Blog

“…On Many Sides…”

Back in 2015, Donald Trump spoke about the Black Lives Matter protests in Ferguson and Baltimore:

“I saw them with hate coming down the street last week talking about cops and police, and what should be done to them. And that was not good. And I think it’s a disgrace that they’re getting away with it.”

This statement was brought about by his fear and hatred of people of Color — and the White people that ally with them — attempting to stand up and speak out for reform of systemic injustice, police brutality, imbalanced judicial punishments, and denial of both human and Constitutional rights of entire segments of the population by civil servants.

Militias from all over the country came to make sure that “those people” didn’t get out of hand. Police attacked them aggressively, immediately.

Mr. Trump said nothing to condemn the violent response by both citizens and police to the gathering of protesters in those situations.

In January, one week after taking office as the Republican President, his new administration put up their official White House web site. On their page titled “Standing Up for Our Law Enforcement Community,” they included this statement:

“Our job is not to make life more comfortable for the rioter, the looter, or the violent disrupter.”

In the short time since, we’ve watched his Department of Justice and Department of Education whitewash over half a century of civil rights protections from our governmental structure, and heard him tell police to be more violent with their arrests of “those people.”

Now yesterday, in the midst of a gathering of people armed with both torches and weapons, angrily descending on a city not to defend their human or Constitutional rights, but their privilege to memorialize in public spaces idols to treasonous leaders in a movement to overthrow the government of our nation to retain the right to oppress and literally own other humans as chattel slaves.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.”

Trump said this during a short statement from his private golf club in New Jersey regarding the domestic terrorism events in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Worse, he then visibly retreated when asked to specifically condemn the violence perpetrated by the White Nationalists as well as the injuries and death created by a domestic terrorist on their behalf.

With his limited statement, his retreat, and the context of his previous statements and actions, he has set the stage for a second civil war.

He has given the political legitimacy of the Presidential Office’s consent to the false equivalency of violent KKK gatherings — David Duke was in attendance in Charlottesville and praising Trump’s support of their cause — with protest against oppression due to racial and religious bigotry.

This is how his message was received by those White Supremacists on one of their leading national websites:

“Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us.

He said that we need to study why people are so angry, and implied that there was hate…on both sides!

So he implied the antifa are haters.

There was virtually no counter-signaling of us at all.

He said he loves us all.

Also refused to answer a question about White Nationalists supporting him.

No condemnation at all.

When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room.

Really, really good.”

All of this makes him a greater threat to the safety and security of every person on United States soil than any radical extremist from the Middle Eastern nations or fascist North Korean dictator. The fact that he continues to intentionally escalate those threats as well, just makes him even more dangerous to us all.

The only important question that remains is do you stand with the President and his support of reviving the “Lost Cause” or do you stand with your fellow citizens against an assault on human and Constitutional rights from the Oval Office?

The Lost Cause is the name commonly given to a literary and intellectual movement that sought to reconcile the traditional Southern white society to the defeat of the Confederate States of America in the Civil War.  White Southerners sought consolation in attributing their loss to factors beyond their control and to betrayals of their heroes and cause.  Those who contributed to the movement tended to portray the Confederacy’s cause as noble and most of the Confederacy’s leaders as exemplars of old-fashioned chivalry defeated by the Union armies not through superior military skill, but by overwhelming force.  They also tended to condemn Reconstruction.

As long as those of you on the conservative right continue to ignore — or worse, support and defend — their religiously intolerant White Nationalist, Neo-Nazi, racist extremists committing hate crimes and acts of domestic terrorism, there is no legitimacy to the designator of “alternate” for the “Alt-Right.”

A wholesale embrace of this behavior is the path the Republican President decided was necessary to “Make America Great Again [For White People].”

We should strip away the deflection of the rebranding efforts and expose these violent extremists for exactly what they are; which is nothing more or less than modern Republicans.

I have no idea if you identify as Republican or not, conservative or not.

