Black Buzz News Service
December 1, 2011
["Consequences of Dinner," Summer, 2011] was a very informative and well-researched article. My parents owned a chicken store in Pittsburgh in the late 1940's, and we fed our chickens only certified natural corn feed, soybean mash and fish meal. We also gave our hens a high concentration of calcium, plus oyster shells, and gave the chicks only certified purified water. We never let our chickens eat scraps and their diet didn't contain hormones or antibiotics. Chicks came from a farm that didn't use pesticides or commercial fertilizers and the entire environment where we kept the chickens was spic-and-span. My mother would bake, broil, fry, grill and roast her chickens. They were the most tender and tasty birds I have ever eaten.
Black Buzz News Service
Mound Bayou, MS
December 1, 2011
Los Angeles Sentinel, 11-24-11, p.A7
DR. MAULANA KARENGA
In the precise measure that a people perceives themselves as their own liberator and realizes that no leader or ally is a substitute for their own work and struggle to lift themselves up and advance forward, that people begins to open a critical path in history to a new, upward and uplifting way of living and being human in the world. Likewise, in the precise measure that a people advances and practices without exception or excuse the principle that no leader, person, people or society is exempt from rightful criticism and accountability, that people rejects an immoral silence in the face of evil, and demonstrates the praiseworthy capacity for self- and social criticism, indispensable and morally compelling for correction of errors, evils and flaws humans are known for.
We are at a particularly critical juncture in our history as a people and in the history of this country, a juncture at which the policies and functioning of this society are palpably and patently harmful to its people and itself, as well as to the world. And yet, we are told and made to feel we cannot criticize it without being condemned ourselves, considered unpatriotic and disloyal, and as offering aid and ammunition to a long list of real and imagined enemies and thus a potential, if not real, "person of interest" by the police and intelligence agencies of the country.
And for us, as a people, it gets even deeper and more complex and problematic. For we are also given similar restrictions concerning criticism of the country’s leader, President Obama, from within the African American community. Clearly, we cannot blame U.S. history on Obama or be unmindful of his efforts to "promote the general welfare." Certainly, he inherited chaos, corruption, wars, waste, the progressive erosion of civil and human rights, shameless deference to the rich and disdain for the poor, and a host of other problems too numerous to name. Indeed, Obama campaigned and came to power condemning and calling into question all these ills. Now that he is at the head and helm of the country, he must also accept a just measure of responsibility for the way the country is moving since he has been president, regardless of obstacles and opposition.
Surely, we recognize that the Republicans, Tea Partiers and other rightists have dedicated their political lives to ensuring Obama’s failure and humiliation for both
And, of course, we as an African people bear a special share of the responsibility for not seriously holding the country, Congress, and the President accountable as is our tradition, and for not rebuilding our Movement to ensure and increase our capacity to do this and truly transform society. Surely, it is our special and unique responsibility as a people, who have since our arrival in this country served as a moral and social vanguard, to uphold in thought, speech and practice our ancient and ongoing social justice tradition. Politicians, administrations, governments and even allies come and go, but our moral obligation rooted in and expressed through our social justice tradition and the righteous struggle we wage to honor it, keep it alive and advance forward in the interest of our people, this country and the world are indispensable and enduring. some of what the American government is doing here in this country and around the world. Indeed, to claim he is not responsible is to claim he is not the leader, only a pathetic puppet, a role which he and all his advocates will vociferously deny and denounce. not practice these himself. And he also has the moral responsibility to do what he can through the authority and power of his office in the resistance to evil and wrong in the world and in advancing good. Moreover, he cannot adopt the policies, practices and personnel of the right and then ask for special exemption or brotherly and sisterly understanding, because of their relentless savage and racist attacks on him. imploding from within or being exploited from without. Thus, there is an urgent need to craft a protocol of exchange among ourselves that offers a framework in which we can conduct our conversations in the most meaningful, measured and fruitful way. about us, about how we see and assert ourselves as a people, if we are to honor our history, improve the current conditions of our lives and forge a future reflective of the highest African and human ideals and aspirations. President Barack Obama called on us and all Americans to join him in winning leadership of this country and we, as a people gave him over 95% of our support and approval. He is now the country’s leader and thus, neither he nor we can rightfully claim he is not responsible for at least
Likewise, to claim to be its leader and to have no responsibility for the course of this country at home and abroad is to deny his role as a moral agent, a human being capable of distinguishing right and wrong and acting accordingly. For regardless of his ability or inability to pass bills, overcome right-wing opposition and control his party or raise them from their supine position of silent and submissive reception of rightist aggressive assertions, he still has the moral responsibility to, at least, speak out against injustice, oppression and exploitation, war, waste and other wrongs and
The coming election will no doubt compel us to discuss President Obama in ways and to an extent we have not done before, especially what he really means to us as a people, and our increasingly diverging views on what he has done or has not done for us, the country and the world. But we must be careful to do this without
This means always being mindful of the fact that in a larger sense, this needed conversation is not simply about Obama or the election, but racial and political "reasons." And thus, they share no small measure of responsibility for the crisis in this country, as well as the Democrats, liberals, and leftists, who offered Obama little public aid or advice to check or challenge these "wild west" and "savage south" opponents. Likewise, those of us, progressive intellectuals, activists and concerned citizens alike, who conveniently or unconsciously confused Obama the man for the Movement, itself, and refused to build a Movement and hold him accountable and aid him in keeping the campaign promises as he, himself, had asked, clearly share responsibility for many of those things which have gone grossly wrong and are in dire need of being set right.
