Political Courage Located

Closing Thought–21Oct21

States that are controlled by the GOP have been passing a whole array of bills that severely limit voting and health issues and education and it appears as if there is nothing that can be done to stop this curtailing of our rights….and then a glimmer of hope has broke through the political barriers being erected.

A few District Attorneys are refusing to prosecute some of the laws passed by the GOP….

When Republican lawmakers in Tennessee blocked a policy to ease up on low-level marijuana cases, Nashville’s top prosecutor decided on a workaround: He just didn’t charge anyone with the crime.

Meanwhile, in Georgia, the Gwinnett County solicitor vowed not to punish anyone for the crime of distributing food or water to voters in line. Tampa’s chief prosecutor says a law that allows law enforcement to detain protesters until their court date is “an assault on our democracy.” And a district attorney in Douglas County, Kansas, promised not to enforce a new state law that makes it harder for nonpartisan groups and neighbors and candidates to collect and return absentee ballots for voters.

Progressive prosecutors around the country are increasingly declaring they just won’t enforce some GOP-backed state laws, a strategy at work in response to some of the most controversial new changes in recent years — near-total abortion bans, voting restrictions, limits on certain protest activity, laws aimed at LGBTQ people, and restrictions on mask requirements.

https://apnews.com/article/crime-tampa-tennessee-nashville-787cae9774f5fa36797ce89bb25932a7

This is good news.

But we need more people with cajones instead of a few….people that will stand-up for the rights of all Americans not just the few.

This will continue to be a problem as long as the voter worried about issues that have nothing to do with a safe and secure and just society.

We are the solution.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Destruction of Progressive Politics

I am an unashamed Leftist and have been since 1964.

I also admit that when I realized that drastic change was not in the cards I became an unapologetic Progressive…..and in those years I have watched progressive politics become corrupted….corrupted to the point that it has become today.

The ideological divide between the working class and ruling elite continues to widen as the rich become richer and the poor become poorer. The pandemic threw the economy into recession and at least 20 million Americans into unemployment; in April 2020 the federal government reported a record 14.9% unemployment rate while others estimated a true rate of 32.4%. In America, over 10 million people are still unemployed and over 600,000 deaths have been sustained from the pandemic. How do we deal with this reality?

A panicked, shallow reckoning has arisen in Philadelphia and nationally in the form of “new progressivism,” an organized political force made up of young, university-educated people, which is ideologically misguided and antithetical to actual progressive change. The practice of “new progressivism”, which manifests through electoral politics, leftist activism, charity and identity politics, attempts to handle issues of poverty and racism without an understanding of the worldview of the people. Ignorant of the spirit and traditions of working people, new progressivism’s primary contradiction is the assumption that ordinary people are insignificant to and incapable of progressively remaking society.

The ideology of false progressivism preys on the confusion of young, mostly well-intentioned people who are unprepared to critically examine reality. False progressivism obscures the real issues of humanity, war, and poverty; buries the genuine threads for revolutionary change in our times; and ultimately aligns with the consensus of the ruling elite.

Philadelphia: The Gentrification of Progressive Politics

The young are the key and so far that key does not fit the lock for a better country.

Unless there is a change of attitude and thinking then there will be NO blue wave in 2022 or 2024.

As the rich continue to takeover what has been called the ‘progressive movement’ the more things will not change….no health improvement, no police reform, no social change, no….well you get the picture…..

As an example….single payer health care or Medicare For All (M4A)…..lots of talk and promises and now it is off the table……

“Nobody in Congress can be counted on to stand with what the people need as opposed to caving to the demands of party leadership,” warns veteran single-payer activist Amy Scheetz.

… their supporters inside the beltway have taken single payer off the table.

Instead of pursuing Medicare for All they are pursuing incremental improvements in Medicare—also known as Medicare for Some.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/10/09/democrats-have-taken-medicare-all-table-and-its-shame

The only thing you can depend on from Dems is they will always do what their corporate owners wants them to do.

If you want change then for Christ sake find a true progressive….or continue to bitch and whine and things remain the same….the rich get richer and you go hungry.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–19Oct21

“We need to protect white demographics”!

