkest before....Daylight Savings time.

Never underestimate the power of.....Termites.

You can lead a horse to water but ....how?

Don't bite the hand that ....looks dirty.

No news is....impossible.

A miss is as good as a .....Mr.

You can't teach an old dog new....math.

If you lie down with dogs, you....stink in the morning.

Love all, trust .....me.

The pen is mightier than the....pigs.

An idle mind is....the best way to relax

Where there's smoke there's ....Pollution.

Happy the bride who.....gets all the presents.

A penny saved is....not much

Two's company, three's....the Musketeers.

Don't put off till tomorrow what....you put on to go to bed.

Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and ....you have to blow your nose.

None are so blind as....Helen Keller.

Children should be seen and not....spanked or grounded.

If at first you don't succeed....get new batteries.

You get out of something what you....see pictured on the box

When the blind leadeth the blind....get out of the way.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Thursday, April 05, 2007

MLK

The Martin Luther King You Don’t See on TV
by Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon

It’s become a TV ritual: Every year on April 4, as Americans commemorate Martin Luther King’s death, we get perfunctory network news reports about “the slain civil rights leader.”

The remarkable thing about these reviews of King’s life is that several years – his last years – are totally missing, as if flushed down a memory hole.

What TV viewers see is a closed loop of familiar file footage: King battling desegregation in Birmingham (1963); reciting his dream of racial harmony at the rally in Washington (1963); marching for voting rights in Selma, Alabama (1965); and finally, lying dead on the motel balcony in Memphis (1968).

An alert viewer might notice that the chronology jumps from 1965 to 1968. Yet King didn’t take a sabbatical near the end of his life. In fact, he was speaking and organizing as diligently as ever.

Almost all of those speeches were filmed or taped. But they’re not shown today on TV.

Why?

It’s because national news media have never come to terms with what Martin Luther King Jr. stood for during his final years.

In the early 1960s, when King focused his challenge on legalized racial discrimination in the South, most major media were his allies. Network TV and national publications graphically showed the police dogs and bullwhips and cattle prods used against Southern blacks who sought the right to vote or to eat at a public lunch counter.

But after passage of civil rights acts in 1964 and 1965, King began challenging the nation’s fundamental priorities. He maintained that civil rights laws were empty without “human rights” – including economic rights. For people too poor to eat at a restaurant or afford a decent home, King said, anti-discrimination laws were hollow.

Noting that a majority of Americans below the poverty line were white, King developed a class perspective. He decried the huge income gaps between rich and poor, and called for “radical changes in the structure of our society” to redistribute wealth and power.

“True compassion,” King declared, “is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.”

By 1967, King had also become the country’s most prominent opponent of the Vietnam War, and a staunch critic of overall U.S. foreign policy, which he deemed militaristic. In his “Beyond Vietnam” speech delivered at New York’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967 – a year to the day before he was murdered – King called the United States “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” (Full text/audio here. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2564.htm)

From Vietnam to South Africa to Latin America, King said, the U.S. was “on the wrong side of a world revolution.” King questioned “our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America,” and asked why the U.S. was suppressing revolutions “of the shirtless and barefoot people” in the Third World, instead of supporting them.

In foreign policy, King also offered an economic critique, complaining about “capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries.”

You haven’t heard the “Beyond Vietnam” speech on network news retrospectives, but national media heard it loud and clear back in 1967 – and loudly denounced it. Time magazine called it “demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi.” The Washington Post patronized that “King has diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people.”

In his last months, King was organizing the most militant project of his life: the Poor People’s Campaign. He crisscrossed the country to assemble “a multiracial army of the poor” that would descend on Washington – engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience at the Capitol, if need be – until Congress enacted a poor people’s bill of rights. Reader’s Digest warned of an “insurrection.”

King’s economic bill of rights called for massive government jobs programs to rebuild America’s cities. He saw a crying need to confront a Congress that had demonstrated its “hostility to the poor” – appropriating “military funds with alacrity and generosity,” but providing “poverty funds with miserliness.”

How familiar that sounds today, nearly 40 years after King’s efforts on behalf of the poor people’s mobilization were cut short by an assassin’s bullet.

In 2007, in this nation of immense wealth, the White House and most in Congress continue to accept the perpetuation of poverty. They fund foreign wars with “alacrity and generosity,” while being miserly in dispensing funds for education and healthcare and environmental cleanup.


And those priorities are largely unquestioned by mainstream media. No surprise that they tell us so little about the last years of Martin Luther King’s life.


Jeff Cohen http://jeffcohen.org/ is the author of “Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media.” Norman Solomon www.normansolomon.com is the author of “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death” now out in paperback.

Photo of the Week

Boy standing outside his house in Tses, Namibia. I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia from 1998 to 2000.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Quote of the Week

"Men, yonder are the Hessians. They were bought for seven pounds and ten pence a man. Are you worth more? Prove it. Tonight, the American flag floats from yonder hill, or Molly Stark sleeps a widow."
General John Stark, August 16, 1777
Before the Battle of Bennington

Quote of the Week

“When forced to work within a strict framework the imagination is taxed to its utmost – and will produce its richest ideas. Given total freedom the work is likely to sprawl."

— T.S. Eliot