Friday, November 09, 2018

ABOUT STANLEY “TOOKIE” WILLIAMS - JUST FOR THE RECORD

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

ABOUT STANLEY “TOOKIE” WILLIAMS - JUST FOR THE RECORD
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Tookie was a very sensitive and intelligent brother. He started the Crips at Washington High School as a defense against bullies, and then it got out of hand. Others started perpetrating crimes in his name, and he was held responsible for the deeds of others. That put a target on his back and forced him to become violent just to survive. 
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Tookie was an ambitious brother, but his reputation prevented him from pursuing the ambitions he held so passionately. The first time he came to the house I asked my wife was she crazy, inviting a vicious murderer to our house? I felt that she was placing our family in danger. But Val never saw him that way. Right up until her death, she saw him as the nice young man that became her friend at Washington High School, and as time went on and I began to recognize his intelligence, I began to see him in the same way - in fact, I started looking forward to seeing him so we could kick-back and talk.
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After I became more comfortable with having him around, at first I saw him more like a project, because my major was psychology in school, but as I got to know him better, I began seeing him much like Val. So when he would come over to visit, we would sit in my den and just talk about life. When he would come by he would completely drop his bad-guy persona and just get real. I think he craved the opportunity to do that with someone, and since Val was 2 years older than he was, he saw her much like his older sister, and eventually, once he got to know me, he saw me as an extension of Val. I also think that Val brought him comfort, because she reminded of the days before his life became so complicated. He once told me that he would do anything to have the life I led - a wife, family, future, and not having to worry about getting his brains blown out at any moment. He said, "That's why I like coming around here, man,  because it gives me a chance to experience normalcy." And then he laughed and said - “and chow-down on Val’s enchiladas” (Val would make them for him every time he came by).
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So Tookie wasn’t struttin’ around tryin’ to be Mr. Big Stuff.  He hated his life. I suggested that he leave the state, but he told me, “That wouldn’t do no good.  I have a target on my back all over the country, by people who don’t even know me. Man, I don’t know how this happened.”
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The last time I saw him and Val together was at a party we gave. He came up missing so I went around the house looking for him. When I peeped in my son and daughter's bedroom, I saw him sitting in the glow of a red nightlight watching them sleep. He had tears in his eyes.  I didn't want to embarrass him, so I sent Val in, and the last time I saw them together she was hugging him, and he was weeping like a child.  When I covered his state-sponsored murder for the Los Angeles Sentinel, as I looked down into his coffin and upon his lifeless body, I thought about that moment, and it’s stayed with me ever since. They both died in 2005.

*****************************
Tookie’s major crime wasn’t murder, per se - mere murder is routinely a part of the American ethic. Tookie’s major crime was allegedly committing murder in promotion of his own agenda, rather than the agenda of Haliburton and Exxon/Mobile.  We hand out medals for committing murder in their interest.
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People like Bush, Cheney, and Donald Trump have turned the American military into nothing less than the Crips with a dental plan. The United States is the biggest exporter of murder, and the means to murder, in the world. Our entire economy is built upon it. Tookie merely took the American ethic - in which he’d been indoctrinated all of his life - and applied it to his own environment. As far as he was concerned, he was America, and everybody else that didn’t see things his way, was the USSR. 
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No, I’m not trying to be an apologists for the murder and mayhem Tookie left in his wake, but I do want to put it in perspective.  Yes, Tookie killed people, but only people who were trying to kill him.  On the other hand, George W. Bush is responsible for the deaths of over a million innocent people in Iraq, and they built him a library.
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Thus, the existence of the Tookies in the Black community is our fault, because we’re so busy watching BET, MTV, ESPN, partying and having a good time, that we're failing to educate our own young people in OUR own values. We're allowing them to take on the very values that were responsible for our enslavement - and I'm not speaking as a detached academic from an office atop Mt. Olympus, I'm speaking as a hood rat . . . just like my late friend, Tookie.



*******************
ODE TO TOOKIE
*
Tookie?
Yeah,
I knew Tookie;
I WAS Tookie,
And I knew his pain.
*
I knew the pain of a child
That the cold, smirking
Eyes of society
Peered down upon;
Of being caught like
A doe in the headlights
Of unbridled hatred
For nothing more than
Just . . . being;
Of being
Under-acknowledged,
Under-appreciated,
And under-educated,
By a society
Intent on robbing me
Of the innocence
That is every child’s birthright.
And I know the churning, agonizing,
And unfocused anger
Of a youth
Who knows anger
Much too soon.
*
So,
Tookie?
Yeah,
I knew Tookie;
I WAS Tookie,
But I ain’t going out like that.
*
Because some the greatest minds
I’ve ever known
Held court while sitting
on empty milk crates
In the parking lot
Of ghetto liquor stores;
And at their feet I embraced
The love of knowledge,
And through their tutelage
Defined self-worth
In my own terms.
*
These were the "Eulipians"—
Writers, poets, musicians, painters,
And uncommon drunks—
Those shade-tree philosophers who
Contemplated the fungus
Between the toes of society;
Who danced with reckless abandon,
Unfettered by formal inhibition
Through the presumptuous
Speculation of the ages.
*
Yes, the Eulipians,
Who lived in county jails,
Cardboard boxes, alley ways,
And luxury apartments.
Seemingly insignificant
Here in Great Bruteland,
But of ultimate significance
In the eyes of God.
*
While these obscure intellectuals
Stood well outside the mainstream
Of academy,
I watched with astonished delight
As they sang, scat, blew, and scribed
Their various philosophies into the
Mainstream of human knowledge.
*
Tookie?
Oh Yeah,
I knew Tookie;
I WAS Tookie,
*
But I met the Eulipians,
Who, from their ragged podiums,
Put forth the proposition
That knowledge was free, thus,
Would transcend attempts to be
Contain through barriers of
Caste and privilege - and even,
Institutionalized murder -
Leaving man's innate thirst
For knowledge free to overwhelm
His lust for stupidity.
*
So,
Tookie,
Yeah,
Yes in deed, I did know Tookie;
I WAS Tookie,
But I choose a different tact.
While I refuse to lunge
Against your saber
In a glorious and defiant act,
Look into my eyes, my man -
I still got my brother’s back.
*
You thought you had him,
While facing death,
But he went down like
Like Trojan -
Leaving your silly asses,
With your silly smiles,
Standing there
Shocked and frozen.
*
"What’s up, baby,
Can’t find a vein?
You been beggin’ to do this,
So let’s us do this thang.
But if y’all
Waitin’ around
To see some pain,
I ain’t the only one gon’
Die here,
You jive ass, lame.
*
"Faint of heart?
Give it here,
I’ll stick the damn thang for ya;
I’m a man of the hood
And strong of heart,
So I'm goin' down
Like a warrior.
*
"Naw, my man,
You don’t see no fear;
You really look surprised!
I’m gon’ honor my people
As I leave here,
So just stick me,
So I can close my eyes and die.
*
"You schemed and cheated
To take me out,
So let us get this on;
You can still my body
And take my breath,
But my heart
Will still live on."
*
So,
Tookie?
You mean
THAT Tookie.
Yeah, I knew Tookie,
We’ve planted his heart
Within the hood;
So what you saw as dirt,
We see as soil,
To sow this tragedy,
Into something good.
*
Tookie,
Oh yeah,
I KNEW Tookie,
But I ain’t goin’
Out like that.
*
Stanley 'Tookie' Williams - An All American Boy
http://wattree.blogspot.com/2013/11/tookie-williams-all-american-boy.html

