News, thoughts and comments on civil rights and related issues.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
News: 'Black' PAC misleads public
In our continuing probe of the National Center for Public Policy Research and its offspring, our next stop is with one of its political action committees, the Black America's PAC. As you may have guessed already, many of the candidates supported by the 'black' PAC are white conservatives. The black candidates who get backing from the group seek succor from the far Right. Two black candidates from BAMPAC's 2002 and 2004 lists are representative.
The Progress-Index reports on one of them.
Allen, Sears' patron, has ties to the neo-Confederate movement. As governor, Allen supported dedicating April as Confederate History Month in Virginia.
Herman Cain, who ran for the Senate in Georgia, is a 'front' for the National Center for Public Policy Research in regard to issues of corporate malfeasance. The failed candidate is a former head of Godfather's Pizza. He is usually brought forth to deny that global warming is a problem. A piece he penned for the CNS opinion site is typical.
Some of the candidates supported by this 'black' PAC leave you scratching your head even more than this odd couple. People like Sears and Cain are at least African-American. They live in states with significant black populations. Mark Shurtleff of Utah, supported by BAMPAC for attorney general, is a white conservative. He is best known for extreme advocacy for gun ownership. The NCPPR's support of any far Right political position is the only reason that I can see for Shurtleff being listed as a Black America's Pac candidate.
If you have read my coverage of black 'front' groups for the Right over time, I suspect you may be experiencing dizziness by now. Relax. It is not you. The trail is a winding and confusing one. But, it always leads back to the same place -- conservative white interests and the organizations they fund. It is their opinions that are being promoted, not those of black Americans.
What's the art?
A black puppet.
Herman Cain says that his views represent those of many African-Americans. He expresses some of those views in this article from Men's News Daily.posted by J. | 7:15 PM
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Commentary: Project 21 shills for tobacco industry
We've talked about the Right Wing 'front' group, Project 21. We've talked about the health and economic problems associated with smoking among the low-income, who are disproportionately African-American. It is time to talk about the two topics together. One of the monied interests the parent organization of Project 21 is in bed with is the tobacco industry. The Center for Media & Democracy offers background information on the National Center for Public Policy Research.
The NCFPPR is easy to read. If conservative and/or corporate interests will profit from a policy, they favor it. If the policy will have an equalizing or protective impact on society, the NCFPPR opposes it. Among causes it opposes are environmentalism and regulation of food manufacturers.
The names are the same ones we already know from the African American Republican Leadership Council and Project 21. Amy Moritz Ridenour is president. Her husband, David A. Ridenour, is vice-president. The white fellow who pulls the puppet strings at Project 21, David Almasi, is executive director.
A column by a Project 21 member at World Net Daily, a conservative opinion site, is typical of the front group's advocacy for the tobacco and fast food industries, including its sponsor, RJ Reynolds. Mychal Massie argues that the multi-state tobacco settlement was picking on the corporate giants of the industry. According to him, they are charitable organizations who should be praised for their unselfishness, instead of criticized for the contributing to ill health and morbidity worldwide.
The World Health Organization estimates 4.9 million people die of smoking related illnesses each year. More than 440,000 Americans are among them.
Massie's piece is so poorly reasoned that it is unintentionally comic. Particularly telling is the straw man he has set up to compare the tobacco and fast food industries to -- sodomists who molest children. If one has to go there to make one's corporate sponsor look good, one is is deep trouble. Suffice it to say that Project 21's handful of black miscreants are not chosen on the basis of intelligence. Read "If health costs are key, why not sue sodomists?" in its entirety.
As I said in a previous entry, the tobacco industries' continuing claim that there is no link between smoking and disease mainly falls on deaf ears these days. But that does not prevent its paid lackeys from continuing to spread the propaganda. Among those participating are the denizens of Project 21.
What's the art?
The Grim Reaper.
I with not hesitate to call 'front' organizations what they are. My hope is that knowing a group is a fraud is enough for most people to treat it with skepticism. But, some folks express stronger opinions about these groups. Read what two African-American writers think at The Black Commentator.posted by J. | 3:45 PM
Monday, November 29, 2004
Health: Low-income more likely to smoke
A recent study reveals mokers pay through the nose for their habit. The cost of smoking is high -- and not just for the cigarettes. Smokers pay about $37.50 per package of cigarettes in costs of various kinds. Those costs include the routine, cleaning their clothes, and the esoteric, buying medications.
Ironically, the people most likely to be spending that money are least able to afford to.
The Centers for Disease Control have the data.
The news is not all bad. African-Americans, who were more likely to be smokers when data collection began considering race in the 1960s, now are less likely to be smokers. Women have gone from 28.4 percent of smokers in 1955 to 20 percent in 2002. Still, race and economic status are two characteristics that highly correlate with smoking. The Institute on Race, Health Care and the Law, citing data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has observed:
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association has additional analysis.
An interesting aspect of the data is that blacks and women are disproportionately poor, but have had a high rate of reduction in smoking over a four-decade period. Perhaps smoking among low-income white males is a major factor keeping the relationship between socioeconomic status and smoking high.
Read more about the cost of smoking at Mac-a-ro-nies.posted by J. | 3:55 PM