Today is mothers day a well deserved day celebrating all moms everywhere.
Okay! I have been neglecting this blog because things in this country have been getting more and more bizarre and disturbing than usual. We have had police men acting like self appointed executioners in just about every state, on an almost weekly basis without any repercussions; no punishment not even firings just dismissive attitudes, claiming that the person who was killed was an alleged threat to them. I’m sure that 12 year old Tamir Rice was a threat to the clown who exited his police cruiser firing his weapon with fatal results.Closer to home Philando Castill a minnesotan from my old neighbor hood of Falcon heights was wantonly killed by a trigger happy fool who had no business wearing a badge or carrying a gun shot him in his car while he was explaining that he had a permit to carry. I guess permits are only for white men not people of color. If a black man can be callously be gunned down in a neighborhood like Falcon Heights then we are not safe any where in this country.
I started writing this article one day after Philando was killed and I am only finishing it today April 30th 2017. This past few years have been traumatic for every person of color in this country. Now with the Election of Donald Trump Things can only get worse, especially with Jefferson Beauregard Sessions as the Attorney General. Way to go Donald just give the country over to the clan and the Neo-Nazis and stop pretending that you represent all of the people; Every right thinking person in America has been violated by Republican party. Voter cross check voter ID’s Gerrymandered districts closing of polls and DMV’s where among the repertoire of dirty tricks played on the public by the republicans. They are no longer the party of Lincoln bur the party of corporate fascism and the enemies of democracy. Still the ask for our cooperation across party lines and claim that the Democrats and progressives are obstructionist.
We are in a fight for our live and the lives of our children and grand children as well as a fight for the survival of mankind itself. The time for compromise is over and done with now is the time for unwavering resistance to Corporate tyranny brought on by right wing judges and congressional lackeys. The republicans and Libertarians are destroying America and it is time to vote these betrayers humanity and of democracy out of office forever.
Today at 3:23 pm ET. in the second round of voting, Tom Perez won the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. I called it at 10:30 am Minnesota time, when I heard that Boynton, Buttigeig and Greene had dropped out. It is apparent that the party did not get the message, that the progressives within the Democratic party,emphatically do not want the old status quo wall street neo-liberals running things. I feel that with Tom Perez at the helm people who do not know about him, will think that holdouts from Debbie Wassermann Schultz may still be running things. We don’t need no stinking moderates to reach across the Isle, and we don’t want the dismissive, east coast wall street Democrats, that refer to us as fly over country.
My fear is, that they have effectively thrown away any chance of a 2018 win or a 2020 win and that our country is lost forever. Unless the Democratic party can show that they are sincere about moving toward a progressive populist agenda; which means, protecting the middle class, maintaining the social safety net and protecting the environment, they will not get the support that they need to take back America.
The time for compromise is over, the time for kowtowing to republicans is over, it is time to get rid of the Phonies who jokingly call themselves public servants, who only serve themselves and their corporate masters. This can not be achieved without the full support of Progressives and old school liberals not neo-liberals, who think more like conservatives.
Remember the Ideas that brought us to this sorry state of affairs were all neo-liberal and neo-conservative ideas. NAFTA CAFTA and the TPP were all supported by that wing of the Democratic party, by collaborating with their colleagues across the aisle. To get a view of what these horrible and misguided beliefs about free trade, which is closer to full blown market monopolies, all you need to do is look up pictures of the closed manufacturing plants in Cleveland, in Detroit, in Pittsburg, or any other once productive industrial city, you will see the complete devastation that Neo-conservativism and Neo-liberalism has wrought throughout our country since the Reagan era deregulation.
If they were smart the Democrats would have all thrown their support behind Keith Ellison, Who was supported by favorites Howard Dean and Bernie Sanders. It would have been much easier to unite the moderates with Ellison, than it will be to unite the various progressive factions, to the party of compromise and surrender. Throwing a biscuit to Kieth Ellison supporters by making him the deputy chairman may or may not work my gut feeling is that too much trust has been lost with long term Democrats and progressives to heal the rift in time for the 2018 elections. We just might see a lot of independents or third party candidates muddying up the waters in the all important upcoming election. All I can say is good luck Democrats we will all be watching you I can only hope that you do the right thing and make that left turn.
