Texas Liberal

All People Matter

People Believe Wild Things Because Nothing Is So Brutal That It Cannot Be True

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote in 2008 about conspiracy theories that many people believe. 

For example, 30% of black people believe it’s possible AIDS was deliberately manufactured to kill black folks.

This is held out as a crazy thing to think.

I don’t believe it myself.

But if you asked me if many white people and white politicians don’t care if poor urban black people live or die, I would say that’s correct.

And plenty of black politicians don’t care either.

In my own experience as a city council aide in Cincinnati, Ohio, I read the files of black cancer patients who had intentionally been given extra doses of radiation to see how they would react.

Get this—They suffered.

Poor black people in cities, blacks and whites in rural areas, our colonized undocumented labor force, and poor people of all kinds, get inferior hospitals and inferior care.

When you ask black folks if AIDS was the work of government, maybe what you’re really asking if the government would do things that would kill people who look like you do.

“Yes” seems to be a logical reply.

Mr. Kristof wrote that it was crazy that 36% of Americans believe that government orchestrated 9/11 or knew about it advance.

Well—I’ve always thought that was a mistaken belief .

George W. Bush was intent on going to war in Iraq before 9/11. He did not need any provocation.

What people know is that we lied about why we went to war, we did not give our troops the right equipment to save their lives, we sometimes kill innocent civilians, and that the troops sometimes get rotten care upon arriving back home.

Did the government or former President Bush know about 9/11 in advance?

No.

Was a government led by President Bush capable of terrible acts that cause people to die?

Sure–All the damned time.

Mr. Kristof mentioned two other conspiracy theories in his column.

One is that the levees in New Orleans were opened on purpose in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

This was not so.

Yet it had been known for years that the levees might not hold during a bad hurricane and that much of New Orleans was vulnerable. Then, after it was clear the disaster response was poor, President Bush said his FEMA director was doing a “heckuva job.”

So why not figure that levees were opened by design? Is that much worse than the truth of the matter?

Another view held by many is that crack cocaine was deliberately introduced into poor neighborhoods.

Now that one is crazy.

These communities were already so flooded with alcohol, cigarettes, overpriced grocery stores offering inferior produce, bad schools and a host of other urban afflictions, why would you have to introduce something new to harm people?

The history books tell us that we won our land in good part by exterminating the native population, and that we built up the land with the frequent and longtime use of slave labor.

Our own experiences in life show us that our cities are left to rot year after year. And the poor are getting more poor even as the rich get richer.

So when you ask if the people in charge of our country are capable of barbaric or even genocidal acts, why would many give any other reply than “yes?”

And if you ask would millions of Americans stand by and do nothing or even support terrible and genocidal acts?

Of course they would.

People believe all sorts wild and terrible things because they have every reason in the world to believe such things.

July 11, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Keith Haring—Ways To Dispose Of The Dead

I went to the Keith Haring exhibit at Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center today.

The exhibit is very much worth visiting.

Mr. Haring lived 1958-1990.

Two days after the death of my dad, this exhibit seemed like a proper mix of intellect and aesthetics, and of good cheer and death.

Many Haring drawings dealt with AIDS. In a number of his works, Mr. Haring showed a justified contempt for Ronald Reagan due to how Mr. Reagan ignored the AIDS crisis.

The museum said you could not take pictures of Mr. Haring’s art. At the same time, the exhibit celebrated Mr. Haring’s start as a graffiti artist, and talked about him being arrested for chalk drawings in public spaces in NYC.

Everything becomes a product.

Death is a product. You can buy different funeral packages that help you dispose of the dead person in your life in varying ways.

The picture above is from the book I bought today of drawings completed by the deceased Mr. Haring.

One way we dispose of the dead is to remember them in a way that suits the needs and wants of the living.

Please click here to learn more about Mr. Haring.

