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The Buffalo Bullet

The Missing Op-ed page in most Major Newspapers

Archive for November, 2009

Obama’s to Fix

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by CHARLES M. BLOW

In October 2008, the candidate Barack Obama delivered a major economic speech in Toledo, Ohio. In it he said: “Right now, we face an immediate economic emergency, and that requires urgent action. We can’t wait to help workers and families and communities who are struggling right now — who don’t know if their job or their retirement will be there tomorrow; who don’t know if next week’s paycheck will cover this month’s bills. … We need to pass an economic rescue plan for the middle-class, and we need to do it not five years from now, not next year, we need to do it right now.

“So today I’m proposing a number of steps that we should take immediately to stabilize our financial system, provide relief to families and communities and help struggling homeowners. It’s a plan that begins with one word that’s on everybody’s mind, and it’s easy to spell: J-O-B-S.”

“Right now,” “immediate economic emergency,” “requires urgent action,” “can’t wait.” Wow! He gave the impression that job creation would be his top priority, that action would be swift and effective, that his solutions would not only stanch the hemorrhaging, but reverse the trend.

Fast forward. On Friday (11/6), the Bureau of Labor Statistics released unemployment figures for October 2009. The official rate was 10.2 percent, up more than 50 percent from the time Obama gave that speech. Oops, nevermind.

(By the way, the underemployment rate, which includes part-time workers who want to work full time and those who’ve given up searching, is a staggering 17.5 percent.)

Job creation has dropped from top priority to one of many, and President Obama has been remanded to pandering for patience and offering excuses. On the one hand, he argues the tortured rationale that there is good news in the awful numbers: Things are still getting worse but at a slower pace. On the other, he incessantly reminds us that he inherited the crisis. The implication: Don’t blame me, blame Bush.

But this president can’t keep deflecting to the last one. Pain is presently felt. The crisis that took form on Bush’s watch is being experienced on Obama’s. Fair or not, finger-pointing is not effective policy.

This is now Obama’s crisis, and it carries political consequences. During [Election Day's] gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia, nearly 9 in 10 voters said that they were worried about the direction of the nation’s economy in the next year. And the majority of those who held that view voted for the Republican candidates. This could portend a flashback to 1994.

It isn’t President Obama’s fault that he inherited this mess, but it is his to fix, and he must make haste. To paraphrase his Toledo prelection: you need to do it not five years from now, not next year, you need to do it right now. J-O-B-S.

Once again the bullet is proud to present New York Times Columnist & nationally known commentator Charles M. Blow with several hundred words of blistering political commentary: I invite you to visit my blog By The Numbers, join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at chblow@nytimes.com.

Written by cs

November 30th, 2009 at 3:31 pm

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Land Reform in Jamaica

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Can Jamaica become a major food exporter?

Basil Waine Kong, Ph.D., JD

If Jamaica is to ever to achieve prosperity, security, freedom from dependence on foreign aid and dominance from abroad, we must seize the opportunity to forge a strategy for ourselves and for future generations where the rule of civil law, not the rule of the jungle governs the conduct of our people. To this end, it is our duty to try novel social and economic experiments that allow Jamaicans to reap economic benefit from the sweat of their labour. One such “experiment” may be to bring our agrarian expertise into full swing by promoting the growth of exportable agricultural products to the world.

An abundance of vacant, fallow land is available in Jamaica and can be used to plant exportable crops and to decrease the amount of food that we buy from other countries. This precedence effectively addresses many of our social and economic ills. The planting and reaping of profitable harvests by putting more land into production with available workforce will decrease the number of Jamaican citizens who are idle in our cities. My grandmother was fund of saying: “Idle hands become the work of the Devil.” This is borne out in the high crime rate that plagues us.

It is in the best interest of Jamaica to implement significant land reform for the purpose of increasing food production and reducing poverty. The purpose of a proposed land reform should be to bring about a more equitable distribution of land ownership and access to land. This can be brought about by changes in laws and regulations as a scheme to increase the acreage under cultivation, increase output, meet the growing shortage of food worldwide and at the same time reduce poverty and crime in Jamaica? A land of abundant rainfall, sunshine, fertile soil, expert cultivators, access to huge markets and relatively cheap labor is ripe for a guided agricultural revolution. I was impressed that as a boy we could just stick a limb from a tree into the ground and it would grow into another tree.

