It’s remarkable, you know. I see patterns other people don’t and there are people who know me and think I’m too full of hyperbole to pay attention. Even when I’m right. Continue reading “Aftermath (Part 10): Are we really so blind we can’t see?”
What’s changed in the 27 years since Anita Hill’s hearings? Victims of sexual assault finally have a platform to share our stories, and we will not be silenced. Continue reading “Triggers all over the damn place…”
Last week I got into a pissing contest with a couple of liberal fanatics who think the blue wave is real. I called bullshit based on what I’ve seen so far. They asked me to give a best guess scenario for the Senate, based on my research. The results are below, but before we get there, let me remind you just who you’re dealing with here. Continue reading “Endarkenment (Part 2)…”
And these children
That you spit on
As they try to change their world
Are immune from your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through…
A little under two years ago, I wrote this post in reaction to Philando Castile’s murder:
In that time, nothing changed, until last February, kicked off when a series of white males took up arms against their social circle and inspired a movement in the aftermath of their destruction. Except, that’s not the whole picture.
Compare and contrast.
Four articles from The Guardian, a somewhat left-leaning source with roots in the United Kingdom:
1. Florida shooting: suspect escaped scene by hiding among students as they fled
Nikolas Cruz, 19, charged with 17 counts of murder as officials confirm the AR-15 rifle used to commit massacre was purchased legally
(Incident: February 14, 2018. Dead: 17, injured: 17)
2. Austin bomb suspect left video ‘confession’ before he died
Police say footage portrays ‘a very challenged young man,’ but nothing to show he was motivated by hate
(Incidents: March 2-20, 2018. Dead: 2, injured: 5)
3. ‘They executed him’: police killing of Stephon Clark leaves family shattered
A young, unarmed black man was shot 20 times in his grandmother’s backyard. Now his brother is fighting through grief to demand justice
(Incident: March 18, 2018. Dead: 1)
4. Maryland student who shot classmate dead killed himself, officials say
Austin Rollins, 17, fired a fatal shot to his head just as he encountered the school resource officer at Great Mills high school
(Incident: March 20, 2018. Dead: 2, injured: 1)
Wait. Did I say four? I meant five.
5. Alton Sterling shooting: two police officers will not be charged with any crime
Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II won’t be charged for incident that occured [sic] in July of 2016 that sparked unrest throughout Baton Rouge
(Incident: July 7, 2016. Dead: 1)
Two of these incidents are not like the others. In fact, the victims in those two incidents stand in stark contrast to the others, even though they are connected by the way in which they died. And in how the victims were described. And in the accountability of those who perpetrated their murders.
On March 22nd, I wrote this piece, after the Associated Press put out a horrendous article describing the Great Mills murderer as a “lovesick teen.” The phrase AP used seemed completely tone deaf, wholly inappropriate given the reality that, according to the Violence Policy Center, 11 murder-suicides happen every week, and that 9 out of 10 murderers use a gun.
As the article above shows, the Resource Officer originally credited with stopping the murderer actually hit him in the hand, and that the kid died from a self-inflicted gunshot.
Think about that.
In contrast, Stephon Clark was shot twenty times in his own backyard, murdered in cold blood, and the only thing the cops could find after the dust settled was a cellphone. And nobody could explain why they had to turn off their body cameras.
When Alton Sterling was shot, he did have a gun on him. And it shouldn’t have mattered. After all, Louisiana is an Open-Carry state, and Sterling was within his legal 2A right to possess and carry the gun.
According to an eyewitness report from his friend inside the store, near where Sterling was murdered, the gun was in his waistband, not in his hands.
People of color have been targets since the first of the slave ships landed on these shores. And cops have proven that lynching isn’t necessary as long as they feel free to pump lead into any individual they view as a threat, regardless of reality.
Being born with dark skin isn’t inherently threatening unless one wants an excuse to pump the entire contents of a gun clip into a human being and call him a target, to exercise summary justice outside of the legal system, to shut down any possibility of accusations of police brutality or corruption.
Any excuse will do, regardless of whether the victim’s legal and civil rights say otherwise.
I’ve been writing about racism since the first few posts I wrote in this blog, way back in 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when the Bush family turned a blind eye to reality and cost the lives of almost 1,500 people and displaced a huge number of poor families, many of color, in New Orleans.
#BlackLivesMatter, which started as a hashtag on social media, came into existence in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman.
Zimmerman’s acquittal finally drew attention to the massive disparity between being black and being white in America.