This is the call of some fascist thug in Texas (go figure)…..

Charlie Kirk has been accused of having “a fraught relationship with facts,” and spreading conspiracy theories and outright falsehoods while being the founder and head of the right wing activist group Turning Point USA.

TPUSA may be best known for its now-former communications director who touted Hitler to defend the term “nationalism,” declaring that the “problem” with the genocidal Nazi responsible for the slaughter of up to 17 million people around the world was that he wanted to expand his reach beyond Germany: “if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK, fine. The problem is that he wanted, he had dreams outside of Germany. He wanted to globalize.”

Kirk is known as a friend to both Donald Trump and his son, Donald Trump, Jr.. In addition to documented instances of racism and white supremacy within the ranks of TPUSA, Kirk served on then-President Trump’s discredited 1776 Commission, and is reportedly traveling next month on his “Exposing Critical Racism” tour.

Last month MSNBC Opinion Columnist Zeeshan Aleem, in a piece focused on Kirk titled “Why Afghanistan’s collapse is an opportunity for far-right racists,” wrote: “Wow! Kirk’s comments are so laden with factual errors, conspiratorial fear-mongering, and racist tropes that it’s hard to know where to begin with unpacking them. But the bottom line is clear — he’s advancing white supremacist replacement theory: the idea that immigration threatens to unravel the ‘true’ fabric of American society.”

https://www.alternet.org/2021/09/charlie-kirk-2655088157/

These people are destroying this country little by little….and we are witness as well as participant…..

The issue that an unfortunate number of white Americans had with the Black Lives Matter movement is that it — along with the protests and removal of Confederate monuments — broke through any “delicate consideration” they may have entertained about the state of race relations in this country. Led by their race-baiting president and conservative media “personalities,” they insisted that there was no such thing as white privilege and that “all lives matter,” perhaps some even thinking that statement was not disingenuous. (Yes, of course, all lives matter — but that was not the point being made.)

For many, especially Southern, white people, this is a subject that should not be broached or, especially, be considered in personal terms. After the Civil War it would be spoken of in only genteel euphemisms, like “the peculiar institution.” (The war itself, which took some 750,000 lives, was often referred to as “The Late Unpleasantness,” showing just how ardently Americans downplay reality.) It’s no wonder that people vehemently decrying the teaching of inclusion and diversity in the schools around the country, purposely mixing that up with the legal study of critical race theory, will shout or hold back sobs — as one woman did at a school board meeting in the very district my wife and I attended near St. Louis — and say some version of “Don’t you dare call me a racist!” None of us wants to think of ourselves in that way.

https://www.salon.com/2021/10/11/americas-hidden-wound-threatens-to-destroy-the-country–and-not-for-the-first-time/

A racist is a racist…..and no amount of denial will change that fact.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Another Covid Victim

There is so much bad news around our pandemic…..the many deaths….the people that we know and love are gone……the drag on our economy in so many forms……now we are told that the nation’s inequlity has grown during our battle with the virus……

Stock ownership is more concentrated than ever, Federal Reserve data show, with the wealthiest 10% of households owning 89% of US stocks. The stocks differential is reflected in the growing wealth inequity, CNBC reports, with 1% of Americans holding 32% of wealth, also a record. “The top 1% own a lot of stock, the rest of us own a little,” said Steven Rosenthal of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. During the pandemic, the 1% added more than $6.5 trillion in corporate equities and mutual fund wealth, and while the bottom 90% picked up $1.2 trillion.

Concentration increased despite the fact that more people own stock now. Robinhood, for example, has posted more than 10 million new accounts over the past two years. But the new accounts, often held by younger investors, are small, averaging about $4,500 at Robinhood. So when the market goes up, those accounts profit much less than those of wealthy investors with many shares. “Many of the younger investors also bought in at higher prices, compared to bigger investors who have been in the market for years and see larger gains,” Rosenthal said.