The contrast between rich and poor in Jamaica arises mainly from the mal-distribution of land ownership and the lack of access to land by poor Jamaicans. As a result, many Jamaicans do not have access to land that would promote self employment. So, both land and an able bodied labour force are idle, kept apart by outdated laws, customs and bad tax policy. The land certainly should be taxed (site value rating) but not the improvements made to the land and the products reaped from the land for the 1st year of usage. We need to take the incentive out of keeping land out of production and create a graduated taxation or tariff on production after the immediate needs of the farmer have been considered.

Due to extremely low real estate taxes coupled with the increasing value of land, it is currently profitable for entrepreneurs to buy land, take it out of production, pay very little taxes, and eventually resell the land at a significant gain. Baring capturing the land, current landowners have little incentive to either develop their property or make it available for agricultural production or industrial development. On the other hand, potential farmers do not have access to arable land for cultivation. In their desperation and frustration, many of them move to urban areas, survive under deplorable circumstances or turn to crime to subsidize their livelihoods.
The goals of the proposed program are to:

1. Increase the acreage of land that is used for food productions.
2. Increase the number of Jamaicans willing to be farmers.
3. Provide subsidies to cultivators for seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and farming equipment.
4. Increase food production (Eat what we grow, grow what we eat) and provide an avenue for market access to farmers to sell their produce.
5. Increase food exports (a government body would guarantee the prices of various food items and prepare and package them for export).
6. Promote the production of canning and packaging plants.
7. Reduce unemployment and promote self employment through farming and provide jobs in the packaging sector.
8. Increase home ownership of the land that is used for farming.
9. Reduce crime by employing young men and women who are now idle in the urban areas.
10.Increase the quality of life for unemployed Jamaican workers through employment and financial empowerment.
11.Increase taxes after subsidizing these farmers for three years.

Further, I recommend that we examine existing laws, regulations and customs relating to land ownership and land tenure. Preventive legislation needs to be removed and new incentive based legislation introduced to:
1. Increase taxes on land that is not being used to incentivize landowners to at least rent the land so it can be productive.
2. Take land where taxes are more than three years in arrears.
3. Relocate unemployed citizens from urban ghettos by reallocating them to land that is laying waste and providing adequate housing to incentivize unemployed citizens to relocate; (Food for the Poor has demonstrated that adequate housing can be built on 10 acres of land for less than J$500,000 per unit. How much does it cost to keep a man in prison?)
4. Adjust Real Estate taxes so that existing homesteads are not adversely affected;
5. Monitor recipients of these land grants to make sure these opportunities are not squandered.
6. Favor married couples.

We have before us the opportunity to forge prosperity for ourselves and for future generations of Jamaicans. A key strategy on our war on poverty is to help individuals to own something and have an investment in a lawful society so they will have an investment in protecting the property and interests of their fellow citizens. The true test of our compassion is in the way that we care for our most vulnerable citizens. We can have a true democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both. The same law for the lion and the lamb is oppression. In order to treat some people equally, we must treat them differently. This is not a gift or a hand-out; it is an investment in our citizens.

To this end, I recommend that our government form a task force to explore the merits of this proposal immediately. The more we are able to put forth realistic ideas, the more of a chance we have for a true reformation and referendum of the current economic policies that is failing our country and our people. In the words of Franklin Roosevelt: “I see on-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished…The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

This land is our land. Let’s put it into production! While I believe that property rights must be carefully safeguarded, I also believe that poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere.

Bullet Columnist Basil Waine Kong has written several pieces for this journal and especially likes to expound on his favorite subject: his beloved Jamaica. He is a former Atlien (resident of Atlanta GA), and was the CEO of the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) for 22 years before his retirement in 2008 to return to Jamaica. This article is reprinted with his permission from his blogsite; Coming in From the Cold… Bob Marley

Written by cs

November 28th, 2009 at 11:31 am

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Why do you consider the Jehovah’s Witnesses a dangerous cult?

