Protests… it does a country good @WTF 8/31

epipen gouging

This country was founded… in one form or another … on the fact that people protested… protested taxation without representation…  protested illegal and unjust occupation by British troops… protested the fact that the British government tried to restrict where they could go and settle… just to name a few…

Protests…

joe1Protests have been rampant throughout the history of the country as well… without going into the full history of the protests in America… some of which is due to the fact that I must… unfortunately… plead ignorance… I can state that some of the more recent in American history that are notable are…suffragette

… the women’s suffragette moment… the little known antiwar protests prior to WWI where trade unionists and socialists proclaimed that the war only meant that workers would be killing one another in the interests of their bosses… and… WW II, although somewhat muted due to the fact that on one side was Hitler/the Nazis and then on other side were the Japanese and their attack on American soil by virtue of Peal Harbor, still the peace movement was alive and vocal…  to the more widespread and publicized Vietnam War protests… the Civil Rights Movement protests… and on down to today with the Occupy Wall Street protests… and… Black Lives Matter protests…

To other individual protests involving sports figures… the Los Angeles Rams stepping onto the field for a game with their hands in the air to protest Ferguson’s Michael Brown’s death by cop…

Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who stood barefoot on an Olympic podium to get their medals while the American anthem played, who bowed their heads and raised a gloved fist to protest racism and injustice in America… smith & carlos

Muhammed Ali being threatened with jail, stripped of his title and banned from his profession for his antiwar beliefs and famously saying he had no quarrel with no Vietnamese and that no Vietnamese person had ever called him “nigger”…

The San Antonio Spurs walking onto a court with jerseys that said “Los Suns” to protest the Arizonan draconian immigration laws…

Carlos Delgado refusing to stand for the national anthem or any other so-called patriotic song that was played at a MLB game because of the US’s invasion of Iraq…

WNBA teams, NY, Indiana and Phoenix specifically, incurring fines for wearing jerseys that protested the violence and injustice rampant in America and proclaimed that Black lives mattered … Carmelo Anthony, and other NBA stars, standing and saying “…no more sitting back and being afraid of… addressing political issues no more…”

All people… athletes… who spoke their minds regardless of the consequences… despite the potential hurt revenues due to lost endorsements… spoke their minds and their consciences…

And, now, we have…

On Friday (8/26) San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat during the pre-game playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

And, of course, most folks misunderstood and disrespected Kaepernick for what he was doing…colin

Like one of his former teammates…  Alex Boone who played for 5 seasons with Kaepernick and is now with the Minnesota Vikings who said “(He) should have some fucking respect for people who served, especially people that lost their life to protect our freedom. We’re out here playing a game, making millions of dollars. People are losing their life, and you don’t have the common courtesy to do that. That just drove me nuts.”

Kaepernick’s sit-in protest had nothing but respect for veterans and military folks… and… Boone, as with most peeps who speak without significant forethought, was really the one who made a disrespectful and stupid comment.

As he stood before a multitude of media peeps who asked him extensive questions about why he did what he did…. took a stand while sitting… he faced his interrogators  and never stuttered as he respectfully answered each and every question with words in plain and understandable English.

Although some folks… like his ex-teammate… still came out and lambasted Kaepernick for among things… being disrespectful to… the flag, the country, to service people… and… of course the song.

But isn’t it a truth that to get respect one must give respect? Where is the respect Kaepernick is due as a citizen who has the right to free speech? I never once heard a word of disrespect from him. Everything he did was done with a peacefulness and calm and with a respect for all people… veterans included.

The why…

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

“There’s a lot of things that need to change. One specifically? Police brutality. There’s people being murdered unjustly and not being held accountable. People are being given paid leave for killing people. That’s not right. That’s not right by anyone’s standards.”

Is there any question that cops have murdered people… all sorts of people… but it seems mostly Black people… and for the most part are never convicted of any crimes?sterling 1

Or, is that each and every time a cop offs a human, that it’s like Kaepernick so adroitly pointed out when he tweeted after Alton Sterling died by the hands (feet and knees?) of cops on a video last month… “This is what lynchings look like in 2016! Another murder in the streets because the color of a man’s skin, at the hands of the people who they say will protect us. When will they be held accountable? Or did (the cop) fear for his life as he executed this man?”