The wealth inequality is clear across the board. The richest 10% also own 45% of US real estate, 54% of pension entitlements, 85% of private businesses, and 34% of consumer durable goods, per the Street. The stock market is behind most of the wealth creation and increased inequality during the pandemic; it’s risen almost 40% since January 2020. Stocks accounted for almost 70% of the gains in wealth by the nation’s richest 1% over the past year and a half, per CNBC.

Just more depressing news……more ways for this cancer of inequality  to keep the people from achieving what has been called “the American Dream”…..

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–18Oct21

I have been asked to participate in protests to be held in DC at the Supreme Court building……I cannot take part as I am still fighting a family matter that requires my presence in all my glory.

Unlike the days of protests in the 60s and 70s no one cares what we think…especially the supreme court.

While I support the protests I think that the attempt will be no better than a fart in the wind.

Why do I feel this way?

The Supreme Court is more conservative than it’s been in almost a century. ​​Its new term begins today, and by next June, when the term ends, Americans might finally understand what that means. Public opinion of the court is already at a record low after the court allowed a strict abortion law to go into effect in Texas in early September. Now, the justices are preparing to hear the court’s first major gun rights case since 2010 as well as a case on the future of abortion in the U.S. Both cases could result in decisions that are far more extreme than most Americans want. 

In the past, a desire to preserve the court’s apolitical reputation kept the justices from straying too far from public opinion. That could happen again — in fact, Chief Justice John Roberts has so far proven remarkably adept at producing decisions that protect the court’s reputation and that are often portrayed as more moderate and mainstream than they really are. 

This term, though, the other conservative justices might be fine with taking a very public right turn. Neither expanding gun rights nor overturning Roe v. Wade would be popular, yet the court is considering both — a sign of how conservative it has already become. The question now is whether the risk of a backlash is enough to keep the conservative majority from, say, overturning Roe in an election year. 

“The justices are plainly conscious of public attitudes toward the court,” said Lawrence Baum, a political science professor at Ohio State University. “But that’s only one consideration for the justices and not necessarily the most important one — particularly on issues like abortion or gun rights where they may have intense personal preferences about the right outcome.”

Why The Supreme Court Probably Doesn’t Care What Most Americans Think About Abortion Or Gun Rights

The judges get all ‘butt hurt’ when they are called ‘political hacks’ and yet that is exactly what they are.

When we allow a political group like the Federalist Society pick our judges then we get what they are ‘political hacks’…..it is that simple pretending does not change the fact.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–15Oct21

I have been keeping an eye on the insurrection prosecutions…..and almost everyday these idiots prove the you ‘can’t fix stupid’……

Like the moron that decided that he would be his own lawyer……

A Capitol rioter who allegedly smoked weed in a senator’s office on Jan. 6 decided to represent himself in court on Tuesday—and it went exactly as badly as could have been expected. Washington, D.C. news network WUSA reports that the wild hearing opened with a judge advising Brandon Fellows against representing himself, but he ignored that warning and went on to bolster the case against him by admitting to two new felonies. “Most people do not do this,” U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden reportedly told Fellows. “I do not think this is a good idea… but I’m going to allow you to take the stand, if you wish.” Assistant U.S. 

Attorney Mona Furst reportedly got Fellows to admit that he gained access to the Capitol through a broken window, and that he tried to get a previous judge removed from the case using the judge’s wife’s contact information. At the end of the hearing, McFadden ordered Fellows back into custody and told him: “You’ve admitted to incredible lapses of judgment here on the stand, not least of which was seeking to disqualify a New York state judge.”

Read it at WUSA

Once again these insurrectionists prove that their IQ is that of their shoe size…..

Like I said Just more proof that you ‘can’t fix stupid’……

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Gerrymandering–The Big Bug-A-Boo

The new data from the census is out and the rush by the GOP to redraw voting districts has begun…it is called gerrymandering.

For those that do not understand the term……

Gerrymandering is the act of politicians manipulating the redrawing of legislative district lines in order to help their friends and hurt their enemies. They may seek to help one party win extra seats (a partisan gerrymander), make incumbents of both parties safer (an incumbent-protection gerrymander) or target particular incumbents who have fallen out of favor.

