American Exceptionalism indeed: “Not who we are,” No this is UNEQUIVOCALLY the USA

Charlottesville 2017

 
Observing Van Jones cry on CNN, twitter posts of #thisisnotus and other well -meaning folks cry and wring their hands, because the president has exposed the real US, is an indication of self- deception.
 
Jones and folks who share his affinities had convinced themselves that this is not a racist nation. Yet the evidence, recent and not so recent, along with the country’s past indicate the opposite.
 
The US has been organized around White Supremacy since the first settlers set foot on the land. Yet folks are surprised that a rich White guy, Donald Trump has ascended to the presidency who is sympathetic to White Supremacy.
 
Those in doubt should have had it removed by his recent actions and remarks. Trump not only doubled down on the idea that those standing against racism and intolerance in Charlottesville were equally as bad as the racist mob, but he identified himself as one of the racist mob. “What about the alt left that came charging at US,” he asked during his latest press conference on the issue. Freudian slip indeed!
 
Trump received the best Eurocentric education in multi-cultural, multi ethnic North America that money could buy. The entire education system is based on the glories and wonders of Western European history and culture. Yes subtle White Supremacy begins in the schools.
 
The current president joins a long and distinguished list of White Supremacists to occupy the highest office in the land, including Andrew Johnson, Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson with the most notable being Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.
 
Known as the Great Emancipator, Lincoln was an ardent emigrationist because he didn’t think Blacks had the capacity of Whites and would probably be better off in their own country.
 
In one of his famous debates with Sen. Stephen Douglas, Lincoln explained to the crowd: “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 … 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 from living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be a position of superior and inferior and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”
 
Enough said.
 
Oh yeah, White Supremacy is U.S.
 
If it appears an exaggeration, folks should remind themselves that the Settlers spent the first 300 years of the republic pillaging and pilfering Native American and Mexican land in the name of Manifest Destiny. Enslavement of Africans to benefit the rich White population was the order of the day and even after its end it was replaced by a racial caste system, Jim Crow segregation. The young country also limited immigration by Asians, Africans, Jews and even some European immigrants who weren’t considered “white enough.”
 
Even its early foreign policy had a White Supremacist tinge as US aggression led to interference in Cuba, the Philippines and Haiti and other Third World countries inhabited by People of Color.
 
Moreover US interventions overseas have occurred primarily in countries populated by People of Color.
 
Even US sports is not immune. NFL owners are clearly working to keep Colin Kaepernick out of their league, not because he has broken any laws but because he wants an end to racism and police brutality. Imagine that blackballed for standing up for what’s right in the good old USA.
 
Ironically, fellow citizens continue to acknowledge his right to protest without acknowledging the legitimacy of his protest. And since he too is supposedly a citizen, he doesn’t need their affirmation because as they admit, it is his damned right.
 
Ironically, these folks go on and on complaining about his sitting, while preaching about the virtues the flag and national anthem supposedly represent, like freedom, justice for all, equality under the law and due process of law, but yet are unwilling stand up for them in real life.
 
If Black citizens aren’t allowed to enjoy the same freedoms as other citizens including freedom from police violence and racism, then that flag is just a rag!
 
And consider the fact that the mainstream media presents people bent on hatred, intolerance and the destruction of an entire race with the benign moniker, the “alt- right.” If “alt” is slang for “alternative,” and option is a synonym of alternative, then is the MSM implying that far right racists and neo-Nazi’s are an option? Imagine that!
 
If there was any doubt about who is considered priority and who is not, we need look no further than recent Lansing water crisis. No one doubts that it would have occurred in a middle class White community.
 
Better yet next week marks the 12th anniversary Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of New Orleans in particular its 9th Ward, which has still not fully recovered, nor has the federal government sought to help rebuild it. The disaster remains one of the most shameful chapters in more recent US history. Folks should recall that during that disaster US citizens; homeless and starving, fleeing the disaster were called looters, refugees and sometimes ” N–rs”.
 