Dr. Maulana Karenga, Professor and Chair of Africana Studies, California State University-Long Beach; Executive Director, African American Cultural Center (Us); Creator of Kwanzaa; and author of Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture and Introduction to Black Studies, 4th Edition, www.MaulanaKarenga.org.
Black Buzz News Service
December 1, 2011
Tally Parham, shown at right in 2003, flew combat missions in Iraq. Now, as a lawyer, she is the lead counsel for The Molly Pitcher Project at the University of Virginia. (Staff Sgt. Derrick C. Goode | U.S. Air Force)
Four University of Virginia law school students - assisted by a professor and a high-flying law school alum - are gearing up to fight for the right of women to serve in combat, and they're interested in finding women in the military who want to join them.
Their effort, dubbed The Molly Pitcher Project, seeks to end military policies that categorically bar women from serving in units engaging in direct ground combat. The project takes its name from the woman who took over loading and firing a cannon after her husband fell ill during a Revolutionary War battle.
In the 1990s, Congress repealed laws banning women from flying combat aircraft and serving on warships. But positions in infantry and armor units, as well as special operations, are still off-limits. Earlier this year, a congressionally mandated commission recommended lifting all combat restrictions; Pentagon leaders are studying the issue and are expected to report back to Congress on the issue soon.
Kyle Mallinak is one of the second-year law students inspired to work for change after discussing the issue in a law and public policy class last spring.
He emphasized that the aim isn't to change physical fitness standards or establish a quota for women. The goal is to allow women who meet the military's standards to serve in any job. Women make up about 15 percent of the active-duty military.
"This is not about diversity at its core. It's not about a belief that we need a certain amount of women in everything," Mallinak said. "It's about individual dignity."
Anne Coughlin, the professor who taught the course and serves as a sponsor for the project, said women should be allowed to compete for jobs in elite units.
"We're not asking for special privileges, but if there are women who are fit and want to step up, the military should allow them," Coughlin said.
The military acknowledges that it can't operate in combat theaters without women in the ranks, Coughlin said, noting that in Iraq and Afghanistan, women have been killed in action and some have been awarded prestigious medals for bravery under fire.
"What we're just asking them to do is acknowledge, formally, publicly, honorably, what these women are doing," Coughlin said.
The Pentagon could propose that women be allowed to serve in some or all billets that are currently off-limits. Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army's chief of staff, has said he would like to see more jobs in combat battalions open to women, though he has stopped short of calling for an end to all gender-based limits.
The Pentagon could decide to change its policies on women in combat without congressional approval - doing so would require only notifying lawmakers. That's different from the landmark decision this year to allow openly gay men and women to serve in the military, a change that required Congress' support.
Another way to end the restrictions would be to challenge them in court as unconstitutional.
"It would be perfectly fine for us to never see a courtroom," Mallinak said, "But given the glacial pace that change comes at the Pentagon, we'd want to be prepared to litigate if necessary."
That's where Tally Parham comes in. Parham, who graduated from U.Va.'s law school in 1996, recently agreed to serve as lead counsel for The Molly Pitcher Project. An attorney in Columbia, S.C., she also knows a thing or two about serving in combat: as an F-16 pilot with the South Carolina Air National Guard, Parham flew air strikes in Iraq in the opening days of the war in 2003.
"I think the No. 1 test for the composition of any military fighting force is, what enhances combat effectiveness? What enhances military readiness?" Parham said. The most important individual traits for military success are skill, courage, determination and discipline, she said. "We've proven over and over and over again, none of those qualities are gender-specific."
Although Parham continues to serve in the Guard, she's involved in The Molly Pitcher Project as a lawyer and private citizen, and is working on the effort pro bono.
She said she understands that women on active duty, especially young ones, might not want to make waves by talking about what they can't do in the military. As a young pilot trying to prove herself, she said, she tried to stay away from discussions about gender and simply focused on doing her job as well as she could.
"I'd always hoped that at the point where we had large numbers of women in the leadership, change would just naturally occur," Parham said.
But that hasn't happened, so it's time to do more, she said.
"If there are women out there who are willing to challenge these issues of unfairness, then I'm happy to be their advocate."
The Black Buzz News Service supports the ideas and concepts in the Molly Pitcher Project by four University of Virginia law school students, a law school faculty member, and the highly distinguished lead counsel TallyParham.
We believe that as citizens of the United States of America, females should enjoy all the rights and privileges enumerated in the FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT of the United States Constitution.
Wherein the practice of barring women solely on the basis of their sex from certain combat roles in the United States Military which is supported bypublic tax dollars appears to be a blatant violation of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
It is also our position that there shall by no restrictions/prohibitions onfemales serving in any combat role or capacity in all branches of the UnitedStates Armed Forces including the NAVY SEALS, DELTAFORCE, ARMY RANGERS, SPECIAL FORCES in the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy.
The physical fitness readiness standards in all training for combat militarypositions should be the same for women as men in all branches of the UnitedStates Military Armed Forces. The United States Military should not be required to make a reasonable accommodation for women in their efforts to integrate women into all combat positions in said forces. Women should have to meet the same high standards and physical qualifications as men without any exceptions for all combat positions in said military. A good efficient soldier must have the following characteristics in order to be effective: 1. High level of Skill 2. Great Courage 3. Great Determination 4. Great Discipline
* Any lowering of the physical fitness readiness standards solely on the basis of sex will harm the efficiency standards that are needed to accomplish the mission of the United States Armed Forces. Further we believe that women should be given the right and opportunity to succeed or fail on their own accord for any combat position in any branch of the United States Armed Forces.