Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mark Ridley-Thomas and Crony, Alex Johnson: An Insidious Virus Within the Black Community

BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE

Mark Ridley-Thomas and Crony, Alex Johnson: An Insidious Virus Within the Black Community
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Mark Ridley-Thomas, Alex Johnson
Three of the most tenaciously destructive problems endemic to the Black community is political apathy, a lack of education, and the self-serving corruption of some of our politicians and so-called "community leaders;" and the race for District 1 of the Los Angeles Unified School District has revealed conclusively that County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and his new young crony, Alex Johnson, are the resulting embodiment of all three of those problems.
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Subsequent to the sudden and untimely passing of longtime LAUSD board member, Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, a large coalition of parents, clergy, politicians, local activists, and groups within the education community came together to support the interim appointment of George McKenna to complete Ms. LaMotte’s term of office. That’s how such matters have been routinely handled in the past. 
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McKenna is a lifelong educator with an illustrious background, a proven track record, and is highly respected - in fact, he is esteemed - within the educational community. He became nationally renowned after being portrayed by Denzel Washington in the movie, "Hard Lessons," chronicling McKenna’s stunning turnaround of George Washington Preparatory High School in South Central Los Angeles. McKenna enjoys the endorsement of the Democratic Party, the United Teachers Los Angeles, the LA Times, La OpiniĆ³n, LA Sentinel and over 100 leaders in the education, ecumenical, political, civic community, and now, 4 of 5 of his former June 3rd opponents.
.
Yet, in spite of all of the support that George McKenna enjoys from within the community, and there's a regular election scheduled for March 3rd of next year, and by forcing a SPECIAL election the community was left without representation for months and it costs the district over $2.5 million that could have been used to educate our young people, Mark Ridley-Thomas completely ignored all of that and used all of the political influence that he could muster to force a special election.  So why did he thumb his nose at what was clearly in the best interest of the community? It's simple - so he could deny George McKenna the advantage of incumbency and promote the candidacy of a political crony, Alex Johnson, one of his deputies on educational affairs.
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It was a clear case of giving the political consolidation of power priority over the best interest of the people.  Again, it was a blatant act of cronyism - or, to be more specific, an act of promoting friends and associates to positions of authority without proper regard for their qualifications, or lack thereof, in direct opposition to the interest of the people. So let this be a teaching moment - White folks don't corner the market on undermining the Black community for political gain.  It is very important that we learn that lesson as a community.
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But of course, Johnson/Thomas supporters might ask, how do we know that Supervisor Ridley-Thomas doesn’t simply feel that Alex Johnson is the better man?
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That’s a very simple question to answer - the tone of the Johnson/Thomas campaign. Whenever you have a candidate whose primary concern is to better the plight and conditions of the people, that’s what their campaign will focus upon. Such a politician will generally come to the people with an agenda, tell the people what he or she hopes to accomplish, and then begin to explain why they think they’re the better candidate. But that certainly doesn’t describe the Johnson/Thomas campaign. They came out slinging mud and feces everywhere.
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Alex Johnson and Ridley-Thomas have taken a page right of the Republican play book. They’re using the EXACT same tactics against George McKenna as the GOP has been using against President Obama - "never mind what's in the best interest of the people; what's right is what's best for me" - and that fact alone should tell us that these two individuals, and ALL politicians of their ilk, are bad news for the Black community. 
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Yes, this is a story local to Los Angeles, but it has national implications. It is incumbent upon the Black community to get rid of these kind of political buzzards all across the country. If we fail to do so, we're literally VOTING for second-class citizenship. We have enough on our plate without having to fight to get a fair shake and justice from "own." 
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These people have no sense of integrity. Just like the GOP, they hope to benefit from anger, animosity, and turmoil rather than competence and integrity. That accounts for why they're slinging mud instead of an agenda, because they clearly don’t have a viable agenda to present. 
.
They don’t want that seat because they want to help the people. They couldn’t care less about the people. They want that office - or ANY office - because it helps to consolidate the PERSONAL political power of Mark Ridley-Thomas. Period.   
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Ridley-Thomas’ behavior seems to indicate that he sees himself as the big city version of "Boss Hog"(no pun intended) - and this sort of thing has been going on for quite some time with him. In the 2010 article, "L.A. County supervisor gives his side of the story," that appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Steve Lopez writes:
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"L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas greeted me warmly Monday afternoon, even though I'd come to hear him explain why he used $25,000 in taxpayer money to buy a place in 'Who's Who in Black Los Angeles.' I wanted to ask him whether his decision to buy the spread had anything to do with the fact that the book's associate publisher has made campaign donations to the supervisor and is a longtime ally.
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"But first Ridley-Thomas wanted to give me a tour of his office, which he had intended to refurbish at a cost of $707,000 — until the project made the news . . ."
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In the same article, Lopez gives Ridley-Thomas’ explanation as to why he paid $25,000 of the taxpayer’s money to be featured in 'Who’s Who in Black Los Angeles':
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" Ridley-Thomas told me it was worth honoring those county employees because many in the African American community ‘don't know’ there are black people ‘in positions of leadership’ in the county. I thought he must be kidding, but he said he wasn't. I suggested that it might be cheaper to use his newsletter to break the news, rather than 'Who's Who,' especially since I don't think anybody's buying the book unless they're featured in it.
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"I wasn't all that surprised to learn that the associate publisher of 'Who's Who,' Anthony Samad, happens to be a longtime friend of Ridley-Thomas. But I was a little rattled to discover when I looked up campaign contributions that Samad donated $1,250 to Ridley-Thomas' campaign in 2007 and 2008. And that's not all. I also laid my hands on a document showing that Samad had been awarded a $24,999 consulting contract in 2002 by the city of Los Angeles, at the behest of then-Councilman Ridley-Thomas."
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Now, I suppose if one is a logical contortionist, one could say that by funneling that money to Anthony Samad, it COULD be considered funneling it back into the community. But I’m not a contortionist, so it looks to me like cronyism - especially considering the fact that Samad is one of Ridley-Thomas’ longtime friends and political contributors. But I’m not going to past judgment on whether this kind of palm-greasing is improper or not. While it looks highly suspect to me, I’m going to leave it to the readers to make that determination for themselves.
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But it does make one thing irrefutably clear, however - Mark Ridley-Thomas feels absolutely no reluctance in using his office to promote his own interest and benefit friends, and that’s exactly what he’s doing in this race for District 1 of the LAUSD. But this time it's a little different from greasing a friend’s palm. This time around, by supporting his friend, the eminently inexperienced Alex Johnson over the renowned George McKenna, he’s clearly demonstrating that his loyalty to self, friends, and cronies is given a much higher priority than you and your children, and that represents a fatal flaw in a politician. 
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So the bottom line is this - with all the adversity that we're already forced to face in the Black community, can we afford to also have politicians in office who place their needs before our own?  I don't think so - and we need to keep that thought in mind, not only in the coming election, but also, when Mark Ridley-Thomas himself faces the voters again. 
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When a politician becomes so comfortable in his position that he begins to think that HE'S more important than the people, it's time to get rid of him.