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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Thursday, November 08, 2018

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE LOVE OF MY LIFE - RIP

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree
LIFE WITH VAL
(The Party)
by
Eric L. Wattree
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Today, November 8, 2018, is a very special day in my family’s life. It’s the birthday of my late wife, Valdie LaVern Wattree, who died during the early morning of April 27, 2005. But to my entire family it seems like she passed just yesterday, because she left such an impact on all of our lives that we still haven’t managed to lay her to rest. I wrote the piece below while Val was still alive, and kept me scratching my head.
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Valdie was an amazing young woman. I met her when she was 14 and I was 16 years old.  But in spite of our youth, the first time I looked in her eyes, she made me feel significant. The only reason I'm even capable of writing this piece is because of her encouragement. Ever since I was a child I loved to jot down my thoughts, and even before I could write, I would draw my thoughts using little stickmen.  Val recognized that tendency in me when we were kids, while I just saw it dooddling. But after she dragged me in off the street and married me on Christmas Day, when she was 19 and I was 21, she began to push.
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This one’s for you, baby. Since you’ve passed, I’ve found that life can go on, but not without you in my heart. So as I promised on the day we were married, and again on your headstone - Until Death Do Us Part - and Beyond.
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Val and I are 44 and 46 years of age, and we've been married for 25 years. We were married on a Christmas morning, and she’s been an ongoing gift in my life ever since. We have two kids - a 23 year old daughter, Kai, and a 21-year-old son, Eric, Jr. They both graduated from college last month (Eric, on my birthday).
.
I met Valdie when she was 14, and my life hasn't been the same since. I'm sort of a laid-back, ‘cerebral’ kind of guy who refuses to make a move without thinking it through. You know the type - the kind of guy who people aren't really sure about until they get to know him. Val, on the other hand, is a totally spontaneous, what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of person that everyone loves on first sight. But she's SO spontaneous that the kids and I have to keep an eye on her to keep her out of trouble.
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In both high school and college my son was the school basketball star, and before each game countless kids would congregate at my house waiting for Val. Others would go to the gym early to save seats in the bleachers, waiting for her to show up - and when she did, the party was on.
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The kids used to call the section where Val sat "The Dog Pound." More than once a player on the other team would miss free throws or plays because they were laughing so hard at something Val might have said about one of the referees or opposing players - and the funny thing was, in spite of that, the referees and the kids on the other teams loved her, and they all called her by her first name - though some of the kids called her "Nani" (baby-talk for mommy).
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Kids who were scheduled to play our team would come by the house and say, "Now Val, this is just a game. Don't be doggin' me on the court next week." And she'd say, "I ain’t gon have to, my son's gonna do it for me - and get out of my refrigerator. Don't Ruth feed you?" Sometimes after a game my son would say, "Momma, you know you were a bad girl at the game today, don't you?" And she'd say, "What? His toupee was on crooked!" Sometimes I seriously wonder was the Whoopie Goldberg movie, "Eddie," loosely based on Val's Antics.
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She is so out there. She lives in her very own universe. I tell her sometimes, "Val, if WWIII broke-out, you wouldn't even know it until you heard the blast. And it's true. Val is so oblivious to the things that the rest of us worry about that it verges on dangerous. In spite of the fact that she is well known as one of the top Property Administrators at Hughes Aircraft in El Segundo, Ca., she manages to leave all of her business acumen in her desk at work. One day, for example, she saw a very expensive household item that she wanted to buy. So she came to me and asked if it was alright for us to purchase it. At the time, we were sort of strapped, so I told her that we didn't have the money. She looked at me with deep disappointment and said, with total sincerity, "What do you mean we don't have the money? You have a box full of checks in your desk drawer." So, needless to say, I handle the family finances - and that's in spite of the fact that she made $37,000 a year more than I did, and I'm a government employee.
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Once when we went to have our taxes done and the tax preparer looked up at me and said, "I know you shame."  But I wasn't.  On the contrary, I was proud of my woman because she's the very best at what she does. Huges aircraft literally stole her from Rockwell International.  She's the only Black person I've ever known to have a corporation contact her and make her an offer to come to work for them.  Several years later I worked on a project with her and they even offered me a job, but I've always been a political person and I'm a union rep for the postal service.  I've only lost one case in over a decade, and I thoroughly love kicking them in their ass.  But Val wants me to be a "suit," a corporate executive, and she's convinced that I'll shoot right up the ladder.   But I pointed out to her that everyone doesn't see me in the same way that she does,  so that's been was one of the biggest fights we've had in our marriage. She also suspects that it's a male ego thing. She claims I'm just afraid that they might make me work for her. She never should have brought that up, because I'd never thought of that possibility until she mentioned it.  But now that she had . . .
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It's Val's disarming personality that makes her so successful, and it's also helped us out of a number of uncomfortable situations. About ten years ago when we moved from Los Angeles to Covina, California, we were one of just a few Black families in the area. Not being used to that sort of situation, we - make that I - was more than just a little uncomfortable. And to make things worse, one of the neighbors had a huge Confederate flag spread across one entire inside wall of his garage - and the garage door was always open, so whenever we drove down the street his blazing Dixie flag hit us right in the face. I felt uncomfortable with it, but hey, that flag was draped across that wall long before we moved into the neighborhood, and besides, the man has every right to be a bigot - the only thing I hate almost as much as I do a racist is a person who comes into a situation and thinks everyone else should rearrange their lives to accommodate him. So I just learned to ignore it, as I THOUGHT Val had.

