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The McCains'  acts of philanthropy in their enriched leisure do not balance the public record

of their denial of the rights of working men and women and their service first and foremost

to hordes of lobbyists who continually chime the words "Corporations First."



The Three Faces of Republican Change

Evangelical Christianity, Corporate Greed, and Militarism

 An Editorial by Rudolph Lewis

The Republicans have pulled off a brilliant piece of genius.Wilson


I fail to see American voters as stupid as John McCain and his base of evangelicals make them out to be. What I saw again tonight was hollow enthusiasm, stuffed men and women whose heads are filled with the straw of meaninglessness and a ratty God in a plaid suit whose residence is Wall Street and his disciples are bankers and shysters. The "brilliant piece of genius" was John McCain's decision to choose Sarah Palin, an Apostle of God member, as VP running mate. Though a rather cynical and gimmicky move, Palin possesses a gift for gab and a reckless disregard for truth.  Her Republican National Convention speech was ugly and divisive, a filthy string of lies, mockery, and sarcasm.

But the Democrats will not run against Sister Sarah and her family. They will run against the Republican administration of the last eight years and the present platform of the Republican Party. McCain will have to defend that. It will not be enough for Senator McCain to run on his choice of Palin and his military character that he will do the right thing as president because he was a war hero 30 years ago.

That will not be enough to withstand public scrutiny. He has a public record of 25 years as a legislator in which he has helped to deregulate the economy so as to produce the subprime debacle. He has supported the tax cuts for the corporate wealthy including oil companies like  Exxon-Mobile. His vague promises recently embedded in his speeches must be fleshed out.

In this concluded Convention, we saw the three ugly faces of "Republican Change," which is not change at all, but much more of the same; we saw them dressed up to appear as what they are not. First, there was youthfully beautiful and motherly Sarah Palin, the "hockey mom," with a pregnant sixteen year old, who is the hypocritical face of white prophetic Evangelical Christians, a cult of which sees itself as warriors of the "last days" and Alaska as a refuge for the righteous.

Two, there is his aging beautiful and well-spoken wife Cindy McCain, worth they say over a $100 million, her face represents Corporate Wealth. Her attempt to be the humanistic face of corporate greed and sway will be easily glossed over. She and John adopted a dark-skinned Asian baby. It is worthy of note, yet it too is a hollow gesture. These kinds of acts spur more often than not, responses of hatred rather than genuine love.

Even if there are other acts of philanthropy in their enriched leisure, they do not balance the public record of their denial of the rights of working men and women and their service first and foremost to hordes of corporate lobbyists who continually chime the words "Corporations First." Their support of the wealthy few over the masses of exploited workers and a declining middle class will not go unnoted in the next 60 days.

And last, but not least, there is the aging handsome face of the 72-year-old John McCain, which has retained that rather silly and deceitful grin that conceals a corrupt and cold heart when it comes to dealing with the interests of the working people of America. You may recall that he was one of the Senators who refused a raise in the minimum wage for over a decade  and who has fought against workers organizing in their own interests. Representing three generations of military men, McCain's face is that of the militarist, the killer. You recall him saying, "We are all Georgians."

Here is an old man, a former POW, who as a young man dropped bombs on civilians—men, women, and children, who is spoiling for a fight with the Russians, over the control over oil and gas in the area of the Caspian Sea. We want no more energy wars. We want peace. We do not want another global bully in the White House.

In short, John McCain is a fool for a pretty face and a woman of wealth. He is a man too eager to send young boys and girls off to foreign killing fields for the sake of a hollow honor and corporate greed. We have had eight years of that already under George Bush. But Americans voters, the majority of female voters will turn their backs on these two pretty women and this aging warrior for corporate profits. 

American female voters and a growing number of white male voters are not ready to continue the present debilitating wars and start another in the name of an American patriotism thunk up by Republican neo-cons and the heads of international oil executives. Moreover, too many still underestimate the genius of Barack Obama. He has been a target battered and has  fallen behind and has always found the resource to meet the challenge winningly. I expect his enemies will continue to be vanquished.