I’m just stating the fact that if you support them at all, you’re allowing them to speak for you. If you don’t approve of their messaging and methods, denounce it and stop supporting them.

Anyone who supports a party whose entire platform and path to success is a wholesale embrace of this ideology, will find they’re going to be lumped into it.

This is the modern Republican party.

Any conservatives that don’t agree with it, need to either form a new party to distinguish themselves or openly and vehemently denounce these extremists and work to purge them, their rhetoric, and their White Nationalist, Christian theocracy policies and legislation from their party.

This is not a fringe element.

This is the Republican party leadership.

This is Congress.

This is the Republican White House administration and the close inner circle of trusted advisors.

This is the President of the United States.

Overcoming Cultural Inertia Part 3

This is part three of my ongoing series.  In this series of articles we are exploring the effects of what I have termed “Cultural Inertia” in our society, with the hope of helping us to recognize and overcome some of the issues that are not only holding us back but in many ways leading us in the wrong directions.

For the purposes of this series, I am using the term Cultural Inertia (#Culturalinertia) to refer to issues that we have accepted in our every day lives as norms.  Norms which have become so deeply ingrained in our society that they influence our discussions of progress without our even being aware of them.   One excellent example was raised recently by Jackson Katz as he showed an audience of about 400 people—students, community members, faculty, and staff—how common language used to discuss the issues is perpetuating gender violence today.

In part 1 we explored many of the high level aspects that bleed through all aspects of our society, including topics like gender norms, bigotry and racism, marriage equality, and many others.   In part 2 we focused on a specific aspect of the history of the denial of racial equality.

Here, in part 3, we explore the cultural inertia embedded within the claims that educational quality in the United States is steadily and rapidly declining.

There are many aspects to this that we could talk about which include:

  1. The school to prison pipelines.
  2. The initiatives to defund public education in favor of private school charters in order to educate a selective audience with a restrictive curricula agenda.
  3. Established racial and class bias in standardized testing, “gifted and talented” advanced placement selection,
  4. Established racial and class bias in selective criteria for allocation of funds and support resources to specific school districts.
  5. Poor pay and support for educators in specific districts leading to less qualified instructors in far too many positions.

Honestly though, many outstanding articles and essays have been written on each of those subjects, and quite a few excellent and thorough studies have been conducted and published on each of them.    There is little point in rehashing them here again.

Instead, we’ll turn our attention to two much more pervasive, less discussed, and deeply intertwined societal norms that contributes to all of it without us even recognizing that we’re feeding the problems with our own accepted bias,

 

Abdication of Parental Responsibility

 

We are told that children have become so disrupted and unruly in classrooms that teachers can no longer control the educational environment.   This has become so problematic that school districts have their own police departments with “resource officers” on campus, or at least at those schools considered most “at risk.”

But a good number of those troubled and disruptive students often turn out to be intelligent students who finish their work faster than their classmates and are expected to sit, bored and quiet, while waiting for others to catch up to them.   They become fidgety and distracted and mislabeled as the problem themselves.   The better educators recognize these kids and find ways to challenge them or keep them engaged in additional tasks to prevent disruption.

If we take those students out of the equation we are left with a much smaller number of real classroom troublemakers; those that are intentionally disruptive and sometimes violent beyond any reasonable expectation of a teacher’s ability to deal with them.

Over the course of the last several decades, especially since society began requiring two parents to work at least one full-time job each — and in the case of single parents, more — in order to receive living wages for their family, more and more parents are expecting schools to raise their kids instead of just educate them.

Many don’t even realize that they have taken this step, but when parents are more and more absent from the daily lives of their children, even if by societally enforced necessity, they are forced to have a smaller role in role modeling acceptable behavior and interaction with them.

This has placed the burden on school educators to not only handle the complex and difficult tasks of conveying knowledge and teaching critical thinking skills, but also constantly interrupting those processes to show kids how to be better humans and how to cope with social interaction conflict.

