A little Black history in the making...

I was checking out The Field Negro's Blog and Wayne had something far more interesting on his sidebar than anything he has written lately, to myself at least. (Sorry Field, not knocking your writing but I am a veteran.)

I have not checked out the background on this project or the "producer" myself, so if you are interested in helping out on this I suggest you use due diligence and verify before you give. I'll try and check if Wayne has looked into yet, himself. ([UPDATE] I just got an email back from Wayne and he said that he did do "some" looking into it and it appears legit. Again and always, do use due diligence and verify before you give.) Anyways, below is what Wayne had up there on the sidebar:


Choc’late Soldiers From The USAA Landmark Television Project Po Box 63511 Philadelphia, PA 19147 215-627-6265 Heshprod@gmail.com

Dear Field:An attorney friend of mine referred me to you as a possible source of help.In fewer than 70 days, Choc’late Soldiers from the USA (CSUSA), a landmark documentary about the service, sacrifice and bravery of African American soldiers in Great Britain and Europe during World War II is scheduled to premiere (see attachment) at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture on November 10, 2009.

My primary sponsor who had promised funds for the documentary’s premiere and completion is unable to fulfill its obligation, so I am left to scramble for completion funds. I am requesting that you use your blog to bring attention to my situation, which could result in an influx of sponsors in time for the November 10th premiere.CSUSA is the untold story of African American soldiers in wartime England and Europe. It was in England where many Blacks experienced, for the first time, what it was like to be treated as Americans, and as equals. It was in England where many fell in love with British women, and some go on to have families. When Blacks left England for war-torn Europe, they demonstrated their mettle and courage in combat; some took pay cuts and had their rank reduced for the privilege of volunteering for combat. It was these character-shaping experiences that gave Black veterans the courage and conviction to fight for civil rights in America during the following decades. All of us stand on the shoulders of this “The Greatest Generation.” CSUSA can go a long way toward educating Americans, of all colors, about the sacrifices Black Americans have made in defending a democracy, which, for most of its history, has denied them the rights and privileges of being an American. Surely these men and women, who fought in a segregated army and who were thwarted at every turn by racist practices, deserve to be honored as “The Greatest of the Greatest Generation.”

But time is running short. Every day 1,200 WWII veterans die. Soon they will all be gone and no one will be left to tell their heroic sagas, the stories of unbelievable patriotism against overwhelming odds. CSUSA is an unprecedented opportunity to tell an untold American story and to once and for all let these African American heroes take their rightful places in American history.While we await a decision from a major foundation, we are seeking $332,000 to complete CSUSA in time for the Smithsonian Institution’s premiere on November 10, 2009. (Sponsors usually give increments of $50k) I am pulling out all stops to secure the funds for completion, which is why I am contacting you. Anyone who underwrites the premiere and completion of CSUSA will receive the following benefits:• Their name/organization in the film credits and all accompanying materials such as brochures, posters and study guides• A tax deduction up to the maximum allowed by the IRS• Inclusion of their name in major newspaper and magazine articles as a supporter of the project• Their personal legacy linked to helping complete an enduring piece of American historyAs a former high school and college educator, I am dedicated to the long-term proposition of teaching young people about black World War II veterans.

Part of the budget will be used to develop high school and college-level curricula for American and British students. I can think of no better gift to bequeath to future generations.Choc’late Soldiers from the USA has already generated enthusiastic interest from civilians, veterans and scholars in the U.S. and Britain, and has been featured at academic conferences and commemorative ceremonies.

Also, as a work-in-progress documentary, it placed third in competition at the D.C. Independent Film Festival in 2008. I am enclosing a verifiable list of veterans, historians and sponsors who are directly involved with CSUSA.Field, I am requesting that you use you blogging influence to help me raise funds for the Smithsonian Institution premiere and completion for PBS slated for next year.

I hope you are able to help me.

Sincerely,Gregory S. CookeProducer.

[p.s. He will take donations starting from a $1.00
Just think, you can be a part of making this happen for a $1.00. Now that I like.]

We Apologize For Being Correct, Yet Again

Those of us in the left Blogosphere of Connecticut and the nation that have a nasty habit of being right so often that it is truly embarrassing to the political elite, the media, the voters and activists that don't read and pay attention to the warnings we give you would like to apologize to all of you for, yet again, being proven correct.

Via Paul Bass at the New Haven Independent:
Three years ago the state AFL-CIO convened in New Haven and embraced U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman’s reelection. Thursday the AFL-CIO reconvened here — and made Lieberman its target.

The occasion was the state labor movement’s biennial convention at the Omni Hotel. The convention runs through Friday. A central theme of this year’s convention: Push politicians in Washington to pass universal health care with a “public option” — government-backed insurance.


Support For Public Option In Connecticut By District

Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com did a great job of breaking down some poll numbers for the Public Option on a district by district level and across the nation. I did a quick cut and paste of the numbers just for Connecticut:

The results beg the question of why some more of Connecticut's Congress critters are not leading the charge for the Public Option? They know the people want it and they have to know that it is the right thing to do.

It is an all around political winner and just plain old common sense good public policy.

Some important notes on this from Nate Silver:
We can systematize these results by means of a regression analysis that accounts for the Obama vote share and the poverty level in each district. (Technically, we'll be using a logistic regession, treating each of the voters included in one of these surveys as a separate data point.) This analysis finds that support for the public option nationwide is about 55 percent, against 36 percent opposed, similar results to what I believe to be the most reliable polls on the subject.