The fearing for his life is the de rigueur excuse by most cops to explain away why they had to use brutal and sometimes lethal force to resolve many of the incidents that happen between Black folk and cops.

Or…

When Kaepernick answered another question with this… “There is police brutality. People of color have been targeted by police. So, that’s a large part of it and they’re government officials. They are put in place by the government. So, that’s something that this country has to change. There’s things we can do to hold them more accountable. Make those standards higher. You have people that practice law and are lawyers and go to school for eight years, but you can become a cop in six months and don’t have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist. That’s insane. Someone that’s holding a curling iron has more education and more training than people that have a gun and are going out on the street to protect us.”

That is something I, as well as many others, have expounded upon and have been citing as huge … in fact a ginormous… problem with cops and how they interact with people… especially people of color… i.e., they lack sufficient and extensive training in all aspects of how to interact and act with people… especially in stressful and sometimes potentially dangerous situations.

Norm Stamper is a retired, white, 34-year-veteran police officer… 28 years as a San Diego cop and then his last six as the Chief of Police of Seattle. In his book… “Breaking Rank: A Top Cop’s Expose of the Dark Side of American Policing”… he wrote, “White cops are afraid of black men… We say that officers treat black men the same way they treat white men. But that’s a lie. In fact, the bigger, the darker the black man the greater the fear.”breaking rank

He added… “… why am I so certain that white cops are afraid of black men? Because I was a white cop. In a world of white cops. For thirty-four years. From the earliest day of academy training it was made clear that black men and white cops don’t mix, that of all the people we’d encounter on the streets, those most dangerous to our safety, to our survival, were black men.”

It’s taught to them… maybe not as overtly now as it was then but ya’ll can bet your last doughnut it still is taught at most academies… subtly and covertly taught to cops in training at the police academies.

About that disrespect Kaepernick allegedly showed toward military people… that he showed because he refused to stand for the playing of the Star Spangle Banner… he said this…

“I have great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country. I have family, I have friends that have gone and fought for this country. And they fight for freedom, they fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice, for everyone…”

Got that? Ya’ll grokked them words?

Then, grok the rest of his comment too…

“… That’s not happening. People are dying in vain because this country isn’t holding their end of the bargain up, as far as giving freedom and justice, liberty to everybody. That’s something that’s not happening. I’ve seen videos, I’ve seen circumstances where men and women that have been in the military have come back and been treated unjustly by the country they have fought for, and have been murdered by the country they fought for, on our land. That’s not right.”VA-cuts-Facilities

From the disrespect the VA, vis–à–vis the US Congress, have shown to the returning vets… to vets who have been killed during confrontations with cops because they were poorly treated for various psychological problems usually due to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).. to being unable to find meaningful, or any at all, work, so, he, or she, can feed and clothe their families.  It’s not right and it’s all bordering on, if not out right, criminality.

Fact… many vets, coming from the many war torn areas we have troops, will come back with lifelong disabilities due to injuries or illnesses… they can’t, or are unable, to find the proper assistance… help… they need to get over… even from day to day sometimes… help they were promised in the form of disability payments, jobs, health care… promised by Uncle Sam.. the damn USofA… our government…when they enlisted and eventually got shuffled off to hellified war zones.

Vets who survived so-called enemy attacks and terrorist attacks… who survived roadside bombs, fire fights… heavy and hard ordnance and who saw death… many times gruesome and abhorrent death… of fellow soldiers, soldiers of the other side and even civilians… these vets came back to poverty, joblessness, homelessness and at times suicide.VA-cuts-Medical

Men and women who put their lives on hold… their jobs.. their educations… their families… came back to essentially, and usually, having to start from scratch all over again.

Here is the respect the elephant led House of Representatives gave to America’s returning vets… they, through the House Appropriations Subcommittee, cut more than $1.4 billion from the prez’ 2016 requested budget for America’s Veterans.

In a world where billions are sometimes treated the same as some of us might treat the ones in our pockets, this might not seem so drastic but the reality is that every time even one dollar is cut from a budget there are real world implications.

Slice $1.4 billion from the veterans budget and the impacts could be life threatening.  That is not hyperbole or the musings of some crackpot left wing socialist… it is fact.