March 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Houston-Based King Street Patriot Tea Party Cell Wins Ronald Reagan Award—Prize Is Well-Deserved

The so-called King Street Patriots have won the 2011 Ronald Reagan Award at the recently concluded Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington.

(Above–Ronald Reagan in 1980 campaigning in South Carolina with Senator Strom Thrumond. Mr. Thurmond is seen here to the left of Mr. Reagan. Senator Thurmond was a 1948 Dixiecrat candidate for President.)

The King Street Patriots are a Tea Party cell based here in Houston.

CPAC is a national confederation of extreme conservative activists. At the 2011 meeting, libertarian Houston-area U.S. Representative Ron Paul won the presidential straw poll.

Rep. Paul is the libertarian who loves earmarks.

Consistent with the views of portions of the American right, Rep. Paul invited an economist with ties to group advocating southern secession to testify before the House committee he chairs.

In what way did the King Street Patriots (KSP) Tea Party cell reflect the accomplishments of Ronald Reagan?  Why did this group merit the award?

Did the King Street Patriots equal Ronald Reagan’s neglect of the AIDS crisis even as thousands died?

Well…even though the Tea Party position of repeal for Healthcare Reform would cause Americans to lose needed care and to die, this is not why KSP won the Reagan prize.

Did the King Street Patriots match the Gipper in doing to harm to our environment? Remember Mr. Reagan’s nature-hating Interior Secretary James Watt?

Well…even though the Tea Party had a part in electing a Republican leadership in Texas that has pursued environmental polices so bad that even conservative Oklahoma complained to the EPA about the bad air drifting over from Texas, this is not why the King Street folks took the Reagan award for 2011.

Did the King Street Patriots live up to Mr. Reagan’s legacy of making an important 1980 campaign appearance in Philadelphia, Mississippi—near the location of brutal crimes against Civil Rights workers in the 1960′s–and saying “I believe in states rights.”

You got it.

The King Street Patriots won the Reagan prize for their efforts against non-existent voter fraud in majority-minority Harris County, Texas.

As many Southern whites regress to the solid one-party politics of a shameful past, Republicans and allied Tea Party groups around the nation are working hard to put up obstacles to voting by likely Democratic voters.

With Harris County and Texas undergoing massive demographic change, Republicans are afraid that they will lose control of the county and the state.

As much as I don’t like what the so-called King Street Patriots are doing, they are doing things the law permits. We are not going to change the minds of people in these Tea Party cells. They have a right to act in any manner within the law no matter how offensive and wrong.

The real issue is for folks on our side of the aisle to meet the challenge and to make progress. Progress is always possible.

Voter registration drives of likely Democratic voters should be taking place year round. Lawyers should be in place to defend these registration efforts. Our fellow citizens need to know they will backed up when they go to vote.

Democratic elected officials, along with the civil rights and progressive groups, must work together with the same common purpose we often see on the right.  Everyday citizens must be invloved in doing the work of freedom.

It is up to each of as individuals to make the decision to work collectively for the causes we value.

*************************************************************************************************************

Some resources on the topic of voting—

Here is information on voting in Texas.

A new book on the subject of voter fraud is The Myth of Voter Fraud by Lori Minnite.

Here is a Green Party history of voting rights in the United States.

Here is the web home of the Harris County Democratic Party. Ask them what they are doing to make sure all people in Harris County are being allowed to vote.

And don’t forget–You are your own best resource for the change you want to see.

(Below–1867 drawing of newly freed black men voting. Women would not get the vote until 1920. And of course, near-total resistance to blacks voting went on well into the 1960′s.)

February 16, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Nothing Is So Brutal Or Crazy That It Cannot Be True

(Blogger’s Note–This is a repost from April of 2008. I most often offer fresh material, but please permit me this summer rerun of a post I think came out well.)

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof recently wrote about conspiracy theories many people believe.  

For example, 30% of black people believe it’s possible AIDS was deliberately manufactured to kill black folks.

This is held out as a crazy thing to think.