Eric L. Wattree
Http://wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
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Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Portrait of a Sixty-Four Year-Old Child - Look At Rick Perry's Expression

BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE
 
Portrait of a Sixty-Four Year-Old  Child - Look At
Rick Perry's Expression
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We're having a little fun with this, but we think it's newsworthy if for no other reason than to show America the kind of mentality we're having to put up with within the GOP.  Rick Perry's face says it all. I bet that's exactly how he looked at nine years old when he couldn't go outside and play. And these brats want us to trust them with the country?
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*
Perhaps That's Why We Have This Statistic.
*
And the Most Horribly Un-American
Part About it is, the GOP is PURPOSELY
Trying to Keep America Suffering.
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What Does That Mean For Suffering Americans?
Their Strategy is to Block All Jobs Bills . . .
.
and Then Criticize High Unemployment.
*
The GOP Actually Wants to Try to Impeach Me
For Trying To Help the American People!!!
Then, They Won't Do Their Job.

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You Can Always Tell When the President's Got Everything Under Control,
Because The GOP Starts Digging For Dirt - Like This:
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Rush Limbaugh on the President Shooting Pool:
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"We have a border crisis, and the president is out there playing pool. Somebody offered him a hit, a doobie. (He had to be tempted.) The last thing this guy can afford to look like is the president right now. He's got to look like anything other than the president in order to stay in tight with the low-information pop culture crowd."
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Bush Vacation Time
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Bush Fighting Terror on the Golf Course
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The Bush Commitment to Getting Osama Bin Laden
.

.

I Suggest We Start the Search in
Dick Cheney's Offshore Accounts
*
A True Conservative's Assessment of Rush Limbaugh
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Thank you, sir. That Just About Says it All.
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Mr. President, it’s Time to Have A Few Fireside Chats.
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The situation with the GOP has gotten way out of hand. They have literally become the domestic enemy of the United States, and the people need to be informed.
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The racist animosities that are running rampant among ALL segments of the American people are playing right into the hands of the those who are our most insidious enemy – the global corporatists. These people are intent upon enslaving us all. The only difference between literal slavery and what they have in mind for us is, we'll have to provide our own housing.
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These people are no longer Americans; they are now globalists, and America is just a virtual cotton field to them. And as long as they keep the poor and middle class fighting and hating one another, we’ll be powerless against their social and political manipulation. So "illegal aliens" and others are far from the biggest threat to the American way of life – the corporatists are.
.
 *
 
 
Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.
 

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

How Can A Black Man Who Fails To Love, Respect, and Protect Black Women Call Himself A Man?

BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE

How Can A Black Man Who Fails To Love, Respect, and Protect Black Women Call Himself A Man?
*
Cops Brutally Assault Black Women in Two Separate Incidents
The graphic videos below show two separate incidents of two cowardly White male cops brutally assaulting two unarmed Black females while obviously in a racist and chauvinistic rage. In California, on July 1 , 2014, Ms. Marlene Pinnock, a psychologically challenged great-grandmother, was savagely brutalized by an unnamed White CHP officer on the side of the 10 Freeway in Los Angeles. On May 20, 20014, in Tempe, Arizona, Black female ASU professor, Dr. Ersula Ore, was grabbed by the neck and body slammed to the ground by ASU officer Stewart Farrin.  Video footage of both incidents clearly show that they could have been easily avoided with just a little humility, common decency, and simple common sense. 
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The bottom line to both of these incidents is that both of these cops were suppose to use the least amount of force necessary to control these situations. So one very simple question has to be asked and answered to determine whether or not they used excessive force - would they have handled these situations differently if the victims involved would have been an elderly White grandmother, or one of their own relatives suffering from Alzheimer's?  I'm certain that they would have - a lot differently.  Thus, that fact alone is prima facie evidence that they used excessive force, and they treated these two Black women differently than they would have treated others under similar or the exact same circumstances. 
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With respect to the incident involving the Dr. Ersula Ore, she was simply requesting to be dealt with in a dignified manner. So all the cop had to do was say, "I apologize if you thought I was being disrespectful, ma'am. I'm only doing my job. May I see some identification, please?" But instead, his behavior seemed to say, "I don't care whether you're a professor or not. I'm a cop, so I don't have to respect you. I asked you for identification, and if you don't give it to me I'm taking you to jail." So his behavior purposely aggravated the situation, and PURPOSELY set the chain of events in motion that led to the incident witnessed below. In addition, there was a second officer on the scene, so the two of them could have easily handcuffed the professor without grabbing her by the neck and body slamming her to the ground. Both of these ladies could have sustained life-endangering injuries, and for what - traffic violations!!!?
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According to the Huffington Post:
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"The police report acknowledges that Ore was following instructions set forth by the construction signs. So what is the problem? It appears clear from the video that Ore is in no way acting oddly; it appears clear that, as she says, others are doing exactly as she is doing. It also appears clear that she is civil and communicative with the officer, if frustrated and getting increasingly so. But what she says falls within the realm of what many of us in similar circumstances might say or indeed may have said at some point in our lives. In any case her behavior does not seem in any way threatening. Especially important is that Ore even seems to warn Ferrin that he will embarrass them both if he tries to subdue her in the way he is threatening to do, as she is wearing a skirt. He ignores that warning, and what follows is clear on the video."
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Yet, the ASU authorities issued the following statement:
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CHIEF JOHN PICKENS
"ASU authorities have reviewed the circumstances surrounding the arrest and have found no evidence of inappropriate actions by the ASUPD officers involved. Should such evidence be discovered, an additional, thorough inquiry will be conducted and appropriate actions taken."
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"Because the underlying criminal charges are pending, there is not much more we can say at this time. The Maricopa County Attorney's Office has reviewed all available evidence, including the police report, witness statements, and audio and video recordings of the incident, and decided to press criminal charges of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, refusing to provide identification when requested to do so by an officer, and obstructing a highway or public thoroughfare."
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So at best, the attitude of both of these cops were racist, chauvinistic, and extremely immature. They were both engaged in a childish game of "King of the Hill." If instead of these women being, in one case, a Black great-grandmother with obvious psychological issues, and in the other, a Black female professor, it had been Barbara Bush, both officers would have been taken off the job immediately, viewed as a rogue cops, fired, ridiculed, and charged with assault - and no one can convince me otherwise.
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But that said, the Black community must also bare some blame for what happened to these two Black women. No, I'm not implying that the Black community is responsible for making these two cops virulent racists (and yes, in order to brutally assault these two Black women like they did, they're not only chauvinistic and cowardly racists, but more), but I am saying, unequivocally, that by not DEMANDING that Black women be respected, protected, and honored within our community, we throw the doors wide-open for these types of incidents to occur. Do you think a Black cop would even THINK of brutally assaulting a White woman in public without his life being in imminent danger?  Ask yourself, why not?
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*
IF YOU DON'T CARE ANYTHING ABOUT THE VERY WOMB OF YOUR CULTURE,
WHY SHOULD ANYONE ELSE?
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COP BODY SLAMS A BLACK FEMALE ASU PROFESSOR 
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WHITE COP KICKS 8 MONTH PREGNANT BLACK WOMAN IN STOMACH
(A "FORCED-ENTRY" KICK)
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To My Responsible Brothers And the Community
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I recognize that the vast majority of you out there are breaking your backs on a daily basis trying to provide a home for your families and raise your children to become intelligent, responsible, and productive individuals. But that's no longer enough. The situation in our community has gotten out of hand. While many of us were busy trying to provide for our families, a less responsible - and extremely reckless - minority in our community have abandoned their kids, or at best, set them in front of television sets, watered them twice a day like plants, and allowed them to be raised by BET. As a result, we now have a generation of young people out here (some as old as 40) who have absolutely no idea of what it means to be either Black, or responsible individuals, and these individuals are spreading dysfunction throughout the community.
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But even worse, we’re allowing them to get rich by creating what amounts to ten minute commercials that’s being disseminated all over the world conveying the message that Black people are frivolous and classless, and all that we’re interested in is getting high, abusing our women, and chasing an unearned dollar, regardless to who we have to kill to get it. 
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As a direct result of this message, many people in this country, and abroad, believe that the mores of the most dysfunctional 10 to 15% of the community represents the moral code of the entire Black community. That’s what allowed George Zimmerman to get away with brutally murdering Trayvon Martin in the FIRST DEGREE, and the brutality that we see in the videos above. It also places your child in immediate danger, because there are many ignorant people in this country who believe that killing or brutalizing a Black person, under ANY circumstances, represents good prevailing over evil - and your Black skin is prima facie evidence of the latter.
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So we can no longer tolerate this. First, we’ve got to treat these incidents like a Rosa Parks moment. We got to SEE to it that the cops involved in the videos above are brought to justice, and we should leave no stone unturned to insure the outcome - and I’m not talking about a slap on the wrist, either. These cops must go to jail! And one way to make that much more likely is for every one of us to contact out representatives and let them know in no uncertain terms that if they don’t come out aggressively against these officers that we will not only NOT support them in the next election, but we will ACTIVELY seek someone else to run in their place.
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Secondly, we must come together in the very same way to support local activists, regardless to where these kind of incidents occur in the country. There was another incident that took place in Canton, Miss. where a judge, Bill Weisenberger, moonlighting as a flea market security guard, slapped a young mentally handicapped Black man who was looking for work in the head hard enough to knock him down. And thereafter, said, "Run, nigger, run."
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It is essential that we come together as a community and come down on people like these with both feet and all the force we can muster. If we don’t, it’s only gonna get worse, because every since the election, and then re-election, of Barack Obama, the bigots have been flooding out of the closet in droves.
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Finally, I’d like to apologize to Ms. Marlene Pinnock, who this cop thought he could brutally bludgeon on a freeway in broad daylight with impunity, Dr. Ersula Ore, a professor at Arizona State University, who was also brutalized by a cop like she was a common thug, Ms. Raven Dozier, who was kicked in the stomach by a cop while eight months pregnant, and all of the other Black women who we're allowing to be abused across this country.  
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The Black community - and especially Black men - owe all of these sisters our most sincere apology, because we're ALLOWING this to happen to our women. We're allowing it to happen by being so caught up in our own personal lives that that we've dropped the ball that those who came before us fought so hard - and in many cases died - to get in hand. How can we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King while turning our backs on all of the principles that he fought for all of his life?  We've become selfish, and we've embraced an everybody-for-himself mentality in order to pursue our own private lives - private lives that many of us wouldn't have if it weren't for the sacrifices of others who fought and died to provide us with the security and comforts that we've become so selfishly engrossed. As a result, we’ve allowed things to get way out of hand. But it behooves us to start reining things back in, or eventually, the comforts and security that we now enjoy will evaporate, and we'll hear the boots at our own door . . . ask any Jew.
*   
The Black Woman: Our Most Valuable Asset
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I have to scratch my head when I hear young
Brothers calling our sisters bitches and hoes;
the Black woman is our most precious asset.
Sister’s are the very womb of our culture,
and if it weren’t for her, we would have
long since been relegated to the
ash heap of history.
.
Sister’s have been standing by us
to help nurture us into adulthood
and reinforcing our manhood
for centuries.
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When we were helpless,
hungry, and abandoned,
SHE WAS THERE . . .
to suffer with us,
and nurture us into adulthood.
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When we were beaten down
and told that we weren’t shit
by the White man,
SHE WAS THERE . . .
to nurse our wounds,
and assure us of our value.
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When we ran the street
in a misguided attempt to seek our manhood,
SHE WAS THERE . . .
to rein us in,
and convince us that we were
more than our vision of ourselves.
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And once we gained the wisdom
to become real men,
SHE WAS THERE . . .
to defined our manhood through the image we saw reflected in her eyes.
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So "THAT BITCH," and "THAT HOE,"
is our most precious
possession . . .
 She's the ONLY thing of value we have
in this world,
and the only one who’s ever
gave a damn about us -

and she didn't have to be
taught these things -
she was BORN that way, 
and we’d be lost without her.
.
So wake up, fool!
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DEDICATED TO ALL OF THE BEAUTIFUL BLACK WOMEN IN THIS WORLD WHO PUT UP WITH US SO SILENTLY, STAND BY US SO LOYALLY, AND LOVE US SO PASSIONATELY, AND UNCONDITIONALLY.
.
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WITH ALL MY LOVE, RESPECT, AND ADMIRATION,
Eric L.Wattree
 