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by Brenda Lee Author of-
Out of the Cocoon: A Young Woman’s Courageous Flight from the Grip of a Religious Cult”

First, I’d like to acknowledge that Jehovah’s Witnesses are people with lives and loved ones, just like you and me. They are not merely a label. I know; I used to be one, and I resented when someone called me a “Jehova.” Once I left the group and did a lot of research on thought reform and mind control, however, I realized that Jehovah’s Witnesses are being psychologically held hostage within a cult, a cult created in the late 1800’s by a single man, Charles Taze Russell. (Mr. Russell dubbed his followers the International Bible Students, who later became known as Jehovah’s Witnesses, currently run by The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in New York.)

There are also many definitions for the word “cult”; therefore, my opinion of what constitutes a cult is based upon collective definitions provided by cult experts worldwide: Cult: Any authoritarian group that uses thought reform, coercive persuasion, deception and fear to manipulate and control its members.

To the average person, the Watchtower organization appears benign, but it uses crippling fear to control its members, operating under authoritarian control, with the threat of excommunication/shunning (I have been shunned by my family and the Jehovah Witness community for the last 29 years.) In addition, the religious leaders typically have no accredited pastoral or theological schooling and the members are taught that the directions of God are received by a select few in New York and to disagree with them is to challenge God himself.

Questioning what is taught, even if it involves the sexual abuse of a child, can be grounds for excommunication and shunning. The Watchtower runs, at a minimum, a multi-million dollar tax-free international corporation utilizing a free sales force and governs nearly every aspect of its 7 million members’ lives. The long-reaching impact of association with them is felt not only by those who subscribe to their teachings but also by extended family members who never attempt to join its ranks. An example of the latter remains vivid in my mind, even today. I remember when my mother sat me down at age nine and told me I could never speak to our relatives again because “Satan might be using them to keep us from learning The Truth.” Our disassociation with them clearly impacted their lives, as well as our own, even though they never became Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Lee is a regular bullet columnist. She has written several pieces in our starting rotation but her first essay for the bullet was on Mothers Day “An Author’s Reflection on Mothers Day…” She overcame her mother’s (mis)using religion like a scalpel in a power-mad effort to break her will, only to write a powerful book of revelation and triumph.

Written by cs

November 25th, 2009 at 8:19 pm

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Nakeea Stevens Nuff Said

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Figured we can take a break from politics & muckracking and just enjoy some true local beauty. Presenting Buffalo’s own… Nakeea.

There are many talented and beautiful models within and around the Buffalo community. What we have this week is a profile of a photographer who was told she should be in front of the camara instead of behind it. Thus 5’9″ 130 lbs Nakeea Stevens was born. Independant fashion model, eventual Supermodel, designer of own outfits and proud graduate of McKinley High School.
Cold outside? Fellas this pic’ll warm you up

(I used this one in order to show you up close how pretty Nakeea really is)

“I started making outfits back in high school because I couldn’t really buy what I wanted to buy, so I would just make a replica of it and it would just not have the name, the logo… probably around 2000 I started making my own clothes. And I made a couple of cargo pants for my male friends too. I can make all the clothes.” Stevens’ clothes making skills were handed down to her by her grandmother; the late Lydia Stevens. She still lives with her very supportive parents today. Take a good look at her awesome features and designer skills and follow her on facebook.

Outfit by Nakeea, body by Mr. & Mrs. Stevens

Written by cs

November 22nd, 2009 at 2:45 pm

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Don’t blame it on Rio, Blame it on Ray Ray

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by Chris Stevenson

Back in 4/14/07 Chicago IL was selected by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) as the US bid city. Over two years later Chicago was eliminated from the first ballot in International Olympic Committee voting (over a month ago 10/2). A bid would have seen the the nation’s 2nd largest city awarded 1.1 billion dollars in building revenue. In spite of the potential financial gain sentiments among Chicago’s black community were divided, some feared the destruction of spacious Washington Park and the probable-forced move of the local black residents around it due to an anticipated gentrification.