It is beyond unreasonable to expect the teachers we have to expect those educators — especially with what we pay them — to have the training and qualifications to tailor those lessons to each child’s individual learning style and life experiences every day for every student which whom they interact.  This is completely exacerbated by funding cuts increase the amount of students in each classroom for teachers to reach, connect with, and educate each day.

Add to this, the fact that turning educators into disciplinarians completely undermines their ability to connect with students and earn their trust.  It immediately makes them less approachable.  It also deters students from being completely open with their line of questioning for fear of reproach.

The complete combination requires educators to serve as parental surrogates instead of  teachers for far too much of their time, and the absorption of that role serves to undermine their entire professional purpose.

So what leads to some of these students become unruly in the first place?

Why do they have so little respect for the educators intrusted with their future?

 

Deconstruction of the Educational Profession

 

The role of an educator is the single most important profession any society has.  We entrust these people to shape the minds, and sharpen the thinking skills, of the entire future of our communities, nations, and world.   They are the ones that convey the necessary building blocks, and inspire the minds, of those that will become our future doctors, community leaders, scientists, and innovators, as well as of all those who will take on the vital day to day tasks that allow those people to focus completely on their jobs.  The fireman, police officers, paramedics, plumbers, carpenters, nannies, day care workers, and workers in every possible service industry — all people whose professions are no less important than those others considered “more prestigious” — to the success of the society as a whole.

At some point in our lives we’ve all heard some form of the phrase “Those who can, do; those who cannot, teach.”

The underlying meaning of that simple phrase has pervaded every aspect of all the things discussed above.

In the not too distant past, a good grade school education, from kindergarten through High School graduation, was considered the key to a better future.  so much so that daycares became pre-schools to prep kids for the experience instead of just places for kids to play with their peers.

But over the past few decades specifically, special interest groups have been working hard — primarily through funding of the modern iteration of the Republican party — not only to defund the educational system but to discredit and dehumanize those that choose to work within the profession.

As these special interests work at both the national and state levels to remove as much funding as possible from education they they also worked tirelessly to raise the price of obtaining a higher education out of the reach of many creating an economic disparity that provides a barrier to lower income communities, especially communities of People of Color.

This results in the elusive hope of higher education only being available to the children in those communties through two possible means, enlisting in the military in exchange for an education, or winning the gladiator lottery we call a sports scholorship.

In the most recent years , the Tea Party Republicans, especially, have been slowly stripping away at veteran benefits, including educational fund programs.  This takes away even that hope of improving their lives for many of those people.

As hope diminishes, the incentive to comply does as well.

But, it still isn’t even that simple.

As the narrative pervades the news that the “American educational system is failing” even though that failure is being manufactured, the kids hear and read about it.   It is reinforced as their parents discuss the narrative they’re presented with by the news.  A narrative that says that more and more grossly unqualified people are looking for paychecks as teachers because they cannot do anything else.   This narrative is allowed to survive by politicians, such as Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, who strip away the necessary qualifications to be teachers because they view education as unnecessary.

Now, even the Republican President and his appointed administration including appointees to the Department of Education are furthering that narrative, pulling even more funding from public schools and granting it to religious charter schools, denying science and in the case of the president, communicating in a way that would make any educated person cringe.   All, while they strip away all the civil rights gains on the path to equality of opprotunity for the students we entrust to them.

Why would anyone expect children to have any respect for the authority of their educators, or the quality of the information those educators convey, in a society that is constatly working so aggressively to deconstruct the integrity of the educational system and profession?

What incentive is there for them to comply other than fear of punishment, which has never been a great human motivator to instill respect and compliance?

 

How Do We Fix It?

 

The only way to fix this is to address the core problem, aggressively.

We must elevate the profession of educators at all levels to its proper place at the highest level of of presitige in our nation.

We must pay teachers well enough to attract the best minds for every subject to the profession with the intent of passing on their collective knowledge to new generations.

