Thursday, February 24, 2005 

The White House thinks secretly taping phone conversations is wrong...kinda

Many folks have probably seen or heard about this story in Sunday's New York Times. So yeah, Doug Wead an advisor to then Governor Bush secretly recorded their phone conversations because he thought that Bush was a "historic figure." On the tapes, Bush trash talked John McCain and admitted to smoking marijuana. But no worries, Mr. Wead has seen the err of his ways, is canceling interviews, donating revenues from his book sales to charity and is going to give Bush the tapes. Most recently, Ms. Bush has joined with White House spokesmen to condemn the betrayal of trust. The quote of the day comes from her: "I think it's very odd and awkward, to be perfectly frank, to tape someone while you're talking to them on the phone, and they don't know it, and then come out with the tapes later." Now seems as good a time as any to remind people of the little 1000 page USA PATRIOT ACT.

Section 216(a)(1): ATTORNEY FOR THE GOVERNMENT- Upon an application made under section 3122(a)(1), the court shall enter an ex parte order authorizing the installation and use of a pen register or trap and trace device anywhere within the United States, if the court finds that the attorney for the Government has certified to the court that the information likely to be obtained by such installation and use is relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation. The order, upon service of that order, shall apply to any person or entity providing wire or electronic communication service in the United States whose assistance may facilitate the execution of the order. Whenever such an order is served on any person or entity not specifically named in the order, upon request of such person or entity, the attorney for the Government or law enforcement or investigative officer that is serving the order shall provide written or electronic certification that the order applies to the person or entity being served. [emphasis added]

Monday, February 21, 2005 

The Power of Lasagna

I spent this past weekend in Nashville with my family. My cousin, his girlfriend and their baby came into town and we all got together for dinner at my grandmother's house. It was an interesting experience, during which I realized just how insulated from everyday persons my life can be. But more interesting than any developed limitations I may have when talking with people I don't see everyday about "non-political" subjects like babies, video games and food, was how open to a left wing analysis of things these same people where when they raised political issues.

There are few things I find as enjoyable as having my cousin, a voice previously absent from the usual political back and forth I engage in at such sit-downs, incorporate terms like peak oil and dollar hegemony into dinner conversation.

Sunday, February 20, 2005 

Democrats Try On the Banner of Fiscal Responsiblity

After 4 years of slash and spend budgets, the Democrats appear to be realizing that a balanced budget and programs to help people may not be amoung the Bush administration's legislative priorities (gasp!). South Carolina Representative John Spratt's recent comments during his party's weekly radio address is sure to be only one is a stream of Democratic criticisms. While we should welcome such criticism, the left has an obligation to situation the discussion in its proper context of imperialism, the looming global collapse of financial capital and wholesale ecological devastation.

If we aren't making clear demands that any response to the situation we find ourselves in must "merely begin with dumping half the so-called service sector jobs in the entire economy, beginning with prisons and working up, into a massive jobs training program, draconian progressive taxation that limits personal income to $100,000 a year, a minimum wage of $20 an hour with imposed price controls, free universal health care, the expropriation of agribusiness and systematic abandonment of capitalist agriculture, the strict rationing of electricity, and the construction of a nationwide public transportation network as a first step to dramatically reducing dependence on fossil fuel," than we have failed in a way far greater than liberals are capable of doing. Sure, we must meet people where they're at, but the mass line is meaningless if we aren't exposing the masses to the idea of socialism as an alternative to the problems they so intimately understand.

Saturday, February 19, 2005 

Goff's Weblog

Friday, February 18, 2005 

The Steady Decline of Wages

CNN/Money is running the following headline: "Inflation posts the biggest jump in 6 years."

The long and short is, core producer prices jumped for January at a rate not seen since the end of 1998 - the time period routinely pointed out by Bush regime hacks as stage one of their inherited recession. Given the sum total of such economic indicators on both the produce and consumer sides of the equations, working Americans (and those of us who fight to better the conditions we face as a class) should be prepared for a continuation of the steady decline in real wages we have been seeing since the 1970s (not to downplay to boom of service sector jobs in the mid and late 1990s - I'm reminded of that famous labor cartoon which goes something like "Mr. Clinton says the economy created X million new jobs this year" - "Yeah, and I've got two of them!")

While the immediate impact this jump in producer prices for cars, cigarettes and aspects of other the BLS's core index (which excludes more "volatile" food and energy prices) will be sizable jumps in the CPI, a look into the elite's response to January's figures provides a more telling, and frankly more alarming picture. In response to the PPI news, bond prices - specifically US treasury bonds - plunged. The study of dialectics makes it clear that small adjustments have the capability of producing far reaching changes when these continual quantitative shifts reach a tipping point. Given recent tends towards dollar instability in global currency markets,
peak-oil, a mammoth and growing US trade deficit, the quagmire in Southwest-Asia and the real possibility of massive changes in the South-Asian status quo (not to mention China's role in funding Uncle Sam's current financial adventurism), every new hiccup has the potential of being the proverbial last straw.