In the end it certainly wasn’t black concerns that kept the oldest international sporting festival from Chi-Town, it was concern about blacks… black youths in particular. And that was an obstacle the President, the First Lady, the Mayor and some woman named Oprah couldn’t convince a committee of foreigners to jump over. The International Olympic Committee is just as they say they are, international. They are used to dictators (Hitler), terrorists, (Munich ’72, Atlanta ’96); organized groups of poor people who strike calculatingly and ruthlessly. The IOC no-doubt has dossiers on Arab terrorist, Euro terrorists, white American militia terrorists, Jewish terrorists, black African terrorists. What the IOC and their followers don’t know about is the unpredictable antics of “Pookie” and “Ray Ray.” My instincts tell me it was videotaped footage of a high school fight which showed several black youths engaged in open warfare, resulting in the brutal murder of a straight-A student just walking by.

The Pookie and Ray Ray incident in question I’m referring to of course is the 9/24 after-school fight that ended with the death of Derrion Albert just outside of Fenger Academy High School on Chicago’s Southside when some participants suddenly singled him out and began punching, kicking and one even attacked him with a railroad tie (huge lumber). During the week following the fight, footage was posted on YouTube and it became the wallpaper behind the Chicago celebrities stay in Copenhagen. Therein the reason for the IOC’s choice of Rio de Janeiro. It’s not that Rio is a garden spot, the choice was made before they were able to submit their own video-clip of a drug-gang war a few weeks later. Some say the fight wasn’t gang-related but based on 2 groups of students from “the Ville,” and Altgeld Gardens. Others say Albert was beaten for refusing to join a gang (pitching gang-membership during a gang-fight might be a tough sell… I’m just sayin’).

The real kicker (no pun intended) is, two of the 4 (Eugene Riley, Eugene Bailey, Silvonus Shannon, Eric Carson) local police fingered in the death were out of high school (perhaps even graduates) and were legally employed somewhere. Well, can’t let little things like adult responsibilities prevent us from participating in these all-important after school gang-fights, right. The IOC knows that during their youth, international terrorists didn’t kill their straight-A classmates, they made them their leaders and strategists. Black American boys do just the opposite and adhere to lower standards with each generation; bad is the new good, ignorance is the new knowledge, prison is the new college, black women are the new black men, black men are the new black women or new black child, good grades is acting white, bad grades is acting black. The new Civil Rights is the right of black boys to simply say “bitch.”

Most Pookies and Ray Rays are “raised” by a Shaniqua; a young urban black female immersed in Blue Tooth, blue hair, red weaves, purple nail extensions and texting. Actually she’s known to devote much attention to anything of color except her black sons. Shaniqua may seem like she stubbornly refuses to raise her boys by traditional family rules the way single-mothers of my day did. The reality is, how can she even know what that is? Pookie gets low grades, Shaniqua wants to fight the teacher. Ray Ray won’t listen to his high school basketball coach, Shaniqua gets mad at the coach. As time goes on Pookie and Ray Ray begin to think just like Shaniqua do; that which is raised by troubled black single woman, begins to think like a troubled woman. How so? They take everything personal (as troubled women do). They think almost every remark, look and greeting is a diss (as troubled women do). What confuses their peers is they lift weights and/or even carry a gun. Much of this downward spiral would be reversed if Shaniqua decided to get mad at Pookie and Ray Ray, but those are her “babies” she’ll argue. She’s right, her babies, her prison visits, her funerals, all hers. Police, lawyers, Judges, prison guards all depend on Shaniqua’s enabling. They make a great living off an army of incarcerated Pookies.