We need to make teachers into heroes for our children and the schools they work within the places of hope for the children of all our communities to inspire them to want to learn everything they possibliy can from those teachers.

Doing these things, will address not only these issues, but the list of items presented at the beginning of this essay.

The quality of life of our descendents, the future of our communities, the future of our nation, and the future of our world hang in the balance.

It is time to break free of this Culural Inertia and set a new path forward.

If not now?   When?

If not us?   Who?

Does Your Chosen Party Leadership Represent You?

For just a minute, we’ll throw out concepts like “left, right, and center,” and “liberal or conservative.” For just a minute, lets forget the long history of what people think it means to be Republican or Democrat and evaluate what the leadership of the modern political parties really appear to stand for at this point.

 

Understand that for the purposes of this discussion I am speaking of the party leadership’s actions, voting records, introduced legislation, and not the simple rhetoric of their public platforms.

 

Modern Progressives are fighting for equality of opportunity, equality of law enforcement and application of penalties by the Judicial system, affordable access to quality health care and quality education by all. And they recognize that taxation, primarily on businesses and the wealthiest are required to pay for it. They just can’t seem to break free of their dependence upon or association with the Democratic party in order to create their own viable party and campaigns.

 

Modern Republicans claim they are fighting for America, but they are only fighting for a selective group of Americans and then only to control that group’s behavior along with everyone else through a theocracy enforcing Christian Fundamentalism and more recently open support of legislating White Nationalist oppression and persecution of people of color. But the reality is that they are paying lip service to those Christians as well as they destroy all federal government services and organizations and eliminate the revenue to provide them by eliminating taxes on the rich and increasing taxes and expenses on the poor.

 

Modern Democrats straddle the middle paying lip-service to the Progressives while not doing anything to actually further the progressive agenda, and claiming to fight the Republicans on social issues that government has little control over but constantly giving in — one little piece at a time — to the Republican’s demands to strip the rights of people in favor of the rights of corporations, and the rights of the masses in favor of the rights of the wealthy.

 

Modern Libertarians want a nation of “every man for himself,” where the rich have power and access to fundamental necessities regardless of price and everyone else deserves what ever befalls them.

 

The modern Green Party wants to save the planet’s ecology and also pays lip-service to the Progressives, but they have no coherent social reform plans and a demonstrated lack of foreign policy knowledge or initiatives at the leadership level.

 

The newly formed UCOBA — United Citizens Of Black America — working to end racial injustice and create social reform is another Progressive group working towards solving similar issues of systemic oppression and societally enforced inequality from a focus on issues directly affecting People of Color.   And the correct belief that any issue that affects any American is a problem for all Americans to solve.   We can not claim to be a free nation until none of us are oppressed.

 

There are other parties such as the Constitution Party that have not gained enough national recognition or viability to earn a place in the discussion yet.

Meanwhile, Independent voters have no national representation because they don’t have an actual viable Independent party with consolidated resources for campaign funding or strategy. So they have to decide which of the above choices most closely aligns with them on the issues of import every time they step up to the ballot box.

 

Note: I have not included the Tea Party as a separate party or even an identifiable faction of the Republican party because as of 2016, the Tea Party gained enough control in the Republican party that as far as leadership is concerned they are one and the same now.

2020 Reelection Campaign Already?!

In July of 2016, the Urban Dictionary added the definition of “Trumpence” as:

trumpence

 

Roughly one month after making a mockery of the Oath of Office — by violating the constitutional emoluments clause while saying the words — Donald J. Trump filed the official papers to open his 2020 reelection campaign.

Today, , writing for Vox, informs us that the Republican president’s first reelection fundraiser is a $35,000-a-ticket soiree at his own hotel.”

You might ask “Why?”

Why would a president less than a year into office already be campaigning for reelection instead of focusing on implementing the policy he pushed during his first campaign?