And people seem to forget that when organized White Supremacy was overt and in full swing the country wasn’t divided about it. Only a miniscule section of the country’s White citizens actively opposed the lynching and racial terror visited upon their Black sisters and brothers both North and South.
 
In fact the system of de facto and de jure segregation (which incidentally fit neatly into US capitalism), was brought down primarily with the initiative of the victims of the system.
 
No one should lose sight of the fact that Donald Trump didn’t elect himself, large numbers of people voted for him despite his racist and jackass behavior.
 
And this is the same country in which David Duke received 58,000 votes in his run for Louisiana run for the US Senate.
 
Make no mistake this is the US.
 
I suspect that much of the weeping and wailing is a result of the fact that people can no longer hide behind the fairy tale. The whole damned system is not only guilty as hell, but rotten to its core. Folks are crying because if this is indeed who “we” are then they will either have to ACTIVELY work to change this system which offers some of them privileges, good benefits and a large measure of creature comforts; or make peace with it. What I suspect Jones and others like him are bemoaning, is that Trump is making it more difficult to sit on the fence.
 
Folks are going to eventually have to face the ugly truth and take sides, one way or another.
 
Malcolm X predicted this when he said “I believe that there will be ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those who do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the system of exploitation. I believe that there will be that kind of clash, but I don’t think it will be based on the color of the skin…”
 
justice then peace

Charlotteville racists: amateurs compared to the US government

racists push police in Charlottesville

Despite all the noise coming from the Charlottesville assortment of racist lunatics, it is important to recognize that they don’t have “real” power. We should pay even more attention to the folks with REAL power, the power structure that was able to force President Donald Trump to do something he didn’t want to do, and that is condemn racism. WE should really fear those with the power to legislate, implement and institutionalize racism.

No matter how important the avowed racists think they are, in a racist/classist society they too are suckers. Because this society at bottom is organized around class,with white Supremacy tossed in to make sure the rich and powerful remain rich and powerful, while the rest of us fight among ourselves for the crumbs. White Supremacy was employed to “divide and rule” us. And it works.

As White as the Charlotteville racist mob was, they weren’t able to get in Rockefellers, or the Vanderbilt’s, or the DuPont’s party last weekend. Those who tried getting in on the basis of skin privilege, pointing to their White skin as their pass for entry, were politely turned away while being told; ‘We are sorry you are our color but not our kind (class).

The greatest threat to Civil Rights, human rights and racial justice has always been the US government doing the bidding of the ruling class.

Consider its history. It was the government that passed laws, including the Fugitive Slave Act, making allowances for slavery. It wasn’t some stick wielding thug who wrote, when Dred Scott sought freedom from slavery after having resided in free states that Black people,” have no rights that the White man was bound to respect.”

Rather it was a member of the executive branch of the US government, Chief Justice Roger Taney of the US Supreme Court, who wrote those words in the famous 1857 case that declared that Blacks, free and un-free were not citizens of the country.

It was the federal government that allowed the Southern part of the United States to legally codify racial segregation for the purpose of discriminating, disenfranchising and dehumanizing Black people. The executive branch in 1896 in Plessy v Ferguson codified Jim Crow segregation, making it the law of the land, disingenuously declaring that separate was equal.

Even the Depression Era, New Deal which introduced Social Security, knowingly excluded menial laborers, maids, house servants, gardeners, and landscapers, jobs in which because of societal discrimination Blacks were primarily mired in.

It was the US government that sanctioned the thieving of Indian land. It was the US government, not a bunch of Wild West thugs that forced the Indians off their land with its military. It wasn’t loud mouthed racists, but government policy to rip Indian children from their parents and place them in re-education centers like the Carlisle School, which made news recently cause it just returned the bodies of children who died or was murdered at the racist institution.

It was the US government, not a group of Nazis that passed legislation limiting Chinese immigration. It was the US government not a group of racists that interned Japanese during the 1940’s.