Solution: President Obama can go a long way in avoiding more international embarrassments from the black youth his community organizing didn’t have much effect on, by writing and pushing a Pookie and Ray Ray Bill. In fact call it the Derrion Albert Law; legislation that targets and incarcerates their indifferent or enabling mother and absentee father, if it is proven they weren’t actively involved in teaching them right from wrong. This measure must be undertaken irregardless of how the Jesse Jacksons, Al Sharptons or Michael Eric Dysons will feel or say about it. It’s one thing to allow these youth to continue to destroy their blocks, it’s quite another to watch them cost their cities billions in economic aid.

Chris Stevenson is a syndicated columnist, his articles also appear in the Buffalo Challenger. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, you don’t have to join either. Contact him on the link below.

Written by cs

November 20th, 2009 at 2:41 pm

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The Passion of the Right

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by CHARLES M. BLOW

In 354 days, the dead will rise. Or so believe Republicans.
They believe that their suffering and forbearance in the face of an overzealous, hyperliberal left will culminate in a 2010 resurrection of the battered Republican brand.

Case in point: After G.O.P. victories in Virginia last week, Representative Eric Cantor, the House Republican whip, exclaimed that voters are “looking for change. … The Republican resurgence begins again tonight!”

Unfortunately, he’s probably right, in part at least. They are likely to make significant gains, not because of their anachronous tenets, but because of historical patterns and an electorate exasperated with seeming Democratic ineptitude.

According to a Gallup poll on Wednesday, in a generic 2010 Congressional matchup, Republicans moved ahead of Democrats 48 percent to 44 percent. Now generic polls have to be taken with a grain of salt. That said, they do measure the mood of the populace, and it doesn’t look good for Democrats.

The most striking finding in the poll was the margin for Republicans among independents. It grew from 1 percentage point in July to 22 percentage points in November. This is important because according to the most recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal Survey, independents are now nearly as large a group as Democrats and Republicans combined.

And, it gets worse for the Democrats. The Gallup poll was of registered voters, not likely voters who skew more Republican, in part because fewer young people vote in midterm elections.

Let’s take a look at how these factors played out in the recent gubernatorial races. In Virginia and New Jersey, the percentage of voters under age 44 dropped 18 and 14 percentage points, respectively, from last November to this November. And what of the all-important independents Obama narrowly won in both states? They voted overwhelmingly for the Republican candidates.

Cantor is also right that the people want change — still. They trusted Democrats to deliver. The Democrats haven’t, not yet at least, and pleas for patience come at a price. If voters’ thirst remains unsated, they will change politicians until politicians change policies.

The party that wins the White House generally loses Congressional seats in the midterm, but this Democratic-controlled government has particular issues. Its agenda has been hamstrung by a perfect storm of politics: the Republicans’ surprisingly effective obstructionist strategy, a Democratic caucus riddled with conservative sympathizers and a president encircled by crises and crippled by caution.

And, the most important pocketbook issue — jobs — hasn’t been the priority that it should be. History may eventually judge these Democrats favorably. Who knows? But real-time anxiety threatens to undermine them.

Jobs may be a lagging indicator of economic recovery, but consecutive summers of “staycations” may be a leading indicator of political realignment.

Once again the bullet is proud to present New York Times Columnist & nationally known commentator Charles M. Blow with several hundred words of blistering political commentary: I invite you to visit my blog By The Numbers, join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at chblow@nytimes.com.

Written by cs

November 17th, 2009 at 2:56 am

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Life is Grand

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My Last Thirty Days

by Dr. Basil Waine Kong

Life does not get any better than this. I have been on a great adventure with my loving, forgiving and accommodating wife (Stephanie). We are perfectly matched. We are both blessed with excellent health and strength, enjoy the company of ALL our children (4) and grand children (5.5). We also work as well as work out together daily.

Over the last thirty days, we visited Grand Cayman for three days (It rained every day but we met wonderful people, toured this small Island where the first civilians were certified as scuba divers) and we saw a wonderful performance by Cuban acrobats, dancers and singers; we attended the 35th Anniversary of the Association of Black Cardiologists in Las Vegas, (where I received an appreciation award for serving as their CEO for 22 glorious years). I also attended the Centers for Disease Control National Forum on Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention in Atlanta where I serve on the International Committee on behalf of the “Heart Institute of the Caribbean Foundation”. We saw a Broadway show in New York (FILA) where we also attended the 65th birthday celebrations of a dear friend (Obie McKenzie) and visited with another close friend (Josh Weinstein) who we do not visit with nearly enough.

