We Are Better Than This

Surely everyone knows about the mash-up in Virginia this past weekend…..it illustrated that the fights of the 1950-‘s and 60’s are still being fought …..that issues from the past have never gone away.

I read a good op-ed entitled…”We Are Better Than This”…..

Making America Great Again means entertaining support from white supremacists, neo-Nazi’s, the Ku Klux Klan, the survivalist movement, vigilante militias, and it is all neatly packaged in a spiffy new advertising meme labelled the alt-right.

Okay, America, we are now experiencing what it means to go back in time. This is what they meant when they said we were going to take America back. It meant we were going to revisit the good ole’ days when overt racism was the order of the day, when nuclear detonations were rationalized and accepted as, well acceptable, when white men made all the decisions and coal was king. Back to the days when environmental degradation was a critical component to economic progress. Back when civil liberties could be curtailed in the name of law and order, especially if you were from the classes of the troublemakers

Source: We Are Better Than This – LA Progressive

I am sorry but this type of thing, these confrontations, does nothing to “Make America Great Again”….

The President has come out with comments on the violence…..

President Trump’s comments so far on the violence in Charlottesville have been denounced by those on both sides of the political aisle. A sampling of columnists’ takes on his response:

  • In the New Yorker, Jelani Cobb says this is one of the weakest responses to Nazism America has seen. Even the eventual White House clarification wasn’t much better than Trump’s original response. “When questioned about the rationale for Trump’s evenhandedness, the White House clarified that both the protesters and the counter-protesters had resorted to violence. This is notable in that the United States was once a country that did not see Nazis and those willing to fight them as morally equivalent.”
  • At CNN, Timothy Stanley says Trump failed this test. The president likely sees “not a prejudice problem but a crisis of law and order” when he looks at what happened in Virginia, just like many conservatives consider the KKK and Black Lives Matter “as bad as each other.” But “Black Lives Matter, for all its faults, sees a truth that Trump does not: America operates an unjust racial hierarchy in which people of color are relegated to the bottom. When African-Americans protest, they are expressing their powerlessness, they are punching upwards. White supremacists, by contrast, enjoy power and authority. They are punching downwards out of irrational hate.”
  • At FiveThirtyEight, Julia Azari points out why it’s interesting Trump isn’t specifically condemning white supremacy. His “comments are striking for a couple of reasons. For one, Trump repeatedly denounced his predecessor, Barack Obama, for refusing to use the phrase ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ to refer to attacks by Islamist radicals. For another, denouncing Friday’s white supremacist protest and Saturday’s (apparent) attack should have been comparatively easy for an American politician.”
  • Michael Gerson acknowledges at the Washington Post that it’s difficult to find the right words in the face of a tragedy like this, but Trump is, apparently, completely incapable of doing so. “The flash point in Charlottesville was the history of the Civil War,” and “the oppression and trauma that led to Appomattox did not end there. Ghosts still deploy on these battlefields. And the casualties continue. But Trump could offer no context for this latest conflict. No inspiring ideals from the author of the Declaration of Independence, who called Charlottesville home. No healing words from the president who was killed by a white supremacist. By his flat, foolish utterance, Trump proved once again that he has no place in the company of these leaders.”
  • In the New York Times, conservative writer and radio show host Erick-Woods Erickson weighs in. Though he considers the “social justice warriors” of the far left and the white supremacists of the far right to be “two sides of the same coin,” Erickson points out that a white supremacist was allegedly to blame for this violence. “On a day that saw one person killed during the Charlottesville violence, the president did not need to play the ‘both sides are culpable’ game. No side would be protesting in Charlottesville had not the white supremacists decided to march.”

Sad thing is that this is not an isolated occurrence…..more to come….

There is a wealth of articles and such about what the country should do about this rise in hatred…..a better question would be “what will this country do about this rise in hatred”?

Jackson State: The Other “Kent State”

Closing Thought–15May17

Today in History

1820–the US Congress designates the slave trade as a form of piracy…..

1970–year of student deaths…….

