Category Archives: Defining Freedom

Malcolm X On Violence


“If violence is wrong in America, violence is wrong abroad. If it is wrong to be violent defending black women and black children and black babies and black men, then it is wrong for America to draft us, and make us violent abroad in defense of her. And if it is right for America to draft us, and teach us how to be violent in defense of her, then it is right for you and me to do whatever is necessary to defend our own people right here in this country.”
Speech, Nov. 1963, New York City. (link)

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Filed under Defining Freedom, Framing, Historical Quotes, International Relations, Malcolm X: Progressive Model, Quotes to Ponder, Racism in America, U.S. Foreign Policy

The Rising Cost Of Water

About 1.1 billion people have no access to clean water, and half the planet lacks the same quality of water that the ancient Romans enjoyed. (link)

How, the hell, did this happen?

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Filed under Defining Freedom, Socio-Economics Rights, The Economy

Senator Kennedy vs. Hillary Clinton On Flag Burning & The First Amendment

"If we set the precedent of limiting the First Amendment, in order to protect the sensibilities
of those who are offended by flag burning, what will we say the next time someone is offended
by some other minority view, or by some other person's exercise of the freedom the Constitution
is supposed to protect?" - Senator Edward M. Kennedy, constituent letter 1997 (link)

The quote reminds me of one of the many reasons I was not a fan of Hillary, even before
the election. For those who aren't aware, she supported a law making flag burning a criminal
 offense. Many believed she did so merely for political gain.  

I agree. 

 In fact, I'd like to hear her answer Senator Kennedy's hypothetical question . . .
for that matter. 




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Filed under Civil Liberties, Defining Freedom, Domestic Politics, Hillary Clinton, Progressive Politics, Quotes to Ponder, Views That Just Don't Make Sense

Harriet Tubman On Freedom

“I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”

– Harriet Tubman

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Filed under Defining Freedom, Quotes to Ponder, Slavery as the Starting Point for Freedom, The Civil Rights Movement

My Experience Canvassing In South Philadelphia Through The Eyes of A White Man

I came across this moving article yesterday.  It’s so interesting to see the same event through another person’s eyes.  Philly and North Carolina are different, but the fundamentals are the same in black communities across the nation.

If you read my Thoughts on Canvassing in South Philadelphia, the overlay with the perception of a conservative white Republican are thought provoking.

What both of our experiences make clear is the inspirational effect Obama is having for black people and black communities.

A bit of my reflections on canvassing:

There is so much support for Obama in these communities it is unbelievable. Moreover, there is so much pride in him as a candidate. Obama will win Pennsylvania if they keep canvassing and applying resources to these communities.

Little kids biked by asking us for Obama buttons, and every single person we spoke with was either for Obama, or ENTHUSIASTICALLY for Obama.

What a way to spend the day. (link)

A few excerpts from an op-ed by a white conservative republican dragged out to canvass for Obama in North Carolina:

Let me make it clear: I’m pretty conservative. I grew up in the suburbs. I voted for George H.W. Bush twice, and his son once. I was disappointed when Bill Clinton won, and disappointed he couldn’t run again.

. . . .

I am the dreaded swing voter.

So you can imagine my surprise when my wife suggested we spend a Saturday morning canvassing for Obama. I have never canvassed for any candidate. But I did, of course, what most middle-aged married men do: what I was told.

. . . .

Instead of walking the tree-lined streets near our home, my wife and I were instructed to canvass a housing project. A middle-aged white couple with clipboards could not look more out of place in this predominantly black neighborhood.

We knocked on doors and voices from behind carefully locked doors shouted, “Who is it?”

“We’re from the Obama campaign,” we’d answer. And just like that doors opened and folks with wide smiles came out on the porch to talk.

Grandmothers kept one hand on their grandchildren and made sure they had all the information they needed for their son or daughter to vote for the first time.

Young people came to the door rubbing sleep from their eyes to find out where they could vote early, to make sure their vote got counted.

We knocked on every door we could find and checked off every name on our list. We did our job, but Obama may not have been the one who got the most out of the day’s work.

I learned in just those three hours that this election is not about what we think of as the “big things.”

It’s not about taxes. I’m pretty sure mine are going to go up no matter who is elected.

It’s not about foreign policy. I think we’ll figure out a way to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan no matter which party controls the White House, mostly because the people who live there don’t want us there anymore.

. . . .

I’ve learned that this election is about the heart of America. It’s about the young people who are losing hope and the old people who have been forgotten. It’s about those who have worked all their lives and never fully realized the promise of America, but see that promise for their grandchildren in Barack Obama. The poor see a chance, when they often have few. I saw hope in the eyes and faces in those doorways.

My wife and I went out last weekend to knock on more doors. But this time, not because it was her idea. I don’t know what it’s going to do for the Obama campaign, but it’s doing a lot for me.

Jonathan Curley is a banker. He voted for George H.W. Bush twice and George W. Bush once. (link)

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Filed under All Politics is Local, Decision 2008, Defining Freedom, Obama, Quotes to Ponder

How To Be A Complete Asshole

A South African businessman tried to cheat a poor farm worker out of a winning lottery ticket worth five million rand ($490,000; £300,000).

Lazarus Letswalo, 51, was found guilty of theft and fraud at a magistrates court in Johannesburg and could face up to 15 years in jail.

Letswalo was arrested in 2002 when he went to cash the ticket he took from Andrew Phoshoko from Tzaneen, Limpopo.

After the arrest, the lottery operator gave Mr Phoshoko the money.

Magistrate Zacharia Machobane told Letswalo that he had “tried to defraud a poor… illiterate man”, reports the Sowetan newspaper.

During the six-year trial, Mr Phoshoko gave evidence that Letswalo had bribed him with ice cream and food before taking the ticket. (link)

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Filed under Consumer Rights, Defining Freedom

Martin Luther King, Jr. On Malcolm X

As an aside, and I hesitate to make the comparison, but the beginning of this response/question remindsme of the discussion of Obama’s message of hope, i.e the attack that it is hogwash to invoke.

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Filed under Defining Freedom, Framing, Progressive Politics, Quotes to Live By, Quotes to Ponder, Racism in America, The Civil Rights Movement, You Tubes