In golf, I won a golf tournament in Jamaica (Kingston Hilton Open), played the famous East Lake Country Club and otherwise play an average of four times per week with wonderful friends whose company I thoroughly enjoy. Two weeks ago,I shot under par for the front nine at Caymanas with three birdies. Don’t ask about the back nine.

I spend a great deal of time reaching out to others particularly with my eighty seven year old mother. It gives me a great deal of comfort that I am not a motherless child. The people of Woodlands District in St. Elizabeth, particularly the children, are a priority. We went to Hellshire Beach to swim and eat fish and festival, the Myrie’s in Kingston for soup on Saturdays after golf as well as play dominoes, swim, sing and dance whenever we have the opportunity. I have seven writing projects that are taking shape. In all that I do, I pray as if all depended on God and work as if all depended on me.

So, when anyone ask me, how I am doing, instead of saying “not so bad”, “could be better”, “I am still above the ground”, or some other cliché that shows how little we expect from life, I now respond:

“I am complete. I am perfect. I am happy. I am dynamite. I am lovable, loving, getting lots of good love. I am well off and doing well. I have it all together. I am basking in the riches of life. I am prospering right here and right now. I am being richly rewarded, even in my sleep. I am a miracle worker expecting a miracle right now. I am peacefully peaceful. I am walking the walk. I am talking the talk. I am claiming the victory right now. I am successful. I am wealthy. I am living in pure grace. I am a believer. I am standing on faith. I am on my way to the top. I am what I am because I just can’t help myself.” (Iyanla Vanzant, “Acts of Faith: Daily Meditations for People of Color”, Simon & Schuster, 1993, December 7)

My wife and I can look backwards with joy and look forward with hope. And how are you doing?

Bullet Columnist Basil Waine Kong has written several pieces for this journal and especially likes to expound on his favorite subject: his beloved Jamaica. He is a former Atlien (resident of Atlanta GA), and was the CEO of the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) for 22 years before his retirement in 2008 to return to Jamaica. This article is reprinted with his permission from his blogsite; Coming in From the Cold… Bob Marley

Written by cs

November 14th, 2009 at 10:20 pm

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I’m Perfect, You’re Doomed by Kyria Abrahams

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Book Review by Brenda Lee

Kyria’s book, I’m Perfect, You’re Doomed, is a bittersweet recipe of the author’s excruciating adolescence combined with scorpion-piercing wit that may leave the average reader wondering: “Should I laugh or cry?” I found the book simultaneously sardonic while grossly disturbing. Because I too was once a Jehovah Witness teen who considered suicide as a means to escape the Watchtower’s strangehold, but instead self-medicated through introspective humor, the undertones of falling prey to a dysfunctional lifestyle upon leaving a dysfunctional family were eerily but predictably unavoidable.

The fact that Kyria has successfully shared her account with a flip of her strategic finger is indicative that she is on the road to recovery, purging the venomous sting of her painful past. I’m Perfect, You’re Doomed is definitely not for cultic narcissists. Go Kyria, my “prodigal” sister.

About Kyria:
Kyria Abrahams is the author of I’M PERFECT, YOU’RE DOOMED: Tales of a Jehovah’s Witness Upbringing (Touchstone, 2009).

Her humor has also been published in Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure (Harper Perennial, 2007) the THE BOOK OF ZINES: Reading From the Fringe. For two years, Kyria Abrahams was a regular columnist for Jest Magazine, where she was featured alongside performers and writers from The Daily Show and Chappelle’s Show. She has been a past performer at alternative comedy shows like Eating It and Invite them Up, as well as literary readings like How to Kick People. She lives in Queens with an abused cat that she just knows will start to love her some day.
Follow Kyria on Twitter.