2016 has been a tragic and mind blowing year. We have lost some beloved celebrities in the entertainment industries, including Minnesota’s most Iconic rock star Prince. Around Christmas time we got a triple wammy with the death of George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. I have also suffered losses closer and more personal to me, with the loss of two family members, my cousin Gladys Reese Foree and my sister in law Joetta Kemp McAdams.
On top of all of the grief, the biggest blow to myself and millions of other minorities was the election of Donald Trump as the new President of the United States of America; who’d a thunk it! The mainstream media gave (the Donald) one of the most unfair advantages that I have ever seen in my life time, by covering him almost constantly, while they barely gave Bernie Sanders a mention. Hillary and the very disappointing Democratic party leadership were hoisted by their own petard in the guise of Debbie Wasserman Schultz. I understand loyalty to Hillary, but I don’t understand nor do I condone the sabotage of a candidate that consistently bested Hillary in the polls and who was running as a Democrat.
Maybe if the DNC leadership had paid more attention to demanding equal coverage time for Hillary and Bernie Rallies and holding the media to task, the outcome would have been different. There is a reason why the press is mentioned in the constitution, but we can’t have a free press that is not beholden to the people. The media failed as the watchdogs of democracy in every way conceivable. They failed to cover the widespread voter nullification of more than an million mostly minority voters. According to an article in the Nation there are 868 fewer voting places in 2016 because of the Supreme court’s moronic if not racist decision to gut the voting rights act in 2013.
predictably those counties that had always had a history of denying the vote to minorities went to work and closed polling places in heavily minority neighborhoods. States with histories of discrimination and malicious voter nullification were given free rein to defeat true democracy.
The justice Department under Eric Holder should have done more to investigate such blatant and obviously racist attempts to take the vote away from, not only minorities, but from students, the elderly and any one else likely to vote Democrat. Gerrymandering, voter ID. laws, closing DMV offices and voter purge list, like voter crosscheck, started by Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach spread over half the country, heavily targeting People with ethnic sounding names in key battleground swing states. Seven million voters were tagged as suspected of voting more than once and therefor guilty of voter fraud, invalidating their votes. We don’t know how much damage that these tactics caused because the department of justice has not bothered to compile statistics on the real fraud, the GOP’S all out assault on voting rights and Democracy.
With the Appointment of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions as the new attorney General, my guess is that the South and the nation as a whole will return to
the days of white supremacist terror organizations like KKK and the Nazis. Hate crimes have already escalated under Obama I can only imagine how bad its going to be under the trump administration. No one is safe women will end up in prison for getting abortions or even having a miscarriage, which is a tragedy and not a crime; people will continue to be executed by police without any justification both white and black, and the poor and middleclass will continue to funnel their meager earnings to the false gods of Wall street. I Once heard a televangelist say that, “You may not always get what you want but you will always get what you deserve.” HAPPY NEW YEAR AMERICA!
I have just seen something on the morning news that is not only deeply disturbing, but something that should be sending shock throughout the African American community as a collective whole. Kanye West a man that I USED TO RESPECT has been seen kowtowing to the new God of white supremacist Donald Trump. I am aware of the fact that not all of my soul brothers and soul sisters hold the same political views, I am also aware that everyone is entitled to have dissenting opinions, but you would expect and should expect something more from a man who considers himself a genius.
In spite of all the evidence to the contrary Mr. West has chosen the side of a man who will become the oppressor of people of color and completely dismantle the middle class, white people included, to pay for tax breaks for his wealthy cronies. Recently I have been hearing a new word Kakistocracy (kækɪsˈtɑkɹəsi) is a term meaning a state or country run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens. The word was first coined by English author Thomas Love Peacock in 1829, but was rarely used until the 21st century. This is a word that is new to me, but it has been around for a long time. What Donald Trump’s transition team has done is a text book example of this definition. Let’s face it Rick Perry is not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, and he is being considered as the energy secretary; head of an agency that he wanted to dismantle.