About a month or so after we moved in, however, the lady from across the street invited us to a party that she was having. Again, being the laid-back kind of guy I am, I felt uncomfortable about the prospect. I don't like parties as a matter of course. You have to stand around laughing and smiling when you really don't feel it and discuss issues that you really don't care about (How about those Dodgers?). It's not my thing - it makes me feel phony - and I had the feeling that this party would be all that multiplied by a thousand - especially, not knowing anyone, and being the only Black couple there - "Hey, Bubba! Guess who’s comin’ to dinner?"
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But Val immediately lit-up. The lady had said the magic word - PAAAAAR-TAY! Before I could say a word, Val took the ball and ran with it. "I'd love to! Hey, can I be the bartender? I make the best...." The lady ended up at our house all afternoon laughing and talking with Val. By the time she floated back across the street, under the influence of a quart of Val's "sample" Margaritas, Val was up on all the neighborhood gossip, and the two women had forged an unshakable "Most Favorite Neighbor" Treaty.
.
This was going to be more complicated than I thought - it had become serious. We had just moved to the area, and already, life as we were just coming to know it was about to come to a screeching' end. I could just picture this nice, quiet neighborhood under the influence of Val and her notorious mixed drinks. Once the neighbors came down from their hangovers they'd never forgive us. I could just see the headline of the next day’s San Gabriel Valley Tribune now - "BLACK CHICK CORRUPTS COVINA!" - and knowing my woman, there was no doubt in my mind that’s exactly what was about to happen.
.
Val has a real knack for mixing drinks in a way that masked the liquor. She can blend various juices, fruits, and crushed ice with more artistic flair than a Renaissance master. If she could pull-off the same thing with paint and canvas we'd be instant millionaires. She can mix these drinks so well, and make them so pleasing to the taste, that people generally forget about the gallon of liquor that's in them. We'd have parties where I'd here non-drinkers saying, "Ah, Val, can I have another "slush," please?" I'd think, "slush," my ass. The only thing that's going to be slushed is you, in about five minutes." Val got a real kick out of it - and now she was about to do it to our new, unsuspecting, highly conservative, neighbors.
.
The night of the party I wasn't as uneasy about it as I'd been previously, because by then I'd had a week to get to know both Rose, who seemed to have made Val her closest friend on the block, and her husband, Al, who was really a nice, henpecked, guy. But I still wasn't passionate about the prospect of being paraded about as the new Black guy on the block to a lot of people that I didn't know. So I begged off with a cold that I had made it a point to cultivate three days prior to the event.
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The night of the party I kissed Val on the cheek and told her to have a good time. But as she was leaving I held on to her hand and reminded her, "but not too good of a time." She promised to be good, and she was off.
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I then got comfortable and settled into the bedroom to watch television for the night, but I kept the window open and the blinds open so I could keep an eye - and ear - on the party.
.
By 12:30 a.m. the party was going full blast. I could hear the laughter and the faint sound of music playing in the house, but by 2:00 a.m. I began to hear the sounds of Val working her magic. A couple of guys who I recognized as two of my more conservative neighbors were in front of the house arm-wrestling on the hood of a brand new Chrysler, and another guy was calling out to a woman who was struggling down the street barefoot in an evening gown. So I decided I'd better drop in on the party and rescue these people from my recklessly fun-lovin' woman.
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When I walked in it was clear that Val was in full control of the festivities. It was also clear that I didn't have to worry about uneasy small-talk, because everybody in the house was about as loose as you could get - and still stand up. Val walked up and hugged me, saying, "Hi, honey! Hey everybody! This is my Nu-Nu, Eric." I heard various drunken responses:
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"Hi, Eric!"
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"Hey, Nu-Nu!" 
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"What's his name? Nu-NU!!!?  What the Hell is that, Swahili?"
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"Big, ugly rascal, ain't he? Just kiddin', don't beat me up, brother!"
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Then this one guy walked up and said, "Hi, I'm Stewart. I live down the street. This is quite a lady you've got here."
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"Yeah, I know," I said. "I hope she's been behaving herself?"
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"Naw, I can't say that she has," the man said, in a Southern drawl. "First, she done got everybody drunk - but I can't fault her for that, because that's what I came here for - but then, she called me a Commie."
.
I said, "what!?"
.
Then Stewart's wife chimed in. Between the booze and her laughter, she could barely get her words out. She introduced herself as Sue, and said, "No, she asked my husband, 'Are you a communist or something?' And my husband said, 'No, I ain't no damned Commie. What made you say that?' Then Val said, 'Well, why you got that Communist flag in your garage?'" Sue went on, trying to talk through her laughter, "Then Stewart said, 'That ain't no damned communist flag! That's Old Dixie. We from Georgia.'"
.
With that, someone else took up the story. "Then your wife told him, 'Same thing.'" With that, everybody fell out laughing all over again - even me, because I knew Val was serious - as Stewart stood there pretending to be incensed. But everyone knew that while the joke was supposed to be on Stewart, we were actually laughing at the childlike innocence in which Val viewed what should have been a very uncomfortable subject - especially in the current situation. But it turned out that Stewart had been receiving a lot of ribbing over the flag for quite some time, and Val's remark just put the icing on the cake.
.
But it turned out that both Stewart and Sue were really nice people. Stewart is quite an intellectual, and believe it or not, he ended up becoming my closest friend in the neighborhood. We'd get us a 5th of Scotch and spend hours together debating everything - and the more lit-up we got, the more animated the debates became.  He'd say,  "Okay, I admit it. I’m a Southern bigot - I think we should lynch anybody who roots against Georgia Tech, but you're a radical revolutionary - and you're a bigot too." Then he'd raise his glass  and say, "So here's to two jive-ass bigots!" Then we'd laugh and continue getting our heads bad.
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But by this time both Stewart and I knew better.  We had long since agreed on one thing - since the essence of our being is what we think, and physical attributes are purely superficial, it makes more sense to define ourselves according to the way we think, rather than how we looked - and if that is true, then our preoccupation with race was an exercise in stupidity.  And Stewart had the last laugh in that regard.  The first time he invited me to his house I jokingly asked, "You don't have any  Poplar Trees in your backyard, do you?" He laughed and said, "Very funny. But you don't have to worry, I'm fresh out of rope."  But when I walked into his den I immediately felt ridiculous, because the first thing that smacked me in the face was two huge portraits, Miles Davis on one wall, and Charlie Parker on the other. So it turned out that I was the one who had prejudged him.  He had a larger jazz collection than I did, and I've been collecting jazz albums since I was 14 years old. I had to admire him, because by that time we had been drinking buddies for a couple of months, and even though he knew I played saxophone, he hadn't mentioned a word about being a jazz lover. He'd set me up, and that was the day I learned to never underestimate him.  He said, "You thought I was into Merle Haggard, didn't you?  So now, who's the presumptuous bigot?"
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I really liked that guy. He had also quietly taken down his Confederate flag. When I asked him about it he said, "To me it's just a regional symbol, but I can understand how it might be offensive to you, so what the hell?" If it hadn't been for Val I probably never would have met that guy, and I would have been poorer for it, because I learned several lifelong lessons during our friendship. But Val brought many other things into my life as well. I discovered my love for the mechanics of writing as a direct result of recognizing that I didn’t write well enough to answer the long love letters she used to write me while I was in the Marine Corps. Prior to that time I always loved jotting down my thoughts, but I only did it one thought, or one paragraph, at a time. But when I was faced with having to respond to her letters, it turned out that I had a problem with stringing my thoughts together in an organized fashion. So in order to get around that shortcoming, I would let her letters guide me. I would respond to her letters by writing a response to each paragraph one at a time. Within a year I was doing all the writing for my battalion commander. That became my job.
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While I was in the Marine Corps Val was working for the Department of Motor Vehicles, and in spite of the fact that she was still living with her mother, when I came home she came by my mother's house to greet me and asked me to go for a ride with her. She had rented me a fully furnished apartment a block away from one of the top jazz clubs in Los Angeles.  She moved in 3 months later, on Christmas Day after we went to a Justice of the Peace and got married. She was 19, and I was 21. About a year later she encouraged me to quit my job and go to college on the G.I. bill.  Then several years after I'd finished college and had become a published writer for various publications, she came home one day with a newfangled gadget she'd bought me called a Commodore 64 Computer.  I still have it in my garage. So, while living with Val can indeed be challenging, I can’t imagine life without her.
.
I could go on and on about this woman, but I'll put it all in a book one day.  But I’ve got to go now -   it’s time for me to mount a campaign for dinner.
.
"Oh, Sugar Lips!"
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"Sugar Lips, my ass. Hit the microwave, Buddy!"
.
EPILOGUE
.
Well, it turned out that I would be forced to live without her, and every day of the 13 years since she's been gone has been agony. In spite of the fact that my educational background is in psychology, I just can't manage to move on.  I know it's dysfunctional, but everything I do has her fingerprints on it.  When she suggested that I take writing more seriously, I remember telling her, "That's a White thang," but she told me, "You can do this, baby."  Then when my book was published, she threw a big party to celebrate, and then suddenly died just one week before the publisher sent me my first copies.  I still have the box . . . unopened.