About Brenda
This is one of the latest columns by author and mind control educator Brenda Lee. Her book “Out of the Cocoon: A Young Woman’s Courageous Flight from the Grip of a Religious Cult,” can be found at her site: www.outofthecocoon.net

She was the co-star of the documentary/reality series “The Secret Lives of Women” on WEtv. This site once carried all of her segments but experienced technical problems. The video segments will be re-posted soon.

Written by cs

November 13th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

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Dear Mr. President: While in Afghanistan, Napalm the Poppy Fields

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by Chris Stevenson

When it comes to news regarding Afghanistan, much of it is news reports and commentary relating to troop escalation. Many of us know how back in late March President Barack Obama approved of 21,000 more troops to be sent there. We have heard recent reports and debate concerning Obama sending 13,000 more troops etc., from a month ago (10/13). What has been conspicuous by it’s omission is any major news reports of plans from Washington to destroy Afghanistan’s far-famed poppy fields; those silent death fields that supply two thirds of the world’s opium (heroin). Defense Secretary Robert Gates once said “You have to find a crop to replace the poppies or every farmer becomes a Taliban recruit.” This is the same guy that worked under Bush (since 12/18/06), using Bush-like dogma in hopes of delaying heroin plant incineration. Why in the world would President Obama keep him on, wouldn’t this be a compromise of his principles and future political directions?

Gates goes way back to the first Bush Administration (George H.W.) and was a 26-year CIA veteran, It’s not just who you know, it’s what you know. Can Obama trust a former member of an organization and Administration to assist him in cutting drugs at it’s roots, when the record shows both of those parties to be key factors in the influx of illegal narcotics.

Hillary Clinton made an interesting statement about Mexico months ago if you remember, pinpointing America as the primary blame for their success in transporting illegal drugs past our border: “It is drug demand in the United States which drives the drugs north across the border. If there was not such a high level of demand it wouldn’t be so profitable and you wouldn’t have these drug gangs fighting for territory because they make so much money selling drugs to Americans.” Understand Hil’s words. “Drug demand in the United States.” When she mentioned the US she wasn’t talking about the government, she was referring to the consumer (She could have mentioned whether or not her husband had an alleged role in this as detailed in the book “Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA” by Terry Reed, but that’s another column). My solution to illegal drug importation is to go after the source, after all, as Secretary Clinton inferred, war has been declared and the Americans have been targeted. You can only kill the demand by destroying the supply. You can only kill the snake by cutting off the head.

President Barack H. Obama should napalm (fire bomb) all poppy and coca fields made for the specific purpose of manufacturing heroin, cocaine and other narcotics. What better place to start than in Afghanistan where Obama is escalating a US presence anyway (something about defeating al Qaeda and maybe finding some dude named bin Laden). ‘Bama, Bomb the Poppy Fields! Of course there will be those of you who will think this idea is wacked, but there has been reports that Obama has been planning this for some time. Some of you think Barack’s hands are more tied than the town and city judges under the old Rockefeller laws, others will note the web of beneficiaries of illegal narcotics importation; the various urban police departments, the US judicial system, the prison industrial complex. This is a chance for America to succeed where the black and Hispanic single mother has failed; once the street supply dries up, her little pants-sagging/street corner brat will be forced to find a real job or start a business manufacturing or selling legal goods. These boys claim to be tough so it should be no problem to adjust right?

Who will hate this drug-strike? White conservatives, many who secretly felt secure or amused knowing the police were arresting an exorbitant amount of black boys. Expect people like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Tammy Bruce etc., to really reach with some twisted dialogue about Obama being a tyrant because he destroyed some Middle Eastern or South American families livelihood. Ignore them. My suggestion is nothing new by the way, as of 2006 when the United Nations estimated that poppy production increased 59% (407,000 acres), they now supply 92% of the world’s opium. Since then the Afghan government began talks of eradicating the fields. Believe it or not, opium poppy cultivation is illegal by their laws.