That $1.4 billion means that veterans will see diminished medical care which had already been at minimal medial standards as it was, as well as lost new facilities to replace old broken down and antiquated facilities that provide little to no benefit to veterans or the personnel who work there trying to help veterans.VA-cuts-Medical-2-

In the last five to six years the following have been documented…

  • more than 45% of the 1.6 million veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now seeking compensation for service-related injuries and millions of other veterans remain ineligible for compensation and benefits.
  • Over half of vets who need mental-health evaluations… just evaluations… have not gotten them within the two weeks of initial contact. Which is the VA’s own target to get these done.
  • Because of delays and the resulting frustration that vets become ensconced in, because they don’t get needed care through the VA healthcare system. Every half hour a vet tries to commit suicide. Is that just due to the VA not providing fast enough assistance? Maybe not but the delays and the resulting frustrations sure don’t help and probably add to the boiling pot t that eventually with some vets “I’m through…”   Let that rumble around your grey matter for awhile… grok it… that’s every damn fucking half hour a vet is trying to end it all.
  • Disability compensation claims that are usually stalled for more than 125 days in the VA system. Try living without any source of income for that long and then tell me how ya made out
  • Unemployment among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans sat at 12.1% in 2011, In 2011 the national average of 8.9%. For vets in the 18-to-24-year-old range the rate was 30%.
  • The VA created a national registry to track vets who were homeless or at risk at being homeless… they accumulated more than 400,000 names.

And, with all of these troubles and problems for vets don’t ya’ll think $1 billion would go a long way to maybe alleviating some of the bullshit?

Then grok this… in 2008 the Departments of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) spent over $1 billion to create an electronic health record (iEHR) for veterans.  Four years and $1 billion later, not one single line of code had been implemented. Simply put, essentially, they did absolutely not a thing for four years and spent $1 billion bucks doing it.

But… Kaepernick was the one disrespecting veterans and the military with his sitting on his ass in protest about how America is failing to fulfill its covenant to provide we the people our inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. After all, if, people are dying and committing suicide because they can’t get needed assistance, then, how in the hell are they ever gonna be in the frame of mind to pursue happiness?

And ultimately some scribe asked… Does the fact that this is an election year have anything to do with the timing?

He said…  “It wasn’t a timing thing, it wasn’t something that was planned. But I think the two presidential candidates that we currently have also represent the issues that we have in this country right now”… “You have Hillary [Clinton], who has called black teens or black kids super predators. You have Donald Trump, who is openly racist. We have a presidential candidate (Clinton) who has deleted emails and done things illegally and is a presidential candidate. That doesn’t make sense to me. If that was any other person, you’d be in prison. So what is this country really standing for?”

A damn good question that deserves a damn good answer. Anyone got one… or…  even a clue?

So, if, some you… I fear the majority… want to bad mouth him, then go bad mouth Kaepernick if you want…

Try and make him bend to your vainglorious and petulant… and for some false… nationalistic pride. For in his heart Kaepernick believes his stance is correct, and, if he were to do otherwise it would only be bowing down to the pressure and kowtowing to others beliefs … real or imagined… and that ain’t called freedom or liberty or anything that the damn flag is supposed to represent. It is instead compliance and fear. If, that’s what you want, then, brother, you can count me… and Kaepernick… out.

Let me ask ya’ll… exactly what has the government given to you lately? For most of ya’ll…tell me exactly what the government has given to you or done for you? Outside of giving you headache, heartbreak and frustration as well as a waning pocketbook.

Poverty-in-AmericaWhen is the last time the elderly saw a raise … a meaningful raise… in their social security? When was the last time under this administration… or any administration within memory… any of us has been given anything close to a meaningful raise in salary?  When have prices fallen… not the mamby pamby bullshit up and down prices at the gas station pumps… I’m talking real prices throughout the marketplace going down, so, that the dollar actually can buy something? What exactly has the government in any ones recent memory done for vets? The military people they are always saying are so damn brave  and honorable and yet when it comes to helping them they suddenly seem to become second class citizens… gone and forgotten…  thrown over to the wastelands… to what is fast becoming a growing poverty class that is becoming its own special segment of American society.  The poor and the impoverished who struggle sometimes to find a cardboard box to keep out the elements as they sleep under a highway bridge or some corner in some woe begotten alley… hungry and homeless. When has the government and big business ever done anything to make it easier for you to live?

