I keep hearing the term tax reform being bounced around, by people who have a reputation of applying innocuous names to the most horrid and despicable things. Usually it’s the Republicans that do this, but the top Democrat (cough cough)Obama is also guilty of double speak e.g.
the National Defense authorization act, (NDAA)an act that authorizes indefinite detention for suspected terrorist, or anyone else for that matter. I wonder why a black man would sign such a dangerous bill. Another such horrendous bill is the Patriot Act, that was passed by both parties. Both bills were an assault on democracy, both Republicans and Democrats are responsible. the people are aware of the duplicity and that’s why we have Donald Trump as President. The ground work for a dictatorship has already been laid.
On top of the steady chipping away of our rights, they (meaning the GOP and the DEMs)are figuring out ways to make us a third world country. This so called tax reform bill that Paul Ryan keeps pushing, is nothing more than a redistribution of wealth upward to the one percent. The richest people on the planet, are whining about tax breaks and their Washington lackeys, are more than willing to smile in our faces on television and tell us bald faced lies, about how much good this tax reform bill will do.
Trumps speech on tax reform yesterday, was his usual gibberish with no real details. He’s a smooth operator. Giving tax breaks to corporations and repealing the estate tax, will not help anyone except the super wealthy; while cutting programs like medicaid, medicare, social security and food stamps, will adversely affect the poor, middle income people and the elderly. I’ll let Bernie Sanders explain, he does it a lot better.
Do you see the problem that I have, with calling a junkyard dog, a champion show dog. The budget and the alleged tax reforms go hand in hand, steal from the poor and middle class and give to the rich. We as a nation should be disturbed by this trend forget about wedge issues and ignore the smoke and mirrors and pay attention to the slight of hand going on here. Our tax money supports the government and thats a fact this present republican administration are more or less stealing from all of us to give tax breaks to their class. the wealthy class. vote for your own best interest.
I worked up to three jobs as a student just to feed myself and put a roof over my head, and that was in 70″s when tuition was a lot cheaper. part of the reason for the inflated tuitions is the NCAA a pernicious parasite that sucks the money out of schools and universities and gives little in return. they are listed as a non profit an insult to anyones intelligence.
The student crisis is not like any crisis this country has seen. It’s not a natural disaster like a hurricane, a medical pandemic like MRSA, or even an inability to stay competitive in the global economy. This is, in fact, man-made. To explain, a national innovation system has three parts, basically schools, companies, and customers. In a functioning system, customers tell companies what they want and companies ask schools to educate students to produce what customers demand. The companies are merely a go-between, and when they decide they don’t want to do that anymore, you get what we have today in the United States.
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If you want to know how we got to this point in history, this era of perpetual war, this is a must read book. I had my own views on this subject, but I had no idea that my instincts were right on the money. This book is an absolute mind blower for anyone who is war weary and fed up with U.S. involvement, in the quagmire of middle eastern politics and war. These aren’t the ravings of some conspiracy nut; this is a thoughtful and insightful tome, which pinpoints all of the key moments and key players involved in our present day predicament. Many of the names in the book are familiar to anyone over thirty, especially Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney. There are also names that are still in recent memory, like Generals Mike Flynn, Stanley McChrystal and David Petraeus.
Scahill weaves a tale of sketchy and illegal tactics, duplicity and evading congressional oversight. We learn a new vocabulary, the vocabulary of Orwellian double speak, softening the harshness of torture, assassination and assorted war crimes. now we have high value targets, extraordinary renditions and that old standby collateral damage, which translates to, kill, torture and oops we got some civilians.
The rise of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC.) as Rumsfeld’s private army; and it’s incursion into what was once the private domain of the CIA, is quite chilling. Hiding behind the mantra of National security Rumsfeld has perpetrated some of the most deplorable abuses ever committed by a so called civilized nation. We have all heard the stories and seen the photos from Abu Ghraib,Bagram and Guantanamo and of course the higher ups never had anything to do with any wrong doing. Even though all of the evidence points to the leadership for initiating the horrendous methods used against prisoners; national security was used as a reason for hiding evidence from any congressional oversight and answerable only to Rumsfeld and the white house. In this way Rumsfeld was able to not only ignore international law but to misuse executive privilege. These policies were not restricted to the bush administration, but continued through eight years of the Obama administration. Dirty Wars, is a policy primer, instrumental in bringing about an understanding of our present day situation.
