Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Cornell West Really Sucks.

At a leftist conference he is asked what it means to be a leftist in the 21st century. (Full answer.) He comes up with a disconnected ranting stream of consciousness that takes us back to the white slaves of 1690.

Take this selection of drivel and laugh. Then tell me what he just said, and how it is that we consider him one of our foremost leaders of thought?

I’m saying, in part, that at least for me to be a leftist these days, in the way in which -- and I take very seriously Antonio Gramsci’s concern about the historical specificity of the emergeous sustenance and development and subsequent define of the American Empire.

And when you actually look closely at that empire, it seems to me what we have to come to terms with is the fundamental role of corporate greed, religious ideologies, white supremacy, the fundamental rule of the popular culture, youth, and acknowledge that anytime you're talking about white supremacy, you’re always already in some ways talking about the treatment of black women.

And if you're concerned about the treatment of black women, you ought to be concerned about the treatment of women across the board.

So the vicious ideologies, the patriarchy, come in. And the same thing would be true for the James Baldwins and the Audre Lordes, the gay brothers and the lesbian sisters. Now, where does that leave us? Well, for me -- and you all know about the Covenant movement of Tavis Smiley, the book that was launched last year, went number one in the New York Times. We sold 400,000 copies within nine months, not reviewed by the New York Times, not touched by the Today Show. Even Oprah wouldn’t breathe on it. And she can breathe on books and sell half a million these days, you know that?

We just ask Sidney Poitier and Brother Elie Wiesel for that. But this book went underground.

Why? Because Tavis Smiley knows that in an American culture that is so thoroughly commodified, driven by corporate greed, thoroughly commercialized, driven by corporate greed, thoroughly marketized, driven by corporate greed, you have to be able to communicate in such a way that you might be able then to shake people from their sleepwalking, which he's done every year now on C-SPAN, and uses his position in order to raise issues of right to healthcare, community-based policing so you can deal with some of this police brutality, especially in black and brown communities of proletarian and lumpenproletarian character, and so forth.

Are you telling me, now that based on public speaking abilities that President Bush is dumb? Cornell is certainly dumber.


Monday, March 05, 2007

To be Popular or Smart...?

To me the question is simple. It is one all teenagers have to ask, and anyone with any wisdom has already made the right decision.

According to worldwide popular opinion (which means NOTHING) the US has decide on the latter.

A BBC Survey of 28,000 people has found that the US is a little bit more popular than Iran, a bit less popular than North Korea, and a good bit less liked than Israel.

The article correctly analyzes that nations with significant military power are found to be unpopular by this sample of people. What neither the analysis, nor the people seem to understand is that there is a grand difference between the power held by Israel and the US, as compared to the power held by North Korea or Iran. Anyone who needs an explanation either doesn't keep up with world affairs, or is playing equivelancy games by pretending the military power of the US is held at the expense of the starvation of our citizens.

Not true.

Here's the article:
LONDON (AP) - Israel, Iran and the United States are the countries with the most negative image in a globe-spanning survey of attitudes toward 12 major countries. Canada and Japan came out best in the poll, released Tuesday.

The survey for the British Broadcasting Corp.'s World Service asked more than 28,000 people to rate 12 countries - Britain, Canada, China, France, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, North Korea, Russia, the United States and Venezuela - as having a positive or negative influence on the world.

Israel was viewed negatively by 56 per cent of respondents and positively by 17 per cent; for Iran, the figures were 54 per cent and 18 per cent. The United States had the third-highest negative ranking, with 51 per cent citing it as a bad influence and 30 per cent as a good one. Next was North Korea, which was viewed negatively by 48 per cent and positively by 19 per cent.

Canada had the most positive rating in the survey of 28,389 people in 27 countries, with 54 per cent viewing it positively and 14 per cent negatively. It was followed by Japan and France.

Respondents were also asked their views of the 25-member European Union; 53 per cent saw it as positive and 19 per cent as negative.

Britain, China and India were viewed more positively than negatively, while Russia had more negative than positive responses. Opinion on Venezuela was evenly split.

"It appears that people around the world tend to look negatively on countries whose profile is marked by the pursuit of military power," said Steven Kull, director of the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes, which conducted the research along with pollster GlobeScan.

"Countries that relate to the world primarily through soft power, like France and Japan and the EU in general, tend to be viewed positively," he added.

Pollsters questioned about 1,000 people each in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Korea, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United States between Nov. 3 and Jan. 16. The margin of error in each country ranged between plus or minus 3.1 percentage points and plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

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