Saturday, February 09, 2008

martial law?!?!!?

Dear Respondents,
Your patriotism and love of this country is admirable and your trust in our government beyond reproach. The sad reality is, however, that if a massive attack, let's say a nuclear weapon, destroys any American city, even on the opposite side of this country, martial law is not a hypothetical scenario. U.S. Northern Command in Colorado was established for just just a situation. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 protects us all from tanks running down our streets, and armed soldiers around your street corner. The erosion of that act through the Insurrection Act of '06 along with recent executive orders make it all too possible that our military could be put into a nightmare scenario of having them police us, round some of us up, take away our firearms, like they did in New Orleans, and even establish camps-- which the govt. just signed a contract for, with halliburton for just such 'temporary' camps-- to construct-- 300 nationally. So before you utterly condemn this mayor, please consider he could be doing something we'll later all applaud.
thank you.

— jeff ferrell, shreveport, la

Friday, February 08, 2008

Boy this has stuck in my mind ALL week...

At the end of the show last week, I took a call concerning race relations. The caller asserted that after 40 plus years of civil rights, the onus is upon Black people to forgive Whites and that as far as the caller was concerned there should be closure. While I agree that we as Black people, and as I often state I am part White also, should be forgiving. We should not go around with a chip on our shoulders always looking to be insulted. A few years ago, I took to task the two ladies that sued the airline when the flight attendant said "eenie meenie miney moe, pick a seat we gotta go."
The ladies were waaaaaay off base. but let's face it: There is still a ways to go for us all:

In the Columbia case, the justices wrote, "Here, plaintiffs have produced evidence that Dillard's has a systemic practice of surveilling and following African-American shoppers, that it prosecutes African-American shoplifters more than white shoplifters, that it specifically instructs employees to follow African-American shoppers - that it discriminates in giving fragrance samples and enforcing its policy on return of merchandise and that it selectively withholds service from black customers."

No one agrees more than me that far too many Black people spend too much time worrying about the slights, real or imagined, that they face. What we need to do is press on and make alliances with the folks that are trying to move forward. But trying to ignore the past is not moving on. I'm not sure how you move on, but I know it's gonna take a while and people are going to have to be committed to moving forward. This will probably mean that both Black and White will have to forgive and apologize.

Monday, February 04, 2008

From the "Give us Free" department:

Great Firewall of China Faces Online Rebels

As an 18-year-old student with an interest in the Internet, Zhu Nan had been itching to say something about the country’s pervasive online censorship system, widely known here as the Great Firewall.
When China’s censors began blocking access to the popular photo-sharing site Flickr, Mr. Zhu felt the moment had come. Writing on his blog last year, the student, who is now a freshman at a university in this city, questioned the rationale for Internet restrictions, and in subsequent posts, began passing along tips on how to evade them.
“Officials in our country claimed that Internet censorship is done according to the law,” Mr. Zhu wrote. “If so, why not let people know about this legal project, and why, instead, ban the Web sites that publicize and examine those legal policies? If you’re determined to do this, you shouldn’t be afraid of criticism.”

For some of the anticensorship activists, creating a broader awareness of censorship is itself a victory. “If you don’t know what’s on top of you, than you won’t fight back against it,” said Li Xieheng, a blogger who wrote a program he named Gladder, meaning Great Ladder, to help users of the Firefox browser overcome Great Firewall restrictions. “It’s just like many people not feeling that China isn’t free. They’re not aware of it and feel things are natural here, but that’s just the power of media control.”