THANK YOU, LADIES
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Every Black church in the country should be fixated on this issue. If yours is not, find out why, because the next victim could be your mother, daughter, sister, or even grandmother. So let's turn these racist horrors into a teaching moment. It's time for us to relearn a lesson that Frederick Douglass tried to teach us a hundred and fifty years ago:
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"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them."
  Frederick Douglass
 
Black Man Kill by Police After Breaking Up Fight
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Rapper Assaulted By Police For Absolutely No Reason 
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*
 
Eric L. Wattree
Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.


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Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Frederick's Eyes (The Rapper)

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

FREDERICK'S EYES
(THE RAPPER)
Frederick Douglass
(1818-1895)
*
Now, THIS was a rapper!!!
 
He rapped lyrics of eloquence and truth

that will reverberate across the ages.

As long as there's a such thing as humanity,

his words will be recited by posterity.


He had to escape slavery to educate himself,

and then he went on to become one of the most knowledgeable,

and brilliantly eloquent writers, rappers, and thinkers

that this nation has ever known - that MAN has ever known.

He showed the world what we were made of,

and every Black person in this country, and beyond,

should familiarize themselves with his story, and his legacy.

*
Look at the seriousness and fierce determination in that brother's eyes.

That's the look that EVERY Black child should have

when they walk out their parent's door into adulthood.

I look into this brother's eyes every single morning

before I pickup my pen and begin to write,

because the fierce determination,

Knowledge of self,

and unshakeable confidence in personal manhood

reflected in that brother’s eyes,

represent who we are as Black people,

and bringing that side of our nature back to the surface,

defines my mission.

Because those are the eyes that will look upon freedom, justice, and equality.

*
When asked what he though of

the Fourth of July Celebration, Douglass said,

It’s a "mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy -

a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages!"

*
We thought Malcolm X defined what it meant to be militant during the 1960s,

but Douglass told America he considered Independence Day

a celebration that would "disgrace a nation of savages!" in 1852!

That was nine years BEFORE the Civil War.

Back then, even "nice" White folks would lynch a brother given sufficient cause.

So how's that for keeping it real,

For love of people,

For confidence in self,

and a willingness to speak truth to power?

Douglass came straight from the shoulder,

and without any hesitation or equivocation.

That's what manhood is about,

not struttin' about on stage in saggin’ draws,

a thousand miles and a century away,

from the nearest rope, lynch mob, or Poplar Tree,

But Douglass was willing to confront those horrors,

And

THAT,

My young brother,

was

Manhood.

*
A hundred and fifty years ago Frederick was everything

that we try to pretend to be today - and more.

He epitomized what it meant to be laid-back and cool,

but with one big difference,  it wasn't contrived,

and he had the powerful, focused,

well-trained, and very serious mind

to go along with his suave demeanor.

This former slave, had the kind of powerful intellect

that would allow him to sit with presidents as a peer.

He convinced Abraham Lincoln

to enlist Black troops into the union army

and helped to organize the famed

54th Massachusetts Regiment,

for just a little payback.

*
But he did much more than just spit lyrics,

he was also both a musician, and a ladies man,

and he was sought after with great affection

by many of the sophisticated and highly placed

White women of the time.

Historian and scholar Playthell Benjamin describes Douglass

as "six foot four and over two hundred pounds,

with a the well muscled body of a blacksmith
 
and the handsome countenance of a leading man of the theater,

a gift for language, and blessed with a marvelous vocal instrument which,
  
when wedded to his mastery of rhetoric,

had the power to move masses to action in behalf of his cause,

a cause that included the emancipation of women.

Frederick Douglass was a sexual magnet to the ladies,

especially educated white ladies.
 
And none was more enchanted with Douglass
 
than Ottilie Assing, who described him as ‘magical.’"
*
So what we have in Douglass is a 

handsome, suave, and debonair Black man,

living in pre-Civil War America,

yet, had the knowledge and intellect

to command enough respect to live life exactly the way he saw fit.
 
He counseled the President of the United States,

he 'dated' who he felt like 'dating' (Black or White), 

and he had the courage to tell White America 
 
that their celebration of the Independence Day was
 
"a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages!"

*
So Douglass was one hell of a guy,
 
and we could learn a lot about
 
what it means to be a true Black man by studying his legacy.
 
In order to command the kind of respect that Douglass enjoyed
 
during a time when other Black men
 
were looked upon as scarcely more than animals,

he had to be a unique man among men - and,

have some serious 'street creds.'

Because he was a Black man in a racist world

who lived his life the way he wanted to live, 

and said exactly what he wanted to say -

and without looking down at his feet.
 
He dealt with every man eyeball-to-eyeball,

and he didn't care who they were. 
 
Yet, he had no posse, no crew, and absolutely no backup.

It was just Fred, and his manhood, against the world. 

But obviously . . . 

The manhood reflected in his eyes,
 
was enough.
.


"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them."
*
Good Old Soul
 

 
Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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Saturday, July 05, 2014

Frederick Douglass: America - Through the Eyes of a REAL Black Man



Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

Frederick Douglass: America - Through the Eyes of a REAL Black Man

Frederick Douglass
February 1818 – February 20, 1895
*
Now, THIS was a rapper!!! He rapped lyrics of eloquence and truth that will reverberate across the ages. As long as there's a such thing as humanity, his words will be recited by posterity. He had to escape slavery to educate himself, and then went on to become one of the most knowledgeable, and brilliantly eloquent writers and speakers that this nation has ever known - that MAN has ever known. He showed the world what we were made of, and every Black person in this country, and beyond, should familiarize themselves with his story, and his legacy.
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Again, he went from an abused slave, to rubbing shoulders with presidents. As I suggested before, look at the seriousness and fierce determination in that brother's eyes. That's the look that EVERY Black child should have when they walk out their parent's door into adulthood. I look into this brother's eyes every single morning before I pickup my pen and begin to write, because that brother's eyes reflect who we are as Black people, and bringing that side of our nature to the surface, defines my mission.  Because those are the eyes that will look upon freedom, justice, and equality.