When has big business ever truly contributed its fair share, if only by just paying it fair share in taxes? When has the government ever spent the money we pay it in our tax monies, in a righteous and humane manner? Instead of building up a war machine that outpaces and outspends, by trillions, almost all of the other top ten countries with formidable armies and navies? Put together…

I ask… when the government has ever lived up to what many, if not most, people believe that the flag and the song… the Star Spangled Banner… is supposed to represent. Because brothers… sisters… it ain’t been happening with me, babe.

If, that is your America… if that anthem is so damn important to you… a song you think Kaepernick should stand for… then, by all means, go ahead… stand.

But, understand that one man has shown the balls to act and do something that he knew would cause a shitstorm that was gonna rain down upon his ass as he did something symbolic in a real public arena for all to see and hopefully have them ask in an intelligent and meaningful manner… “Why?”

And, for those who had the respect toward the man and asked and actually listened you learned and hopefully understood. And, for those who didn’t… who just fired off angry mean-spirited disrespectful words… well… it’s your life and welcome to it.

Personally, I wish I had the balls and the sincere bravery and sincerity of purpose that Kaepernick has and has shown the world.MLK

Wanna be let in a on a little secret? America is not the home of the free and the brave… it never was. It was always one rich class who got into a pissing contest with another rich class that wound up escalating into something bad, evil… war… while a bunch so-called common folk wound up with bodies and minds that were being raped by war.

It was always one rich group of bastards taking control from another rich group of bastards. Bastards, who let the people fight and sacrifice their bodies and lives for the right for them… the new bastards… to be in charge when the war was over.

While the people went back to their daily grind of working their fingers to the bone while the bastards got their profits and the workers barely got their daily bread.

Not much has changed since them days if ya’ll think about it. It’s just gotten way more complicated and entangled in more bullshit bureaucracy.

Its really does take a town sometimes…  

Tenino is a small town in the state of Washington… a little less than 2,000 was a guesstimate as of 2015. It’s also a very white town… a bit over 90% of the people living in Tenino are white… the rest is an amalgam of other races… Blacks comprise about 0.2% of the population.

So, on one hand it’s not overly shocking that some cowardly scum bucket wrote KKK and nigger on a Black family’s home and a truck while they were away on vacation. Not shocking but very disappointing, disturbing and sad.

Marvin Phillips got a call from the Tenino PD who told him that his property had been vandalized. He called a friend who called a friend who posted about the incident on Facebook…

Outside of some obligatory posts from some sympathetic folks that just about sums it all up… more racist bullshit in another white dominated town… peeps say “Oh, how bad and crazy that racist bullshit is..” and then move on…

Except… that…

Repped by about 50 individuals of the 1,700 plus strong in Tenino, the Washington town showed its true colors…racism cleaned up

Misty Dell, a friend, said, “Marvin had called me and told me what had happened, so, I didn’t know what to do. So, I called our head coach’s wife, and she was able to manpower it. We all got together Saturday morning.”

She added, “We tried using several different things to get the writing off, and it wasn’t working, so we all pitched in and got paint and repainted the house. And his truck, we all scrubbed it, and it came off.”

And where the painted slurs would not come off of the truck? They replaced the parts.

And, it wasn’t just Tenino folks who fixed the racist BS… two other nearby towns had people pitch in. Phillips said he was amazed by how many people came to help “not only from our town but from the two adjacent towns.”

And they did … these mostly white people… did their best to fix someones stupidity… before Marvin and his family… including five children, who range in age from 6 months old to 10 years old… could get back from their camping vacation.

He said he’s 58 and unfortunately this type of stuff is not foreign to his mind… that he has “… seen or heard something like this, but, he “… didn’t want to have to explain to my kids what the N-word was or what the KKK was all about right now. I didn’t want my kids to look at their friends differently. My daughter is a cheerleader and Girl Scout, and, I didn’t want her to look at her peers differently.”

He added that he and his family had moved to the small town just about a year ago and was the only Black folks in their neighborhood but that until this occurred he had “…never experienced any animosity from the community.”racism cleaned up 2

And thanks to some people who cared… some people who gave a damn when they could have just looked the other way… he can postpone that talk with his kids to another day.

