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Please begin with an informative title:

Commentary: Having Our Own #$@%:
A Do-able Progressive Strategy

by Black Kos Editor, Sephius1

Well we've started the year of seeing exactly what the republicans truly consider urgent -- every thing but jobs. Unfortunately the traditional media hasn't called them on this hypocrisy. And we on the progressive side can whine, and rant, about not having equal air time, or the overwhelming corporate power being exerted. But the fact is, we on the progressive side DO NOT HAVE ANY FOUNDATION. Sure we have "progressive islands" (think tanks, a tv channel here or there), but nothing cohesive. The right wing are so far ahead of us on this point it ain't even funny.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).


I don't know about you but I'm tired of asking wealthy liberals/progressives to help fund causes on the left. Its as if they don't understand their responsibilities to provide a counter weight. And we saw in this past election, the republicans are well supplied with money. So some will say let's undo the ruling on Citizens United. I say let's actual focus on the people, and help make the politicians put forth legislation the truly benefits the people.

There are 4 parts I have identified that we as progressives need to do in order to compete and frame our own issues. The are list below:

  • A Telecommunication Strategy - This involves tv, radio, internet, and paper entities that can deliver the progressive framing of issues being discussed. In this section I'm thinking more of a broadcast company than "islands". We need an entity that can compete on level of an CBS, NBC, ABC, but also not afraid to ask tough questions, even of our side of the aisle. We also have to make sure not to build this strategy off the traditional advertising model. Sure we can have advertiser, but our business model should rely on corporate money.
  • A Policy Institute Strategy - This would be an institution that would solicit ideas from anybody on how to make government truly work for the people as oppose to a select few. A "wiki" could be used to houses any, and all suggestions. A democratic process would be setup so members could vote on priorites, and some sort of tracking system that will tell you how much of a particular policy has implemented
  • A Townhall Framework Strategy - This would deal with bringing activist and not-so-activist together to discuss local, statewide, and federal issues. These townhall meeting would use the resources born from the Telecommunication and the Policy institute strategies
  • A Funding Strategy - this area will be most important because it is how we will fund all the other strategies. In order for us to gain the trust of the people we must be funded by the people. But even before that we have to convince the American people why they should gives their hard earned money. We also want to get the kids involved early so that they understand and grow up in a world in which the government works for them not against them

In future editions of Black Kos, I will go into detail on each of the strategies mentioned.

                         News by dopper0189, Black Kos Managing Editor
South Sudan has been chosen as the name of what will be the world's newest country when it comes into existence on 9 July, ending months of speculation. BBC:  South Sudan chosen as name for new country

Other suggested names had included Nile Republic and Cush, a reference to a Biblical-era kingdom in the area.

Some 99% of southern Sudanese voted for independence from the north of Sudan in a referendum held in January.

The name decision was announced after a meeting of the top committee of the south's ruling SPLM party.

The SPLM's Secretary General Pagan Amum said the decision, made by the party's politburo, will require approval by parliament.

But correspondents say that is a formality as the SPLM holds the vast majority of seats in the assembly.

The impressive growth figures of resource-rich African countries are not all good news. Economist:  Spread the wealth

AFRICA’S ramshackle cities are wearing crowns of gleaming skyscrapers. Six of the ten fastest-growing countries in the world in 2000-10 were African; Angola grew faster than anywhere else on the planet. Parts of Africa have suddenly taken on a prosperous sheen, drawing talented exiles back to their roots now that they offer a decent living. Talk is of a virtuous circle in which growth feeds expertise, which feeds investment. Some of this new prosperity is the result of better economic policies, but more is the consequence of a boom in commodity prices that has spurred investment in mining and drilling as well as in office towers, bridges and roads.

Even if it is mostly the result of luck, who would begrudge Africa this renaissance? At last there is money to spend on helping the poor. The need is great: electrical power and clean water, transport networks that can boost regional trade, schooling and primary health care for all.

Sadly, many countries are squandering their best chance in decades. Equatorial Guinea’s elite hoards a fortune in opaque accounts. Chad channels wealth to bent officials. In Sudan they inflate the cost of infrastructure projects and siphon off funds. And state firms in Nigeria are “privatised” by handing them over to crony managers.

The failure is about more than just predictable corruption. Africa suffers from the resource curse, which blights countries nature made rich. Corrupt states become more powerful because revenues from natural resources flow straight to them. Health and education suffer as poorly paid doctors and teachers take jobs in oil firms. Fighting over resource-rich areas like the Niger Delta frightens investors.