SOLITUDE 






There was a little house in Watts, in the back of my grandparents’ home, that sat totally silent just for me. It sat there in complete obedience to fulfil it’s one and only purpose, to accommodate, and give focus to the thoughts of a young and aimless mind. Totally vacant accept for a sofa and a table, there was no furniture to warm the air.  So as I sat in it’s embrace, and quietly drew the thoughts I couldn't express, I could feel the clean, cool air against my face as it locked the noise and confusion of humanity out of that small niche of the universe that I had claimed as my own.
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I loved that house, because it introduced the soul of a child to the beauty of solitude. I would sit there for hours with paper and pencil trying to bring life to my thoughts. I couldn't write back then, so I would breathe substance into my world by drawing the images of crude little stickmen that I would speak to, then patiently awaited the time when they could speak back.
.
So all these many years later, I still go there, but only in my mind. I return to escape life’s horrors;  I also visit to celebrate life’s triumphs. I go there to commune with those who left me behind.  My grandparents are there, my mother is there, and my late wife is there to comfort me when I’m lost.  But my manhood is also there to reinforce me, and the depth of my intellect resides there to inform me and to give flesh to the stickmen I'd left behind.
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So, yes, I love that little house, and the perfect solitude that it made all mine. I also love the cool, clean air, and the crude little stickmen, it always brings to mind.
.

Thus, life has come full circle for me. Once again I sit in solitude drawing stickmen.  But this time I  sit with sweet memories of Val to warm the cool, clean air.


Happy Birthday, Baby.
.



Eric L. Wattree
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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Thursday, November 01, 2018