Eric L. Wattree
Playthell Benjamin - Author/ Scholar/ Historian 
Frederick Douglass
What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July?
"I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy - a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages!"
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And we thought that Malcolm X was militant in the 1960s. Well, Douglass told America that he considered their Fourth of July celebration a "mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy - a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages!" in 1852 - nine years BEFORE the Civil War. Back then, even "nice" White folks would lynch a brother if given sufficient cause. So how's that for keeping it real, and speaking truth to power?  The brother came straight from the shoulder, and without any hesitation or equivocation. That's what manhood is about, not struttin' about on stage, a thousand miles and a century away from the nearest rope, lynch mob, and Poplar Tree.
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Douglass would be of particular interest to many young Black men today if they would simply take the time to read about his fascinating character, because over one hundred and fifty years ago he was everything that many of today's young Black men try to pretend to be today.  He epitomized what it meant to be cool, but with one big difference - it wasn't contrived, and he had a powerful, focused, and very serious mind to go along with his suave demeanor. He, this former slave, had the kind of powerful intellect that would allow him to sit with presidents as a peer. He convinced Abraham Lincoln to enlist Black troops into the union army, and helped to organize the famed 54th Massachusetts Regiment.
Yet, he was also both a musician, and a ladies man, and he was sought after with affection by many of the sophisticated and highly placed White women of the time.  Historian and scholar Playthell Benjamin describes Douglass in his, Commentaries On The Times, as "six foot four and over two hundred pounds, with a the well muscled body of a blacksmith and the handsome countenance of a leading man of the theater, a gift for language – historian and biographer Benjamin Quarles says Douglass seemed incapable of writing a bad line – and blessed with a marvelous vocal instrument which, when wedded to his mastery of rhetoric, had the power to move masses to action in behalf of his cause, a cause that included the emancipation of women, Frederick Douglass was a sexual magnet to the ladies, especially educated white ladies." 
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Benjamin goes on to say, "And none was more enchanted with Douglass than Ottilie Assing, who described him as “magical.”  Ottilie Assing was  "a self-confident intellectual who spoke several languages, an accomplished writer, a learned critic of the visual arts, literature and theater, a seasoned radical forged in the Young German and Free Thinker’s movements that were part of the failed German revolution of 1848, an actress and musician who accompanied Douglass on piano while he played his beloved violin, a feminist, militant atheist and passionate abolitionist, Ottilie was Fred’s kind of girl."
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So what we have in Douglass is a handsome, suave, and debonair Black man, living in pre-Civil War America, yet, had the knowledge and intellect to command enough respect to live life the way he saw fit. He counseled the President of the United States, he 'dated' who he felt like 'dating' (Black or White), and  he had the courage to tell White America that their celebration of the Fourth of July was "a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages!"
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But in spite of Douglass' in-your-face outspokenness, which certainly would have gotten a lesser Black man lynched,  he received several presidential appointments:
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"Douglass served as advisor to presidents. Abraham Lincoln referred to him as the most meritorious man of the nineteenth century. In his later years Douglass was appointed to several offices. He served as U.S. Marshal of the District of Columbia during Rutherford B. Hayes' administration and President James Garfield appointed him the District of Columbia Recorder of Deeds. In 1889 President Benjamin Harrison appointed him to be the US minister to Haiti. He was later appointed by President Grant to serve as secretary of the commission of Santo Domingo. Douglass had hoped that his appointments would open doors for other African-Americans, but it was many years before they would follow in his footsteps." (http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/exhibits/douglass_exhibit/douglass.html).
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So Douglass was one hell of a guy, and young Black men of today could learn a lot about what it means to be a true Black man by studying his legacy. In order to command the kind of respect that Douglass enjoyed during a time when other Black men were looked upon as scarcely more than animals, he had to be a unique man among men, with some serious 'street creds.' Because he lived life the way he wanted to live, and said exactly what he wanted to say - and without looking down at his feet. He dealt with every man eyeball-to-eyeball, and he didn't care who they were. Yet, he had no posse, no crew, and absolutely no backup. It was just Fred, and his manhood, against the world. But obviously, that was enough.  
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So one of the important lesson that today's young Black men can learn from Douglass is what it means to be a Black man. Today, many of our young men are all swagger and no substance, while Douglass, was all substance and no swagger. That's what it means to be a man. Swaggerin' is a device designed to hide a LACK of manhood, so you'll find a wimp behind most swagger. Douglass didn't have to swagger. The resolve, and serious sense of purpose that the world could see in his eyes, said it all. 
Cedar Hill: Frederick Douglass’ Last Home
Frederick_Douglass_House II
From Slave cabin to fine mansion looking down upon Washington
 
"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."
                                                                                      - Frederick Douglass
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Eric L. Wattree
Http://wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