We were recently reminded about the deaths among the protesting students at Kent State…..but why is that news and a couple a weeks later students were killed at a prominently black university in Mississippi, Jackson State?

Yep, another history lesson is on the way…..

In the Spring of 1970, campus communities across this country were characterized by a chorus of protests and demonstrations. The issues were the escalation of the war in Vietnam and the U.S. invasion of Cambodia; the ecology; racism and repression; and the inclusion of the experiences of women and minorities in the educational system. No institution of higher education was left untouched by confrontations and continuous calls for change.

On May 14-15, 1970, Jackson State students were protesting these issues as well as the May 4, 1970 tragedy at Kent State University in Ohio. Four Kent State students — Alison Krause, Sandra Scheuer, Jeffrey Glenn Miller and William K. Schroeder — were killed by Ohio National Guardsmen.

According to reports, the riot began around 9:30 p.m., May 14, when rumors were spread that Fayette, Mississippi mayor Charles Evers (brother of slain Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers) and his wife had been shot and killed. Upon hearing this rumor, a small group of students rioted.

Source: The Jackson State shootings, 1970

Neither at the time, nor 45 years later did the Jackson State killings have the same effect on people that Kent state did. (Not that middle America was terribly worried about the Kent State killing either, since 58 percent of them decided the students were to blame.) Perhaps they simply were overpowered by the loudness of Kent state, and a similar incident with a smaller body count was doomed to appear as just aftershocks. Yet, it seems unjust to forget one and sing about the other.

Source: Jackson State and Forgotten History by — Antiwar.com

It is sad that this incident is basically forgotten in the annals of history……

Where Have All The Protesters Gone?

As a child of the 60’s and after my stint in Vietnam I came home and started protesting a war I did not agree with…..I have fond memories of those protests and even some of the arrests.

The US has been at war for 25 years….and there has been very little antiwar protests…..only small voices in the wilderness like mine.

And now that we have a whole White House flexing its muscles around the world and even some threats of using nukes (mostly from idiots that have no idea what they are talking about) I would think that there would be more people rising up and joining in protests….I would be mistaken.

Why?  Because of this……

A series of accelerating and interlocking security crises, from the Middle East and southwest Asia to North Korea, makes the first months of 2017 an especially perilous time. Increasing the dangers is the way that domestic politics in the United States are coming to shape the Trump’s administration’s global military adventurism.

To understand what is happening, look back a few months. Trump’s electoral success in November was partly owed to his stance as defender of the ordinary American facing an entrenched Washington establishment. This elite, he proclaimed, was out of touch with and ignorant of the everyday problems of post-industrial and rural middle America.

Source: Trump’s Wars: More to Come | By Paul Rogers | Common Dreams

All does not look promising….but I could be mistaken (probably not)…..

In recent weeks, the people of the world have been treated to yet another display of the kind of nuclear insanity that has broken out periodically ever since 1945 and the dawn of the nuclear era.

On April 11, Donald Trump, irked by North Korea’s continued tests of nuclear weapons and missiles, tweeted that “North Korea is looking for trouble.” If China does not “help,” then “we will solve the problem without them.” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un responded by announcing that, in the event of a U.S. military attack, his country would not scruple at launching a nuclear strike at U.S. forces. In turn, Trump declared: “We are sending an armada, very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier. We have the best military people on earth.”

Source: Why Is There So Little Popular Protest Against Today’s Threats of Nuclear War? – LA Progressive

What will it take?  What has to happen to force people to face the possibility?

Where have all the protesters gone?

Closing Thought–21Mar17

“There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind

I think it’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side

 We all have seen the massive protests in the last couple of months….of course the “Ignorati” would have us believe that all these protesters are being paid and that they all are violent…..silly but what can you expect from people with shoe size and IQ the same?
Now that the Right has a new puppet master all this protesting will come to an end……right?

A new report from the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence wing has likened certain types of political protests to “domestic terrorism,” and specifically outlined anger at President Donald Trump’s election as a driving force.