AMERICA'S CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS IS AT HAND

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

AMERICA'S CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS IS AT HAND
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The primary danger of a man like Trump is not only that he’s so self-serving that he’s willing to test the limits of democracy to promote his own interests, but he’s also so uninformed that he doesn’t even recognize that there are any limits. That’s why he’s so enamored of the world’s most brutal dictators. He not only admires them, but he envies their unfettered and absolute power. What makes that so dangerous in a man like Trump is he’s also undereducated and not very bright.  Trump’s former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is reported to have called him a “moron,” and the late William T. Kelley, who taught Trump at the University of Pennsylvania, said, “Donald Trump was the dumbest goddamn student I ever had.” Thus, Trump is so uninformed regarding the underpinnings of America’s democratic traditions that he’s completely untethered to the democratic principles that most of us take for granted. As a result, as we speak he’s currently testing the limits of America’s willingness to defend our Constitution.
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Trump has casually announced that he intends to change by executive order the 14th Amendment of the Constitution that declares anyone born in the United States a U.S. citizen. He claims he wants to change the amendment to prevent undocumented immigrants from sneaking into the country and creating “anchor babies.” But it was also the 14th Amendment that declared citizenship for former African American slaves, so if his Republican-stacked Supreme Court allows him to tinker with the 14th Amendment, who’s next?  If he could declare all African Americans non-citizens, that would certainly solve the GOP's demographics problem, wouldn’t it?
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Any other president would immediately recognize that just the thought of trying to override the United States Constitution with an executive order is crazy. But not Trump, and that’s exactly the problem with a dangerous demagogue like him - he’s such a blindly narcissistic and pathological sociopath that he doesn’t view reality like a normal person. We’ve been warned about him by more than one group of professionals who are ordinarily disinclined to criticize the President of the United States in such a blunt and pronounced fashion, but Trump’s behavior is so glaringly dysfunctional that they felt compelled to speak out. In its article reviewing the book, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” Psychology Today pointed out:
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“John Gartner, Ph.D. is the founder of ‘Duty to Warn’ an organization intent on warning our country that we are in dire trouble due to our president’s mental instability. More than 60,000 mental health professionals have signed John’s petition, which states:
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‘We, the undersigned mental health professionals, believe in our professional judgment that Donald Trump manifests a serious mental illness that renders him psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of President of the United States. And we respectfully request he be removed from office, according to article 4 of the 25th amendment to the Constitution, which states that the president will be replaced if he is ‘unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.’”
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But as deadly serious as that is, that’s not the worse of it. When you combine Trump’s mental instability with his blind narcissism, and then add to that the fact that he’s being enabled by a Republican Party that’s in a panic over the loss of power due to a rapidly changing demographic, it becomes clear that the very viability of American democracy is in severe jeopardy.
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The Republican party has clearly demonstrated that they’re just as recklessly unstable as a group as Donald Trump is as an individual, and they have no limits. They’ve already broken all of the rules of democratic normality to literally SHOVE what all the credible evidence shows is a criminal felon down our throats as the newest Supreme Court justice - and when I say “felon” I’m not just engaging in hyperbole. Newly elected Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh clearly committed several instances of perjury before the United States Senate, and beyond that, the Republican-controlled Senate literally left no stone unturned to ensure that the credible evidence of Kavanaugh’s alleged attempted rape of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was blocked from being thoroughly investigated. So essentially, the GOP has gone to ridiculous lengths to place a criminal on the highest court of the land.
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So now all of the chips are in place. The GOP controls all three branches of the government - and even if the voters flip the House of Representatives to Democratic hands, the GOP’s got a reliably conservative Supreme Court to protect Trump from the Mueller investigation, and also to validate any and all of their radical assaults on the Constitution. So now the final phase of the conservative conspiracy to take over America begins:
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Trump is already talking about an “immigrant invasion” of the United States, and he’s also saying “there will be violence” if the Democrats win the coming election. So now, if the Democrats do win the House, all the conservatives have to do is send in Trumplodytes to incite violence. That would give Trump all the justification that he needs to declare martial law and suspend the Constitution. He then instantly becomes the Vladimir Putin of the United States - possibly for life.   
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So America shouldn’t take this threat lightly. It’s time for Americans to stand up and fight this attack on our democracy with just as much passion as we fought WWII, because while the battle we currently find ourselves in is not against the guns and bombs of an outside invader, as we’ve recently seen, we’re now fighting the guns and bombs of a domestic enemy, and the threat to our way of life is just as severe. 
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I've written extensively about how conservatives tend to be mindless followers, and you can see a perfect example of that in the NFL controversy. The American flag is a symbol of American values, and the freedom of expression is the very FIRST Amendment of the United States Constitution. And as a former United States Marine I can tell you for a fact that the Marines who died for this country didn’t die for either a piece of cloth, a song, or the opinion of a cowardly draft dodger like Donald Trump. They died for what that beautiful  piece of cloth represents - the right for Colin Kaepernick to do exactly what he’s doing. Without that right both the American flag, and the National Anthem, would be totally meaningless. But most conservatives don’t possess the intellect to see that.
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As a result, Donald Trump has convinced his mindless conservative minions that it's wrong and unpatriotic to exercise the rights guaranteed under the Constitution - it's fine to brag about them, but it's grossly disrespectful to actually act upon them - and his mindless minions obediently follow his lead.  But the fact is, those who follow Draft-Dodging Donnie and who are jumping up and down about patriotism and how the flag is being disrespected, these are the people who are actually disrespecting our flag and the troops, not Colin Kaepernick. These people are trivializing the very values for which our Troops gave their lives. They’re allowing a dummy like Trump to manipulate them into promoting bigotry and stupidity in an attempt to tear this nation apart, and thereby, escape the consequences of his own criminality.  So to allow themselves to be complicit in that effort is what’s actually un-American, and it takes a complete idiot not to see that.
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With regard to the recent spate of domestic terrorism that has been overtaking the country of late, Trump claims that it's not due to his hateful rhetoric, but the unfairness of the press in asking about it. Well, ABC news did a little research into the matter, and here's what they found:
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So if all of this sounds far-fetched, according to a 1990 Vanity Fair interview, Ivana Trump once told her lawyer, Michael Kennedy, that Donald Trump kept a book of Hitler's speeches near his bed - and as we all know, Trump doesn’t like to read.  Thus, as has been repeatedly stated, when fascism comes to America it will come wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross, and considering that over 81% of White Evangelicals "Christians" support Trump's criminality, that seems to be exactly what is happening.  So yes, it can happen here, and let there be no doubt about it, anyone who supports Donald Trump is the domestic enemy of the United States.


Eric L. Wattree
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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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Monday, October 29, 2018

ATTENTION AMERICA! DON’T BE FOOLED. THE BATTLE IN THIS COUNTRY IS NOT ABOUT RACE, CREED, OR COLOR. IT’S AN ASSAULT BY THE RICH ON THE WORKING-CLASS

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

ATTENTION AMERICA!  DON’T BE FOOLED.
THE BATTLE IN THIS COUNTRY IS NOT ABOUT RACE, CREED, OR COLOR.
IT’S AN ASSAULT BY THE RICH ON THE WORKING-CLASS
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The following piece lays out much of the information that conservatives are attacking our educational system to keep the American people from knowing. Our grandparent’s generation (“The Greatest Generation”), who suffered through the Great Depression and fought WWII, wouldn’t let a Republican anywhere near the White House - they elected Franklin Roosevelt four times. The Republicans had to promote a Constitutional amendment to enact Presidential term limits just for the chance of being elected.

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But since the Reagan administration conservatives have completely destroyed our educational system, abolished the Fairness Doctrine, and have spent billions of dollars and propaganda hours to create mindless minions who will applaud them as they give the rich trillions of dollars in tax cuts and attempt to pay for the resulting deficit by abolishing Social Security, and depriving working-class Americans of healthcare.
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In addition, they’re leaving no stone unturned to create a two-tier class system by depriving the working-class of the opportunity to obtain higher education. During the 70s it cost me $6.50 a term to go to college - and that included parking. Then at the university level $125 a quarter. Today our children are forced to mortgage their futures and drown in a lifetime of debt just to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. That’s not only greedy, but shortsighted, because America will never be able to sustain itself with an undereducated population. But conservatives don’t care.
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The rich and powerful who control the conservative agenda no longer have a vested interest in the parochial concerns of the United States; the world is now their playground. So to hell  with the future. All they care about is enriching themselves and looting the country for their wealthy benefactors today. They can afford to send their kids to college, and if necessary move to luxury locations outside the country. But what kind of life will your children be forced to live? 
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Think about that when you go to the polls.