Recently the Northrop Grumman corporation has aired several commercials, that start off innocently enough with children playing games. In one commercial a boy playing hide and go seek imagines having X-ray vision, to find his chums; fast forward thirty or so years, a man overlooks a tactical map to find enemies of the United States and smiles. The obvious conclusion reached, is that the mans vivid imagination as a child has prompted him to become involved in the business of war.
A second commercial also portrays a group of children, this time, they are peering over a fence into a neighbors yard, watching as mysterious foot prints appear in the muddy soil. A football magically floats and then flies through the air to be caught by a waiting boy. Next we see a girl materialize with a smile of satisfaction for a job well done. Again fast forward into adulthood and we see a young woman developing stealth bombers for Northrop Grumman.
I get it, I know that Northrop Grumman needs bright young people, to infuse new ideas and new blood into their organization; but these commercials seem to be targeting children, kind of like Joe Camel did in the 199os’. Lets face it, the leather jacketed smoking camel, didn’t amuse many adult smokers; and I don’t believe that college aged men and women, or recent graduates, really fell for this crass exploitation of children to advance their agenda. I personally find these commercials offensive, because there are better ways to recruit young people. The military industrial complex Which fuels the war machine is not healthy for Children or any one else.
Children who were not raised in a war zone, don’t understand the horror and the gravity of war. They think of it as a game, where no one gets maimed or killed and at the end of the day every goes home, just like that game of hide and go seek. Commercials, such as the ones mentioned above, have a desensitizing affect on naive American children. War becomes just another game, a continuation of hide and go seek, except the end goal is to capture or kill the enemies of America.
These Northrop Grumman commercials air all day long, easily viewable to millions of children, every day of the week. You can’t tell me that this saturation of the airways does not have an effect on impressionable young people. Growing up in the 1950s and 60s the vestiges of world war two and the Korean war were all around, I attribute my own eagerness, to join the Marine corps and go to Viet Nam and fight for Democracy, as the result of a not so subtle type of brain washing, starting as early as seven years old. I collected army divisional patches and chevrons, my favorite toys were a plastic BAR and a german Luger squirt gun and my collection of plastic molded soldiers representing the axis and allied troops of WW II. The airways back then saturated us with patriotic tales from West point,Men of Annapolis,The Big picture, which aired on Saturday morning kid vid. There were uniforms and guns galore on television in those days I remember with fondness, Captain Gallant of the foreign legion, Tales of the 77th Bengal lancer, sergeant Bilco, Rin tin tin and many more.
This is what happens when society is in a constant state of war. Everything is affected our media our reasoning and our children. We are in the 16th year of an ever expanding war in the middle east, and the holdouts from a bygone era want to re-ignite the cold war, they are grooming another generation of cannon fodder, keeping us forever off balance and in a permanent state of conflict.
Today is mothers day a well deserved day celebrating all moms everywhere.
Okay! I have been neglecting this blog because things in this country have been getting more and more bizarre and disturbing than usual. We have had police men acting like self appointed executioners in just about every state, on an almost weekly basis without any repercussions; no punishment not even firings just dismissive attitudes, claiming that the person who was killed was an alleged threat to them. I’m sure that 12 year old Tamir Rice was a threat to the clown who exited his police cruiser firing his weapon with fatal results.Closer to home Philando Castill a minnesotan from my old neighbor hood of Falcon heights was wantonly killed by a trigger happy fool who had no business wearing a badge or carrying a gun shot him in his car while he was explaining that he had a permit to carry. I guess permits are only for white men not people of color. If a black man can be callously be gunned down in a neighborhood like Falcon Heights then we are not safe any where in this country.