The Republicans may have pulled even in the polls with Obama and the Democrats, again, as a result of the winning personality of Sarah Palin. But can they turn that gimmick into substance? Can they provide more substance to the sentimental idealism of McCain's military career? There will be a series of debates, for both the presidential and the vice-presidential candidates. These will have again an impact on the numbers and then there will be a race to the tape. In this race of issues, Palin will have little or no impact. McCain is an old man who does not have the legs for that final push after a decade of corruption and cruelty.

Thus, Obama wins. Hopefully, if we work hard enough, he will do it going away by large numbers of electoral votes.  Worthy of more than a corrupt and cruel past, America deserves a President Barack Obama.

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As you indicate, those three pretty faces hide ugly interiors of greed, corruption, and shallowness. We must fight that much harder for an Obama victory in November.—Miriam

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Rudy, again, thanks so much for including my book review in ChickenBones. After listening to some of Sara Palin's speech at the RNC, it dawned on me early this morning (about 3:00) that the Demos and the Repubs are talking passed each other. The terrible consequence is that many working- and middle-class whites may very well vote against their economic interests for McCain-Palin. The Demos emphasize the politics of economic issues. The Repubs stress the politics of cultural wars. Victory to be achieved by the team that dominates the struggle over framing the political contest: economic issues v. cultural wars. I don't think this is a matter of pragmatism or rationality. This election, like many in the past, is about the politics of emotion, feeling, and subjective attitudes and beliefs. The American population is more divided, terribly divided, than we may realize. Recall when Bush the Ignorant and Reckless tried to identify himself as a "uniter"? He lied; he's been a monumental failure—the worst president in US history! That is one of the reasons Obama and McCain remain so close in the opinion and propaganda polls. We live in tragic times.—Floyd

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This is a beautiful essay  . . In the meantime, I shall share it with a select group of friends, and hope they will take the time to read it.  It is the perfect sursum corda (lift up your hearts) for this moment.   I sincerely hope you are right.—Wilson

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Great piece, very positive, I enjoyed thanks.—Dwight

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Progressives and Antiwar Movement Must Weigh in Independently—Sarah Palin is a mortal threat to the possibility of Obama winning. The reason is simple: if she can add a couple of points to McCain from defecting white women and the newly-energized right wing religious base without losing more independent votes, McCain pulls ahead in some key states.

The dangerous tendency of the Obama campaign and its Democratic surrogates is to not fight back, but treat Palin as a "distraction" from McCain, the economy, the issues they feel familiar with, etc.If they assume that the Palin bubble will return to earth naturally, or that the mainstream media and Saturday Night Live will do the job for them, the Obama campaign is mistaken. There needs to be a controlled message that treats Palin as an extension of McCain, not a bobble-head to be laughed at. The message has to cut off independent and women's support for McCain-Palin and, if possible, divide some of the right-wingers. Not an easy task.

Perhaps the point is that we've already suffered eight years under a president Bush and vice-president Cheney who were, in Palin's words, so "wired in a way to be committed to the mission" that they could neither blink nor think.An excellent editorial in Sunday's NY Times makes the connection from McCain to Palin in terms that will reach independent and moderate voters. It should be quoted and widely circulated. The choice of an unqualified candidate to be a heartbeat from the presidency of a 72 year old man with four melanomas "was shockingly irresponsible", the Times said.

I think we can see in McCain-Palin a kind of faith-based extremism that reminds us of Bush and, even more, the persona of Gen. Custer. We have seen where righteous faith-based politics goes in the Supreme Court decisions, corruption scandals, the official lies, and the unnecessary wars of the past eight years, all carried out in the name of what both McCain and Palin now call "God's plan." We should say, In the name of God, stop them!—Progressives For Obama

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McCain’s ancestors owned slavesBecause of his bestselling family memoir, "Faith of My Fathers," which details the lives and military careers of his father, Adm. John McCain II, and grandfather, Adm. John "Slew" McCain, veterans flock to his campaign appearances and book signings. They trade stories about his heroic forebears and share anecdotes. The family's storied military history stretches back to Carroll County, Miss., where McCain's great-great grandfather William Alexander McCain owned a plantation, and later died during the Civil War as a soldier for the Mississippi cavalry.