There are many answers to that question, and all of them are correct.   All of them should prove to you that you should not support this reelection campaign.

First, as the Vox article points out:

 

In hosting the dinner at his hotel, Trump manages to raise money not only for his 2020 campaign but for himself too. After all, any business the hotel does is personal profit for the president, who still owns the Trump Organization. It’s unclear if the hotel will make money from the dinner, but even if the hotel gave the food for free, any money attendees spend on hotel rooms, at the bar, or at shops in the hotel goes straight to the Trump Organization.

 

Hosting the event as his own hotel is a revenue windfall for the hotel even if it doesn’t charge the President’s campaign itself a dime; but they’ll charge in order to funnel the money from the campaign back into the family business coffers.

But there are other several other, and probably far more important reasons that Trump is doing this, and they need to be exposed as well.   Which brings us to the second reason.

By establishing the campaign fund, and officially holding rallies, large donors who want Presidential favor can funnel money into his campaign efforts through various SuperPac funds over the entire first four years of the Presidential term in return for pay-to-play favoritism.

But, wait, don’t order yet, there’s more!

The big trick is declaring all of his public appearances as official campaign rallies or fund raisers.   By doing so, he can block access to whomever he wants without violating constitutional rights of anyone that doesn’t agree with him.   He can have protestors, hecklers, and anyone who speaks out forcibly removed as an “unapproved guest” instead of being forced to hear what those citizens have to say in opposition to him.

It allows him to continue the “Lock her up!” and “Repeal and Replace!” chants while deflecting from his own inability to do either and from the investigations into his own unethical and possibly criminal infractions.

Next, there is the fact that political campaign speech is protected in a way that the official words of a civil servant are not, so it is much harder — legally — to hold him accountable for the “dog whistle” and overt racist rhetoric he uses at these campaigns to rile up the”Alt-Right,” Neo-Nazi, and  White Nationalist voter base that refuses to abandon him as long as he keeps speaking their language.

Let us not forget the fact that the continuation of the campaign allows him to keep the merchandise sales flowing as well.

Finally, there is the fact that he can set up reservations and accommodations in his own properties for foreign government agents to accidentally — on purpose — bump into him for a brief unscheduled meeting that is off the White House records, while claiming those agents were just there at the same time as his rally/fund-raiser purely by coincidence.

Please, I implore you, do not allow yourself to be one of the willfully ignorant targets of this trumpence campaign that gets whipped into enough uninformed outrage to vote for this administration a second time.

Overcoming Cultural Inertia Part 2

This is part of an ongoing series this year on Overcoming the Cultural Inertia that holds our society back.

For those of you that never delved further into history than what was presented in school, and for those that claim to be White allies of People of Color, allow me to present you with a reminder of just how deep, and how far back, into our history the #CulturalInertia of maintaining racial inequality goes.

You can use this reminder especially for all those conservative Republicans you know who like to toss out claims like “Lincoln – a Republican – freed the slaves over 150 years ago; get over it!”

Abraham Lincoln the politician did not recognize blacks as his social or political equals and, during his years as a lawyer and office seeker living in Illinois, his opinion on this did not change. Lincoln was opposed to the institution of slavery during his entire lifetime but, like most white Americans, he was not an abolitionist. In ante-bellum America, abolitionists were a marginal, radical group, and most white Americans did not participate in or endorse abolitionist activities.

A first clue to what Lincoln believed comes from a series debates when Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas were campaigning to be selected by the state legislature of Illinois as a United States Senator. On September 18, 1858 at Charleston, Illinois, Lincoln told the assembled audience:

 

“I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality … I will add to this that I have never seen, to my knowledge, a man, woman, or child who was in favor of producing a perfect equality, social and political, between negroes and white men.”