But not enough. Not nearly enough.
No, it took a major tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in a privileged part of Florida’s Broward County, to focus the movement like a laser. These students are articulate, driven, privileged kids. They have finally, firmly, seized that banner of truth and anger and sadness, raised it high, and reached out to their siblings across the country who have been targets far longer.
Inclusive, determined, driven by force of will, these kids who founded the March For Our Lives movement, who have declared #NeverAgain in places across the country, are defining the future in their terms.
Now that they’re coming of age, their movement looks a lot like the Vietnam War protests of our past. And no wonder.
We ARE at war.
We are deep into Civil War, and we have no idea where it will lead, but the children…OUR children…have declared in more than a million clear, strong voices of all ages, ethnicities, genders, and cultures, that #EnoughIsEnough.
Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky and their friends speak not just for the students at MSD, but for kids across the country, and they will sit in silence no longer.
It’s no surprise that they have welcomed their siblings of color, who are considered “at-risk” merely for existing. After all, they’re theatre kids. They understand diversity in ways only some of us fully understand.
In a time and place where our people of color are maimed or killed in disproportionate numbers, simply because they’re not white, these kids see only one thing: Themselves.
In our gun-saturated society, there’s a reckoning coming. It’s coming at the ballot box this year.
May these children succeed where we have failed, in the ten years since the District of Columbia v. Heller decision, to force change. I only wish David Bowie was still here to see it.
David Bowie – Changes (Olympia)
When I started writing online, way back in 2004, my blogging was a combination of minutiae designed to keep a then-deployed husband in the loop on day-to-day life at home. We were not quite to the end of W’s first term, but it was already clear to me what his election meant to the country, in terms of an erosion of civil liberty, of a dramatic (but by no means complete) shift to the right, and long term lasting damage to our reputation as a world leader by his creation of the USA Patriot Act.
In an ever-increasing feeling of depression and anger over last November, I’ve lashed out repeatedly at people who still seem to think that we are operating “business-as-usual” even in the face of abject corruption and cronyism not seen in decades in this country, going all the way back to the Gilded age of the robber barons.
The Republicans won and they’ve wasted no time showing us liberals what they think of us. They don’t give an actual damn who they harm at this point. They’ve done such a good job snowing their base, those folks will happily walk straight into their graves still believing that the people they elected to office care about anything but their own personal economy and to hell with their constituents. Yes, yes, those town halls are sure something, aren’t they? Meaningless political theatre. It makes the proles feel good, so why not? At least until things get violent, anyway.
Meanwhile, Bernie supporters who voted Anyone But Clinton are still making feeble attempts at explaining their relevance to the future, because they think their candidate still means something. He doesn’t, of course, except as the perfect foil for the Democrats whose last, best hope was to take the White House, and who failed to push enough of the agenda to ensure that would happen. He won’t last past 2018, if I’m guessing right.
In the heat of frustration earlier in the day, on Facebook (that bastion of modern nonsense and bluster that passes, for now, as something resembling a communication tool, if only for one’s personal echo chamber), I started to outline a timeline of damage.
I’ve explored that timeline throughout my Dots posts, but not in anything like a complete way.
Now that I’m thinking about it, I am considering creating a video timeline, which (at least until the government figures out how to shut down YouTube) might be the best way to explain what happened and how we got here.
In the interest of generating the outline, for future reference, here’s my take on the whole shebang, from Nixon’s disgraceful departure through to present day.
I can’t provide proof because a lot of what I think happened because, frankly, either the evidence is gone or it’s still out of view, thanks to the Presidential Records Act of 1978 (PRA).
So while I’m saying this is what I think, I have no proof that this is what actually happened. I can infer, guess, or in some cases prove that these things are what happened, but I do not have either the time or the funding to go and research these statements. So let’s say this is all fiction. It “could” have happened the way I’ve laid it out. Or not. You be the judge.
I’m stealing data from Wikipedia’s existing timeline to save myself the typing time, but you’re welcome to go visit the original and see for yourself what I’ve edited out. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_United_States_history)
- Civil Rights Act of 1960
- CIA U-2 spy plane shot down over Soviet airspace.
- The 50-star flag is adopted.
- John F. Kennedy elected
- President Eisenhower warns of the “military–industrial complex” in his farewell address
- President Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps.
- The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution grants electors to the District of Columbia
- Bay of Pigs Invasion
- The Freedom Rides begin in Washington D.C.