What's more interesting, though, is where we project the public option in individual districts. We find that:

-- The public option is estimated to have plurality support in 291 of the 435 Congressional Districts nationwide, or almost exactly two-thirds.
-- The public option is estimated to have plurality support in 235 of 257 Democratic-held districts.
-- The public option is estimated to have plurality support in 34 of 52 Blue Dog - held districts, and has overall popularity of 51 percent in these districts versus 39 percent opposed.

Obviously, there is a margin of error inherent to this analysis when applied to any individual district. The polls that inform this analysis themselves have a margin of error, and there is an additional layer of error introduced by the statistical process that we apply to the data.
There is some pretty good reasoning behind this data to tell the few Blue Dogs trying to stand in the way of the Public Option to suck it up and do the right thing, as well. Go and take a look at the data yourself. The information is a real eye opener as to where there is some really strong support for the Public Option even in some supposedly "conservative" districts.


Don't Be That Congress!

Do you really want to be a repeat of the 80th "Do Nothing" Congress?

Pres.Truman: “On several occasions
during the past year I have reported to the Congress and to the Nation
on our general economic situation. These reports have told of new high
levels of production and employment. Farmers are producing 37% more
than in 1929. Industry is producing 65% more. In terms of actual
purchasing power, the average income of individuals after taxes has
risen 39%. The rapid growth of our post-war activity has exceeded
expectations, and has revealed anew the potentialities of our economy.
In each of my reports however, I have had to warn of dangers that lie
ahead. Today, inflation stands as an ominous threat to the prosperity
we have achieved. We can no longer treat inflation with spiraling
prices and living costs as some vague condition we may encounter in the
future. We already have an alarming degree of inflation.

And even more alarming, it is getting worse. Since the middle of
1946, fuel has gone up 13%. Clothing prices have gone up 19%. Retail
food prices have gone up 40%. The average for all cost of living items
has risen 23%. The housewife who goes to buy food today must spend ten
dollars to buy what seven dollars bought a year and a half ago. She
must spend ten dollars to buy what seven dollars would have bought a
year ago. The cost of living is still climbing. In the past four months
it has risen at the rate of 16% a year. Wholesale prices are rising
too. They affect every industry and trade. And they are soon translated
into retail prices. Since the middle of 1946, wholesale textile prices
have gone up 32%. Metals have gone up 36%. Building materials have gone
up 42%. Wholesale prices on the average have gone up 40%. The harsh
effects of price inflation are clear. They are felt by wage earners,
farmers and businessmen. Wage earners are finding that bigger paychecks
this year buy less than smaller paychecks bought last year.”

But Obama can feel free to be that President... Because when it comes to real healthcare reform?

We Can't Afford to Wait

Brought to you by MoveOn.org & R.E.M..


Republicans Sacrifice Chickens For Healthcare

We know that the biggest reason you all are pissed about this is that your failed Reagonomic free-marketeers-run-amok ideas that caused the shadow bank meltdown and the economic mess we are in now have already been discredited to the point that nobody wants to hear them anymore. Don't tell me that your answer to healthcare is the free market.

You can not put a dollar value on life, and that is all your free market answers are about, aren't they?
a moral responsibility   those words are clearly applicable to the health care crisis  in this country.  Intellectually I knew that long before I first read (and wrote about) the Remote Area Medical Mission in Wise Virginia.  I lost any doubt during the weekend I spent there in July, which is why I am taking the first weekend in October to go to a similar event in Grundy, VA.

How do we compromise on morality?  IF we can make the case that what we are attempting do is a moral obligation, then I believe the politics will be on our side -  the conscious of most people can be challenged.  Clearly the late Senator Kennedy understood this, which is why the words of Matthew 25 were so prominent at his funeral.  For whatever human flaws he had (and acknowledged both in his letter to the Pope and in his soon to be published memoir). on this he did not lack moral clarity.

Part of the responsibility of those of us who speak out on issues is to remember our dual responsibility to afflict the comfortable as we comfort the afflicted.

Yes, in politics we must look at what is possible.  We must "advance the ball" down the field, since Americans are too fond of football metaphors.  But one should also remember that it matters not who gains the most yardage, only who scores the most points.   Thus speak not to me of points of agreement in negotiation if those do not lead to meaningful action in legislation that becomes law.

In moral tests one cannot be neutral.
Here is the real and honest moral argument:
So now we know who the real death panelists are!
After the mortgage business imploded last year, Wall Street investment banks began searching for another big idea to make money. They think they may have found one.

The bankers plan to buy “life settlements,” life insurance policies that ill and elderly people sell for cash — $400,000 for a $1 million policy, say, depending on the life expectancy of the insured person. Then they plan to “securitize” these policies, in Wall Street jargon, by packaging hundreds or thousands together into bonds. They will then resell those bonds to investors, like big pension funds, who will receive the payouts when people with the insurance die.

The earlier the policyholder dies, the bigger the return — though if people live longer than expected, investors could get poor returns or even lose money.

Guaranteed Trickle Down Death

That is what happens when you put a dollar value on life. Investors would have twice the incentive to deny care to the elderly. What incentive would investors in healthcare insurance corporations have to keep them alive if they can make more money denying care to them and then, also, make more money on their investments in reverse mortgages?