 

Lincoln. On December 1, 1862, one month before the scheduled issuing of an Emancipation Proclamation, the president offered the Confederacy another chance to return to the union and preserve slavery for the foreseeable future. In his annual message to congress, Lincoln recommended a constitutional amendment, which if it had passed, would have been the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

The amendment proposed gradual emancipation that would not be completed for another thirty-seven years, taking slavery in the United States into the twentieth century; compensation, not for the enslaved, but for the slaveholder; and the expulsion, supposedly voluntary but essentially a new Trail of Tears, of formerly enslaved Africans to the Caribbean, Central America, and Africa.

Instead what eventually was passed as the 13th Amendment to the Constitution laid the ground work for the racial disparity in our justice system by allowing slavery to continue through imprisonment. It states:

 

 

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

 

Supposedly formally abolishing slavery in the United States, the 13th Amendment was passed by the Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified by the states on December 6, 1865.

Drain The Swamp

It wasn’t so long ago, that the Republican president was screaming about fixing the issues with foreign collusion, pay-to-play access, cover-ups, and bribery.

He claimed he would be the one to end all of that.

 

 

If you’ve been paying attention, you know that if he drained a swamp, he pumped all that sludge and even a few creatures from that black lagoon right into the White House offices.

Just so we’re clear on the sequence of events over the last two days:

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates just pledged $100 million to Ivanka Trump’s fund for women entrepreneurs.

 

afp-on26t

 

 

In return Saudi Arabia received a $110B arms deal from the United States, and they get to purchase — through the Blackstone Group —  a significant ownership of the infrastructure work Trump promised his voters during his campaign, which will mostly involve toll roads and other services that American citizens will have to pay to use, on top of paying their taxes to support and supposedly fund.

 

 

 

mw-ff813_schwar_20170214073231_zh

 

 

 

So the Trump’s family gets a massive personal payout, Saudi Arabia gets a tremendous amount of weapons while not addressing any of their long list of Human Rights violations, and they receive control over a substantial segment of American infrastructure system.

Robert Reich has some raised some additional concerns specifically about that last point:

 

 

“Saudi Arabia just joined the parade of investors into U.S. public works by pledging a record $20 billion investment with Blackstone Group’s new infrastructure fund.
It’s the latest push around the world by large investors to buy up U.S. airports, roads, bridges, water systems, and other public projects.
Rather than taxing the wealthy and then using the money to fix our dangerously outdated infrastructure, the states and the federal government increasingly are giving rich investors tax credits to encourage them to do it.
The investors then charge tolls and user fees, and earn big profits.
So the public pays twice – once when we subsidize the investors with our tax dollars, and then again when we pay the tolls and user fees that also go into their pockets.
We don’t even get the infrastructure that’s most needed. Projects most attractive to investors are those whose tolls and fees bring in the biggest bucks – giant mega-projects like major new throughways and new bridges.
Not the thousands of smaller bridges, airports, pipes, and water treatment facilities most in need of repair. Not the needs of rural communities and smaller cities and towns too small to generate the tolls and other user fees equity investors want. Not clean energy.
To really make America great again we need more and better infrastructure that’s for the public – not for big developers and investors. And the only way we get that is if corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes.”

Leadership 101

To be a great leader, you do not need to be able to do everything or even know everything. But you do need to know enough about yourself to recognize your strengths, admit your weaknesses, and both understand and acknowledge what you do not know.

If you are capable of that you can assemble a team that compensates for your weaknesses and compliments your strengths.

Unfortunately if you are not capable of that, such a team won’t put up with your inability to lead competently; good people will quit, while the best will never accept the job with you. Then the only people you’ll be left with, that are willing to work for you, are a team of people who either can’t get other work elsewhere or are willing to be sycophants feeding your ego enough to convince you that you’re a good leader while everything around you falls to pieces.

The Republican president is not a good leader, because he thinks he knows more than everyone else, he thinks he can do every job better than every one else. And as this synopsis of a single day of his presidency shows, he is completely and utterly wrong about both of those things. He is also incapable of admitting a mistake, and more importantly incapable of learning from it.