I started writing this article one day after Philando was killed and I am only finishing it today April 30th 2017. This past few years have been traumatic for every person of color in this country. Now with the Election of Donald Trump Things can only get worse, especially with Jefferson Beauregard Sessions as the Attorney General. Way to go Donald just give the country over to the clan and the Neo-Nazis and stop pretending that you represent all of the people; Every right thinking person in America has been violated by Republican party. Voter cross check voter ID’s Gerrymandered districts closing of polls and DMV’s where among the repertoire of dirty tricks played on the public by the republicans. They are no longer the party of Lincoln bur the party of corporate fascism and the enemies of democracy. Still the ask for our cooperation across party lines and claim that the Democrats and progressives are obstructionist.
We are in a fight for our live and the lives of our children and grand children as well as a fight for the survival of mankind itself. The time for compromise is over and done with now is the time for unwavering resistance to Corporate tyranny brought on by right wing judges and congressional lackeys. The republicans and Libertarians are destroying America and it is time to vote these betrayers humanity and of democracy out of office forever.
Today at 3:23 pm ET. in the second round of voting, Tom Perez won the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. I called it at 10:30 am Minnesota time, when I heard that Boynton, Buttigeig and Greene had dropped out. It is apparent that the party did not get the message, that the progressives within the Democratic party,emphatically do not want the old status quo wall street neo-liberals running things. I feel that with Tom Perez at the helm people who do not know about him, will think that holdouts from Debbie Wassermann Schultz may still be running things. We don’t need no stinking moderates to reach across the Isle, and we don’t want the dismissive, east coast wall street Democrats, that refer to us as fly over country.
My fear is, that they have effectively thrown away any chance of a 2018 win or a 2020 win and that our country is lost forever. Unless the Democratic party can show that they are sincere about moving toward a progressive populist agenda; which means, protecting the middle class, maintaining the social safety net and protecting the environment, they will not get the support that they need to take back America.
The time for compromise is over, the time for kowtowing to republicans is over, it is time to get rid of the Phonies who jokingly call themselves public servants, who only serve themselves and their corporate masters. This can not be achieved without the full support of Progressives and old school liberals not neo-liberals, who think more like conservatives.
Remember the Ideas that brought us to this sorry state of affairs were all neo-liberal and neo-conservative ideas. NAFTA CAFTA and the TPP were all supported by that wing of the Democratic party, by collaborating with their colleagues across the aisle. To get a view of what these horrible and misguided beliefs about free trade, which is closer to full blown market monopolies, all you need to do is look up pictures of the closed manufacturing plants in Cleveland, in Detroit, in Pittsburg, or any other once productive industrial city, you will see the complete devastation that Neo-conservativism and Neo-liberalism has wrought throughout our country since the Reagan era deregulation.
If they were smart the Democrats would have all thrown their support behind Keith Ellison, Who was supported by favorites Howard Dean and Bernie Sanders. It would have been much easier to unite the moderates with Ellison, than it will be to unite the various progressive factions, to the party of compromise and surrender. Throwing a biscuit to Kieth Ellison supporters by making him the deputy chairman may or may not work my gut feeling is that too much trust has been lost with long term Democrats and progressives to heal the rift in time for the 2018 elections. We just might see a lot of independents or third party candidates muddying up the waters in the all important upcoming election. All I can say is good luck Democrats we will all be watching you I can only hope that you do the right thing and make that left turn.
2016 has been a tragic and mind blowing year. We have lost some beloved celebrities in the entertainment industries, including Minnesota’s most Iconic rock star Prince. Around Christmas time we got a triple wammy with the death of George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. I have also suffered losses closer and more personal to me, with the loss of two family members, my cousin Gladys Reese Foree and my sister in law Joetta Kemp McAdams.
On top of all of the grief, the biggest blow to myself and millions of other minorities was the election of Donald Trump as the new President of the United States of America; who’d a thunk it! The mainstream media gave (the Donald) one of the most unfair advantages that I have ever seen in my life time, by covering him almost constantly, while they barely gave Bernie Sanders a mention. Hillary and the very disappointing Democratic party leadership were hoisted by their own petard in the guise of Debbie Wasserman Schultz. I understand loyalty to Hillary, but I don’t understand nor do I condone the sabotage of a candidate that consistently bested Hillary in the polls and who was running as a Democrat.