Those engaged in gerrymandering rely heavily on winner-take-all voting rules. That is, when 51% of voters earn 100% of representation, those drawing districts can pack, stack and crack the population in order to make some votes count to their full potential and waste other votes. Gerrymandering has become easier today due to a combination of new technology to precisely draw districts and greater voter partisan rigidity that makes it easier to project the outcome of new districts.

Basically and simply….it is how politicians pick their votes instead of the voter picking their candidates….

The 2020 census has set up a political battle….

… the stage is set for rampant partisan gerrymandering to skew many of those maps in favor of politicians’ preferences over the public’s. 

This undemocratic process has a real impact on the balance of power in Congress and many state legislatures. We saw it at the federal level in the 2010s, when extreme partisan bias in congressional maps gave Republicans a net advantage of some 16 seats in the House. The same has happened on the state level. For example, in 2018 Wisconsin Democrats won the majority of the statewide vote but only 36 of 99 state assembly seats.

Although partisan gerrymandering hurts everyone, often communities of color bear the brunt. Racially polarized voting patterns and residential segregation mean that targeting communities of color can be an effective tool for creating advantages for the party that controls redistricting— whether that party is the Democrats or Republicans.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/08/11/gerrymandering-upcoming-redistricting-battle

Texas (go figure) was the first to slither its policies into law……

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, while much of the country slept, the Republican-dominated Texas House approved a heavily gerrymandered district map that critics have denounced as part of an anti-democratic and racist GOP power grab—one that right-wing lawmakers could try to replicate across the United States.

At around 3:30 am local time, Texas lawmakers passed the GOP’s state House redistricting proposal in a largely party-line vote after roughly 14 hours of debate. The bill, authored by state Rep. Todd Hunter (R-32) and designed to set boundaries for the 150 Texas House districts, now heads to state’s Republican-controlled Senate.

On top of a slew of other right-wing priorities, the Texas legislature is racing to approve state House, state Senate, and congressional district maps before its third special session of the year expires on October 19.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/13/dead-night-texas-house-approves-gops-gerrymandered-map

Gerrymandering hurts ALL voters….

  • Fewer competitive U.S. House districts and safe incumbents after redistricting: In 2010, 70 of 435 U.S. House districts had a competitive partisan balance of 47% to 53%. That was small, but after redistricting in 2011, the number of competitive districts declined to only 53. That number dropped again to 47 seats (only 11% of all seats) after the 2012 election due to shifts in voting behavior. Of 31 vulnerable incumbents (those who won by less than 10% in 2010) affected by redistricting (with a new district drawn with partisanship changing by more than 3%), 26 had their district made safer and only five less safe.
  • Partisan distortions in politically drawn plans: In 2011, Republican lawmakers drew new district lines in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. In 2012, Democratic U.S. House candidates won more than Republican candidates in both states, but won only 9 of 31 seats.
  • Partisan distortions in commission drawn plans: In 2011, an independent redistricting commission drew lines in California and a bipartisan commission with a public interest “swing vote” drew lines in New Jersey. In 2013, Republican candidates for the New Jersey assembly won 51% of the vote, but only 32 (40%) of 80 seats. In 2014, Democratic U.S. House candidates won 57% of votes in California’s 53 U.S. House races, but 74% of seats.

Changing this election fixing has only one sure solution….

The only sure way to eliminate gerrymandering – both intentional and unintentional – from American elections is to abandon single-member plurality arrangements and adopt proportional representation. Indeed, the whole purpose of PR is to minimize wasted votes and ensure that the parties are represented in proportion to the votes they receive. This eliminates the possibilities of unfair representation produced by gerrymandering. The key to eliminating partisan gerrymandering is the large multimember districts used in PR systems. As numerous studies have shown, as long as a PR system has at least five seats in every district, it is effectively immune from gerrymandering. These districts largely eliminate the wasted votes that make gerrymandering possible. In such districts, even small political minorities do not waste their votes and are able to elect their fair share of representatives. Thus, under PR arrangements, where voters live or how district lines are drawn makes no difference – fair representation will result.