FELLOW AMERICANS, DON’T LET OUR IGNORANCE DESTROY US

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

FELLOW AMERICANS, DON’T LET OUR IGNORANCE DESTROY US
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The racist animosities that are running rampant among ALL segments of the American people are playing right into the hands of the those who are our most insidious enemy – the global corporatists. These people are intent upon enslaving us all. The only difference between literal slavery and what they have in mind for us is we'll have to provide our own housing.
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These people are no longer Americans; they are now globalists, and America is just a virtual cotton field to them. And as long as they keep the poor and middle class fighting and hating one another, we’ll be powerless against their social and political manipulation. So "illegal aliens" and others are far from the biggest threat to the American way of life – the corporatists are.
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If Al Qaeda represents a rattlesnake in America's garden, the corporate/GOP alliance represents a python under our bed. Al Qaeda can only destroy buildings, but the corporate/GOP wants to destroy our entire way of life and replace American democracy with a system of corporate feudalism, where corporations, literally, control the nation.  So it is essential that every man, woman, and child who is a part of the poor and middle class recognize that fact, put our petty hatreds aside, and come together to fight our most insidious enemy - the global corporatist.
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History is clear. Conservative Republicans don't mind spending money, they just don't want to spend it on those who need it - us. Remember, they're the party of Alexander Hamilton, one of this country's founding fathers who believed that only those who owned property should even be allowed to vote. He also said:
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"All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and wellborn, the other the mass of the people.... The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in government. They will check the unsteadiness of the second, and as they cannot receive any advantage by a change, they therefore will ever maintain good government." Debates of the Federalist Convention (May 14-September 17, 1787).
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Hamilton's views were rejected by the founding fathers, mainly because many of them left Europe to escape the class system. But those who hold Hamilton's view are still among us. They simply have to remain discreet, and they must contrive various pretexts to camouflage their agenda in order to remain politically viable. But the agenda is clearly visible for anyone who takes the time to look. It's simply being disguised and hidden within the fabric of purposely instigated racism, sexism, xenophobia, and other forms of hatred and bigotry. The GOP specializes in using emotion to circumvent clear thinking.
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While they have the poor and middle class distracted by hating and fighting one another, the GOP/Corporate alliance steeped in the process of undermining us all. Clear evidence of that is, any and all legislation that benefits poor and middle class Americans is labeled "socialist," and the GOP fights it tooth-and-nail as "un-American." But they had absolutely no problem in bailing out Wall Street, even though the source of Wall Street's repeated problems resulted from their attempt to swindle the American people. But Americans have been conditioned to believe that protecting ourselves is "un-American;" the American way of doing things is handing our wealth over to the rich. The scam is clear for anyone to see, but again, the American people have been conditioned to blame one another.
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The Republican Record of Economic Irresponsibility
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During the George W. Bush administration wasn't the first time that the American people had to bailout Wall Street as a result of Reckless Republican policies. As I pointed in my article, "The GOP: A One Hundred Year Record of Swindling The American People,"  due to the continued freewheeling fiscal policies of conservative Republicans, between 1986 and 1989, spanning the presidencies of Reagan and Bush Sr., the FSLIC had to pay off all the depositors of 296 institutions with assets of over $125 billion.
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The GOP's passion to further enrich the wealthy at the expense of the middle and lower classes seems to know no bounds, and transcend all logic. From the moment the New Deal safety net to protect the American people went into place, conservatives have been determined to dismantle it. There are two reasons for that. The first is, it sets money aside for the American people that they'd like to get their hands on. The second is, it insulates the American people from being so vulnerable to corporate manipulation. We'll discuss how that works below.
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The closest the GOP has come to dismantling the New Deal started during the Reagan administration with Supply-Side Economics, or, "Reaganomics" - and the battle is currently raging in Washington D.C. as we speak.
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Supply- Side Economics was a scheme hatch by U.S.C. economist Arthur Laffer and the Reagan crowd which was supposed to cut the deficit and balance the budget. The theory behind Reaganomics was ostensibly, if you cut taxes for business and people in the upper tax brackets, and then deregulated business of such nuisances as safety regulations and environmental safeguards, the beneficiaries would invest their savings into creating new jobs. In that way the money would eventually "trickle down" to the rest of us. The resulting broadened tax base would then not only help to bring down the deficit, but also subsidize the tremendously high defense budget. It's exactly the same plan the Republicans in congress are pushing today. But when the plan was first floated, even George Bush Sr., Reagan's vice president to be, called it "voodoo economics."
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Reaganomics, for the most part, sought to undo many of the safeguards put into place during the Roosevelt era and create a business environment similar to that which was in place during the Coolidge Administration. What actually took place, however, was even more like the Coolidge era than planned.
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Instead of taking the money and investing it into creating new jobs, the money was used in wild schemes and stock market speculation. One of these schemes, the leveraged buy-out, involved buying up large companies with borrowed funds secured by the company's assets, then paying off the loan by selling off the assets of the purchased company. This practice cost the citizens of this country its industrial base. In addition, the bottom fell out of the stock market. On Monday, October 19, 1987 the Dow-Jones Average fell 508.32 points. It was the greatest one-day decline since 1914 - 15 years before the Great Depression.
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 And what about Ronald Reagan's promise to balance the budget and lower the deficit? By the time he left office he was not only the most prolific spender of any president, but he also added more to the deficit than all of the other presidents from George Washington to his own administration combined. And what does the Republican Party propose to do about that? One of the Republican proposals was their "contract with America," a capitol gains tax cut - for the rich.
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Then in 1988 Silverado Savings and Loan collapsed, costing the taxpayers $1.3 billion. It was headed by Neil Bush, brother of George W. Bush.  The investigation alleged that he was guilty of "breaches of his fiduciary duties involving multiple conflicts of interest." The issue was eventually settled out of court with Bush paying a mere $50,000 settlement.
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Then there was the Lincoln Savings and loan scandal in 1987, involving John McCain. The scandal was very similar to the one that played out on Wall Street in 2008. McCain was one of a group of senators dubbed "The Keating Five" involved in a scandal by the same name.
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In 1976 Charles Keating moved to Arizona to run the American Continental Corporation. In 1984, shortly after the Reagan era push to deregulate the savings and loan community, Keating bought Lincoln Savings and Loan and began to engage in highly risky investments with the depositors' savings. In 1989 the parent company, which Keating headed, went bankrupt, and it resulted in over 21,000 investors losing their life savings. Most of the investors were elderly, and the loss amounted to about 285 million dollars.
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After having received over a million dollars from Keating in illegal campaign contributions, gifts, free trips, and other gratuities, the Keating Five - Senators John Glenn, Don Riegle, Dennis DeConini, Alan Cranston, and Sen. John McCain - attempted to intervene in the investigation into Keating's activities by the regulators. Later, they were admonished to varying degrees by the senate for attempting to influence regulators on Keating's behalf. Charles Keating ended up being convicted for fraud, racketeering and conspiracy, for which he received 10 years by the state court, and a 12 year sentence in federal court. After spending four and a half years in prison, his convictions were overturned. But prior to being retried, he pled guilty to a number of felonies in return for a sentence of time served.
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Then came the George W. Bush administration that caused close to a million people to die uselessly in an illegal war in Iraq, robbed the American people blind, whose fumbling ignited the longest war in American history in Afghanistan, and whose greed came very close to sending the nation into yet another depression.