While the racists scream anti-Islamic epithets and insults it is the US government that has invaded and bombed Islamic nations. The neo-nazis make xenophobic and anti immigrant insults, but it is the US government that has separated children from their parents under the guise of border security. The last administration set records for deportation, while its drones delivered cruise missiles that killed thousands of innocent Middle Easterners.

It was the federal government that segregated its troops and while giving out the GI Bill refused to insist that segregated institutions and neighborhoods allow Black access. They chose not to intervene, effectively sanctioning the racism and discrimination of the day.

It was the federal government that opened the door to and made segregated housing policy. The US government’s, Federal Housing Commission in 1934 gave bonuses to contractors who agreed to disallow Blacks in their new suburbs. The government had a hand in redlining as well. Look it up!

Even when the Supreme Court granted a little relief from oppressive segregation in Brown v Board of Education, the government lacked the will to enforce it with the exception of token shows like the one put on in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957.
.
Indeed, the federal government’s legislative branch passed Civil Rights and Voting Rights laws in the 1960’s but they didn’t provide the ability to enforce the law, thus Black folks still experience discrimination to this day.

When the Black and Brown communities of the US were hard hit by the cocaine and crack epidemic (which incidentally evidence has turned up revealing that the US government played a role in delivering crack to the doorsteps of inner city USA) the response by the government was draconian. The US Congress passed laws and declared a so-called War on Drugs that turned out to be nothing more than a war on Black and Brown people.

The results of that war are still being felt as a staggering number of Black men and women are locked down as a result of the criminalization of drug addiction. Notice the more humane approach to the opioid and heroin epidemic, which has primarily impacted the White community.

And Black and Brown society has been terrorized and traumatized by “legal” police violence, harassment and humiliation carried out primarily by deputized racists throughout their existence in the US. That too has been codified in US law. It has come to the fore lately because modern communications technology and social media has made it difficult to ignore.

In 1968 in Terry vs Ohio the US Supreme Court ruled that it is legal for police to “stop and frisk” Black and Brown folks, thus violating their constitutionally guaranteed Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Paul Butler author of “Chokehold: Policing Black Men” got it right when he said, “Stop-and-frisks are brutal assertions of police dominance of the streets, communicating to African American men through– sexual harassment, torture and even terrorism – that they are objects of disdain by the state.”

Furthermore the Supreme Court in 1985 in Tennessee v Garner, ruled that it was ok to shoot citizens in the back if a cop thought it was reasonable.

Strangely these same agents of the State stood by on Friday night in Charlottesville as torch wielding thugs surrounded a brave group of predominantly White young people shouting “Black Lives Matter.” The same agents of the State, the Virginia State Police dressed in riot gear during the disturbances on Saturday actually allowed a group of the thugs to rush their lines pushing and cussing them.

Yet the armed agents of the State showed tremendous restraint, refusing to mace or hit anyone with their sticks while claiming to defend themselves, as they would surely have claimed if the folks doing the pushing and cussing had been Black.

Racists in the US are cause for alarm no doubt, but if we are going to eliminate racism once and for all (like it or not) we are going to have to start with the top, the system of Capitalism buttressed by White Supremacy and maintained by the US government.

justice then peace

Katherine Bigelow’s “DETROIT” is terror porn; devoid of resistance and hope

Detroit

As one fellow movie goer said I feel violated, and that about sums it up. If you relish seeing Black people getting their behinds kicked and terrorized and murdered, if Black pain, Black helplessness and Black victimization (minus resistance)  turns you on, then this is the film for you.

On the other hand, the film shows that police violence  and oppression has been with us for quite some time and it brings to the fore one of the more beastly chapters in that history.

However, the film’s interpretation of the events at the Algiers Hotel during the 1967 Detroit riot undercuts why the rebellion occurred.  It wasn’t because of a few bad cops but because of an entirely oppressive police force and oppressive and racist and discriminatory power structure that caused Black Detroit to explode.

Black Detroit existed in a kind of caste society.  They faced injustice and discrimination in every aspect of their lives: from limited housing opportunities to inadequate and overpriced housing, underfunded and inadequate schools; the inability to obtain bank  loans; job discrimination; White privilege on the shop floor; two tiered wage structures;  over-inflated prices for goods and services; higher prices for poorer quality and on and on.

Director Katherine Bigelow’s slice of the Detroit riots is nothing more than a horror film, terror porn, posing as thoughtful art. But Bigelow is not known for thoughtful art, she produced the US propaganda film “Zero Dark Thirty” that sought to rationalize and justify US torture while  portraying  Muslims as violent.

We are treated to one horror scene after another, no doubt police violence and this instance was especially horrific. But it was over the top, starting with a little Black girl being machined gun after being mistaken for a sniper.  We witness a cop shooting a Black man  in the back who was running from him. There was one brutal scene after another. The film held us down and rubbed our noses in the carnage.

According to interviews Bigelow made this film to wake up White people? “I always feel that the purpose of art is to agitate for change, but you can’t change anything if you’re not aware of it,” she said in a Variety interview.

Bigelow’s statement is problematic on a few levels.  First she fails to show folks advocating for themselves and she doesn’t understand her fellow White folks they are more than aware of police violence against their fellow citizens, but they have been programmed to not put themselves in the shoes of their fellow citizens which at bottom is what empathy requires .Unfortunately some  White people have made it clear by their inaction and apathy that they are quite comfortable with and un-empathetic to  Black people’s pain.

“My hope is that a dialogue comes out of this film that can begin to humanize a situation that often feels very abstract.”

Bigelow reveals her class setting and her proximity to the oppressors, because oppressed folks don’t want to talk about oppression, they want it ended. But the comfortable can afford to dialogue and experiment .

The most dignified moment of the movie occurred when Anthony Mackie’s character take a beating with guts.” I see what you are doing but I am not going to go along with it,” he told his tormentors.

Some reviewers noted that they witnessed redemption in the film, but there is little redeeming or liberating about this film. It portrays Black folks as victims throughout having little to no ability to do anything about the situation in which they find themselves. The White people are doing most of the acting and Blacks are reacting.

White folks are multi –dimensional in the film. There are the bad racist White cops, the Michigan State Police who recognize a wrong is being done and leaves, the National Guardsman who helps one of the Black teens and the White girls involved escape. There are sympathetic cops like the Internal Affairs folks. There is a nice White male cop who wonders aloud who could do this to someone.

Some reviewers reveal just how far they have not advanced when it comes to understanding Black folks one noted  that Motown’s giving the Dramatics a record contract after all the carnage was a form of redemption. Really allowing a few musicians to prosper, atoned and covers  for all the brutalization and oppression  Black Detroiters faced?

Worse yet the film ends with one of the survivors and original members of the Dramatics who drops out of the group because he is traumatized by his experience, singing James Cleveland’s version of “Peace Be Still.” Is the screenwriter Mark Boal, implying that Jesus is sleep as well?  “Carest thou not that we perish” the song asks.

And Micheal Eric Dyson consulted on this film which he is on record praising which raises questions. Was he paid off; has he sold out;  or is he not as “Woke” as he would have folks to believe?

Despite the good intentions of the White liberal screenwriter and director, the likely unintentional psychological message is, this is the way it is and nothing can be done about police violence or the system that requires it. In other words resistance is futile, abandon all hope. White folks have power (the White Power Structure even more powerful) they have will, and  they have agency. Black people while proving that they can  take a beating  well they got music and Jesus…..

justice then peace

Refusal to call Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center bombing a terrorist attack exposes the US government’s double mindedness

mosque bombing
 
The bombing of Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center,in Bloomington MN was without question a terrorist act. The attack was frightening and disturbing,but what should equally concern Muslims, especially Somali Muslims is the US government’s reticence to name the attack an act of terror, or even a hate crime. Labeling it terror flies in the face of US propaganda, which has painted Muslims as terrorists, so conversely they can’t be victims of terrorism. This conscious double standard doesn’t bode well for the future of Muslims in the US.
 
Terrorism is, “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives,” according to the Code of Federal Regulations, which the FBI relies on for its working definition.
 
So according to the FBI’s own measuring stick this was an act of terrorism. This was an attack on a property, with no doubt the intent to kill. The bomber apparently knew that worshipers would be arriving not long after he placed the bomb.
 
The FBI has taken a wait and see approach, but they weren’t as hesitant when a young Somali Muslim man who was suffering a psychotic break stabbed several people in a St Cloud mall last year. FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Thornton immediately said the crime was being investigated as a “potential act of terror.”
 
Thornton and the FBI have said it was too early to say much at all “without a suspect or a motive firmed up.” What motive could someone possibly have for tossing a bomb into a religious institution, or anywhere else for that matter? The FBI won’t even call it a hate crime at this point.
 
Why is the FBI is holding back speculation? It’s likely that the FBI and US president Donald Trump are silent because this does not fit their agenda. It doesn’t accommodate the propaganda that says Muslims practice a violent religion and are inherently terrorists.
 
The governments half- heartedness harks back to the days of the Civil Rights struggle against Jim Crow segregation in which the same organization which were charged with keeping White Supremacy in place the FBI the police and other national security and law enforcement agencies were also called on to investigate crimes including bombings aimed at Civil Rights fighters. At the time the FBI spied upon, harassed and monitored the freedom fighters and not the devils who were trying to keep segregation in place by any means necessary, including through terror bombing, lynching and plain old harassment.
 
Who can forget that while Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) was signing Civil Rights legislation and making speeches declaring, “we shall overcome” his FBI was monitoring Civil Rights leader and icon Martin Luther King Jr.
 
Muslims in the US find themselves in a similar situation. The same local FBI director who helped lock up a group of (no doubt misguided Somali young men but not criminal) for long stretches of imprisonment last summer, for simply talking about and then changing their minds about joining ISIS, is now tasked with investigating a crime against the very same community, which his organization and the US government views as suspect.
 
Muslims, especially Muslims of Color should see this for what it is. The FBI is a “FRIEND-EMY”, simultaneously hater and helper!
Meanwhile, the crazy like a fox White House, has implied that maybe Muslims tried to blow up their own mosque.
 
How else can President Trump’s National Security Advisor, Sabastian Gorka’s remarks about the attack be interpreted? He actually said without offering proof that, “alleged hate crimes by right wing individuals in the last six months turned out to be actually propagated by the left.”
 
Say what?
 
MN Governor Mark Dayton was the only official with the courage to call the bombing what it was, “an act of terrorism, a criminal act of terrorism.” He along with US Congressman Keith Ellison got it right.
 
In 2015 the Minneapolis Star Tribune in an article titled “Minneapolis FBI refused to use Somali Outreach for Spying,” revealed that according to a government memo released in 2009, “The FBI directed its agents in Minneapolis and five other U.S. cities in 2009 to use community outreach with Somali groups as cover to gather intelligence on terrorist recruiting efforts and on individuals who would likely be vulnerable to being radicalized, according to a newly released memo that outlines the secretive operation.”
 
The 2009 memo also revealed that the spy effort targeted the Minneapolis Somali community as its highest priority.The other cities targeted for spying on Somalis were Cincinnati; Seattle; San Diego; Washington, D.C., and Denver.
 
The memo outlines “how agents across the country were to work in concert with FBI community outreach programs and the bureau’s Behavioral Analysis Unit “to develop a baseline profile of Somali individuals who are vulnerable to being radicalized or participating in extremist activities.”
 
The Muslim community and the Somali Muslim community in particular which is Black, immigrant and Muslim should not pretend they are safe in a country that seeks their elimination internationally. They should see this for what it is and organize themselves and work with others to bring about a society that refuses to discriminate because of color, religion or anything else.
 
Burying one’s head and pretending to be FULLY American has historically not yielded the desired result. Tyranny only goes away through resistance nothing else!
 
justice then peace

The Colin Kaepernick dilemna: the NFL really is a plantation

kaepernick quote

 
The Colin Kaepernick situation reveals all you need to know about US Big Business and its most popular non-profit the National Football League. Kaepernick remains unsigned because he stood up against racism and police violence, both of which are important to the rich and powerful in maintaining their hold on US society.
 
The NFL owners are hypocrites. What does the flag and the national anthem have to do with professional football? Not a thing the pageantry is about getting fans to tie country and sports together in a way that guarantees people will be interested in making it the American past time. When owners introduced the flag and the national anthem they introduced politics into the game.
 
But who can fault the owners for protecting their interests? The police serve and protect them as members of the privileged class; not White folks in general but specifically, The White Power Structure. The police don’t protect ordinary White folks no matter how much some folks want to believe that lie. The statistics reveal police kill White people as well even unarmed minding their own business working class White folks. But they don’t kill and or brutalize RICH White folks, the one percenters and those in range of it.
 
Anti racist activists could take a page from the NFL. Instead of taking to social media and incessantly talking about how much they don’t want to deal with Kaepernick, rather they took action. They have “apparently” banned Kap while sending a clear message to the other well-paid serfs in their employ.
 
Incidentally, Baltimore Ravens owner took a page out of the old plantation owners playbook when he used his BOY former Ravens linebacking great Ray Lewis to pass along the message that if Kaepernick doesn’t behave and become more docile like the other serfs there will be dire consequences. The buck- dancing know nothing Lewis, immediately took to social media and encouraged Kaperneck (who he calls his friend) to dance to massa’s tune so he can play. Lewis was on camera telling the quarterback to stop doing what he is doing while all the while saying he has his back. Lewis says, “he has learned from his mistakes” and hasn’t repeated them twice, as if to say Kaepernick’s protest was a mistake.
 
Imagine that standing up for the rights of Black people in a very public forum is now categorized as a mistake. Lawd look how far Black people have come.
 
Incredibly former Black NFLers who should remain quiet are volunteering their two cents, more like half cents. The man who would-be quarterback, former Pittsburgh Steeler Kordell Stewart is telling the quarterback to be quiet. Somebody should tell him that he doesn’t have to shuffle his feet anymore, he isn’t in the league anymore. I wonder if he wanted folks to be quiet when it was clear the Steelers didn’t trust his Black self to run its offense?
 
And poor Mike Vick suggested that Kap should cut his hair. Vick doesn’t realize that the White folks who love their animals more than even people, (well at least Black people) are never going to forgive him no matter who he tries to throw under the bus.
 
Jerry Rice chimed in chastising Kap for supposedly disrespecting the flag. Rice likely had problems with the fact that Kap unlike him cares about things other than himself unlike JERRY.
 
It’s likely Lewis, Vick and the others have no idea that historically Black people used sports as a platform to advance racial justice in this country. They likely don’t know that athletes like Jim Brown never hesitated to tell the truth about US society. They probably aren’t aware that Muhammad Ali sacrificed his boxing prime to protest the illegal US war against Vietnam.
 
Kareem Abdul Jabbar observed that Kapernick’s stand was not un-American, but what was un-American is the failure of the country to address the reason for his stand. Jabbar has it wrong, White dupes, as well as the power structure, have no intention on bringing about an end to racism or police violence, to do that would be un-American. It would cut into the profits of the ruling rich by making it much more difficult to divide and rule, which is what racism effectively does. And it would end the reason for living for those who relish and cherish White Supremacy.
 
NFL president Roger Goodell unintentionally revealed the truth when he said “teams make decisions [based] on what’s in the best interests of their team.”
 
Those complaining that the league shuns Kap while turning somewhat of a blind eye to the league’s criminal element don’t understand that what is considered criminal to the money grubbers is anything that might interfere with making money. The theme of Big Business, to paraphrase former owner Al Davis is, just make money baby.
 
Kapernick threatens their bottom line, unlike the wife beaters and the occasional stick-up man in its employ. The fans are likely to forgive someone who has been arrested 10 times if he is a good player. But the thoroughly indoctrinated folks who make up the USA are quickly offended by a seemingly ungrateful Negro who is not appreciative of all the bountiful goodness the White settlers have afforded him here in this Shagri-la. After all he could be toiling away in some drought forsaken part of his home continent.
 
Justice then peace

Got 99 problems and Russia ain’t one

forget-russia-wall-street-owns-the-trump-administration

 

Russia is merely a distraction, the least of our problems as working class people in the US. Our REAl problems are: how to make a living without working themselves to death, health insurance that is affordable, the high costs of living including rent / mortgage, food, education and just living. Some more than others have to be concerned about being killed or brutalized by law enforcement.

Add to that: a real lack of representation by our so-called representatives in Washington DC; failure to take global warming serious, expansion of the US nuclear capability making first strike an option by nations feeling seriously threatened by the US; failure to take seriously the heroin and opiod scourge,(which incidentally affects primarily the White middle class); and the lack of real wages and real wage increases that keep up with inflation.

Unfortunately too many workers have adopted their bosses perspective on unions, accusing them of stealing wages. But even with its shortcomings unions provides real protection for workers and better working conditions while almost always increasing the workers share of the companies’ profits.

Since Donald Trump has taken office there has been constant focus on him and his foolish behavior along with the court jesters we pretend are professionals that he brought with him. And the liberal wing of the power structure has created its own diversion in their fixation on Russia and its supposed interference in the last US election. But they are merely a ruse to keep our eyes off what’s really going on.

The elected representatives of the people of the United States could not decide on a health care bill that would provide health care for all Americans. Not only could they not come up with a fair proposal, they were actually trying to find ways to make our health care system less affordable ( as if premiums weren’t high enough) while attempting to put even more money in rich folks pocket. The conservative proposal was so preposterous that the right wing leadership couldn’t even go along with it.

Truth is the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a conservative idea that was adopted by the liberals to put off the push for what every nation in the developed world has and that is single payer Universal health care. But the rulers in the US have convinced the majority in the US that what’s good for Big Business is good for them. In this case over-sized profits by the pharmaceutical and medical insurance industries.

So while the ACA did get more people who needed it on Medicare and helped young people just graduating from college to access health care through their parents plans, the liberals placed us at the mercy of greedy insurance companies by mandating everyone carry already overpriced insurance with overblown deductibles.

Health care isn’t complicated, the problem has been solved by all of the other developed nations in the world. Ironically our so-called representatives in Washington DC have the best healthcare the State can provide, while trying to undermine that of those they supposedly represent.

On the day after the US decided to enforce sanctions against Russia, the New York Times ran two stories reinforcing the fact that the Russian hysteria is merely a distraction. The newspaper of record, reported that the CIA had spent a billion dollars arming Syrian rebels. In other words, the US government openly admits to attempting to undermine a sovereign nation, Syria, which is a clear violation of international law. The hypocrisy is stunning. This government acts as if its actions in the world are invisible as if no one can see their blatant double standards and disregard for the rules.

The other story, “Wall Street Climbing Sharply Skips Washington’s Soap Opera ” was just as stunning. According to the article, “Despite the disorder in Washington — with a revolving door at the White House and roadblocks on Capitol Hill — Wall Street and corporate America are booming…., blue chips like Apple, Caterpillar and U.S. Steel have all reported strong earnings in recent weeks that surpassed analysts’ forecasts.
“None of the soap opera in Washington matters,” said Frank Sullivan, chief executive of RPM International, a Cleveland-based maker of specialty coatings and sealants like Rust-Oleum. “Nobody in business cares about who talked to who in Russia.”