He has already assembled his team of incompetent sycophants, and we’re all watching everything around him fall to pieces. The only one that doesn’t see it — including his supporters — is he, himself. His narcissistic delusions of grandeur shield him from any version of truth and reality.

He Called Society’s Bluff.

This essay has nothing to do with Tim Tebow.   The only reason his image is there is because when he took a knee in celebration after each touchdown football fans everywhere began doing the same in a trend that was even named “Tebowing” after him.

This essay is about one of the recurring questions people seem to bring up to me, which is why do people hate Colin Kaepernick so much?   But I knew if I put his image there, the people that needed to see it the most might avoid it.

They hate Colin because he called society’s bluff.

The Bluff of White Fragility.

You have to protest peacefully, they said. You can’t disrupt business or traffic. No rioting or destruction of property. Stop shouting people down and wait your turn to speak. Be respectful. Don’t be disruptive. And when you can do all that we’ll listen to what you have to say and do our best to help you, they said.

So Colin called them on it.

He peacefully, non-violently, silently took a knee for the duration of one song before the game. He didn’t break anything, didn’t burn anything. He didn’t shout at, or interrupt anyone. He didn’t interfere with their ability to get to the game or watch the game. He didn’t prevent or disrupt anyone that was attempting to sign the song at the time.

 

time-kap23s

 

When asked later why he did it, he calmly and articulately explained his reasoning, at length.

When called out for not putting his money where his mouth was, it was revealed that he had quietly been donating a vast amount of his personal income and time to charities that supported his stances on the issues he was protesting. And he continued to do so knowing he was putting his own future income from his career and endorsements at risk.

But despite doing everything exactly the way White folks have been directing People of Color to protest for years, decades, even centuries, they still lost their God-damned minds over it.

 

 

loungin

 

Proving that it was never about decorum or civility or methods of protest, it was only about getting them to shut up and not bother us with their suffering.

And if they were lucky enough to obtain some privilege of their own, they weren’t supposed to try and help others, they were supposed to go out there and gratefully but quietly destroy their bodies for our entertainment.

“Wag The Dog.”

“Ivanka is a mother of three kids and she has influence,” the President’s son, Eric, told Britain’s Daily Telegraph. “I’m sure she said ‘listen, this is horrible stuff.’ My father will act in times like that.”

 

jl3rdw1ae3xnjxsnsrpk

 

 

But let’s set aside the fact that the Republican President’s own son claims his father can be provoked into committing acts of war without Congressional consent by emotional appeals from Ivanka — that could make a very lengthy essay report of its own — because there is still much to be concerned about.

“Why does a dog wag its tail?

Because a dog is smarter than its tail. If the tail was smarter, the tail would wag the dog.”

Interpretations differ as to the meaning of this metaphor.

Some suggest the dog is public opinion, and the tail represents the media; the dog is the media, and the tail is political campaigns; or the dog is the people, and the tail is the government.

Moreover, the expression “the tail wagging the dog” refers to any case where something of greater significance is driven by something lesser.

This concept was explored in Larry Beinhart‘s novel American Hero, which inspired the 1997 movie “Wag The Dog.”

Wikipedia lists the plot of the movie as:

The President of the United States is caught making advances on an underage “Firefly Girl” less than two weeks before Election Day. Conrad Brean (De Niro), a top-notch spin doctor, is brought in to take the public’s attention away from the scandal. He decides to construct a diversionary war with Albania, hoping the media will concentrate on this instead. Brean contacts Hollywood producer Stanley Motss (Hoffman) to create the war, complete with a theme song and fake film footage of a photogenic orphan (Kirsten Dunst) in Albania.

