Mandela Would Be Proud: McKinney Returns to Gaza

This time Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney successfully got through the illegal blockade and delivered medicine and other goods to the residents of Gaza!!! Crow if you will but she is certainly one determined African-American woman on a mission of peace. In honor of one criminal, rabble-rouser and terrorist per labeling by the US government, Nelson Mandela set forth a tradition of resistance. He actually practiced what he preached and spend nearly one third of his entire life behind bars. Somehow I just don’t see many of the black male infotainment hustlers and pontificators being willing to give up their manicures and creature comforts to do hard labor. 
I’m not sure what I would’ve done after I’d be kidnapped by a foreign government while trying to aid a separate one, jailed, left to twist in the wind by my gov’t and suddenly released. I don’t think I would’ve turned right back around a mere week later to attempt the very thing that got me kidnapped and charged to begin with. I admire her fortitude. 
Whatever your political viewpoints are regarding this there are two indisputable facts: Hamas is the legally elected gov’t and there’s $4B in gas reserves off the coast of Gaza. Think about that for a minute. Or two…..
The San Francisco Bayview has her article in its entirety. I am including an excerpt here:
Gaza is beautiful. Gaza is full of life, despite Israel’s Operation Cast Lead. And now I have seen, Gaza has been bombed to smithereens. No wonder the Israelis didn’t want photos taken!
I think I’ve mastered my video camera enough to share some images with you. I’ll post them on these sites when I return: 
http://www.livestream.com/dignity 
http://dignity.ning.com/ 
http://www.twitter.com/dignityaction 
http://www.myspace.com/dignityaction 
http://www.myspace.com/runcynthiarun  
http://www.twitter.com/cynthiamckinney 
http://www.facebook.com/CynthiaMcKinney
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So Much For Freedom: Last Time I Checked Cynthia McKinney Was Still Kidnapped

Wherever the battle for freedom is joined, expect Cynthia McKinney to be on the front lines.
So while some of us are out celebrating and chillaxing with friends/loved ones, we have an African-American female politician being held against her will since Tuesday by a foreign government. It’s our 51st State and ally Israel. If we’re going to talk about the “unfairness” and “evil” of North Korea and Iran let’s talk about ALL the countries that engage in “questionable” actions, not just the ones we want to demonize. Our government spends billions annually in actual cash and military weaponry which is given to Israel with practically no conditions. 
This current administration has a Chief of Staff who has dual citizenship with the US and Israel. Somehow I don’t think people would be so lenient about that if it was any other nation and would ask for accountability regarding loyalties.  It’s a reasonable question to ask as well. It’s just something to think about while more citizens find themselves out on the streets as the economy continues to slide down the hill of death. 
Green Party Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney, along with 20 other peace activists were forcibly removed from their boat by the Israeli navy when they tried to bring medicine and other aid to the Gaza region. The last time McKinney had a run in with the Israelis in December they were still in International waters when their boat was intentionally rammed to render it inoperable. I called her “crazy” then with the utmost of respect for the risks she takes and I’m shaking my head even as I type this. If she was a man or white she’d probably be getting a lot more press. Even if it was bad press it would still be talked about. The intentional non-reporting of this by the pwned corporate media has never been so obvious!

State Department and White House officials have not effected our release or taken a strong public stance to condemn the illegal actions of the Israeli Navy of enforcing a blockade of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians of Gaza, a blockade that has been condemned by President Obama,” she said in a statement

Just in case some will dismiss this as some half-cocked scheme continue reading:

“President Obama just told Israel to let in humanitarian and reconstruction supplies, and that’s exactly what we tried to do. We’re asking the international community to demand our release so we can resume our journey.” SF Bayview

The funny thing about words is that are worthless without actions that validate them. You can tell yourself that you think you’re fabulous but have glaring unresolved emotional issues. You can say you love somebody but if you don’t honor or respect them it’s pretty meaningless. Condemning a blockade when you’ve given a country a massive allowance is like police officers who pretend to arrest drug dealers, take their cut and send them on their way. It’s a wink and a nod with no real consequences. 
What I find telling is a) the public silence from the Obama administration b) the lack of media coverage c) the message d) the so-called progressives who are just as much sheeple as they think everyone else is.
Aside from the political ramifications this is also a personal example many black women should consider. When you are risking life and limb for other people have some boundaries in place or an escape route because if (when) you end up in peril NOBODY WILL HELP YOU! Better yet, stop doing it.
The Israeli government has killed other American peace activists, white female activists, so how much less do you think they value the life of a black woman when we are not always valued in our own country? I commend her efforts and perhaps she feels this is her calling in life, but we have to start weighing the cost value for the things we do for others. 

If you do feel compelled to take some keyboard activism check out the Free Gaza website.

You can also contact the following: 
Israeli Ministry of Justice: phone +972 2646 6666 or +972 2646 6340, fax +972 2646 6357

Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs: phone +972 2530 3111, fax +972 2530 3367

Mark Regev in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office: +972 5 0620 3264 or +972 2670 5354, email mark.regev@it.pmo.gov.il

Godspeed.