I don’t believe it myself.

But if you asked me if many white people and white politicians don’t care if poor urban black people live or die, I would say that’s correct.   

And plenty of black politicians don’t care either.  

In my own experience as a city council aide in Cincinnati, Ohio, I read the files of black cancer patients who had intentionally been given extra doses of radiation to see how they would react.

Get this—They suffered.  

Poor black people in cities, blacks and whites in rural areas, our colonized undocumented labor force, and poor people of all kinds, get inferior hospitals and inferior care.

When you ask black folks if AIDS was the work of government, maybe what you’re really asking if the government would do things that would kill people who look like you do.

“Yes” seems to be a logical reply.  

Mr. Kristoff says it is crazy that 36% of Americans believe that government orchestrated 9/11 or knew about it advance.  

Well—I’ve always thought that was a mistaken belief .

George W. Bush was intent on going to war in Iraq before 9/11. He did not need any provocation. 

What people know is that we lied about why we went to war, we did not give our troops the right equipment to save their lives, we sometimes kill innocent civilians, and that the troops sometimes get terrible care upon arriving back home.   

Did the government or President Bush know about 9/11 in advance? No. Is the government as led by President Bush capable of terrible acts that cause people to die? Sure–All the damned time.  

Mr. Kristoff mentions two other conspiracy theories in his column. 

One is that the levees in New Orleans were opened on purpose in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

This is not so.

Yet it had been known for years that the levees might not hold during a bad hurricane and that much of New Orleans was vulnerable. Then, after it was clear the disaster response was poor, President Bush said his FEMA director was doing a “heckuva job.”    

So why not figure that levees were opened by design? Is that much worse than the truth of the matter? 

Another view held by many is that crack cocaine was deliberately introduced into poor neighborhoods.

Now that one is crazy

These communities were already so flooded with alcohol, cigarettes, overpriced grocery stores offering little or no produce, bad schools and a host of other urban afflictions, why would you have to introduce something new to harm people?  

The history books tell us that we won our land in good part by exterminating the native population, and that we built up the land with the frequent and longtime use of slave labor.  

Our own experiences in life show us that our cities are left to rot year after year. And the poor are getting more poor even as the rich get richer.

So when you ask if the people in charge of our country are capable of barbaric or even genocidal acts, why would many give any other reply than “yes.”

August 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Swine Flu—An Explanation With Hand Washing Tips

Many people in Mexico have died from Swine Flu.

(4/26/09 –The latest update from the Los Angeles Times. People are being checked as they cross the border to see if they have the Swine Flu.)

( 4/27/09–The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention has a Swine Flu web page up.)

( 4/28/09—Now 1oo cases outside of Mexico though it is still not clear how bad it all be.)

( 4/29/09—More than 2,500 cases worldwide. Almost all deaths still within Mexico.)

(4/30/09—Still not certain how big a threat the outbreak will end up being.)

(5/1/09—The science of fighting flu is much advanced since 1918 epidemic.)

(5/3/09–Not spreading as fast as feared and not as deadly as feared.)

( 5/5/09—1124 cases in the world so far. Virus remains mild.) 

Here are my seven swine flu poems.

Below are three people in Mexico City who are hoping not to catch the Swine Flu.

Women wear masks as they wait inside a Mixcoac health centre in Mexico City (Source: Reuters)

What is Swine Flu? Here is the answer from the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) —

“Swine influenza (swine flu) is caused by type A influenza virus and gives pigs the flu. Swine flu viruses cause regular outbreaks of flu in pigs but death is infrequent. The viruses may circulate among pigs throughout the year, but most outbreaks occur during the late fall and winter months similar to outbreaks in humans. The classical swine flu virus (an influenza type A H1N1 virus) was first isolated from a pig in 1930.”

This CBC Q & A article covers many of your questions.

Here are  the symptoms—

“The symptoms of swine flu in people are expected to be similar to the symptoms of regular human seasonal influenza and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.”