ATTENTION AMERICA! STAND UP AGAINST THE CONSERVATIVE THREAT
What's been going on in this country, from it's very inception to the current day, is a disgusting example of a gross hypocrisy that's not only unconscionable, but morally repugnant, especially for a people who claim to believe in “Liberty and Justice For All.”  So it's time to expose this lie by coming together - as a PEOPLE, and not just factions - to challenge both it, and ALL of its forms of hypocrisy.  It is absolutely incumbent upon us to respond to unlimited wealth and influence with people-power, and for ALL poor and middle class people  - Black, White, gay, straight, Jew and Gentile - to come together to protect our interest. We are knee-deep in a class war, and all ANY of us mean to the 1 % ers is our value as pawns to promote their agenda.  So we must set all of our pettiness, prejudices, and hatreds aside and be guided by only one criteria - whether or not a given action against ANY group is just, or unjust. Because if we continue to sit on our hands and allow ourselves to be divided into factions, we’re doomed.
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We must never forget the admonishment of Martin Niemoller.  He said: 
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 "First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist.  Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."

THE CONSERVATIVE PROPENSITY FOR UN-AMERICANISM IS COMING OUT OF THE CLOSET AT THE VERY WORST TIME IN OUR HISTORY, BUT MANY AMERICANS SUFFER FROM A SEVERE LACK OF KNOWLEDGE REGARDING THE CONSERVATIVE THREAT TO OUR DEMOCRACY.  DON'T LET YOURSELF - OR YOUR FRIENDS - BE AMONG THEM. HERE ARE THE FACTS: 
Conservative Republicans have revised American history to reflect that it was their faux patriotism that saved America during WWII. But the fact is, our grandparents - who we refer to as "The Greatest Generation," and who lived through the Great Depression and actually fought WWII - despised conservatives, and they wouldn't let them anywhere near the Oval Office - and for good reason.
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THE CONSTITUENTS OF REPUBLICAN
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL  
In spite of the fact that conservative Americans have a long tradition of wrapping themselves in the American flag throughout our history, that very same history has clearly shown a strain of anti-American sentiment from their very beginning. And now during this fascistic Trump era when America needs its democratic ideals most, conservative Republicans have found this the perfect time to come out of the closet and raise their ugly heads.  So now it’s up to the American people to determine whether between now and the 2020 election America experiences the best of times, by standing up for the democratic principles laid out by our founding fathers to ensure this Republic remains a nation “of the people, by the people, and for the people”, or the worst of times, by allowing it to descend into just another authoritarian Kleptocracy where the people and the nation’s resources are exploited by a small minority of plutocrats for their own selfish interests - like in Russia, a nation that Donald Trump seems to have embraced with an unprecedented passion.
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This has been the conservative game plan from the very beginning, unbeknownst to many who have bought into their manipulative kool-aid, and now their time has come.  Alexander Hamilton, one of this nation’s conservative founding fathers believed that the rich and "wellborn" should be given a permanent share in government. He 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.” 
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Hamilton supported a lifetime appointment of the President after being selected by congress, instead of the people - Can you just imagine that, Donald Trump FOR LIFE!!!?  But America dodged that bullet during the Federalist Convention that took place between May 14 and September 17, 1787.
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Since most of the founding fathers came to America to escape the aristocratic class system in Europe, Hamilton’s desire to preserve the class system was resoundingly defeated in favor of an unfettered democracy, but that didn’t mean that people of Hamilton’s point of view would quietly go away. Instead, they lowered their profile and continued to pursue their agenda by using their wealth, power, and various strategies to divide the people to achieve their goal, and that’s what we see today.  That accounts for why conservatives tend to be specialists in obstructionism and division, and why the American people ALWAYS suffer under conservative governance.
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Notice that I've been careful to say conservative and not Democrat or Republican.  The reason for that is the two parties have changed their political orientation over the years.  During the time of Abraham Lincoln it was the Democratic Party that was filled with conservatives who fought to maintain slavery, but during the Great Depression and through the Civil Rights era after Franklin Delano Roosevelt led the Democratic Party to taking up the cause of the common man, conservatives moved to the Republican Party and progressive Americans moved to the Democratic Party in droves.  So now, for the Republican Party to claim that they're the party of Lincoln is a farce.  Conservatives have ALWAYS been this nation's bigots - with respect to both race and class - regardless to what party they were in. They simply use issues such race, ethnicity, religion, and faux patriotism to keep the people divided.  The dictionary defines the very word "conservative" as "A person who is averse to change and holds to traditional values and attitudes, typically in relation to politics." - and their bottom line is, and always has been, the "wellborn" against the poor and middle class.  Clear evidence of that is their recent tax cut, and the tax cuts under Reagan and George W. Bush, which were all at the expense of the average American.



The American middle class has been in freefall every since the election of Ronald Reagan.  When I was in college in the 70s my tuition was $6.50 per term, my rent for a  two bedroom apartment with two baths and a swimming pool was $165 per month,  and I received veterans assistance of over $600 per month. Then with my late wife's salary from Rockwell International of over $2000 per month, that allowed me to get an education while raising two children in complete middle-class comfort.  But after the conservative seizure of our economy during the Reagan administration, today young people have to live with their parents and mortgage their future to obtain draconian loans just to get a college degree.


SO WHERE IS ALL THAT MONEY GOING?
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During the 70s Howard Hughes, founder of Hughes Aircraft, was world renown as one of the richest men in the world.  When he died in 1976 his net worth was $1.5 billion, the equivalent of $6.45 billion in today’s dollars.  But today, Jeff Bezo, the 53 year-old CEO of Amazon, is reported to have a net worth of $109.9 billion.
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According to the Economic Policy Institute, “CEO compensation increased from $1.5 million in 1978 to $16.3 million in 2014, or 997 percent, a rise almost double stock market growth. Over the same time period, a typical worker’s wages grew very little: the annual compensation, adjusted for inflation, of the average private-sector production and nonsupervisory worker (comprising 82 percent of total payroll employment) rose from $48,000 in 1978 to just $53,200 in 2014, an increase of only 10.9 percent. Due to this unequal growth, average top CEOs now make over 300 times what typical workers earn.”  So, so much for Ronald Reagan and the GOP’s “Trickle Down” theory.  Since Ronald Reagan entered office the rich have become exponentially richer, while the poor and middle class have essentially been marching in place, or in other words, losing ground.