- Vietnam War (1955-1973) continues
- Cuban missile crisis: A nuclear confrontation took place between the United States and the Soviet Union
- The Equal Pay Act of 1963 was signed into law.
- Medgar Evers is assassinated
- March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom: Led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who gives “I Have a Dream” speech
- The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, carried out by a KKK splinter group, kills four African-American girls
- The Atomic Test Ban Treaty is signed.
- President John F. Kennedy assassinated
- Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson sworn in as President
- Lee Harvey Oswald, the sniper who assassinated President Kennedy, killed by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby.
- President Johnson establishes The Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy.
- The Clean Air Act signed into law.
- The Twenty-fourth Amendment eliminates the poll tax
- The Beatles herald the British Invasion of pop music
- President Johnson proposes the Great Society, a set of social reforms aimed at the elimination of poverty and racial injustice.
- President Johnson signs The Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.
- Robert McNamara helps orchestrate the Tonkin Gulf incident (a false flag operation with ‘deliberately skewed’ intelligence, used to expand U.S. military involvement in Vietnam).
- The bodies of three missing civil rights activists, working to register voters as a part of the Freedom Summer, are found near Philadelphia, Mississippi.
- President Lyndon B. Johnson defeats Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater.
- African American Muslim minister and human rights activist Malcolm X is assassinated
- “Bloody Sunday” (Alabama State Troopers severely beat and used tear gas against the nonviolent demonstrators on the Selma to Montgomery marches)
- March Against the Vietnam War:
- President Johnson signs the Social Security Amendments of 1965 into law, establishing Medicaid and Medicare in the United States. He also signs the Voting Rights Act
- The Watts riots in Los Angeles, result in the deaths of 34 people.
- President Johnson signs the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965, establishing the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- The Immigration Act of 1965 is signed into law, abolishing the National Origins Formula.
- The Higher Education Act of 1965 is passed.
- Robert C. Weaver becomes the first African American to hold a cabinet-level position.
- Miranda v. Arizona: The Supreme Court establishes the rule that becomes “Miranda Rights”
- National Organization for Women (NOW) is formed.
- The Freedom of Information Act is signed into law.
- The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act is passed.
- The Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, establishing succession to the Presidency and procedures for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, was ratified.
- The United States Department of Transportation is established.
- Loving v. Virginia: The Supreme Court overrules the prohibition of interracial marriage.
- Thurgood Marshall becomes the first African-American Justice to serve on the Supreme Court.
- Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated, prompting riots in Chicago, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Kansas City and Louisville; leaving 36 people dead.
- The Civil Rights Act of 1968, providing equal housing protection, was signed into law.
- Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated on the Presidential campaign trail
- The United States signs the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
- Chicago City Police clash with anti-war protesters at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
- The Gun Control Act of 1968 is signed into law.
- Former Vice President Richard Nixon is elected President
- The Stonewall riots mark the start of the modern gay liberation movement in the United States.
- Senator Edward M. Kennedy drives off a bridge on his way home from a party on Chappaquiddick Island, killing his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne and ruining any future bid for the White House.
- Americans astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins land on the moon, and Armstrong becomes the first man to walk on the moon’s surface.
- The Woodstock Festival takes place in White Lake, New York
- Sesame Street premieres on National Educational Television.
- President Nixon announces the withdrawal of 50,000 U.S. troops from Vietnam; reaching the peak level of U.S. troops in Vietnam at 541,000.
Okay, so that establishes many of the changes over the course of a decade, without laying out the horrible details of the Vietnam war, which ran throughout the entire decade.
From here on, things get truly ugly, as the country struggles with changes in policy and freedom for young adults, women, and people of color. And that ugliness continues for the next 40 years, even as we fool ourselves into believing Johnson’s glorious vision of the Great Society, built on FDR’s vision of the post-Depression world. In hindsight, even as it appears that we’ve won freedom to choose and we’ve come to believe in the American Dream, that dream has become a nightmare. Fake news. The worst propaganda story possible, because it worked as a carrot for the common man, the “temporarily embarrassed millionaire” who voted Trump believing naively that Trump and his cronies cared about anything other than rising to power.
Buckle your seat belts. Keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times. The management bears no responsibility for lost limbs or life. Ready?
In 1970, Nixon’s Southern Strategy started the shift, turning Southern Democrats away from the party and converting them to Republicans. (Remember this fact, when your Libertarian friends want to try and rewrite history. The racists left to join the Republicans under Nixon.)