Not only did the townsfolk fix the racist bullshit done by some coward asshole but a local restaurant brought them some supper the first night that they returned to Tenino… and… another group came around and said here’s a c-note… $100… go take the kids some place wet and wild because your vacation was kinda ruined by some jackass’ thoughtless and racist behavior.

Even the Tenino PD got into the action…

Don Moody, the police chief for Tenino, said that one of his officers responded to the reported incident and “found a bunch of derogatory racial slurs spray-painted on a home and vehicle” while the family was out of town Moody further said that the family is well liked and respected in the town and the “…community members took it on themselves to clean off the hateful messages.” He added the cop who first responded… went back the next day to help with the cleaning and painting the racism away.

Moody said that “It is something that no one in this community accepts, and, they didn’t want it to be there, and, they felt it was important to get it cleaned up for this gentleman before he got back.”

As they say… actions speak louder than words… one person (or persons) spoke loudly as they showed off their stupid racist acts…

And a town turned around and spoke even louder together in one powerful, righteous and even louder voice and effectively said… “Take that shit and shove it where the sun don’t shine because that shit don’t fly here.”

Paranoia, the destroyer

This really is not gonna take up a lot of this column’s space or time because, frankly, it just ain’t worth it… but… still… I just gotta point his out… just for the absurdity of the whole; entire deal.

He really said this shit… maybe even believes it. Which is probably the saddest part of it all.

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh said the Bamster is unleashing a scheme whereby he is gonna let loose on some strong elephant leaning states, who have large farming populations, a hoard of scandalous lesbian farmers.rush-limbaugh-

Here’s the deal The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in collaboration with the National Center for Lesbian Rights and The True Colors Fund, have engaged with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities in rural areas across the country to host the LGBT Rural Summit Series. Each stop of the series offers a unique opportunity for USDA and other federal agencies to share information relating to policies, programs, and services that exist to protect, promote, and strengthen LGBT rural communities. Summits have either already been held, or will be held, in Greensboro, North Carolina; Lost River, West Virginia; Wayne, Nebraska; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Dallas, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; Nashville, Tennessee; and Seattle, Washington.

Now here’s Limburger Cheesehead’s take…

“I guarantee you that most people reading the news would come across a story with the Washington Free Beacon (a very conservative news rag) headline ‘Feds Holding Summits for Lesbian Farmers,’ and they would probably ignore it or laugh at it but ultimately cast it aside. “But I, El Rushbo, (I’ll let that pass without comment) am able to read the stitches on the fastball and clearly see what this is about.

And here comes El Rushbo’s curve ball… (Hey if it’s good enough for him…)

“It has a specific political objective and the quick explanation is this is the left expanding their sphere of dominant influence. They are trying to bust up one of the last geographically conservative regions in the country; that’s rural America. Rural America happens to be largely conservative. Rural America is made up of self-reliant, rugged individualist types. They happen to be big believers in the Second Amendment. So here comes the Obama Regime with a bunch of federal money, and they’re waving it around, and all you gotta do to get it is be a lesbian and want to be a farmer and they’ll set you up.”farm-

Not satisfied with his neo-con bias and misogynist attitudes toward the lesbian community (and women in general) he also had to throw into the mix a hint that this all part of the Bamster’s plot to take away America’s guns when he adds in that little phrase… “ Rural America is made up of self-reliant, rugged individualist types. They happen to be big believers in the Second Amendment.”

He then says, “I’m like you; (no you are fucking not!) I never before in my life knew that lesbians wanted to be farmers. I never knew that lesbians wanted to get behind the horse and the plow and start burrowing. I never knew it. But apparently enough money [made] it happen, and the objective here is to attack rural states.”

I just have nothing to say here… Limburger Cheesehead’s words say it all…

Sometimes you just can’t top certain people’s idea of reality no much how much you might try to re-imaging what is really real.

Silly boy ya’ self-destroyer… Paranoia, the destroyer (My apologies to the Kinks…)

Another thousand words…

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This week’s gratuitous pictures…

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Katharine Hope McPhee (32) is an American actress, singer, and songwriter…katharine_mcphee_4Katharine-katharine-6

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