The effects of the resource curse are painfully clear in Africa. Insiders and profiteers are increasingly using oil revenues to take over service industries. They crowd out entrepreneurs and create their own monopolies. At first glance, countries like Angola ( see article ) look as if they have thriving private sectors, but those firms are really loose cartels run by the oil-rich elite. Some governments are also using resource cash to maintain control. Cronies buy independent media and foreign leaders hear that access to oil depends on turning a blind eye to the brutal silencing of domestic critics.


Last year President Obama signed a bill settling a discrimination suit filed by thousands of black farmers, but conservative bloggers are calling their claims a massive fraud. The president of the National Black Farmers Association pushes back with his side of the story. The Root:  Justice Still Delayed for Black Farmers

John W. Boyd Jr., the steadfast leader of the National Black Farmers Association, was in high spirits last December. President Barack Obama had just signed a bill authorizing $1.25 billion to settle a long-standing discrimination case filed by thousands of black farmers against the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The feat was hailed as a landmark civil rights victory, and Boyd was relieved to finally see justice for his constituents.

Two months later, he now says their last hope is in danger. Driven by mostly anonymous anecdotes and misinformation from conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart (of grossly edited Shirley Sherrod video fame), an online campaign alleges that black farmers' legal claims are scams that threaten to swindle the government out of billions.  

The story dates back to a 1997 class-action lawsuit known as the Pigford case, brought by 22,721 black farmers against the USDA for unfairly denying them loans between 1983 and 1997 -- loans that were routinely given to white farmers. Of the claimants, 15,642 successfully proved discriminatory practices and received compensation in a nearly $1 billion government settlement.

About 72,000 more black farmers, who missed the lawsuit's filing deadline, were allowed to establish separate proceedings in 2008, collectively known as Pigford II. These late-filing applicants, whose $1.25 billion settlement President Obama signed into law last December, have been called into question. Although each claimant must first undergo an adjudication process, requiring substantial evidence of discrimination in order to receive payment, they've been called outright frauds.

Just cool. Washington Post:  John Legend, Smokey Robinson and more to honor "Motown Sound" with White House concert

The White House announced today that The President and Mrs. Obama will host a concert "celebrating Motown's legacy," with performances by the likes of Smokey Robinson, John Legend, Sheryl Crow, Nick Jonas, Seal and Jamie Foxx, who will also serve as the evening's host. "The Motown Sound: In Performance at the White House," will take place next Thursday, Feb. 24 and will be broadcast on PBS at on Tuesday, March 1 at 8 p.m.

Other performers include Natasha Bedingfield, Gloriana, Ledisi, Amber Riley, Mark Salling and Jordin Sparks. A number of Motown legends are also scheduled to be in attendance.


Restorative Justice Pioneer Takes Look At The Impact Of Parental Incarceration On Children In New Book. EbonyJet:  ‘What Will Happen To Me?’

These move through society unnoticed. They harbor a secret they tell no one for a myriad of emotions consume them. Shame. Anger. Confusion. Isolation. They aren’t alone but one wouldn’t know it because people don’t like to discuss “the secret.”

Howard Zehr, the restorative justice pioneer recognized for building bridges for the voiceless, calls them hidden victims. His latest book, ‘What Will Happen To Me?’, places the lens on 30 children whose parents are behind bars. It allows each to be heard as he or she shares thoughts and reflections.

“A lot of shame goes with this,” says Zehr. “They don’t want people to know. A lot of them deal with guilt and feel they are responsible for parents being in prison. This book lets them know, it’s not your fault. You’re not alone. It’s important to talk about it.”

The truth of the matter is that approximately 3 million children go to bed with a parent in prison or jail. In fact, the average age of a child with an incarcerated parent is 8 years old, while 1 in 15 Black children has a parent in prison compared with 1 in 41 Hispanic and 1 in 110 White children, respectively.

“I’d like people to be aware that these are really victims not just of crime but of our crime policy,” says Zehr, who collaborated on the book with Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz. “They undergo the challenges that any child wouldn’t want or would go through with no parents. There is another layer that is difficult. I wanted to bring awareness to this. Almost every teacher has children like this. Fifty percent of the children with parents in prison are with the grandparents. Think about the impact on that generation. It’s huge.”


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