This political tool will be with us for a very long time for one party has learned just how valuable it is…..

For further info read this…..https://www.fairvote.org/how_proportional_representation_would_finally

More to explain this situation…..https://www.vox.com/22632427/redistricting-gerrymandering-house-republicans

Any ideas how to solve this problem to our elections?

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Closing Thought–14Oct21

Here in South Mississippi we have a legend of a home town boy makes good.

The person is Brett Favre, a NFL legend, if you will…..he won numerous Super Bowl rings as the QB of the Green Bay Packers….it seems that all those dollars made as a NFL super star does not preclude one from committing fraud…..

It’s pay-up time for Brett Favre, unless he wants to face a civil lawsuit. That was the warning Tuesday from Mississippi State Auditor Shad White, who said in a statement that the former NFL star still owes $828,000 in illegal welfare funds and interest, per the Mississippi Free Press. All recipients of misspent funds from the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, including Favre and Favre Enterprises, must pay the money back within 30 days or risk being sued. “These illegal expenditures and unlawful dispositions were made when you knew or had reason to know through the exercise of reasonable diligence that the expenditures were illegal and/or the dispositions were unlawful,” a letter from White to Favre said, per Mississippi Today. Fourteen other groups or individuals got similar letters, asking for a total of $77 million back. Our original story from May 13 follows:

Brett Favre still hasn’t repaid the state of Mississippi $600,000 in welfare money he received for speeches he never gave. The former NFL quarterback promised to return $1.1 million last year after state auditors said funds earmarked for needy families had been paid to his company, Favre Enterprises, in 2017 and 2018 for speeches that were never delivered, the Clarion-Ledger reports. Favre repaid $500,000 days after the auditor’s report, but Logan Reeves, a spokesman for Mississippi Auditor Shad White, tells the AP that they haven’t heard from Favre since and there was no formal agreement, or legal obligation, for him to repay the funds.

“After the initial media dustup, he stroked a check for $500 grand and gave a commitment, a voluntary commitment, to repay the rest in the coming months,” Reeves says. “And then, that didn’t happen.” The money Favre received was part of $94 million in questionable spending connected to the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program found in last year’s audit. The money went to his company via a nonprofit whose former leader was indicted in an alleged embezzlement scheme last year, along with the former head of the state’s welfare agency. Favre said last year that he didn’t know the money had come from welfare funds, Mississippi Today reports. “I love Mississippi and I would never knowingly do anything to take away from those that need it most.” he tweeted.

Being a football legend does not give one the right to commit fraud…..

Fraud is fraud and no matter one’s standing in society it must be corrected at all costs.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Education In Decline

We have been watching the decline of public education for decades….at least as far back as the GOP icon, Reagan.

The full-court press against public education began in earnest during the Reagan administration. The publication of A Nation At Risk (1983) was like the Boston Massacre of public schooling in the US. There was less blood loss in the march toward privatizing public schools in the US than during the American Revolution, but the intent to destroy yet another public function and institution of government was there. Kill off public school after public school throughout the US and a major source of unionism, and teacher unions in particular, began to wither. Teacher unions were always a reliable base of support for what remained of New Deal liberalism in the US, even though in some large cities like New York City, teacher unions had been purged of leftists during the witch hunts of McCarthyism.

Even a casual observer could see the trends in the demise of jobs, the growth of prisons, the growth of charter schools, and the decline in support for public schooling in the US. In many places, largely in urban areas, public schools were in decline. School buildings in many places were relics of the past and deteriorated along with the general public infrastructure. Drive across any major highway where snow falls in the winter and see the deteriorating bridges: public schooling was like those bridges.

Then came the standardized testing frenzy of the last several decades. That frenzy began in the 1980s and took off, in a largely bipartisan effort, to turn public schools into testing centers. Some schools began doing test preparation with students as a major thrust of their curriculum, with prep sessions carried over into weekend classes where some kids were forced to wear the uniforms required during the regular school week. Many educational initiatives, such as during the Obama administration, rewarded schools with better test results with increased federal funding. It was sort of like the Kentucky Derby of public schooling.