The document, obtained by the Intercept, was prepared by the North Carolina Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAAC) and DHS’s Office of Intelligence & Analysis (I&A) with a particular focus on North Carolina. The document comes as Republicans in at least 18 different states have proposed anti-protest bills that seek to criminalize protesters engaging in property destruction and blocking highways, among other forms of protest.

Source: Homeland Security report likens anti-Trump protests to ‘domestic terrorist violence’

This should come as NO surprise after all the Tweets and lip service the Master has given on this subject that his DHS would label this as “terrorism”….

Source: Anti-Trump Riots are Domestic Terrorism | MediaBent

I was wondering how long it would take for the state GOPs to flex their little brains….when they would start trying to ban ALL protests….did not have to wait too long…….

Georgia has become the latest state to take up legislation seemingly designed to have a chilling effect on First Amendment rights. Georgia’s State Senate passed SB1 earlier this month and the bill is now before the lower house of the state’s General Assembly. It goes further than many of the other so-called ‘anti-protest bills’ introduced in other states, by expanding the legal definition of domestic terrorism and creating a state-level Department of Homeland Security with surveillance and intelligence sharing capabilities.
This from the party that wraps itself in the Constitution every chance that get…..I believe that is a part of that document that says protests are okay…..but that never stopped the GOP from ignoring it when it suits their aims.
 For your musical enjoyment…Buffalo Springfield

Coming Of A Police State?

If you follow the news, and most of the readers of IST do, then you will recall the Ferguson Missouri problems a few years ago…the protests and the reactions……..you will also recall the the police appeared to be a military force confronting the protesters….and this situation has occurred over and over…..the police armed and equipped like a military force…..

Like I said this appears to e the wave of the future……

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “An injustice anywhere is a threat to just everywhere.” We should all be cognizant of King’s quote. In the 20th and 21rst centuries, U.S. policies around the world, both economically and militarily, have been questionable at best. They started with the Philippines in the beginning of the 20th century up to the Middle East today. These policies, more often incredibly violent, are coming back to haunt us. An example of this includes the U.S. international policy of “Low-Intensity Conflict” (LIC).

Source: The Militarization of U.S. Police Departments

What got me to thinking along this road was something the Trump said when he was addressing the Chicago wave of violence…..not the quotes about immigrants or thugs or anyhting along those lines….what it was was his statement that he would send in the Feds……”If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible ‘carnage’ going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds.”

Send in the Feds?  Would that not be something akin to a police state?

It would appear that some of the folks who were hoping that Donald Trump was actually an isolationist “jobs” president, rather than the authoritarian white nationalist with imperial ambitions he clearly showed himself to be on the stump, are now being forced to face reality. Everything he has done since he was inaugurated proves him to be dead serious about unleashing the military and the police to enact his agenda, and he wants the other branches of government to understand that if they obstruct him he’s going to make sure his rabid followers know who to blame.

Source: Donald Trump’s Coming Police State: We Have a President Who Wants Unlimited Power and Won’t Respect the Rule of Law | Alternet

He may not have meant it in the way it was said….but that kind of talk is disturbing.

God I love it when a plan comes together!

Closing Thought–16Feb17

Obama Did It!

God knows that I was a staunch critic of Obama while president….but I will have to just laugh at the conspiracists have to say these days…..

One of the biggest jokes in the conspiracy queue is Alex Jones….I have a hard time taking anyone that cites him as a reliable source seriously….he is on the “shadow government” bandwagon…..

Furious about national security adviser Michael Flynn’s resignation, Alex Jones posted a video commentary this morning warning about the threats President Trump is facing from what Jones described as a demonic conspiracy out to destroy him.

While railing against a Foreign Policy article (which he misattributed to Foreign Affairs) about the Russian government’s view of Trump, Jones said that there is a plot to sabotage both Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin over their efforts to stop globalism.

Among the plotters, according to Jones, is Barack Obama, whom he accused of living in a “bunker” in Washington, D.C., where Jones believes he is personally directing and “recruiting with [George] Soros an army for a Bolshevik-style revolution.”