Donald trump has no time for national security briefings, but he does have time to meet with the Uncle Ruckus of the hip hop world, aka. Kanye west. If you don’ know who Uncle Ruckus is, he has his own wiki page. In short Uncle Ruckus is the modern version of Uncle Tom, who was an institutionalized non threatening slave. Kanye has proven his unworthiness; as a supporter of the white supremacist status quo, he has put himself in the same category as Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and the rest of the crazies on Fox, not good and not cool. If any one out there is actually reading this, spread the word to boycott any product that has the Kanye West name attached to it. He is no better than Ted Nugent as far as I am concerned and in some ways worse, because he is a person of color and should know better. The fact that he does not disassociate himself from Trump, demonstrates that he is shallow and uninformed and living in the celebrity bubble. This man does not deserve our support, or our dollars.
I just came from seeing the latest Star Trek installment Beyond. It should have been titled how Rock and roll saved the universe. I won’t say anymore just in case you haven’t seen it yet. It was fast paced fun and well worth the $6.50 that I paid for the vanilla version, without real D, 3D or IMAX 3D which is an absolute fraud anyway. IMAX should not be displayed on any screen, other than an actual IMAX screen or your getting cheated. Personally I think passing off 1960s technology as something new is a swindle.
On the regular screen Star Trek looked fantastic and you don’t have to wear those silly glasses that they probably reuse without sterilizing them. I was held in my seat like I was glued to it. What’s not to like about this movie it has Zoe Saldana, Jon Cho, Simon Pegg Karl Urban Channeling DeForest Kelly, Idris Elba and Anton Yelchin, and some guy named Chris Pine. I almost forgot that Zachary Quinto was not Leonard Nimoy. I do have to question James T. Kirk’s rapid rise to the rank of Captain of his own vessel especially in light of his shaky beginnings. He was even offered a promotion to Vice Admiral. I also had some confusion concerning the uniforms and ranking system the collar tabs made no sense to me a person who instantly recognizes naval rank which is the system that Star fleet is using. Your don’t have to be an actual captain, to captain a ship, the title is an honorific in the naval tradition and also a rank. Was Spock wearing a one hundred year old uniform if so it was very well preserved. Will Scotty’s bomber jacket make another appearance in the next Star Trek Movie, no one knows, My guess is yes and where can I get one. It also appears that the Members Only style of leather jacket will be worn far into the future; makes me wish I hadn’t given mine to the good will It’s a classic.
If you want to have fun in air conditioned comfort on a hot summer Friday or Saturday this is a great way to do it. You don’t have to be young or physically fit to enjoy a good movie that’s why I am such a big movie nut. As movies go Star Trek was the perfect popcorn movie or Nachos movie or chicken tenders movie or any other junk food that you want to stuff down your food hole. It was definitely worth the money and the time invested.
This year promised to be a monumental blockbuster year for comic book and graphic novel fans. For myself this year still has to prove itself in the realm of comic based action movies. I am rather burned out on Marvel movies. I hated the fluster cluck that was all of the Ironman movies, except the first one and who needs another incarnation of the same old Spiderman franchise, I didn’t even bother to watch them not even on cable. I did like Paul Rudd as AntMan a movie that I dreaded, because I absolutely hated the character as a teen, but watched anyway; It’s hard to believe that I was ever a teen, but in 1962 when Antman was introduced, I was in junior high school. Me and my friends all agreed that it was a lame concept for a superhero to grow small enough to step on. Who was the guy that pitched this as a movie, since Antman is probably the Aqua-man of the Marvel universe. Fortunately the ageless Mr. Rudd was engaging enough to pull it off.
This year started off with Dead pool a character that I was not familiar with because the last graphic novel that I read was The Watchmen. Dead pool was okay but forgettable. The rest of the year touted some serious stuff; Batman versus Superman,(DC. universe )and Captain America Civil War Marvel universe. Neither of these movies moved me. They were an inconceivable match up, created to invigorate the genre, but for me all they did was to bore me to tears and make me wonder why they were actually fighting, instead of using their superior intellect to resolve their problems peacefully. Of course that would make for some even more boring screen time. No one likes talkies that do nothing but talk. The best thing about Batman Versus Superman was wonder woman. Enough said! So unless both the Marvel franchise and the DC. franchise comes up with something more watchable I won’t be wasting my matinee money on either of them.
There is hope in the DC. universe yet, with the suicide squad; from what I’ve seen of the trailers ,it looks pretty awesome; however all of the attention is on the deliciously wicked Harley Quinn (Played by Margot Robbie). Will Smith is also there,I hope his role is juicier than what the trailer indicates, otherwise he’s just an also ran. Coming out in 2017 is Wonder Woman and the Justice league. Let’s cross out fingers and hope for the best because fans hate to be disappointed.