 

When the CIA learns of the plot, they send Agent Young (Macy) to confront Brean who convinces him that revealing the deception is against his best interests. The CIA announces that the war has ended, but otherwise maintains the deception and the media begins to turn back to the President’s abuse scandal. Motss decides to invent a hero who was left behind enemy lines, and inspired by the idea that he was “discarded like an old shoe” has the Pentagon provide him with a soldier named Schumann (Harrelson) around whom he constructs a further narrative including T-shirts, additional patriotic songs, and faux-grassroots demonstrations of patriotism. At each stage of the plan, Motss continually dismisses setbacks as “nothing” and compares them to past movie-making catastrophes he averted.

 

When the team goes to retrieve Schumann, they discover he is in fact a criminally insane Army prison convict before their plane crashes en route to Andrews Air Force Base. The team survives and is rescued by a farmer, but Schumann attempts to rape the farmer’s daughter and the farmer kills him. Motss then stages an elaborate military funeral, claiming that Schumann died from wounds sustained during his rescue.

 

While watching a political talk show Motss gets frustrated that the media are crediting the president’s win to a tired campaign slogan of “Don’t change horses in mid-stream” rather than Motss’s hard work. Despite previously claiming he was inspired by the challenge, Motss announces that he wants credit and will reveal his involvement, despite Brean’s warning that he is “playing with his life”. Motss refuses to back down, so Brean reluctantly has him killed and makes it look as if he had a heart attack. The president is successfully re-elected and a news report about a violent incident in Albania is shown, but it is ambiguous whether this is a true event or simply a continuation of the fictional war.

According to Eric Trump, this response undermined “ridiculous” allegations of links between the Republican president’s campaign staffers and Russian officials, which the FBI and Congress are investigating.

“If there was anything that Syria did, it was to validate the fact that there is no Russia tie,” he said.

And that is exactly the point.

They did this to divert us all from their collusion.

Putin needs a war to rescue the failing Russian economy and deflect his domestic rivals from his mismanagement.   Trump needs a war to prove to himself that he’s as tough as he says he is, and to distract his domestic rivals from his own treasonous collusion with Russia.

Both achieve their needs by going to war with each other in a “visually important” manner, in a nation that neither cares about any collateral damage at all.

As The Telegraph reports:

Russia knew in advance that Syria was planning a chemical weapons attack on its own people but did nothing to prevent it, the US has concluded.

telemmglpict000125162796-large_trans_nvbqzqnjv4bqs6kvpvmh4ol3hvtifdyowj56yad_sjsvbmelwnwqesu

Not only did Russia do nothing to prevent it; but,

A senior US official told AP that Washington had analysed reports of a drone flying over the site, and determined that the drone was operated by the Russians.

 

The drone went up immediately after the April 4 sarin gas attack, and begun hovering over a local hospital as victims began pouring in.  Five hours after the sarin attack, the camera switched off and a Russian-made aircraft struck the hospital. The two military officials said that it was unclear whether the aircraft were Russian or Syrian as the Syrians buy Russian-made aircraft.

 

US officials believe the jet bombed the hospital in an attempt to cover up the usage of chemical weapons.

With even supposedly liberal and/or progressive newscasters calling the action “presidential,” we easily run the risk of being played into a sense of complacency by Putin and Trump as they escalate a war both want to save their combined political power, throwing away as many lives as necessary in the process.

Not The “Winter White House” Anymore

In mid-February, the Republican President Donald Trump, posted this comment to his official Twitter account.

southern white house

There are two important things to note here.   They should stand out to anyone pretty quickly.

First, by changing the language from the “Winter White House,” he is sending the message that he will be spending far more time there over the next few years than just winter weekends.   And it is going to cost both the local community there and the national tax payers far more than anyone originally predicted.

Second, and far more importantly, this is carefully coded “dog whistle” racist rhetoric designed to invoke the support of all those people flying the Confederate Navy Jack flag  at his rally’s in support of their Neo-Nazi “alt-right” White Nationalism.  It sends the message to all those that have claimed for years “The South Will Rise Again,” that it has now risen.

Both of these messages are clear.  Both are intentional.

Ignore, dismiss, or defend them at your own risk.