Posts Tagged ‘america


Douglass Redux: What, to Women, is the 4th of July?

Douglass Redux: What, to Women, is the 4th of July?


by @zizii2


On that sweltering July 5th 1852, exactly 162 years ago today, Frederick Douglass delivered his famous speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July”, a speech uncensored in its brutal rebuke of the hypocrisy of America celebrating independence, while its black population remained shackled in slavery. I wonder what he would say today if he were here in our time. No doubt the brutality of slavery in his time can never be compared to anything going on today.

Yet in view of the determined aggression of America’s conservative forces in our time, to derail every single gain made in the last century to advance Democracy and make this country “a more perfect union,” one wonders what he’d say. In the lifework of Frederick Douglass in which he combined his abolitionist cause with the fight for Women’s Rights, he always saw the struggles of enslaved African Americans as intertwined with the struggles of ALL disenfranchised Americans.

**** Continue reading ‘Douglass Redux: What, to Women, is the 4th of July?’


President Obama’s America



Supply Chain 24/7: US Manufacturing Increases At Fastest Rate In 4 Years

June data pointed to a robust and accelerated improvement in the performance of the U.S. manufacturing sector. At 57.5 in June, up from 56.4, the seasonally adjusted Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™)1 indicated the strongest upturn in overall business conditions since May 2010. The latest rise in the headline PMI was driven by the fastest output and new orders growth for just over four years. Manufacturing output growth picked up for the third month running to its strongest since April 2010.

Moreover, the average pace of expansion in Q2 was the steepest for any quarter since the survey began in early-2007. Survey respondents generally attributed rising production volumes to improving domestic economic conditions, increased client confidence and a strong pipeline of outstanding work. In line with the trend for output, total new business volumes increased at a sharp and accelerated pace during June.

More here




Night owl chat – The Great American Songbook, Part 1

Okay, I admit it. Now that I’m in middle age, all those songs which I always thought “not cool” sound pretty freaking awesome. Europe has opera. (We do too, but that’s for another post.) And we have songs which the whole world sings. So the first in an indefinite series on the Great American Songbook


Nat King Cole – It’s Only a Paper Moon


Michael Buble – I’ve Got The World on a String

Continue reading ‘Night owl chat – The Great American Songbook, Part 1′


Who is profiting from racial resentment in the Age of Obama?

Racial Resentment is illicit stock Conservatives traffic for Profit & Votes

by @zizii2

Obama’s ascendency to the presidency means that,

on race, the Rubicon has been crossed (2008) and re-crossed (2012).” (Edsall)

In his recent article about the surge in Racial Resentment during the age of Obama, Jonathan Chait could have spared readers the torture of seeing him contort himself into a beltway “both-sides-do-it” pretzel, if he had asked himself one simple question: — “Who is profiting from racial resentment in the Age of Obama?”.

That fundamental question would have trucked him out of the airy parlor of abstract debate and beltway media myopia where “policy” amounts to wealthy talking heads from left, right and 3rd Way trading barbs on TV, and out into the trail of the billionaire-backed conservative wrecking ball that is stripping minorities of voting rights, women of reproductive rights, blocking millions from access to Medicaid, profiting off criminalized black bodies warehoused in for-profit prisons, eroding workers’ rights in the name of coddling corporations as “job creators,” erasing the history of minority oppression from textbooks and classrooms, and so on.


On that trail he would have discovered how those conservative interests are cynically using President Obama and minorities as Rorschach Tests to whip up latent bigotries in order to further their corporate and fundamentalist religious goals, the bulk of which are actually detrimental to those very people whose bigotries they are whipping up. Racial resentment would not exist in its myriad forms if there was no market for it. To understand its lucrative purchase is to seek out who profits from it, and above all who runs the market.

Why look at profit? That’s because “Race” and its derivatives “Racism”, “Racialism”, “Racial Resentment,” have no intrinsic value outside of economics. They are social constructs rooted in the need to justify profit off human bodies by assigning hierarchical meaning to visible physical differences. Race in American history never made logical or scientific sense except as an excuse after the fact, to stitch meaning out of the yawning gap between philosophical ideals that “all men are created equal” and the greed impulse to make money. Except, the consequences have been brutal to people of color. It birthed an ugly history of physical oppression and many forms of structural inequality.

HD_RiotNYCClarksonStILN.previewDraft Rioters lynching African Americans on Clarkson Street, NYC, July 13, 1863, Source: Dickinson College


If slavery required the racialization of black bodies to ensure profit, it also subsequently required the racialization of the disparate peoples of European descent of varying fortunes into one monolithic “White” category to act as bulwark and maintain the social hierarchy. But what did “whiteness” mean if anything for those who did not own property or human chattel and were struggling to stay alive just like people of color? Enter “Racial Resentment” as a tool perfected for whipping up populism. President Andrew Jackson perfected it to serve territory-grabbing ends against Native Americans. But people, white, black or brown cannot always be hoodwinked into acting against their own rational economic interest, no matter their religious, tribal, or cultural allegiances.

There have been bull and bear markets for racial resentment especially since the end of the Civil War. There are periods of growth spurts such as we live in now of economic uncertainty, and periods of waning. Thus powerful interests are always on the prowl to exploit anything that divides and conquers the ranks of the ordinary people, often masking their agenda under nebulous and lofty disguises such as: values, freedom, tradition, real™ America.

As a commodity, Racial Resentment has no intrinsic value of its own save the utility that the profiteers derive from it. If it didn’t exist some other currency would be invented to profit off human differences and to maintain social control. Besides, it is not as if the conservatives are hiding their agenda. They have told us loud and clear what they are doing. Recent exhibit? Charles Koch’s smarmy term “collectivism” in his WSJ op-ed, or Art Pope’s radical control of North Carolina’s government as “budget director,” Or Mitt Romney’s insulting barb that President Obama won because he gave “gifts” to minorities women and young Americans, Paul Ryan’s Dickensian budget and quip about “lazy inner city males”, etc. Yet Chait bends over backward to argue that there is an equivalent use of race among liberals?



Continue reading ‘Who is profiting from racial resentment in the Age of Obama?’


Affordable And Comprehensive Healthcare In Your 20s? ✓


‘Cesar Chavez’ Comes To The White House


President Barack Obama speaks at the screening of the film ‘Cesar Chavez’, in the Old Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. The movie biopic is directed by Diego Luna about the Mexican-American labor leader Cesar Chavez




President Barack Obama hugs Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Deputy Director of Public Engagement (Cesar Chavez’s granddaughter), as he arrives at a screening of the film “Cesar Chavez”


Actors Diego Luna and Rosario Dawson speak after President Barack Obama made remarks at a screening of the film “Cesar Chavez” at the White House





Actress America Ferrera attends a screening of the film “Cesar Chavez” in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C.








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