To bring this matter closer to home (for me anyways) - this is why a 1% raise and a 1% (one-time) bonus for state and higher-education workers doesn't mean ass (despite what the company-sponsored employee "association" says).

Wednesday, February 16, 2005 


On this day in 1959 Fidel Castro became prime minister of the Republic of Cuba. ¡Viva!


Black History Month Induced Nausea

For the past week I've felt pummeled by Black History Month opportunism on the part of radio stations (I'm sorry, but Independent Women notwithstanding, Destiny's Child or worse yet Nelly doesn't conjure up images of the 500 year struggle for Black freedom), Bestbuy's movies department (again, the impetus for American progressive social change and Soul Plane, I'm just not making the connection) and any treatment of the subject whatsoever by Fox News Sunday. But all of this I could handle. I am sure that my girlfriend is more than fed-up with hearing inane cultural criticism from my lily-white-ass. But like old-school cough medicine, thus far I have been able to get it down - even if substantial gagging was involved.

No more. This one has pushed me over the edge. As I attempted to obtain my daily dose of history - via the History Channel's "This Day In History"* - I was attacked by a banner of the most offensive nature. Apparently the CIA wants to help celebrate Black history month, too. On the left hand sidebar of my browser appeared a montage with Harriet Tubman, Robert Smalls and Mary Bowser, the CIA emblem and the following words: "We are proud to acknowledge the countless African-Americans who have contributed to intelligence operations throughout history." At the very bottom of the depraved cooptation was the slogan: "The Work of a Nation. The Center of Intelligence."

I will put up with pop radio stations who promote "diversity" to a hodge-podge soundtrack of Nelly, Destiny's Child, Usher, Ludacris and Lil' John. I can handle, although not quietly, corporate pimps pushing the unrated version of Soul Plane at reduced prices during the month of February. I'll even try to refrain from throwing my chair at the Television when Chris Wallace starts talking about Black history (praying all the while to my non-existent god that Bill Kristol and Brit Hume keep their fucking mouths closed). But I'm gonna get hella pissed when the CIA tries laying claim to Moses, Smalls (Gideon Jackson), and (to a lesser-degree) Bowser.

Friday, February 11, 2005 

Bill Fletcher on the Passing of Ossie Davis

February 8, 2005
Saying good-bye to Ossie Davis
By Bill Fletcher, Jr., on behalf of TransAfrica Forum
The most appropriate response to the news of Ossie Davis' passing was voiced by my wife: “There are certain people who are just not supposed to die.”

The loss of Ossie Davis is a loss to innumerable communities, and to the global community as a whole. One of the most eloquent of orators, his career, and that of his wife and partner Ruby Dee, spanned more than fifty years. So much has and will continue to be said about Ossie Davis' career in the entertainment world. Introduced to multiple generations, and being relevant to each, Ossie Davis came to represent the consummate actor, always carrying himself—irrespective of the part that he played—with the utmost professionalism and dignity.

The Ossie Davis that I will miss the most, however, was the Ossie Davis who read the eulogy at the funeral of Malcolm X; the Ossie Davis who was an outspoken opponent of the apartheid regime in South Africa; the Ossie Davis who stood with workers and their unions in their struggles for social and economic justice; the Ossie Davis who refused to let the red-baiters and the blacklisters silence his voice for freedom, peace, and justice.

I saw Ossie Davis in the flesh on one VERY cold day—February 15, 2003—at the massive anti-war rally in New York City. I was on stage helping with coordination and, as if out of nowhere, appeared Ossie Davis to express his solidarity with the demonstrators and his outrage with an administration that, in lying to the U.S. public, was preparing to plunge us into an illegal, immoral war. Ossie Davis refused to remain silent.

I will miss the reassurance that came in listening to Ossie Davis speak. I will miss the courage that he radiated, willing to take such great risks, standing in the face of oppression. I will miss the generosity that came from him and Ruby Dee, a generosity much deeper than about money alone, but a generosity that flowed from their commitment to social movements, and fundamentally, from a commitment to people.

Indeed, there are certain people who are not supposed to leave us. I actually think that he never will.

Bill Fletcher, Jr. is President of TransAfrica Forum
Bill Fletcher, Jr. can be reached at

Friday, February 04, 2005 

¡Ossie Davis, Presente!

About Me

Recent Comments

Powered by Blogger
and Blogger Templates