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Now, after all of their repeated efforts to deplete the national treasury, they're unanimously voting against every piece of legislation that the Democrats propose to repair the damage they created and bring relief to the American people. Then they have the audacity to claim that they're doing it because they're concerned about deficit spending.
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They're against affordable health care for American families; they're against any kind of spending to put Americans back to work, and they're against extending unemployment insurance to relieve the burden of America's unemployed. What's particularly telling, however, is they're also against any kind of strong legislation to prevent the financial community (them) from being able to rob the American people in the future.
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Also interesting, considering their deep "concern" over the national debt, is the estimated $4 trillion Bush tax cut for the rich. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, "Considering  both the direct costs of the tax cuts and the associated increase in interest payments, the tax cuts would increase deficits by nearly $4 trillion between 2005 and 2014."
http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1811
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So the fact is, what they really wanted prior to the 2012 election was to maintain the status quo, and make sure that the American people remained miserable, hungry, and divided until the elections so they'd have a better chance to regain power and raid the treasury again. Republican Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, was frustrated and reckless enough to say it out loud - "Our No. 1 priority is to make this president a one-term president" - not to save America, or to bring relief to the American people, but to make Barack Obama a one-term president. Flag pens in lapels and patriotic rhetoric notwithstanding, that says it all about the GOP's lack of concern for America, or the American people.
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Now that they've lost the 2012 election, their agenda has shifted to making sure that President Obama is not successful, because if he is, and you combine that with the rapidly changing demographic and Hillary Clinton's popularity, that could spell doom for the future of the GOP - and it should, because they're grossly out of touch with reality, and, America's best interest. They're out to create a corporate feudalist society. The government shutdown alone, clearly demonstrates that they have absolutely no respect for democracy.
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The Middle Class Slide Since the Reagan Administration
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"In 1982, Forbes magazine began its now much-read annual list of America’s richest men and women. At the time of the first list, there were 12 billionaires in the country and fewer than 200,000 millionaires. By the year 2000, there were nearly 300 billionaires and about 5 million millionaires. Smith’s account of the rise of the rich and super-rich tells the story of five types of individuals: entrepreneurs, dealmakers, investors, tycoons (corporate executives, who are distinguished from
entrepreneurs), and entertainers."
http://www.beardbooks.com/beardbooks/the_rise_of_todays_rich_and_super_rich.html
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"No matter how you slice it, when it comes to income and wealth in America the rich get most of the pie and the rest get the leftovers. The numbers are shocking. Today the top 1 percent of Americans control 43 percent of the financial wealth (see the pie chart below) while the bottom 80 percent control only 7 percent of the wealth. Incredibly, the wealthiest 400 Americans have the same combined wealth as the poorest half of Americans — over 150 million people.".
A recent Princeton study Shows that America is no longer a democracy. We are now an Oligarchy, controlled by the rich. So it is essential that we wake up. Racism is no longer the war; racism is now merely a TOOL of war. We are now knee-deep in a CLASS WAR, and the American people are losing badly - ALL of the American people.
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Here’s the game that we're allowing the corporatists to run on us. They’ve convinced America that if we give the rich enough money, they’ll use that money to create jobs for the poor and middle class. Now, I don’t claim to be an intellectual giant, but it doesn’t take a great mind to understand that demand fuels supply, not the reverse.
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If I made my living selling Gucci Bags, for example, I don’t care how much money you give me, I’m not going to hire anyone to produce any more Gucci Bags than I have in stock if I'm being forced to sell those bags in a homeless shelter. It wouldn’t make sense, because in a homeless shelter no one would have the money to purchase my product. The only way that you’re going to get me to hire people to produce Gucci Bags is if you gave that money to the people in the shelter so they’d have the money to buy my merchandise.
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That's exactly what's happening in America today. Corporate profits are at record highs, and the information and charts above clearly show that corporations and corporate executives are currently making more money than they've ever dreamed of in the past. So there's no reason for high unemployment. The rich are not putting that money into creating jobs; that money is going into offshore accounts, and we never see it again. That's why the rich are getting so much richer, and the middle class so much poorer.
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On the other hand, if the Republican congress would allow President Obama to create jobs to repair American's infrastructure - repair bridges, dams, and interstate highways and the like - that money would create jobs, just like it did when it brought us out of the Great Depression. Then, Americans would have money to spend on goods and services. They would go on vacations, so hotels and restaurants would have to hire people to accommodate them, and the food industry would have to hire people to process and serve their food. They would also buy bicycles and toys for their children, and that would create jobs, and they would buy more clothing, gas, and make needed repairs to their homes, and that would create jobs. And as a result of all those jobs being created, more revenue would come into the government in taxes, which would allow us to pay down the national debt.
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Again, think about it - the business community is making more profits than they've ever made in their history, so there's no logical reason for unemployment in America to be so high. The reason that unemployment is so high is because it's being kept high on purpose.
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Consider this. In the sixties, Howard Hughes was famous for being one of the richest men in the world.  He was considered so incredibly rich that they made movies about him. But compared to today's billionaires, he'd qualify for food stamps. Howard Hughes only had $4 billion, but today, Bill Gates has $79.1 billion, David Koch, of the infamous Koch brothers has $41.3 Billion, and even the young man, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, has $29.9 billion.  So there is absolutely no reason for the American people to be suffering so severely, and for unemployment to be so high - yet, they have us hating and pointing the finger at one another as the cause of our misery, when as pointed out above, the wealthiest 400 Americans have as much combined wealth as the 150 million poorest half of Americans.
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So it doesn't take a brain surgeon to see where the wealth of middle-class America has gone. It hasn't gone to "illegal aliens," or people requiring food stamps. Corporate welfare is nearly double the cost of all social programs. About $59 billion is spent on traditional social welfare programs. $92 billion is spent on corporate subsidies. So, the government spent nearly 50% more on corporate welfare than it did on food stamps and housing assistance in 2006.  http://thinkbynumbers.org/government-spending/corporate-welfare/corporate-welfare-statistics-vs-social-welfare-statistics/
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The GOP's supposed concern for the national debt is only a pretext to block spending and keep unemployment high. They are purposely trying to turn America into a homeless shelter, because the GOP and its corporate cronies have a vested interest in keeping us angry, miserable, and divided.
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The GOP's motive is political - by keeping unemployment high and the American people miserable, it makes Obama and the Democrats look bad, and they're hoping that the resulting anger and division in the country will help them to get elected in a demographic that's shrinking to the GOP's disadvantage. And the corporatist are trying to squeeze the middle class. They’re trying to lower the American middle class standard of living to a level that conforms to the other countries in the global economy, where in many countries people make less per week than some middle-class Americans spend on lunch per day. So they're trying to squeeze the middle class to the point that it lowers our expectations, and we'll feel grateful for less.
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Their ultimate agenda is to turn America into a corporate feudalist state, where the American people are totally dependent on corporations for their survival. That will greatly enhance corporate profits, and essentially, allow them to control this nation. That's why the GOP is attacking unions, our educational system, and all social programs that prevent us from being totally reliant on the business community. They want to have complete control over our lives. Here's the philosophy behind it and how it works:
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I pointed out the following in a previous article:

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In 1929 during Republican, Herbert Hoover’s administration, the stock market crashed - much like under the Bush Administration - starting the Great Depression, but back then there was no Barack Obama to come to the rescue or mitigate the damage early on. So in spite of the fact that by 1933 the unemployment rate was at 33.3% with 16 million people out of work, the Republican, Herbert Hoover, just sat, thinking that the economy would eventually rejuvenate itself. Much like Republicans of today, Hoover and his Republican Party had absolutely no compassion for either the plight of the American people, or America’s veterans who had put their lives on the line for this country.
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During Hoover's administration, 15,000 WWI veterans marched on Washington demanding that they be paid what they were owed by the government. Hoover responded by calling in federal troops to throw these ex-servicemen off government property.
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The conditions were horrific. During the Great Depression there was no such thing as Social Security, so when a person became too old or weak to work they had no income, so they had to depend on their children for support. That meant instead of a husband and wife only having to support themselves and their children, which was tough enough during those times, they also had to support their parents. So three generations of a family could be living in one household - and in many cases, the parents of both the husband, and the wife lived with the family.
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In addition, there was no such thing as Medicare or Medicaid, so when one of grandparents became ill the medical costs would devastate the entire family. These conditions kept lower and middle-class families in such dire need of funds that they had to accept whatever crumbs the business community chose to throw at them - and remember, at that time there was no Fair Labor Standards Act or unions to protect a worker’s rights, or a minimum wage, so businesses could treat the worker anyway they wanted, and pay them whatever they wanted.
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They could work you 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, with no overtime, and no paid vacation. In addition, since there was no child labor laws, if your boss didn’t think you were being productive enough, he could insist that you bring your children in (as young as 9 years old) to assist you if you wanted to keep your job. Then if you protested, he could fire you on the spot, in which case, your entire family - sick grandparents and all - would be thrown out on the street, because there was no such thing as unemployment insurance.
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As a result, in many cases the entire family, including the children, had to work long, hard hours under sweatshop-like conditions in coal minds and the like, which in many cases led to the death and/or maiming of young children. So in a very real sense, Great Depression era workers lived under a form of slavery - the one difference was, they had to go out and find their own housing.
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Think back to the "Little Rascals" we use to watch as kids, and how ragged they were, or the cartoons we use to watch, where a landlord would come to the door (always portrayed in a black suit) and would tell a begging and crying mother that she had one more day to come up with the rent or she and her family would be thrown out in the snow. That was an accurate portrayal of the way people lived in those days, and those are the conditions that the conservative Republican agenda would restore in America today. Those are the conditions that they’re fighting to restore today.
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Think about it - while the GOP comes up with various pretexts to explain their actions, they are oppose to the minimum wage, they would cut unemployment insurance, "modify" Social Security, they’re against Affordable healthcare, they’re leaving no stone unturned to abolish unions, they’re blocking every jobs bill that comes before them, and in spite of record corporate profits, their corporate cronies are sending jobs out of the country and keeping unemployment high until the American middle class caves in and accept a lower standard of living.
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IT'S NOT ENOUGH TO MERELY SALUTE OUR HEROES
Keeping unemployment high also serves another purpose - it provides an endless supply of young American men and women to use as canon fodder for neocon military adventurism. But what else do you expect them to do? We certainly can’t expect them to send their children over there to die for the country. Dying for your country is no longer for the "rich and wellborn," that’s for the "little people." Then, IF your children come back home maimed and broken from their service to the country, the GOP has absolutely no compassion for them. Just like with Herbert Hoover, they call them deadbeats and a burden on the nation for having to beg for food stamps, and then throw them off the premises. And that’s in spite of the fact that most of the GOP ran - like Dick ‘five-deferment’ Cheney - when they were called upon to serve the nation. The GOP only love our troops as long as they can carry a weapon.
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I WOULD START THE SEARCH IN DICK CHENEY'S
OFFSHORE ACCOUNTS
The GOP/corporatist agenda also explains why they were so determined to send innocent American children to die in a senseless Iraqi war. The poor and middle class safety net put in place by the New Deal enjoys so much support among the American people that the GOP couldn't attack it head on. So they took us into Iraq to enrich their cronies and passed a tax cut for the rich that squandered trillions of dollars and ravaged our national treasury. That gave them a pretext to now claim, "We can no longer afford to fund the nation's safety net." But they could afford to build an embassy in Iraq that was so extravagant that it rivals the Vatican (U.S. Embassy Building will Rival the Vatican). And they could also afford to send so much unaccounted for CASH to Iraq that they could "MISPLACE" 6.6 BILLION dollars without a whimper from those who now want to count every penny that we spend on the poor and middle class.
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So we're being played America, and if we don't put our petty hatreds and prejudices aside and come together to fight this "Domestic Enemy" of the United States, the Tea party, the Klan, the Black Guerrilla Army, and the Mexican Mafia are going to find themselves shoulder-to-shoulder picking virtual cotton on the very same plantation, singing, "We Shall Overcome."

 
A Letter to Bush and Cheney From a Dying Vet
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OLD MARINES NEVER GIVE UP THE FIGHT FOR THIS COUNTRY
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So how do we fight against their control of our political system?
Vote against ANY politician whose money isn’t coming directly from the people. And ALWAYS vote against the issues and politicians whose campaigns are flooded with money.
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LEARN THE ISSUES, ALWAYS VOTE FOR JUSTICE, AND NEVER, VOTE YOUR HATRED, OR IN RESPONSE TO MONEY. 
FOR THE JUSTICE THAT YOU VOTE AGAINST, WILL INVARIABLY, BECOME YOUR OWN. 
 



Eric L. Wattree
http://wattree.blogspot.com/
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
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Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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