Seems a lot like your normal flu—But it is worse.

A terrible flu epidemic was the 1918-1919 Spanish Flu outbreak.

Here is information from the Federation of American Scientists—

The “Spanish” flu pandemic of 1918 and 1919 caused the deaths of 20-50 million people worldwide including up to 675,000 in the U.S. While only about 1% of those infected with the virus died, it became one of the deadliest viruses ever known to man. The 1918 flu has been described as capable of sickening and killing a person on the same day. The virus is an H1N1 type A influenza. Symptoms of infection were similar to, but more severe than typical, seasonal flu. Viral pneumonia leading to acute respiratory distress was the primary cause of death. Recently, the virus was reconstituted from frozen tissue samples from a woman who died from the virus.

Here is the full article.

Here is another article on the 1918-19 epidemic from the BBC.  The article discusses how the virus did so much harm.

With both the Swine Flu and the 1918 epidemic you see that an A H1N1 virus is involved. What does that mean? Here is what it means.

File:Ford meets with Rumsfeld and Cheney, April 28, 1975.jpg

There was a Swine Flu outbreak in 1976. President Gerald Ford asked that all Americans be innoculated. As it turned out, the disease only killed one person but the vaccine harmed hundreds and may have killed some. It is still debated if President Ford did the right thing. This article addresses that question.

(Above is a picture of President Ford with his then Chief of Staff Donald Rumsfeld (left) and his Deputy Chief of Staff Richard Cheney (right) . That’s enough to make you ill. Please click here for some good information on Gerald Ford from the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the U. of Virginia.

Swine Flu comes from pigs. Pigs often make people sick.  Diseases that go from animals to people are called zoonotic diseases. AIDS is a zoonotic disease that jumped from chimps to people. This took place after people ate chimps.

We can’t forget that people do a lot more harm to animals than animals to do people.

File:XN Sus domesticus Animal husbandry 912.jpg

There are many diseases people can catch from animals. Like Cat Scratch Disease.

Please wash your hands after you play with your pet or with an animal.

Here are Swine Flu facts from Web MD. There is no vaccine to prevent the Swine Flu. You can not get it from eating pork. Washing your hands and avoiding touching your nose or mouth will help you avoid the Swine Flu and all flu.

Here is how to wash your hands—

There’s a right way to wash your hands. A splash of water and a drop or two of soap won’t do the trick. Follow these simple steps to keep your hands clean:

  • Use warm water (not cold or hot).
  • Use whatever soap you like. Antibacterial soaps are popular but regular soap works fine. If you suspect that your hands have come into contact with someone with an infection, think about using an alcohol hand sanitizer.
  • Rub your hands together vigorously and scrub all surfaces: Lather up on both sides of your hands, your wrists, between your fingers, and around your nails. Wash for 15 seconds – about how long it takes to sing “Happy Birthday.”
  • Rinse well under warm running water and pat dry with a clean towel.
  • In public restrooms, consider using a paper towel to flush the toilet and open the door because toilet and door handles harbor germs. Throw the towel away after you leave.

April 25, 2009 Posted by | History, Please Wash Your Hands | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

AIDS & Black People

A new study says that the rate of AIDS in the United States is 40% higher than previously thought and that black Americans are bearing the brunt of this epidemic.

From the Black AIDS Institute

“The rate of new infections among non-Hispanic Blacks was seven times as high as that among whites in 2006 (83.7 versus 11.5 new infections per 100,000 population),” the CDC said. “Blacks also accounted for the largest share of new infections (45 percent, or 24,900). Historical trend data show that the number of new infections among Blacks peaked in the late 1980s and has exceeded the number of infections in whites since that time.”

The CDC acknowledged what activists have being saying all along: More concentrated prevention efforts are needed if the virus is ever going to be contained among African-Americans.