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 And this didn't happen by accident. First, it serves to maintain the conservative class system, secondly, its a gift to the banks and serves to feed the conservative penchant for greed, and finally, it prevents poor and middle-class Americans from getting an education, which is in direct service to the Republican Party. Conservatives found out during the 60s that an educated electorate tend not to vote Republican or embrace their public manipulation. As a result of their education they're too well informed about the party's atrocious history and ruthless agenda. An educated public would be aware of the fact that our grandparent's generation - the generation that experienced the Great Depression, fought WWII, and who we refer to as "The Greatest Generation" - wouldn't let a Republican anywhere near the White House. 
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During their era, Democrat, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to office four times, and finally died in office on April 12, 1945. The Republicans had to promote the Twenty-Second Amendment to the Constitution limiting the president to two terms in office just to have even a remote chance of getting into office. But finally in 1953 they managed to elect the hero of WWII, Republican, Ike Eisenhower to office, but even he was a Republican in name only - in 1957 he sent troops into Little Rock, Arkansas to integrate a segregated school after Gov. Orval Faubus tried to prevent Black students from entering, and as his final act in office he warned America about the Military-Industrial Complex, the very people that Donald Trump and the Republican Party represent today.
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The Great Depression
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In 1921 -- eight years before the great depression -- Republicans took over the helm of this nation for 12 years. During that time there were three Republican administrations, the first of which was the administration of Warren G. Harding. History remembers Harding's administration for one thing more than any other -- scandal. It was during Harding's presidency that the Teapot Dome Scandal erupted. His administration was considered the most corrupt administration in the history of the United States -- until Nixon's (Watergate), then Reagan's (Iran\Contra), and finally Bush's (Iraqi War).
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Next, in 1923, came Calvin Coolidge, the president that Ronald Reagan is said to have most admired. Coolidge's policies of large tax cuts, allowing business a free-rein, and his encouragement of stock speculation contributed greatly to the impending stock market crash and the great depression that was to follow.

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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 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.
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THE NEW DEAL
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But finally in 1933 Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a liberal democrat, was elected overwhelmingly. He immediately surrounded himself with a group of the finest minds in the country, including Columbia professors Adolph A. Berle, Jr., Rexford G. Tugwell, and Raymond Moley, known at the time as the "Brain Trust." After assembling these men and others he went about the business of developing a" New Deal" for the working class people of this country.
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The New Deal had two components -- one, to help the economy to recover from the affects of the great depression, and a second component to give relief to the American people, and to insure that they would never be placed in a position of total destitution again. To help heal the economy Roosevelt created programs that regulated business, controlled inflation, and brought about price stabilization; to bring relief to the people he signed The National Labor Relations Act which guaranteed workers the right to collective bargaining, and he created the Social Security Administration to guarantee workers some sort of income once they became too old to work. He also signed the Fair Labor Standards Act which protected workers rights and set a minimum wage for workers, and all of these programs are under brutal attack by the Republican Party today.
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With his New Deal in place, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, this "bleeding heart liberal", not only led this country out of the worst, Republican generated crisis that this country has ever faced, but went on to lead the free world in victory over Hitler in WWII. He then ushered in the most sustained era of prosperity that the world has ever known.
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One would think that conservatives would have seen the light, but their passion to further enrich the wealthy at the expense of the lower and middle classes seems to supersede all logic. Thus, from the moment the New Deal went into place, conservatives have been determined to dismantle it. The closest they've come to succeeding 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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REAGANOMICS
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Reaganomics, or 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 the population. The resulting broadened tax base would not only help to bring down the deficit, but also subsidize the tremendously high defense budget. When the plan was first floated, even George H. W. Bush, 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 planed.
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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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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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Then in 1988 Silverado Savings and Loan collapsed, costing the taxpayers $1.3 billion. It was headed by Neil Bush, brother of George W. 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. Many believe that President George H. W. Bush invaded Iraq in the first gulf war to take the scandal out of the news.
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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 is currently playing out on Wall Street. He 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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But 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 further fueled 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 to 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.  Yet . . .
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DONALD RUMSFELD REPORTS $2.3 TRILLION MISSING FROM PENTAGON THE DAY BEFORE 9-11
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 THEN AFTER THE INVASION OF IRAQ ANOTHER $6.6 BILLION 

IN CASH CAME UP MISSING IN IRAQ 

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Could this be why the GOP is so big on military spending and determined to keep us in perpetual war around the world?  Because based these facts, the Pentagon seems to constitute nothing more than a huge black hole where it's impossible to account for our national treasure. And no wonder the Republican Party doesn't want an educated electorate - educated citizens ask questions like, "WHERE'S THE MONEY!!!?"  This may also account for why the GOP is so atrocious at governance, because they're not interested in governing, they only want to maintain the status quo and make damn sure that the American people remained miserable, ignorant, angry (with one another), and divided.
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During President Obama's first term Republican Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell was recklessly frustrated enough to say it out loud - he said, "Our No. 1 priority is to make this president a one-term president." So they weren't interested in saving America from a second Great Depression, or to bring relief to the American people, but only in making Barack Obama a one-term president.  Thus, flag pens in lapels and patriotic rhetoric notwithstanding, that says it all about the GOP's lack of concern for either America, or the American people.  It also speaks volumes regarding why the Republican Party leaves no stone unturned to insure that young Americans can't afford to educate themselves, because they know that informed Americans aren't dumb enough to vote Republican. 
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During President Obama's first term Republican Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell was recklessly frustrated enough to say it out loud - he said, "Our No. 1 priority is to make this president a one-term president." So they weren't interested in saving America from a second Great Depression, or to bring relief to the American people, but only in making Barack Obama a one-term president.  Thus, flag pens in lapels and patriotic rhetoric notwithstanding, that says it all about the GOP's lack of concern for either America, or the American people.  It also speaks volumes regarding why the Republican Party leaves no stone unturned to insure that young Americans can't afford to educate themselves, because they know that informed Americans aren't dumb enough to vote Republican. 
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But what about the Democrats, why are they just sitting back and allowing this to happen?  The answer is simple - while many of them claim to be Democrats, many of them are conservatives in drag. Where is the screaming and outrage from the Democrats over the Republicans ramming Brett Kavenaugh, an alleged lying felon and sex offender down our throats!!!?  Their so-called "outrage" is perfunctory at best - the very same corporate interests that have the GOP in it's pocket are paying the Democrats as well.  And then there is this . . . 