Before the brutal war against the Soviets, Afghanistan’s primary farming export was grapes and raisins. It’s not as if the farmers should or would be left hanging. I’m sure Obama can find a way to work it out with the Afghan government to clear the way for the US to do a strike or joint strike to destroy those fields. The same plans should be made for nations that funnel illegal drugs through Mexico. According to the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, 90% of cocaine sold in the US in ’04 came through Mexico. They were also the no.2 suppliers of heroin. Mexico has been the focus of much attention in the news recently, the old drug producing nations like Peru, Bolivia and Colombia still grow, manufacture and process cocaine, they just use Mexico to transport their product into the US.

“What is happening in Mexico, some experts say, is similar to Colombia in the late 1980′s, when powerful drug cartels carried out assassinations and otherwise terrorized the county,” according to an article by Bill Rodgers. Mexico’s biggest produce is marijuana and humans (illegal aliens), it’s the traffic they allow in that’s the problem. Last year there were 6,000 drug-related murders in Mexico, most of these killings are based on US demand (Mexican President Felipe Calderon said ’90% of Mexico’s weapons come from the US). President Obama, if you really want change, if you want to cut down on the years it will take to shut down the oncoming drug cartels and street gangs, if you truly want to halt another drug influx like that in the late ’80′s-early’90′s, then let your fighter pilots have some fun, cut ‘em loose on the drug fields, napalm the poppy and cocoa fields and demand them to stop. Now that’s a “Sound of Freedom” quite a few of us can relate to.

Chris Stevenson is a syndicated columnist, his articles also appear in the Buffalo Challenger. Follow him on Twitter & Facebook. Contact him by replying on the link below.

Written by cs

November 9th, 2009 at 7:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

No More Suffering in Silence

with one comment

by CHARLES M. BLOW

Last Saturday, actor, playwright and impresario Tyler Perry posted a heart-rending message on his Web site recounting the abuses of his childhood. It was hard to read it without welling up.

His father had constantly belittled and savagely beaten him. Perry wrote that one beating was so merciless that “the skin was coming off my back.” When he was about 10 years old, while trying to leave a friend’s house, Perry wrote that the friend’s mother made lewd and disgusting suggestions and pulled him on top of her.

At another point, Perry wrote about a man from church who had molested him.

Coming on the heels of the arrest of Roman Polanski for his 1977 crime of plying a 13-year-old girl with Champagne and Quaaludes before raping and sodomizing her, and the revelation from Mackenzie Phillips that she had had a 10-year “consensual incestuous” relationship with her own father that she believes began when she was a teenager, it raises the question: How pervasive is child sexual abuse and how often do these crimes go unreported?

The statistics are sobering.

According to a 2000 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, nearly 70 percent of all sexual assaults are committed against children. While the age with the greatest proportion of assaults reported was 14, more than half of all child victims were under 12. And of those under 12, 4-year-olds were at the greatest risk.

According to a Unicef report released this week, “5 to 10 percent of girls and up to 5 percent of boys suffer penetrative sexual abuse.” Up to three times of those numbers experience some type of sexual abuse.

The good news: Reports of sexual abuse in the United States seem to be sliding. The not-so-good news: Reports and prevalence are not the same, and it’s not conclusive that they move in concert. The bad news: If up to 3 in 10 girls and 3 in 20 boys are still being assaulted, these are epidemic proportions. And, if most cases are never reported, it’s a silent epidemic.

Like Perry, most child victims — scared, confused and ashamed — tell no one. Instead, they shunt the unsavory secret into a dark corner of the mind, where they try, alone, for years to make sense of it.

We must do a better job of helping these children realize that they are not alone, not at fault and not powerless, that there is hope and help and healing.

We need a public education campaign that speaks directly to children — on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, at the beginning of G-rated movies, on classroom bulletin boards, everywhere. Nothing graphic, just something simple: “If it feels wrong, it’s wrong. Say something. It’s your body.”

Once again the bullet is proud to present New York Times Columnist & nationally known commentator Charles M. Blow; heartthrob of women, heartburn of men, with several hundred words of blistering political commentary: I invite you to join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at chblow@nytimes.com.

Written by cs

November 7th, 2009 at 9:55 am

Posted in Uncategorized