“The continued severity of the epidemic among Blacks underscores the need to sustain and accelerate prevention efforts in this population,” the CDC said. “While race itself is not a risk factor for HIV infection, a range of issues contribute to the disproportionate HIV risk for African Americans in the U.S., including poverty, stigma, higher rates of other STDs, and drug use.”

The following is taken from the Centers for Disease Control report on AIDS as excerpted in Louisiana Weekly

€ Standing on its own, Black America would constitute the world’s 35th most populous country, but would rank 16th in the world in the number of people living with HIV.

€ A free-standing Black America would rank 105th worldwide in life expectancy and 88th in infant mortality. Blacks in the U.S. have a lower life expectancy than do citizens of Algeria, the Dominican Republic or Sri Lanka.

€ Outside of sub-Saharan Africa, only four countries – and only two in the Western Hemisphere – have adult HIV prevalence as high as the conservative estimate (2 percent among adults) for Black America. Blacks represent about one in eight Americans, but account for one in two people living with HIV in the U.S.

€ Despite extraordinary improvements in HIV treatment, AIDS remains the leading cause of death among Black women between 25-34 years and the second leading cause of death in Black men between 35-44 years.

€ Black women in the U.S. are 23 times more likely than White women to be diagnosed with AIDS.

€ Blacks make up 70 percent of new HIV diagnoses among teenagers and 65% of HIV-infected newborns.

Here’s the bottom line–People of color can die in this country and the majority culture will–in most though not all cases– not care. Black folks themselves are going to have address AIDS. Part of this will be demanding that elected officials tackle this problem.

Another solution will be admitting the problem exists.

In 1994 I was part of a campaign for the Ohio State Senate from an urban district centered on the city of Cincinnati. The candidate I worked for was a black member of the Cincinnati City Council. 

This candidate discussed AIDS. He said condom distribution and needle exchange were needed to help lower rates of AIDS. For this message, his Republican opponent and some local black preachers used these assertions effectively against him in the campaign. They said he was promoting immorality. These folks should have been run out of town. Instead, they were listened to as people got sick and died.

A society that does not care if you live or die is given a free pass when you do something self-destructive.

AIDS requires the attention of all people. But it is the folks most impacted who will have do the heavy lifting needed to fight the plague.

August 5, 2008 Posted by | Cincinnati, Politics | , , , , , | 6 Comments

People Believe Wild Things Because Nothing’s So Horrible It Can’t Be True

Blogger’s Note—I’m on a Summer Solstice blogging holiday. I’m re-running some posts for the next few days. Thanks for reading Texas Liberal. I’ll be back to regular posting soon.)  

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof recently wrote about conspiracy theories many people believe.  

For example, 30% of black people believe it’s possible AIDS was deliberately manufactured to kill black folks.

This is held out as a crazy thing to think.

I don’t believe it myself.

But if you asked me if many white people and white politicians don’t care if poor urban black people live or die, I would say that’s correct.   

And plenty of black politicians don’t care either.  

In my own experience as a city council aide in Cincinnati, Ohio, I read the files of black cancer patients who had intentionally been given extra doses of radiation to see how they would react.

Get this—They suffered.  

Poor black people in cities, blacks and whites in rural areas, our colonized undocumented labor force, and poor people of all kinds, get inferior hospitals and inferior care.

When you ask black folks if AIDS was the work of government, maybe what you’re really asking if the government would do things that would kill people who look like you do.

“Yes” seems to be a logical reply.  

Mr. Kristoff says it is crazy that 36% of Americans believe that government orchestrated 9/11 or knew about it advance.  

Well—I’ve always thought that was a mistaken belief .

George W. Bush was intent on going to war in Iraq before 9/11. He did not need any provocation. 

What people know is that we lied about why we went to war, we did not give our troops the right equipment to save their lives, we sometimes kill innocent civilians, and that the troops sometimes get terrible care upon arriving back home.   

Did the government or President Bush know about 9/11 in advance? No. Is the government as led by President Bush capable of terrible acts that cause people to die? Sure–All the damned time.  