Maybe if the DNC leadership had paid more attention to demanding equal coverage time for Hillary and Bernie Rallies and holding the media to task, the outcome would have been different. There is a reason why the press is mentioned in the constitution, but we can’t have a free press that is not beholden to the people. The media failed as the watchdogs of democracy in every way conceivable. They failed to cover the widespread voter nullification of more than an million mostly minority voters. According to an article in the Nation there are 868 fewer voting places in 2016 because of the Supreme court’s moronic if not racist decision to gut the voting rights act in 2013.
predictably those counties that had always had a history of denying the vote to minorities went to work and closed polling places in heavily minority neighborhoods. States with histories of discrimination and malicious voter nullification were given free rein to defeat true democracy.
The justice Department under Eric Holder should have done more to investigate such blatant and obviously racist attempts to take the vote away from, not only minorities, but from students, the elderly and any one else likely to vote Democrat. Gerrymandering, voter ID. laws, closing DMV offices and voter purge list, like voter crosscheck, started by Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach spread over half the country, heavily targeting People with ethnic sounding names in key battleground swing states. Seven million voters were tagged as suspected of voting more than once and therefor guilty of voter fraud, invalidating their votes. We don’t know how much damage that these tactics caused because the department of justice has not bothered to compile statistics on the real fraud, the GOP’S all out assault on voting rights and Democracy.
With the Appointment of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions as the new attorney General, my guess is that the South and the nation as a whole will return to
the days of white supremacist terror organizations like KKK and the Nazis. Hate crimes have already escalated under Obama I can only imagine how bad its going to be under the trump administration. No one is safe women will end up in prison for getting abortions or even having a miscarriage, which is a tragedy and not a crime; people will continue to be executed by police without any justification both white and black, and the poor and middleclass will continue to funnel their meager earnings to the false gods of Wall street. I Once heard a televangelist say that, “You may not always get what you want but you will always get what you deserve.” HAPPY NEW YEAR AMERICA!
I have just seen something on the morning news that is not only deeply disturbing, but something that should be sending shock throughout the African American community as a collective whole. Kanye West a man that I USED TO RESPECT has been seen kowtowing to the new God of white supremacist Donald Trump. I am aware of the fact that not all of my soul brothers and soul sisters hold the same political views, I am also aware that everyone is entitled to have dissenting opinions, but you would expect and should expect something more from a man who considers himself a genius.
In spite of all the evidence to the contrary Mr. West has chosen the side of a man who will become the oppressor of people of color and completely dismantle the middle class, white people included, to pay for tax breaks for his wealthy cronies. Recently I have been hearing a new word Kakistocracy (kækɪsˈtɑkɹəsi) is a term meaning a state or country run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens. The word was first coined by English author Thomas Love Peacock in 1829, but was rarely used until the 21st century. This is a word that is new to me, but it has been around for a long time. What Donald Trump’s transition team has done is a text book example of this definition. Let’s face it Rick Perry is not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, and he is being considered as the energy secretary; head of an agency that he wanted to dismantle.
Donald trump has no time for national security briefings, but he does have time to meet with the Uncle Ruckus of the hip hop world, aka. Kanye west. If you don’ know who Uncle Ruckus is, he has his own wiki page. In short Uncle Ruckus is the modern version of Uncle Tom, who was an institutionalized non threatening slave. Kanye has proven his unworthiness; as a supporter of the white supremacist status quo, he has put himself in the same category as Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and the rest of the crazies on Fox, not good and not cool. If any one out there is actually reading this, spread the word to boycott any product that has the Kanye West name attached to it. He is no better than Ted Nugent as far as I am concerned and in some ways worse, because he is a person of color and should know better. The fact that he does not disassociate himself from Trump, demonstrates that he is shallow and uninformed and living in the celebrity bubble. This man does not deserve our support, or our dollars.