THE "NEW DEMOCRATS
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THE "NEW DEMOCRATS, also called centrist Democrats, Clinton Democrats or moderate Democrats, are a centre-right ideological faction within the Democratic Party that emerged after the victory of Republican George H. W. Bush in the 1988 presidential election. Describing themselves as "centrist", they are an economically conservative and "Third Way" faction of the party. New Democrats dominated the party starting in the late 1980s after the U.S. electorate turned to the political right, until the mid-2010s following a rise in the Congressional Progressive Caucus." 
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Democrats
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TRUMP REPRESENTS A HOT SKILLET
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We’re suffering with Donald Trump for a reason. We're going through this because far too many people were much too willing to just follow the lead of the string-pullers. The DNC told those people to vote for Hillary or else, and that's just what they did - at least, some of them. If Hillary had won, what would stop them from doing that very same thing in the next election, and the one after that? So instead of pointing the finger at each other, we should just stop for a minute and think about the consequences of blindly allowing others to manipulate our vote. We learn by being burnt, and Trump simply represents a hot skillet, the very same kind of hot skillet that taught me to never vote for a Clinton again.
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I wrote an article discussing the need for Black people to become efficient thinkers in order to move forward. That article applies perfectly here. In fact, I wish I had this discussion as a example when I wrote it. I understand the frustration of many people, but it's misdirected. We've all been played by the DNC, but the first reaction of many is to blame their own people, and to start calling each other names because many refused to vote for the preferred bigot. But the anger of those frustrated over Trump should rightly be directed toward the DNC who used corruption and deceit to force them to have to choose between two cyanide and strychnine in the first place.
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The DNC made Trump a virtual shoo-in by shoving Hillary down our throats. Too many people saw through her, and hated what they saw. It was foolish to even expect to win when even the polls were telling them that the rules have been bent to run the most flawed Democratic candidate since the Civil War. So instead of going online and ranting about their own people, the appropriate thing to do was to direct their anger at the DNC. If the DNC got a few million letters like the one below it would cause them to think long and hard before they tried to manipulate us again:


A MESSAGE TO THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE

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It has come to my attention that you’ve just adopted a rule requiring candidates to both run, and serve, as Democrats. Such arbitrary rules are, by definition, undemocratic, and they’re also an insult to the voter. You’re trying to deprive the voters of their freedom of choice. Such an action is just as unconscionable as gerrymandering, instituting a poll tax, or a literacy test. It’s an attempt to give the candidates of YOUR choice an unfair advantage. The candidates who the voters choose to vote for should be the VOTER’S choice, not yours. So who wants to vote for - or even trust - people who try to deprive the voters of their right to choose?
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Just the thought of your arrogant attempt at manipulation turns my stomach. That’s why I voted against Hillary Clinton in the last election - and that was in spite of the fact that I knew it could cause Trump to win. But I came to the conclusion that since I was being manipulated out of my right to choose, I would vote for democracy - and although I hate Trump intensely, I’d do the exact same thing again even if the election was being held tomorrow and my vote alone would determine whether the Democrats won or lost. Because as I see it, one group of scoundrels are no better than another, and I WILL NOT allow myself to be blackmailed out of my vote - and believe me, there are millions of other voters across this country who feel EXACTLY the same way I do. You’re trying to treat us like children, and personally, I don’t appreciate it a bit.
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One of your cultists asked me, "Didn't you learn anything from the 2016 election?" I did. I learned that many of the people who run the DNC are nothing more than corporate conservatives in drag, and thus, just as corrupt as any Republican. So while I hated seeing Donald Trump win the election, I would have been just as miserable if Hillary had won. At least Trump is serving to wake people up from their state of apathetic somnambulism, but with Hillary it would have been the quiet corruption of business as usual. I only agree with Trump in one regard - Hillary should have gone to jail over her email scandal, because the one and only reason she used a private server was to try to hide her corrupt pay-to-play schemes from the federal government:
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"New Democrats, also called centrist Democrats, Clinton Democrats or moderate Democrats, are a relatively centrist ideological faction within the Democratic Party that emerged after the victory of Republican George H. W. Bush in the 1988 presidential election. Describing themselves as "centrist", they are an economically moderate to conservative and "Third Way" faction of the party. New Democrats dominated the party starting in the late 1980s after the U.S. electorate turned to the political right, until the mid-2010s following a rise in the Congressional Progressive Caucus" (Wikipedia - New_Democrats).
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And please don’t try to write me off as just another fanatical "Bernie Bro," because I’m not. I'm simply an informed American citizen who's highly insulted over being dealt with like I'm a clueless child, and people like myself are growing with every day that's passes. It's time for the American people to send you arrogant bastards a message, and this is mine - you’re NOT our leaders, you’re our EMPLOYEES, and any one of you who don't understand that fact needs to be voted out of office.
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So I sincerely hope you have the common sense to review your thoughtlessly ridiculous decision on who can run in the Democratic primaries.  If they caucus with the Democrats they should be able to run regardless to what they call themselves.  So if you keep this self-serving establishment Democratic rule, you can add Jesus to your ticket and I’d vote against him - and since he espoused honesty and fairness, I’m sure he’d be in my corner.
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You'll find just a few of the people that you've also pissed off below.
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Sincerely,
A TRUE progressive.

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Retired attorney, and former conservative, John Roberts, also recognized the problem with establishment politics on his side of the isle. He said the following:
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"Why am I so liberal? I can thank the Republicans for that. I was raised Republican, voted Republican, and was president of the Young Republicans at college. The liberals did not attract me, but the Republicans pushed me away. It took me a while to realize that all of their talk about states’ rights, personal freedom, trickle-down economics, limited government, and secure borders was just a cover for the fact that they are really just very mean, selfish, stingy, hateful, and intolerant people.
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"They were too cowardly to admit that they hated anyone that was not exactly as they were. They would not admit that they didn't like women who were demanding equality. They did not want to spend any of their money helping others. They did not like blacks, Mexicans, Jews, Muslims, Asians, Native Americans, and anyone with dark skin. They did not want anyone passing any type of regulations interfering with their “right” to make outrageous profits.
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"Most of the Republicans I knew were just downright mean people. Unless you were a pure white male, they had no use for you. When I first left the Republican Party, I had no place to go. I started to listen to all sides. The liberals talked about peace, justice, equality, fairness, inclusion, love, and helping others."
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THIS NATION BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE, NOT TO CAREER POLITICIANS.  WE ARE NOT "THE LITTLE PEOPLE." WE ARE THE PEOPLE.

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NOW THE REPUBLICAN PARTY HAS GIVEN US DONALD TRUMP, THE MOST LYING AND CORRUPT, INCOMPETENT, MEAN-SPIRITED AND DANGEROUS THREAT TO OUR DEMOCRACY IN AMERICAN HISTORY.

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Think about it.

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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