But what McCain didn't know about his family until Tuesday was that William Alexander McCain had owned 52 slaves. The senator seemed surprised after Salon reporters showed him documents gathered from Carroll County Courthouse, the Carrollton Merrill Museum, the Mississippi State Archives and the Greenwood, Miss., Public Library. "I didn't know that," McCain said in measured tones wearing a stoic expression during a midday interview, as he looked at the documents before Tuesday night's debate. "I knew they had sharecroppers. I did not know that."

This documentation includes slave schedules from Sept. 8, 1860, which list as the slave owner, "W.A. McCain." The schedules list the McCain family's slaves in the customary manner of the day -- including their age, gender and "color," labelling each either "black" or "mulatto." The slaves ranged in age from 6 months to 60 years."I knew we fought in the Civil War," McCain went on. "But no, I had no idea. I guess thinking about it, I guess when you really think about it logically, it shouldn't be a surprise. They had a plantation and they fought in the Civil War so I guess that it makes sense." "It's very impactful," he said of learning the news. "When you think about it, they owned a plantation, why didn't I think about that before? Obviously, I'm going to have to do a little more research."

Then he began to piece together information out loud. "So maybe their sharecroppers that were on the plantation were descendants of those slaves," he said. Tracing the genealogies of slaves is often easy, because slaves frequently adopted the surnames of their owners. In 1876, for example, a Mary J. McCain married Isham Hurt. The two had a son, blues guitarist "Mississippi" John Hurt, in 1892 on Teoc, the plantation community where the McCains owned 2,000 acres. "Is that right?" McCain asked, after considering his possible connection to the famous bluesman, who died in 1966. "That's fascinating," he said. McCain said his interest in his family heritage always had been focused on his military background, not his Southern roots. "I just hadn't thought about it, to tell you the truth, because I really feel that my heritage is the military," he said. Salon

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Truthiness Stages a Comeback—For better or worse, the candidacy of Barack Obama, a senator-come-lately, must be evaluated on his judgment, ideas and potential to lead. McCain, by contrast, has been chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, where he claims to have overseen “every part of our economy.” He didn’t, thank heavens, but he does have a long and relevant economic record that begins with the Keating Five scandal of 1989 and extends to this campaign, where his fiscal policies bear the fingerprints of Phil Gramm and Carly Fiorina. It’s not the résumé that a presidential candidate wants to advertise as America faces its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. That’s why the main thrust of the McCain campaign has been to cover up his history of economic malpractice. . . . Lincoln Savings and Loan scandal of the go-go 1980s. When Charles Keating’s bank went belly up because of risky, unregulated investments, it wiped out its depositors’ savings and cost taxpayers more than $3 billion. More than 1,000 other S.&L. institutions capsized nationwide.

It was ugly for the McCains. He had received more than $100,000 in Keating campaign contributions, and both McCains had repeatedly hopped on Keating’s corporate jet. Cindy McCain and her beer-magnate father had invested nearly $360,000 in a Keating shopping center a year before her husband joined four senators in inappropriate meetings with regulators charged with S.&L. oversight. . . . The corporate jets, lobbyists and sleazes that gravitated around McCain in the Keating era have also reappeared in new incarnations. The Nation’s Web site recently unearthed a photo of the resolutely anticelebrity McCain being greeted by the con man Raffaello Follieri and his then girlfriend, the Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway, as McCain celebrated his 70th birthday on Follieri’s rented yacht in Montenegro in August 2006. It’s the perfect bookend to the old pictures of McCain in a funny hat partying with Keating in the Bahamas.

Whatever blanks are yet to be filled in on Obama, we at least know his economic plans and the known quantities who are shaping them (Lawrence Summers, Robert Rubin, Paul Volcker). McCain has reversed himself on every single economic issue this year, often within a 24-hour period, whether he’s judging the strength of the economy’s fundamentals or the wisdom of the government bailout of A.I.G. He once promised that he’d run every decision past Alan Greenspan — and even have him write a new tax code — but Greenspan has jumped ship rather than support McCain’s biggest flip-flop, his expansion of the Bush tax cuts. McCain’s official chief economic adviser is now Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who last week declared that McCain had “helped create” the BlackBerry. NYTimes

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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posted 6 September 2008 




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