Black Agenda Report for 11 April 2013: Obama's 2nd Term? Or Reagan's 9th? Fear of a Ded Planet

11 April 2013 — Black Agenda Report

This week in Black Agenda Report

Is This Barack Obama’s 2nd Term? Is it Bill Clinton’s 3rd? Or Is It Ronald Reagan’s 9th?

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

They say that elections do matter, and that there are real differences between Republican and Democratic presidents. But backing up the view to 30 years, that difference looks a lot more like continuity, both at home and in America’s global empire.

By Margaret Kimberley

Fracking is a corporate oil extraction technology. It uses vast quantities of water and irretrievably poisons water tables for entire regions before it brings up an ounce of oil or gas. Refining fracked oil & gas takes several times the energy and is vastly more polluting than conventional gas and oil, and once refined, burning even the cleanest gas and oil is altering the climate, possibly killing the planet. Fracking is fracked up.

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Michelle Rhee may yet pay for her the damage she has inflicted on society and its children.” The former DC schools superintendent and privatization poster girl has been exposed to charges of fraud, along with her sister in crime, former Atlanta superintendent Beverly Hall. The real criminal enterprise is codified in No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, headed up by the Bush and Obama gangs.

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The US-NATO military curtain has fallen the length and breadth of Africa. “Zimbabwe and tiny Eritrea are among the few nations on the African continent that have not yet been absorbed into the AFRICOM matrix.”

your black world video

President Obama’s proposal to cut Social Security by “chaining” it to the consumer price index will cost seniors a good 10% of monthly benefits a decade from now.  Republicans didn’t force him into this, it’s his opening proposal for negotiating.  Is anybody even surprised?  

by Sally Chung

The U.S. Supreme Court’s history of affirmative action rulings has led to a dead end, in which the University of Texas “has to argue in favor of the system it really ought to be arguing against.” Thelegal catch-22: “Those who want to advocate for racial consciousness can only do so by recourse to reasoning, set forth by the Supreme Court, intended to restrict racial consciousness.”

by Wangui Kimari

Multinational capital and its superpower enforcer, the United States, treated the recent Kenyan election like their own property. As it turns out, “Our new president is the biggest land owner in Kenya and our almost president has the support of American imperialism.”

by Raymond Nat Turner

The Country Cousin is wise to our folks’ ways.

High Stakes Testing Makes Cheating Inevitable

Over the last four years, standardized test cheating cases have been confirmed “in 37 states and the District of Columbia, and patterns of systemic cheating in about a dozen jurisdictions,” said Bob Schaeffer, of Fair Test. “The only solution is a comprehensive overhaul of No Child Left Behind and the over-testing system that has been mandated.” Schaeffer said evaluation of student progress should be “based on the work students do in the classroom over time.”

Mumia on the Real Dr. King

Political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, serving a life sentence in a Pennsylvania prison, sent a message to a gathering at New York’s historic Riverside Church on the anniversary of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination. “ MLK, who broke with President Lyndon Johnson in a speech at Riverside on April 4, 1967, “was an adversary of the military industrial complex and the mammoth business interests that support it. This is why state power marked him, quashed his voice, and gave him up to a violent death,” said Abu Jamal.

Free the Cuban Five

The U.S. government categorically denies it has political prisoners in its gulags,” said Luis Rosa, a Puerto Rican activist from Chicago who spent 19 years in prison on political charges. Rosa spoke at a Columbia University event demanding freedom for the Cuban Five and all U.S. political prisoners. The U.S. “uses denial to violate our most basic human rights,” said Rosa, “to perpetuate the lie that it is the ultimate defender of freedom, justice, democracy and human rights in the world.” Imani Brown, of Columbia’s Caribbean Students Association, said “American neocolonial systems of power…is the driving force of the prison industrial complex.”

Petition to Take Back Obama’s Peace Prize

Norman Solomon, the former anti-war congressional candidate and co-founder of RootsAction.org, says the state of peace in the world “has gone from bad to worse” in the 40 months since President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. RootsAction.org is circulating a petition, asking the Nobel committee to take back the prize, which was awarded early in Obama’s first term. As one petitioner wrote: “A pre-emptive peace prize works about as well as pre-emptive war.”

See No Evil, Hear No Evil” at EPA

When you consider the level of assaults that the planet is under, if ever in our history we needed a strong voice at the agency for communities and people, it’s now,” said Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, noted whistleblower and a leader in the No Fear Coalition. She said Gina McCarthy, President Obama’s new choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, is just another representative of the “envirotocracy – green paint on top of a corporate structure” – very much like former EPA chief Lisa Jackson and other predecessors who “hear no evil, see no evil.”

Where Did Haiti Aid Money Go?

A new report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, calls for more transparency and accountability in U.S. AID’s dispensing of monies to Haiti. “The Haitian people know how much money was pledged, and they know how little they’ve seen,” said the CEPR’s Jake Johnston. “There’s becoming a whole lot of resentment.”

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