Update: McKinney has been released but the ongoing fight for justice continues. The other troubling aspect was the intentional blockade by the cable and local news programs at reporting this. Last December it made CNN at least. The Atlanta Journal Constitution and other local non-white oriented press covered the story. Citizen journalism is a vital means of getting information out as we see how the news we need to know about isn’t and won’t be reported.
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Cynthia McKinney’s Latest Crazy Antics!

I say crazy with the upmost respect because she risked her life trying to deliver medical supplies to Gaza earlier today. The boat she was on was surrounded by Israeli warships, fired at and rammed numerous times to render it inoperable. Now I’ll argue the gov’t has the right to take an appropriate military stance, but the boat was in international waters and did not initiate or return any aggression. Doesn’t that make what they did illegal?
When citizens are in need and foreign policy makers want to posture on the issues, it is the weak and unaccounted for that are left vulnerable. Most people will not leave the comfort of their bed so whether some agree with her actions or not I applaud anyone’s sincere efforts at relieving someone’s pain. Bush is on vacay until he officially gets the boot and Obama is quick to point out that he’s not the President yet so who’s going to step up in the interim? 
The boat sailed from Cyprus (the land of the spectacularly yummy Holoumi cheese) but never made it to Gaza. They had to disembark in Lebanon where they may try again. Her parents gave a brief telephone interview that has appeared in the Washington Times:
 
“She told me that they were in international waters in the Mediterranean and that an Israeli warship started chasing them and rammed them three times,” Mr. McKinney said in a telephone interview from his home.
“I was very worried yesterday, but I feel better today” because he spoke with his daughter, he said. “She said she’s safe. She only wanted me to know, and her mother to know, that she was safe. I feel a whole lot better now. “If I know my daughter, she’s going to complete that mission,” he replied. “She’s a very determined woman.”
I’m certain McKinney is considered more of a pest to those whose interests lie opposite hers. Otherwise she’d have suffered a fate similar to the guy who’s plane crashed last week when he was preparing to testify against the Bush administration. 
Update with CNN Interview:

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Hope, McSame Or Real Change: What Are These Pols Really Offering?

So with all of the financial upheaval going on lately I don’t know what to do. Unemployment in California is the highest it’s ever been at 7.7%. As you may (not) know the reported rates are for new cases and isn’t added to the existing rate. That ‘rate’ represents people. Wall Street gets the big bail out and we get a 1 TRILLION bill AND no help for us. That’s NINE ZEROS – wait TWELVE ZEROS!!!!!!!

I have to say I am not pleased with the McCain solution for fixing the economy – because he isn’t offering one. Tax breaks to rich people does NOTHING to help the average citizen. I am also a little disappointed with Obama’s plan because it looks good on paper (and is a good plan) but doesn’t call for the complete overhaul that is necessary. Yes I know he isn’t going to say it because it will rub the gatekeepers the wrong way. He’s not dumb, but neither am I. 

It’s been interesting watching the teevee pundits talk about the economy like they have some authority on the subject. There’s criticism levied against both plans, but we know McCain’s has a snowball’s chance in hell of being remotely beneficial for anyone but the 1% top earners.  He just wants a good sound byte. 
 
Any real change is not going to come from a proposal by a politician anyway. A lot of people just want to be told everything will be okay for them so they don’t have to take any responsibility. It’s inconvenient to choose a lower standard of living when you tie your worth into your possessions. Nobody likes hearing how policies that may benefit us cause harm to others. Complaining is easier than sacrifice and discomfort. 

This is why when I read this I found myself SMH in agreement with a lot. Should the messenger diminish the value of the message? 

Seize the Time!
An essay by Cynthia McKinney
September 19, 2008

We the people must now seize the time! We have always had the capability of determining our own destiny, but for various reasons, the people failed to elect the leaders who provided the correct political will. There was always some corporate or private special interest that stood in the way of the public good. And they always seemed to have the power of the purse to throw around and influence public opinion or our elected officials. The very foundation of the U.S. economy is crumbling underneath our feet. This represents a unique moment in U.S. history and we must now seize the time for self-determination–for health care, education, ecological wisdom, justice, and all the policies that will make a difference in the lives of the people including an end to all wars, including the drug war!

The crisis was staved off for a time for some of our major finance engines when they were able to obtain bridge funding from certain sovereign wealth funds. That option grows increasingly dim as The Federal Reserve is becoming the lender of last resort. This means that the people are becoming the owners of the primary instruments of U.S. capital and finance. This now means that the people have a say in how these instruments are to be used and what their priorities ought to be. The people should now have more say in how their tax dollars are spent and what the priorities of government and the public sector must be. We the people must now set our demands to ensure and promote the public good.