A certain level of testing students is necessary, but not for use in destroying public schools. Charter schools are publicly funded schools that don’t answer to the public like public schools, are operated privately and for profit, and can turn away students that public schools must accept. Standardized test results from charters are often no better, or worse, than their public school counterparts.

The Charter School Juggernaut

Then there is our colleges and universities….qua;lity professors are being purged because of their supposed ‘leftist’ teachings…..and the corporations are behind most of these purges…..

When the University of North Carolina tried to hire a distinguished journalist, for example, Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk had this to say: “Nikole Hannah-Jones is a racist and a liar.” He urged allies to “find the names of the biggest donors at your school and email them”—and monitor faculty with his ProfessorWatchlist.org. Campus Reform obtained the offer letter sent to Hannah-Jones and Fox News cranked up its outrage machine. We know the rest of the story.

Such groups have actively targeted professors who teach about structural racism in American history. The latest buzzword is “CRT,” critical race theory, which they claim is dividing students at all educational levels, even though CRT is mainly a law school elective.

Such clashes have multiple sources, but the least understood one is how they serve a long-term strategy to disrupt and transform higher education so it better serves corporate interests.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/08/25/secret-corporate-memo-behind-todays-guerilla-war-campus-progressives

These are two ways you get a more compliant work force and less informed society.

This should be stopped!

Education should be priority one no matter what silly political ideology you choose to worship.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–13Oct21

I have been writing about the thieves in the Greene family, owners of Hobby Lobby…..they have been stealing artifacts to be displayed in their Museum of the Bible……

A Sucker Born Every Minute

BUSTED! (Again)

Finally Hobby Lobby has been forced to return their stolen artifact….Epic of Gilgamesh…..

A 3,500-year-old clay tablet looted from an Iraqi museum 30 years ago and bought by Hobby Lobby in 2014 is now officially Iraq’s property again. The Gilgamesh Dream Tablet was formally returned at a repatriation ceremony at the Smithsonian Institution Thursday, CNN reports. Fareed Yasseen, Iraq’s ambassador to the US, told the ceremony that Iraqis are deeply attached to their ancient artifacts. “Our history is what makes us. We’re an old country,” he said. Our original story from July 27 follows:

 

Hobby Lobby has agreed to forfeit a 3,500-year-old clay tablet considered the property of the Iraqi government, which it bought for $1.6 million in 2014. The retail chain purchased the 5-by-6-inch rare cuneiform tablet from a London auction house, which offered up a provenance letter claiming the tablet was found in a box of ancient bronze fragments purchased in an auction in 1981. That same letter had been used to sell the so-called Gilgamesh Dream Tablet—one of 12 tablets found in the ruined library of an Assyrian king in Nineveh, northern Iraq, in 1853—at other times. It was also fake. The uncleaned tablet had in fact been illegally imported to the US by an antiquities dealer in 2003, reports CNBC. After realizing what he had, the dealer sold the tablet with the false provenance letter in 2007.

Hobby Lobby agreed to forfeit the tablet—written in Akkadian, and bearing a portion of the Epic of Gilgamesh, among the oldest known works of literature—which it had purchased in 2014. US authorities had seized it from Washington, DC’s Museum of the Bible, funded by the family of Hobby Lobby founder David Green, in 2019. It is now stored in Brooklyn, New York, according to a Monday court filing.

Jacquelyn Kasulis, acting US attorney for the Eastern District of New York, called it “an important milestone on the path to returning this rare and ancient masterpiece of world literature to its country of origin,” noting the office is “committed to combating the black-market sale of cultural property and the smuggling of looted artifacts.” Hobby Lobby agreed to return thousands of ancient Iraqi artifacts in 2017. Per CBS News, it also agreed to a $3 million fine, saying it “imprudently relied on dealers and shippers who, in hindsight, did not understand the correct way to document and ship these items.”

I still think a fine is not appropriate for the theft of culture and history…..someone needs to do major jail time…..

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”