When Jimmy Carter went on to win the presidency in 1976, beating Gerald Ford (who took over for Nixon, the only President to date who ever resigned from office), the shift from Southern Democrat to Republican was complete. And at about this time, I got involved in politics, working in support of Carter’s run for president at the local level. Ambitious work for a 12 year-old kid, but then I was rooting for McGovern in 1972, and by then the racists had already fled the Democratic party, leading to Nixon’s landslide victory.
In that same election, Carter’s administration saw filibuster-proof Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate. (See: House vs Senate control by party.) Note that this didn’t save Carter’s presidency for a second term, because on November 4, 1979 (a little over a year prior to elections in 1980), Iranian students took over the US embassy and held over 50 embassy employees hostage. President Carter’s response was considered too weak, and some suggested that this is how Ronald Reagan rose to power.
I explained some of this here and some more of this here, but the big part is really here. (Don’t just look at the pretty bright letters. Click through and READ these three posts, and every link embedded in them.
Done? Great. Moving on.
I invite you to read everything I’ve written since November 8th. It’s not all that much, really, but it’s not above me to say “I told you so.”
Tonight, Trump launched a direct attack on Syria, doing precisely what he (and a lot of theoretically liberal apologists accused Hillary Clinton of planning to do throughout her presidential campaign).
“But her emails…”
Save it. You did this. Own it.
You know, I’m not all that good with math. Certainly never good enough to manage Trig in any useful way. There’s some amount of magic in making long formulae play together in complex methods that explain the universe (or at least try).
That said, there’s some basic math I consider easy to understand. Bistro math, geometry, statistical analysis (in its basic form). These numbers make sense to me because they define real-world aspects of life.
I understand the mathematics required to fill a stage with scenery and (except for cases of wishful thinking) the rooms in my house.
I can calculate a paycheck and figure out my taxes, even with all the arcane roadblocks the IRS has thrown in my way. And at the moment I’m solidly on the way to being debt free, with the exception of my mortgage, car and student loans. I don’t have much fun, while I’m paying down the debts, but I’m getting to the theatre I want to see and I’m going to a big name concert this summer to see two bucket list artists, for which I paid cash to cover the cost of the tickets. Heck, I just bought a serious in-window AC unit using my debit card, and I can still feed myself this week.
Overall, I’m in pretty good shape, thanks to my own personal math ability.
What amazes me, beyond all reason, is how often people who ought to think rationally can consistently see four fingers and call them five.
In 1984, a book that ought to be required reading instead of a frequently banned book, Orwell says “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” (Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/g/georgeorwe141783.html) How this cautionary tale got to be considered an instruction manual to manipulate our own people is beyond my understanding, but it’s all right there, in doublethink and torture:
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy.
And when memory failed and written records were falsified—when that happened, the claim of the Party to have improved the conditions of human life had got to be accepted, because there did not exist, and never again could exist, any standard against which it could be tested.
And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn’t really mean it. But that isn’t true. At the time when it happens you do mean it. You think there’s no other way of saving yourself and you’re quite ready to save yourself that way. You want it to happen to the other person. You don’t give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is yourself.
It is this core belief that the average voter is too stupid to notice the truth that drives Trump’s rise to power. How he came to be this close to the highest single office in this country is a work of absolute intent and the fault of every voter who ever believed a lie based in misdirection and greed.
Note that I have a bunch of problems with the Atlantic article, but it comes close enough that it’s worth the read.
When we are fed daily on the importance of the latest football win or the current Survivor, when cooking shows and vacuously clean, expurgated music become the manna of the masses, we have already succumbed to the goals. Even the outrageously conspiratorial sites that urge us to reject medicine and science as somehow suspicious, play into the hands of men who give a damn only for their own personal economy, and to hell with everyone else.
It’s how Romney got close (if only that darned hidden camera hadn’t caught him in the lies), and how Trump will win.
Now we hear that we have to reject, utterly, the Media, because they offer nothing but lies. Nobody messes with Big Brother, nobody messes with Trump. Nobody messed with Hitler or Mussolini either.
Is this what people really, truly want for this country? Are we so very broken that the only way to fix us is to take the country over Trump’s knee so we can be spanked back into submission like good little worker bees?
Those of us who see this campaign for what it truly is are simply amazed that it got this far, because we’ve seen it coming for years. Those of us who can’t imagine never thought for one minute that it might happen here, because this is AMERICA!!! Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.