Now, as we ponder the importance of this moment to do good and serve the needs of the people, some politicians have already figured out their answer for us: win or steal the next election, prepare for more war, and leave it to others to try and figure out what to do next. While banks are failing all around us and the U.S. taxpayer is drenched with news of billion-dollar bailouts for *selected* companies, the Congress, which has utterly failed in its twin responsibilities of setting policy and Executive Branch oversight, plans to adjourn instead of setting new policies; lessening the impact of the economic free fall on innocent victims; or stopping war, expansion of war, new war, and occupation.

In a dizzying turn of recent events, we have all witnessed the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage providers, investment banks Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, and insurer American International Group (AIG), and other companies. So far, at least eleven banks have filed for bankruptcy this year. The case of the AIG bailout is particularly curious as Merrill Lynch was denied taxpayer largesse. I wonder if AIG was the selected company for bailout because of its relationship to the U.S. intelligence community and what others would discover if AIG’s books were opened in an audit. The last person to get close to AIG and its shady operations was Eliott Spitzer.

But some more fundamental issues must be explored here, relating to the underlying assumptions that have guided U.S. political and economic activity, particularly over the last eight years.

The Bush Administration’s “anything goes, just don’t get caught” attitude has set the tone for what we are witnessing today. To be sure these problems didn’t start in January of 2001, but they sure were allowed to accelerate during the George W. Bush Administration. For example, what tone was set when the Administration shipped $12 billion to Paul Bremer’s provisional government in Iraq in cash on wooden pallets for Iraq reconstruction? No wonder $9 billion of it was “lost.” What I’m constantly reminded of is that the money didn’t just vanish, somebody got it. Now it’s up to us to find out who!

However, the Administration’s blatant disregard for good governance, the rule of law, standards of moral and ethical conduct, and even etiquette, when coupled with a laissez-faire, “go-along-to-get-along” attitude from Congress meant that no holes were barred and no hands were on the deck–a sure prescription for disaster.

In my reading over the course of the last few years, I had to become somewhat conversant with the language of the new economy: bundled mortgages, securitization, SPEs, SIVs, derivatives. But in addition to the old concepts that always seemed to be with us–predatory lending, redlining, no affordable housing amid “the housing bubble,”– it soon became clear that basically folks had figured out a way to make money off of a ticking time bomb. Kind of like prisons for profit. And even though the Enron scandal was supposed to have cleaned up a lot of this, unfortunately, even Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac regularly engaged in some of these practices and that’s why you and I own them today. I believe it is true that the very foundations of the U.S. economy and conventional political behavior have been shaken. Now is not the time for business as usual. And although this is by no ways exhaustive, here are a few things that I think the Democratic-led Congress could work on now instead of adjourning:

1. enactment of a foreclosure moratorium now before the next phase of ARM interest rate increases take effect;
2. elimination of all ARM mortgages and their renegotiation into 30- or 40-year loans;
3. establishment of new mortgage lending practices to end predatory and discriminatory practices;
4. establishment of criteria and construction goals for affordable housing;
5. redefinition of credit and regulation of the credit industry so that discriminatory practices are completely eliminated;
6. full funding for initiatives that eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in home ownership;
7. recognition of shelter as a right according to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights to which the U.S. is a signatory so that no one sleeps on U.S. streets;
8. full funding of a fund designed to cushion the job loss and provide for retraining of those at the bottom of the income scale as the economy transitions;
9. close all tax loopholes and repeal of the Bush tax cuts for the top 1% of income earners;
10. fairly tax corporations, denying federal subsidies to those who relocate jobs overseas repeal NAFTA.

And since the Congress plans to adjourn early and leave these problems to The Federal Reserve, The Federal Reserve should operate in the interests of the U.S. taxpayer and not the interests of the private, international bankers that it currently represents. This, of course means that The Federal Reserve, too, must undergo a fundamental ownership and mission change.

This crisis does not have to be treated as merely a “market correction,” or the result of a few rotten apples in an otherwise pristine barrel. This crisis truly represents the opportunity to introduce fundamental changes in the way the U.S. economy and its political stewards operate. Responsible political leadership demands that the pain and suffering being experienced by the innocent today not be revisited upon them or the next generation tomorrow. But sadly, instead of affirmative action being taken in this direction, the Bush Administration ratchets up the drumbeat for war, Republican Party operatives busily remove duly-registered voters from the voter rolls, and our elected leaders in the Congress go home to campaign while leaving all of us to fend for ourselves. For the Administration and the Democrat-led Congress, I declare: MISSION UNACCOMPLISHED. For the public whose moment this is, I say: Power to the People

Ok so I can’t find anything ‘wrong’ with this policy. It’s hella radical though. Of course I’m not an economist but you know what? Those so-called ‘experts’ don’t know jack! They know how to leverage assets and inflate their value to sell them off while crossing their fingers behind their backs. “Leave us alone gov’t and let us do what we know best.” Then when it blows up in their faces they’re the first ones with a pout and expecting a hand out. 


The corporate media is going to sleep on this. I also noticed the mention of Spitzer regarding AIG. That little sex scandal took out a good politician – of course he had to know going against large corporations would net him a surplus of enemies and shouldn’t have made it so darn easy to be targeted. 

What do you think?