This photo exemplifies a part of Ali that most people don’t remember, his sense of humor and fun. I was around when then Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. defeated Sonny Liston, a man who had made short work out of Floyd Patterson another great fighter. Liston was so feared that many boxers didn’t care to mix it up in the ring with him. A lot of people wanted the arrogant young Gold Medalist to be pounded into mincemeat by the threatening Liston. Everyone was very surprised when Sonny couldn’t come out of his corner for the seventh round, some people even speculated that Liston had thrown the fight to up the gate for a rematch. Right from the start Ali’s career was filled with controversy.
Joining the Nation of Islam also known as the Black Muslims an separatist group did not help his reputation especially in a time of racial unrest and befriending Malcolm X known in the media as the minister of hate. Changing his name to Muhammad Ali was the final insult to sensitive white folks especially in the south. No one in my old neighborhood cared about all of that noise, we just thought that it was a little odd that he wanted to join those bowtie wearing paper peddlers. I personally and my friends just wanted to see him knock people out.
In 1966 the real trouble started, Ali claimed conscientious objector status on religious grounds and his career collapsed. From 1967 until 1970 he was banned from boxing. arguably those three years that were stolen from him were three prime years and cost him a fortune in revenues. Ali was powerful inside of the boxing ring and on the outside, as a private citizen. He was too powerful, too influential and too arrogant, God forbid that a black man exhibit some pride, in America that was and still is the cardinal sin, gotta keep those Darkies in their place. These are the real reason behind the government denying him conscientious objector status and nothing else. In an era of war and national conscription, you can not have the worlds most visible black athlete voicing dissent against the official views of the United States government; even though those views were based on a lie. We now know, that the golf of Tonkin incident was a complete fabrication created to increase our presence in southeast Asia. How did that work out for you Secretary McNamara!
Ali’s case went all the way to the supreme court and he won, proving that you can’t keep a good man down, at least not for long.He came back and proved himself time after time against some of the greatest heavy weight boxers of the century. By putting everything on the line, career, reputation and even his life Muhammed Ali exhibited the kind of courage that few people possess and to me that’s what made him the greatest.
As usual I didn’t see this movie on the opening weekend, I waited a week and went to the Tuesday matinee and got the Senior discount, yay senior discounts! I figured that I would be disappointed about this movie like I was disappointed about Batman versus Superman. Where’s the beef, What’s the beef, I thought, it was very confusing, but mostly pointless.
Captain America was a pleasant surprise and very thoughtful for comic book fare. They brought up real issues about government over reach and manipulation. Divide and conquer the same old games; the control of dangerous others that may or may not be a threat to national security in spite of the fact that they were fighting for the survival of humanity. The subject of free will was a major theme with Bucky Barnes aka. the Winter soldier. Does a man under the pernicious influence of a brutal brainwashing program bear any responsibility for the crimes he has committed?
The deep subject matter however, did not slow the pace of the movie, it had plenty of action packed fist fights and awesome special effects. It also had some amusing banter to counter the dark seriousness of the story, Ant man and spiderman were a comedy duel that rivaled Abbot and Costello, (look it up)! It was the clash of the titans in spandex, but it was a fairly well thought out storyline. It was definitely worth the eight dollars that I paid to see it, and if you haven’t seen it I would highly recommend it.
As a Minnesotan I am obligated to say something about the passing of one of our favorite sons, Prince. Born Prince Rogers Nelson June 7, 1958 he passed away April 21, 2016. He is mourned by everyone that knew and loved his music but for those of us who live in Minnesota the epicenter of purpleness the loss of this talented man is deep and profound.
His awards include, seven Grammys, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award, he is also an inductee into the Rock & Roll hall of fame. The fact that he was not only a singer songwriter and musician, but played multiple instruments exceedingly well, was an indication of his genius. His flamboyant style and his androgynous good looks, redefined masculinity on his own terms. The Minneapolis sound was singlehandedly crafted and shaped by him and his influence on the other groups that followed in his path is evident.
The lilacs are in bloom in Minnesota and the sky has been crying for a week and a state mourns the passing of The Artist and the man known as Prince.