I dearly love this country, but if Trump wins I will have to leave it, because it won’t be my country anymore. The fascists will have won. If you’re not looking for a way out, you’re still in denial. If not this year, then maybe we’ve gotten a four-year reprieve. I don’t think so, though. The GOP have until 2020 to fix the laws so that no matter what the census says, their gerrymandered majorities will be unbeatable, fixed in place, and with the SCOTUS under their firm control, that will be it for the Constitution as well.
If you don’t believe that’s the end game, you’re part of the problem. Be part of the solution instead.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Hyperbole(ˈ/haɪˈpɜːrbəli/; Greek: ὑπερβολή, huperbolḗ, from ὑπέρ (hupér, “above”) + βάλλω (bállō, “I throw”)) is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. In rhetoric, it is also sometimes known as auxesis (lit. “growth”). In poetry and oratory, it emphasizes, evokes strong feelings, and creates strong impressions. As a figure of speech, it is usually not meant to be taken literally.
We are doomed as a society, as long as people use this word to blow off potentially valid views of politics.
Certainly, hyperbole is overused today. Back in November 2015, The New York Times published Jessica Bennett’s article in its Fashion and Style section: OMG! The Hyperbole of Internet-Speak. There’s a lot to be said for her points on the effect of hyperbole on current society and social media. After all, what is hype but a shortened form of the original word, and a sort of nugget of the true meaning in every clickbait article ever posted on Facebook.
The word is used most often today in sports and politics, and nobody embodies the core concept like Donald Trump.
I went searching for articles tonight, determined to pull the first ten that actually related to the US election, and the results are below. Interestingly enough, I’ve been shut down a lot in conversations because the the people to whom I was talking decided I employed too much hyperbole, that my predictions were too unbelievable and over the top.
Still think that today?
Every single one of these articles promotes either the hyperbolic communication from Trump or the reactions to the election in general. False equivalency, indeed.
Earlier today I compared the issues with Hillary Clinton and those of Trump to an ant hill and Mt. Everest. She’s friendly with Wall Street. He’s Hitler.
Six months ago, my comments were considered outrageous.
Now? Well, just look at the articles above and you’ll see that I’m not so outrageous after all.
The documentation I’m building for this election cycle is disturbing to say the least. Looking not at the percentages, or at the final outcomes, but at the raw votes in 2000 and 1992 as well as 2008 and now, I’ve got a documented theme. If the Democrats outnumbered the GOP in the primaries – in popular votes, not in percentages – they won the general. If the numbers were reversed, the opposite was the case.
Sometime between 2000 and 2008, there was a shift in the reporting of Primary statistics, and a dramatic jump in the number of voters who showed up at the polls. How much of this had to do with the genuine enthusiasm President Obama’s run for the White House against Senator (and former First Lady) Hillary Clinton I couldn’t say.
In the intervening eight years, the Supreme Court’s conservatives, led by Antonin Scalia, damaged the Voting Rights Act and enacted Citizens United, and the effect (which may or may not be considered causation in hindsight) is that the numbers have reversed themselves, and now the Republicans are up by some 4 million votes to date over the Democrats, but more like roughly 10 million over 2008, whereas the Democrats are down by over 6 million so far, and the chances are good that come November, we will have President Trump unless something changes.
I started documenting these numbers way back in the beginning of March (see: Connecting the Dots, Part 4) to prove my point. There’s no way to know if I’m right until we get to November, but based on an educated guess, and not in any way hyperbolic at all, I say the chances are excellent that we are witnessing the end of American Democracy as we know it, with this election.
After all, we’ve been fed the moral equivalent of the Colosseum in sports, on television, in our news, and online for so long, we can’t tell the difference between truth and Reality ™. And now we have a Reality Star headed for the White House, unless someone can figure out a way to stop him. The eventual goal, installing an actual Big Brother to lead the country while the rest of us scrape by with what little we’ve accumulated, the biggest deception of all (that we have retirement in our futures because we have IRAs and Social Security), it’s all an enormous lie.
I want to believe that we still have a choice, but every day I see evidence that there are no choices left. I lie and tell myself it will be okay, even as I spend the time on Google looking for the avenue out of this country in the event my worst nightmare comes to pass.
The American Experiment is over. It had such promise. But just like Walt Disney World’s Carousel of Progress needed updating to bring it in line with reality and the future, we need to adjust our thinking and come to grips with what our reality will be in January, if Trump wins in November.