Joseph Lieberman, who styles himself as a great moralizer,
reached a new low in cynicism last week, announcing a health
care proposal that is no such thing, at all. Basing his presidential
campaign arithmetic on the fact that more people are afraid
of getting cancer (everybody)
than the number of uninsured Americans (at least 41 million),
the Democratic Leadership Council's champion proposed to search
for cures rather than invest in a "big spending"
program of universal health care. Lieberman figures that 100
million Americans suffer from "chronic" illnesses
such as cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes and heart
is going to talk about [insurance] coverage and cost,"
Lieberman spokesperson Jano Cabrera told the Washington
Post. "But we think there is an element that is missing,
and that's cures."
we know why Lieberman was missing from the American Federation
of State, County and Municipal Employees candidates forum
in Iowa, earlier this month. AFSCME executives and members
were most anxious to question the presidential hopefuls on
details of their health plans. Lieberman claimed religious
considerations prevented his appearance. Had the corporate
shill from Connecticut announced his non-health insurance
plan in Des Moines, he would have been booed off the stage.
Service Employees International Union, the nation's largest,
has declared health insurance issue number one. "Our
members take care of people, live the problems of the health
care system in a way that many other people just periodically
see it," said SEIU President Andrew. "Every bargaining
that we've had, from janitors to workers to nursing home workers,
is about maintaining health care, not about significantly
this kind of crowd, Lieberman can't hang.
have and have not
official, again. African Americans are the poorest group in
the United States. New U.S.
Census figures show that Native Americans are slightly
less poor than Blacks, Hispanics marginally better off. Asians
and Pacific Islanders, meanwhile, are more affluent than whites.
Here's the breakdown:
American Indian/Alaskan Native 726,000 (22.5%)
Hispanic 7,872,000 (21.5%)
Whites 14,819,000 (11.5%)
Asian/Pacific Islander 1,266,000 (10.1%)
proves that seniority means nothing in America, unless one
deducts life-chances points based on time spent under oppression
on U.S. soil - a perverse kind of group demerit system. Nowhere
in the poverty numbers would the braying racists who beat
Blacks with the humiliated body of Jayson Blair find any evidence
of white privilege in the American racial scheme of things.
commend anti-racist activist Tim Wise for a succinct definition
of "the essence of white privilege: the privilege to
rise or fall without implicating your group in the process
or calling into question the mechanisms that brought you to
your current station." Wise expanded on the theme in
an excellent Znet
column, "Inventing Jason Blair: Reflections on White
Privilege and Hypocrisy " - so good a piece that we excerpted
a large chunk of it:
most pathetic thing about the Blair incident is this: to
an awful lot of whites--and certainly the zombified denizens
of talk radio--this scandal proves that blacks are somehow
getting opportunities they don't deserve; that racial preference
has turned the notion of merit selection upside down. Yet
they fail to acknowledge the reality that whites continue
to get far more jobs, irrespective of actual ability, than
people of color do.
to the National Center for Career Strategies, more than
85 percent of all jobs are filled by word-of-mouth as opposed
to merit-based competition through open advertising. What's
more, nine in ten executives got their jobs through networking.
So just who do we think are the folks in these networks,
and who are those persons disproportionately left out? To
ask the question is to answer it.
for years have found that employers tend to prefer hiring
people who remind them of themselves, and that too often
they make judgments about merit and ability that are less
about talent than their comfort level with the potential
hire: a comfort level heavily influenced by race. Once again,
just who do we think benefits from this form of subtle racism,
and who is harmed? And once again, to ask the question is
to answer it.
finally, a recent study found that when resumes of equally-qualified
job applicants are sent to employers, those with white sounding
names are fifty percent more likely to get called in for
an interview than those with black-sounding names. So who's
the end of the day, white America may delude itself into
believing that Jayson Blair is the epitome of racial preference
run amok, but until we clean out our own stables, filled
as they are with liars, cheats, and a plethora of incompetents,
we might want to avoid any and all mirrors for a while.
case you didn't figure it out, Mr. Wise is a white guy.
as a sales opportunity
Bush, the real Republican, outdoes Joseph Lieberman, the wannabe
Republican, in mastery of shamelessness. In a May 22 speech,
Bush claimed that Europeans are at fault for hunger in Africa,
having frightened the gullible Blacks into fearing American
genetically modified (GM) seeds. "By widening the use
of new high-yield bio-crops and unleashing the power of markets,
we can dramatically increase agricultural productivity and
feed more people across the continent," Bush said. "Yet,
our partners in Europe are impeding this effort. They have
blocked all new bio-crops because of unfounded, unscientific
gave not a nod to the possibility that Africans might have
their own reasons to avoid U.S. corporate seeds, including
permanent dependence on American agribusiness and loss of
opportunities to sell their crops in Europe, where (GM) foods
are restricted. Africans also distrust corporate bio-magic
which, more than anything else, is designed to turn food into
dollars, regardless of ecological or human health consequences.
the sake of Republican donors in agribusiness, the President
managed to demean Africans as ignorant and insult the sensibilities
of European consumers, who demand that their governments keep
(GM) products out of their continent.
masquerades as statesmanship, and Americans can't tell the
are having the last laugh, as their euro currency rides to
new highs against the dollar. Administration economists attempt
to put the best light on the dollar's now-chronic decline,
claiming that this is a good thing for U.S. exports - as if
the plunge were planned. In reality, the dollar has been further
destabilized by the Bush men's offensive against international
order. The global redlining of America that we have often
referred to in these pages, is being felt. Since the underlying
weaknesses of the United States, long obscured through the
collaborative actions of other nations, cannot be fixed by
force of arms, Washington must hope that international monetary
markets will rescue the dollar by buying up huge amounts of
them. When that fails to decisively occur, we will have entered
a new phase in the Pirate's unraveling.
some date in a future that may be closer than we think, yet
beyond the capacity of delusional white supremacists to contemplate,
there will be a reckoning. A nation impoverished and broken
by its own pillaging Pirates in suits will be presented with
a sea of indictments for crimes against humanity.
European Parliament has already seen video evidence of U.S.
Special Forces complicity in the murder of at least 3,000
Afghan and Pakistani Taliban prisoners.
Massacre: Convoy of Death" is journalism at its most
dangerous, since the criminals that are unmasked in acts of
unspeakable horror are uniformed hit men of the superpower.
Too powerful for American television, Democracy Now! premiered
the one-hour documentary May 23. To view it, click here: