Tag Archives: government

The White The Blue and The Red…The end of America as we knew it

We were too busy fighting among ourselves to notice what was happening. A nation divided where country took a back seat to party. Corruption carried out in plain sight and a blind eye turned to it in the name of party. Division and hate among racial, ethnic and religious lines became the mantra of the powerful and was used as a weapon to turn and divide us against each other. It was too easy, we were simply pawns to be moved around the board, and casually sacrificed when needed to protect the power and money of the elite

Blinded by their lust for greed and power, they didn’t see that while they were playing us they were being played. Outsiders used social media to control the narrative, then they used that narrative to corrupt our political system. Our leaders profited and gained power because of these actions and chose to look the other way. Individuals who tried to shine light on what was happening had their patriotism questioned, were branded as traitors and shouted down by the masses whose perception of reality had been manipulated through the false and misleading reporting from certain “news” networks and larger than life personalities. Networks and personalities that were all too happy to do so to ensure their ratings stayed high and their pockets remained fat.

At the same time our global influence began to erode. Russia became the leading voice in the Middle East. China and North Korea started to exert control of the whole of Asia.  Seizing on growing discontent in many South and Central American countries Russia and China used their economic resources to back revolutions that overthrew governments and installed governments friendly to them thus gaining a strategic advantage in the western hemisphere.

America and Europe were besieged by terrorist attacks launched from South America, the Middle East and Asia. Our ability to track down the organizations responsible had been extremely compromised. Sending troops into those regions would have spread us to thin and vulnerable to the Russian, China, North Korea alliance.  Oil production was disrupted, and our international trade was effectively halted leaving us reeling economically.  As our economy grew weaker and as we became more fearful of the next terror attack we did not bond together just the opposite we became more divided. Pointing fingers at each other and fighting over our dwindling resources.

It was amid such chaos that we could only stand by and watch as Russia rolled into Eastern Europe; China into India and Pakistan; North Korea into South Korea and Japan; each daring us to retaliate. The thought of a nuclear strike was floated but was never carried out with the understanding that was a line we could never come back from. A couple of years went by and our situation grew worst and then the inevitable happened, that day most of us feared but right up until it happened didn’t think was possible.  Russian troops invaded from the north through Alaska and Canada and from the south with the help of their new South and Central American allies. It was over in a blink of an eye, we barely put up a fight.  The day the red, white and blue was replaced up top the White House with the white, blue and red of the Russian flag is etched in the minds of those who were around to witness it and to this day it remains the darkest and saddest day in the history of the former United States of America.

Abraham Lincoln’s prophecy had come true “If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time or die by suicide.”

Morpheus and Neo Talk American Democracy

Morpheus: This is our country, everyone treated the same regardless of the color of their skin, gender, ethnic make-up, or religious belief. Individuals are judged purely on the content of their character. Everyone has health care and parents send their children to school unafraid they may be the victim of a mass shooting. There is no social or racial injustice.  People walk down the street unafraid that they may be wrongfully targeted simply because of the color of their skin.  Everyone is afforded the same opportunities regardless of their social, ethnic or economic background.  It seems too perfect doesn’t it Neo? You know something is not right don’t you Neo? You can feel it

Neo: We’re living an illusion?

Morpheus: Yes!

Neo: But why?

Morpheus: Is it so hard really to believe? Our democracy was designed to be one where the power comes from the people not a ruler or group of powerful individuals who would do whatever they want. It was founded on the belief that these truths are self evident all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  Yet that has always been an illusion hasn’t it.

Neo: Are you saying our democracy has never been real?

Morpheus: What is real. How do you define real? If you’re talking about the people being the source of power or that all men are created equal, then real is simply a bunch of words written on a piece of paper. That America only exists in a series of oft cited but rarely enacted words. A constitution to be held up to the rest of the world as a symbol of the moral high ground we supposedly occupy. That America doesn’t exist if you believe it does…Well you’ve been living in a dream world, Neo.

This is the country as it really exists today. Racism and bigotry are still alive and well, the pursuit of happiness for many impeded by economic and social injustice roadblocks. The few controlling the narrative and dictating policy so as to maintain their power, enrich their bank accounts. Millions of citizens living in poverty and millions more without health insurance. Children forced to go to bed hungry, funding for education constantly under siege…. Welcome to the Desert of the Real Neo. Having seen all of this I have come to realize the obviousness of the truth. Control. Democracy today is control an illusion propagated by those in power to keep the masses under control.

Neo: No. I don’t believe it. It’s not possible.

Morpheus: I didn’t say it would be easy, Neo. I just said it would be the truth.

STEP INTO THE GAP

On May 12, 1961 in Rock Hill, South Carolina. John Lewis, an African-American seminary student and Albert Bigelow a World War II veteran and white Freedom Rider were viciously attacked as they attempted to enter a whites-only waiting area. Two days later in Anniston Alabama a vicious mob of about 200 people bombed a Greyhound bus and brutally beat the Freedom Riders as they fled the burning bus. Later that day in Birmingham Alabama a Trailways bus carrying another group of Freedom Riders was meant with a similar fate These Freedom Riders were aware of the dangers they would encounter and over several months they were attacked repeatedly yet they persevered so that the racist practice of segregated bus terminals would come to end and in the fall of 1961 their perseverance bore fruit as the  Interstate Commerce Commission issued regulations that prohibited the segregation of interstate transit.

THE FREEDOM RIDERS STEPPED INTO THE GAP.

Liu Xiaobo was a human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate from China who through nonviolent protests fought against communist one-party rule in China. For his efforts he was imprisoned in 1989 to 1991, 1995 to 1996, 1996 to 1999 and 2009 until his release in 2017 after he had been diagnosed with liver cancer. He died less than 3 weeks after his release. Despite his multiple imprisonments he continued to fight until his death for the betterment of the Chinese people.

LIU XIAOBO STEPPED INTO THE GAP.

Razan Zaitouneh was a Syrian Human rights activist who was involved in the Syrian uprising. She acted as a lawyer for political prisoners, was one of the founders Human Rights Association in Syria and the Syrian Human Rights Information Link through which she reported about Syria human’s rights violations. Razan Zaitouneh worked tirelessly for years to bring light to Syria’s oppress regime despite the obvious dangers involved with doing so. On December 9 of 2013 she was kidnapped and has not been seen since, presumed to have been killed.

RAZAN ZAITOUNEH STEPPED INTO THE GAP.

Michael Todd has been getting bullied at his new school since the year began. He would wear the same clothes every day and students at MLK College Preparatory School would make fun of him for it. High school football players Kristopher Graham and Antwann Garrett didn’t just go along with their class mates to be part of the crowd and on September 10, 2019 they surprised Michael with a bag full of bags full of shirts, shorts and shoes and apologized to him for previously laughing at him.

KRISTOPHER GRAHAM AND ANTWANN GARRETT STEPPED INTO THE GAP

Everyday countless number of individuals step into the gap. But sadly many in a position to do the most good lack the courage to step into the gap Last week at church my pastor preached to us from the book Ezekiel 22:30 “I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.

In Bible times, cities had walls around them to help defend them from attack. Broken parts of the wall created a physical gap in the city’s ability to protect itself from invading armies.  In this Bible verse, because there is a gap in the wall, God is looking for someone to step in and guard the broken, vulnerable territory.

Today God is still looking for us to step in and guard the broken and the vulnerable. Victims of violence, oppression, discrimination, bigotry.  Those who are denied fundamental human rights such as medical care, food and shelter and education. Yet when we turn our eyes to Washington D.C. we find there are far too many concerned with their own self, maintaining their power and reaping the benefits that come along with it than with stepping into the gap.  We see children, the Lord’s most innocent souls, gunned down in mass shootings yet no action has been taken to enact sensible gun control to protect them. We see mothers and fathers working two and three jobs, sixty and seventy hours a week yet still unable to earn enough money to put a roof over or adequately feed their families. Yet at every opportunity the very social programs designed to help them through these troubled times are slashed, and more and more money is appropriated to building weapons of war.  Racism is unbelievably on the rise again in this country but far too many in power either pretend it doesn’t exist and simply ignore it or worse tacitly give their approval, so they can appeal to a base of unenlightened individuals they believe will allow them to maintain their power. Education budgets are cut and college tuition soars while tax breaks for the wealthy are passed into law. Prescription drugs prices rocket, inflating the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies while the affordable care act remains under constant attack. The gap between the haves and have not continues to expand as CEOs take home millions and workers struggle to survive yet steadfast opposition to raising the minimum wage continues.

We are witnessing the abject failure of the very individuals we have tasked with stepping in the gap. However, it is never too late as a people to change things.  United each of our whispers becomes a mighty roar for change. We can demand that change takes place and we can start at the voting booth. We can educate ourselves on the issues and not let some 24-hour news network “opinion” show host skew our perception of reality. We can protest racism and social injustice and when those in power try to change the narrative and quiet us we can roar louder.  We can rise as one and let our voices be heard.  We can let them know that it is we not them who are the coalition of the many and if they won’t stand in the gap we surely will find someone who will!

A Bad Beat for Trump

A Bad Beat is a poker term for a hand in which a player with very strong cards loses to an opponent who is statistically unlikely to win, but hits a lucky card (or two) and unexpectedly takes the pot. The losing player is then said to have suffered a “bad beat”.   In looking at the 2016 Presidential election some may say Hilary Clinton suffered a bad beat. But the reality is the bad beat went to Donald Trump. 

Trump who I firmly believed right up to Election Day expected to lose had mapped out with others (Roger Ailes?) how to turn this presidential run into post election BIG MONEY. But then the unthinkable happened he won. All the big money dreams derailed but worst now there would be a huge spotlight on everything crooked he was involved in. From the moment he watched as FOX NEWS, what other channel do you think he was watching, declared him the winner he went defensive. Lying and doing one over the top thing after another to distract America as he tried cover up his actions in an attempt to stay one step ahead of what he knew was coming for him, the truth and likely jail time for him, his friends and his family. 

His Shaggy defense of say it wasn’t you has kept his base at bay but his lies, deceit and attempts at cover ups haven’t protected many of his friends who, Rodger Stone aside,  when faced with prison turned on him. While slowly it has begun to drive people who originally were in his corner, mostly for their own good, away.  More and more isolated his act gets crazier and crazier and as such more dangerous for the United States. 

Hopefully we are coming to a conclusion in which Trump, however it may happen,  resigns or is impeached from a position of power he was never qualified to hold and probably really never really wanted.  After all with Trump like everything else it was just supposed to be about the money. A bad beat indeed for Donald. 

The End of True Debate

I went to Cardinal Spellman high school in the Bronx. In addition to being the alma matter of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor among other things it had a forensics team that competed nationwide.  My senior year I was proud to say I was President of that forensics team. For 4 years I competed on the forensics team’s cross-ex debate team.  To this day I credited my experience on that team as being a major part in the development of who I am today. The rules of cross-ex debate were simple enough if you were on the affirmative side of a debate you needed to show: 

Significance of both the problem and that the benefit must be substantial enough to merit changing state or national policies affecting millions of people. 

Inherency of the the problems cited must be inextricably connected to elements of the status quo are relatively enduring or are unique to the status quo or cannot be eliminated without reform to the status quo.

Plan that includes a concrete description of actions that will be taken to solve the problems cited in enough detail that the negative can understand and, potentially, criticize it.  And finally

Solvency – present claims and ground to prove the benefits of the plan and that is it solves the problems cited.  

If you were on the negative side of the debate you could win by proving through evidence that just one of the above was not true. 

This I learned as a teenager. Sadly in today’s highest chamber of debate, Congress, none of this is practiced. Instead the debates have devolved into a I want, you can’t have, battle based not on facts and evidence and most importantly what’s good for the country but rather special interest and if you have a (D) or a (R) after your name. Adults elected by the populous acting more like children and having temper tantrums when they can’t get their way. 

I’m thankful for the life lessons debate taught me   I just wished the majority in Congress would share in those lessons. 

The State of Government Today…All I Want To Say Is They Don’t Really Care About Us

Sang to the tune of Michael Jackson’s They Don’t Really Care About Us. 

The state of the government today

Republican, Democrat
Everybody gone bad
Build a wall, Shut Down
Everybody dragged down
All I want to say is that
They don’t really care about us

CNN, FOX NEWS
Everybody dog food
Bang bang, democracy shot dead
Government gone mad
All I want to say is that
They don’t really care about us

I vote every election
Pay my taxes on time
Now I am the victim of government stupidity

Corporations and special interest own them
I’m invisible because they ignore me
Tell me what’s become of my country?
If only Roosevelt was livin’
if only Martin Luther was livin’
They wouldn’t let this be, no, no

All I want to say is that
They don’t really care about us
All I want to say is that
They don’t really care about us

Never Go Full Trump

A conversation sometime in the future between an ex presidential candidate and a campaign strategist. 

Ex Candidate (EC): Just wish I had a campaign manager like this last election

Strategist (S): Last election. Oh yeah. You went all in on that one, huh?  Really swung for the fences, huh?

EC: Thank you I just did the work. In a weird way I had to sort of just free myself up to believe it was okay to be him. 

S: To be Trump

EC: Yeah

S: To be Trumpy

EC: Yeah

S: Like the Trumpiest candidate that ever ran

EC: When I was running for President. 

S: Acting like Trump. Trying to come back from that

EC: In a weird way I had to fool my mind into believing I wasn’t the Donald. 

S: But Trump thought he was a good qualified President so you can’t afford to play Trump being a qualified candidate. Running as a guy who thinks he’s qualified but is so far from qualified, that’s tricky. Hats off for going there especially knowing how the voters are about that now

EC: About what?

S: You’re serious? You don’t know? Everybody knows you never go full Trump 

EC: What do you mean? 

S: Check it out. Richard Nixon, 37th President, look Trump, act Trump, not Trump. Established the EPA and OSHA, ended America’s involvement in the Vietnam war, opened diplomatic relations with The Peoples Republic of China. He had Watergate so crooked sho’. Not Trump. You know Jimmy Carter.’ Below average President yes. Indecisive, maybe. Gas shortages and Iranian hostage crises. But he created the Departments of Energy and Education and negotiated a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. That ain’t Trump. He was a goddamn Noble Peace Prize winner. You know any Trump Noble Prize Winners? You went full Trump man. Never go full Trump. You don’t buy that? Ask Donald, 2020, Presidential Election.  Remember? Went full Trump, went home empty-handed.