Mr. Kristoff mentions two other conspiracy theories in his column. 

One is that the levees in New Orleans were opened on purpose in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

This is not so.

Yet it had been known for years that the levees might not hold during a bad hurricane and that much of New Orleans was vulnerable. Then, after it was clear the disaster response was poor, President Bush said his FEMA director was doing a “heckuva job.”    

So why not figure that levees were opened by design? Is that much worse than the truth of the matter? 

Another view held by many is that crack cocaine was deliberately introduced into poor neighborhoods.

Now that one is crazy

These communities were already so flooded with alcohol, cigarettes, overpriced grocery stores offering little or no produce, bad schools and a host of other urban afflictions, why would you have to introduce something new to harm people?  

The history books tell us that we won our land in good part by exterminating the native population, and that we built up the land with the frequent and longtime use of slave labor.  

Our own experiences in life show us that our cities are left to rot year after year. And the poor are getting more poor even as the rich get richer.

So when you ask if the people in charge of our country, or others in positions of power, are capable of barbaric or even genocidal acts, why would many give any other reply than “yes.”

June 23, 2008 Posted by | Hurricane Katrina, Politics | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

People Believe Wild Things Because Nothing Is So Brutal Or Crazy That It Can’t Be True

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof recently wrote about conspiracy theories many people believe.  

For example, 30% of black people believe it’s possible AIDS was deliberately manufactured to kill black folks.

This is held out as a crazy thing to think.

I don’t believe it myself.

But if you asked me if many white people and white politicians don’t care if poor urban black people live or die, I would say that’s correct.   

And plenty of black politicians don’t care either.  

In my own experience as a city council aide in Cincinnati, Ohio, I read the files of black cancer patients who had intentionally been given extra doses of radiation to see how they would react.

Get this—They suffered.  

Poor black people in cities, blacks and whites in rural areas, our colonized undocumented labor force, and poor people of all kinds, get inferior hospitals and inferior care.

When you ask black folks if AIDS was the work of government, maybe what you’re really asking if the government would do things that would kill people who look like you do.

“Yes” seems to be a logical reply.  

Mr. Kristoff says it is crazy that 36% of Americans believe that government orchestrated 9/11 or knew about it advance.  

Well—I’ve always thought that was a mistaken belief .

George W. Bush was intent on going to war in Iraq before 9/11. He did not need any provocation. 

What people know is that we lied about why we went to war, we did not give our troops the right equipment to save their lives, we sometimes kill innocent civilians, and that the troops sometimes get terrible care upon arriving back home.   

Did the government or President Bush know about 9/11 in advance? No. Is the government as led by President Bush capable of terrible acts that cause people to die? Sure–All the damned time.  

Mr. Kristoff mentions two other conspiracy theories in his column. 

One is that the levees in New Orleans were opened on purpose in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

This is not so.

Yet it had been known for years that the levees might not hold during a bad hurricane and that much of New Orleans was vulnerable. Then, after it was clear the disaster response was poor, President Bush said his FEMA director was doing a “heckuva job.”    

So why not figure that levees were opened by design? Is that much worse than the truth of the matter? 

Another view held by many is that crack cocaine was deliberately introduced into poor neighborhoods.

Now that one is crazy

These communities were already so flooded with alcohol, cigarettes, overpriced grocery stores offering little or no produce, bad schools and a host of other urban afflictions, why would you have to introduce something new to harm people?  

The history books tell us that we won our land in good part by exterminating the native population, and that we built up the land with the frequent and longtime use of slave labor.  

Our own experiences in life show us that our cities are left to rot year after year. And the poor are getting more poor even as the rich get richer.

So when you ask if the people in charge of our country are capable of barbaric or even genocidal acts, why would many give any other reply than “yes.”

April 1, 2008 Posted by | Cincinnati, History, Hurricane Katrina, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

   

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