In the meantime twitter and the Big business press and liberal pundits keep us interested in a story about Russian interference. Some are naïve and have bought the hype, but others are knowingly trying to turn public opinion against Russia, which will in turn make it easy for the warhawks and profiteers (whose mouths water when they consider the trillions of dollars of rich natural resources that country possesses) to one day try to trick us into believing that it will be in our best interest to go to war with folks who are merely trying to survive and make a living just like us.

We as working people got lots of problems but Russia isn’t one.

justice then peace

File proposed Transgender military ban under; be careful what you wish for

US army

Every time someone in authority suggests discriminating against any one or any group in this society it is detrimental and is a blow to civil rights and human progress. President Donald Trump’s proposed military ban of Transgender people is wrong and sets up that community for even more discrimination and possible victimization. However, the US military is not an organization folks should be dying to sign up for, considering its track record over the last 50 years.

Furthermore, it does strike a rather discordant tone to say, we want to be allowed to be as backwards and as hawkish as anyone else.  But the sentiment is correct, the Transgender community should be able to participate in any part of US society without fear of discrimination.

Hopefully the Transgender community and other communities will use this controversy as an opportunity to pause and consider what it really means to serve in the US military and to ask tough questions.

The US government has been at war continually for the last 15 years. As a result, hundreds of thousands of completely innocent people have been killed and thousands more have been displaced and made refugees in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US bombing and intervention in Libya and Syria have turned thousands more into refugees.

Most US citizens are oblivious to this because society encourages  self centered preoccupation  with our own lives and the time required to just make a living distracts people from knowing what their government is  doing. Add to that, corporate Big Business media  diverts our attention daily with the constant reporting  on the latest Trump/Russia distraction.

The Trump administration has been constantly bombing Syria and independent sources have revealed that just in the last few months a few thousand Syrians have been killed.

The Obama administration’ drone campaign killed thousands of Muslims in the Middle East. A large percentage of those targeted had done nothing deserving of their fate and were completely innocent. The US government even admitted that it often launched drone attacks without actually knowing who they were trying to kill.

The interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq despite all the flag waving were simply wrong. Afghanistan had not attacked. The US’s the rationale behind that invasion of Afghanistan was faulty and was the result of bullying.  Many people believe that the US intervention in Afghanistan was because the country attacked the US on 911 however the majority of those accused of that act were Saudi Arabian nationals. And the invasion of Iraq was proven to unjustified from the very beginning as the US failed to find the weapons of mass destruction that they said was justification for its aggression.

The ongoing efforts by the US military all over the world is not about US security but about US expansionism.

Whether we care about it or not the US military is carrying out a very aggressive and oppressive policy around the world.

Several studies have tried to estimate how much the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have costs so far, drawing from those it’s safe to say the US has spent between 4 and 6 trillion dollars. Imagine what can be done domestically with just a trillion dollars?

While it’s absolutely imperative to fight discrimination of all kinds  its unwise to rush to be a part of something, (in this case something immoral) just because we want to be included.

Black people ran into the same conundrum in World Wars I and II.  During World War II Blacks were still being discriminated in US society, South and North, in fact many were not allowed to work in government factories producing goods for the war effort. But Black leaders insisted that Blacks be included in the war effort.

Incredibly, when Blacks signed up they were placed in segregated units and experienced intense racism from their fellow countrymen. The vast majority were used as support units driving trucks, digging graves and delivering supplies. The Tuskegee Airmen were an exception and even they served as a segregated unit. Oddly Blacks were not rewarded for their service and they returned to find civil society as closed to them as ever. Nobody cared about their sacrifice, because frankly the society didn’t care about them.

It would represent even more progress if  while rightfully defending its right to equal opportunity and to be included in ALL of US socie, the Transgender community joined other communities in voicing opposition to these aggressive and illegal wars.

justice then peace