We all have seen the numerous protests that are sweeping the nation….anti-Trump protests that is….if you read any Right leaning websites then you probably already know that these protesters are getting paid or the better oner is Obama is behind them……

Fox News, fringe media outlets, and fake news purveyors echoed New York Post columnist Paul Sperry’s claims that former President Barack Obama is establishing a “shadow government” through his nonprofit organization Organizing for Action (OFA), with an “army of agitators — numbering more than 30,000” — to organize protests against, and to “sabotage,” President Donald Trump. Sperry has a history of pushing falsehoods, misleading claims, and anti-Muslim conspiracy theories. A similar claim about an Obama “shadow government” was also made on Fox by discredited author Ed Klein in December 2016.

Paul Sperry: Obama Creating “Shadow Government” To “Sabotage” Trump, And His Organization “Helped Organize Anti-Trump Marches … Some Of Which Turned Into Riots.” New York Post columnist Paul Sperry wrote that former President Barack Obama is creating “what will effectively be a shadow government” to “sabotage the incoming administration” with “an army of agitators — numbering more than 30,000.” Sperry claimed that “activists” involved with Obama’s nonprofit, Organizing for Action (OFA), had already organized “anti-Trump marches across US cities, some of which turned into riots.” From the February 11 column:

Source: Pro-Trump Propaganda Outlets Are Blaming An Obama Shadow Government For Massive Anti-Trump Protests

And now the Trump incompetency is all Obama’s fault….according to a Trump supporter……

The Trump White House is clearly leaking like a sieve, and right-wing apologists, like ex-Navy S.E.A.L. Carl Higbie continue to carry water for Trump by blaming the Obama White House staff leftovers. He was on with Stephanie Ruhle, who follows Morning Joe weekdays.

RUHLE: You think that maybe there’s people in there who are patriots saying, I have to figure out a way to get the truth out?

You’d think a Navy S.E.A.L. would expect a General to be tough, but not Carl Higbie, He is worried that people are picking on poor Mikey, the same guy from this appalling RNC Reichstag-style speech.

Higbie, by the way, is auditioning as a potential replacement for Sean Spicer, some say.

HIGBIE: Or people with crosshairs on Mike Flynn, you don’t know. we have enormous leaks coming out of the White House. this is indicative of politicos, Obama leftovers, we call them them we bes, we be here when you come and we be here when you go. The loyalists. Donald Trump needs to find out who is loyal, who is a political.

Source: Malcolm Nance Smacks Higbie Down: ‘We Swore An Oath To The U.S. Constitution’ | Crooks and Liars

Sorry I have a problem with all this bullshit.  I expect more from a group that demands accountability from others but not their president…..(there is a name for that)……

Americans cannot come up with an opposition on their own….they need someone to tell them what is wrong…..is that about it?

In 2008 there was the rise of the Tea Party…remember?

Was that a plan by the Bush2 group for a “shadow government”?

But there is a new kid on the streets……

Source: Pro-Trump Propaganda Outlets Are Blaming An Obama Shadow Government For Massive Anti-Trump Protests

This gets more humorous by the day and it has only been about 4 weeks since the new guy raised his hand…..gonna be a long 4 years….how much juvenile crap will the American people stand?

Closing Thought–09Feb17

Where Has The Anti-War Movement Gone?

As a young man and combat veteran I became a staunch anti-war activist that continues to this day….in my protest days the movement against war was a strong presence and slowly but slowly the idea of anti-war has died….there are a few of us left that speak out but for the most part the movement is dead.

Many of us have the same feelings and beliefs we have held all along but the movement around us just shriveled up and died…for lack of a better explanation…..

Sadly the death of this movement was brought about by the media and the Left, who in the day supported it…that is until it got its way and then it became just as pro war as the other party.

But what would explain this?  The video below attempts to answer any questions you may have about this movement and its lack of support these days.

This is a program by Newsbud……Click here to follow more news and reports at Newsbud.com

More history for you…..this musical interlude comes from a lesser known group of the “Acid Rock” days……