“All Lives Matter” is denial of systematic racism

When your All-Lives-Matter friend has a birthday, be sure to message:

“All Birthdays Matter”. ūüėÄ

According to professor of critical race theory,¬†David Theo Goldberg, “All Lives Matter” reflects a view of “racial dismissal, ignoring, and denial”.

Philosopher Chris Lebron describes “All Lives Matter” as a “disingenuous retort” that misunderstands the problem raised by Black Lives Matter proponents.

On¬†Real Time with Bill Maher,¬†Bill Maher¬†expressed support for use of the “Black Lives Matter” phrase, stating that “‘All Lives Matter’ implies that all lives are equally at risk, and they’re not”. …


Comedy and White Privilege

A one woman investigation into her White Privilege.

On Netflix.

Best part is when she went to meet her High School boyfriend. He had been in prison for 14 years.  Out and clean for 3 years.

“Hello, Privilege. It‚Äôs Me, Chelsea” follows comedian Chelsea Handler as she confronts and explores her personal and cultural impacts around white privilege.

Handler travels around the country speaking with a wide range of people on the topic of race including fellow comedians Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, and W. Kamau Bell, anti-racism writer and activist Tim Wise, a Republican women’s group in Orange County, CA, college students at an open mic night, and her former high school boyfriend in New Jersey.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

ABOUT those pro-life hypocrites …

I can see the argument for being pro-life.

Nobody wants abortions.

But if you are pro-life you must also have a consistent life ethic:

… an ideology that opposes¬†abortion,¬†capital punishment,¬†assisted suicide, and¬†euthanasia.

Adherents are opposed, at the very least, to unjust war, while some adherents also profess pacifism, or opposition to all war.

The term was popularized in 1983 by the Catholic Cardinal¬†Joseph Bernardin¬†to express an ideology based on the premise that all¬†human life is sacred¬†and should be protected by law. …¬†

In the States, many who claim to be pro-life also support the death penalty, support the right of untrained neighbours to own weapons of war.

They support wasting any amount of money on the military while denying basic health care and education to the young women who might consider having an abortion.

They are pro-birth, not pro-life.  Once the baby is born they no longer care what happens to the child.

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

American Dirt is a 2020 novel by American author Jeanine Cummins, about the ordeal of a Mexican woman who had to leave behind her life and escape as an undocumented immigrant to the United States with her son.

Lydia and her eight-year-old son Luca are the only survivors of the backyard barbecue massacre of her family by a drug cartel.

Her husband had been a journalist who was reporting the crimes.

Mother and son become two of the countless undocumented immigrants from Latin America who undertake the dangerous journey to the United States.

American Dirt debuted on New York Times best sellers list as the #1 on the list for the week of February 9, 2020.

The novel has been optioned for a film adaptation.

Oprah loved the book. ¬†I’d agree.

But many, especially Mexican writers, accused the author (American, born in Spain) of exploitation and inaccuracy in her portrayals of both Mexico and the migrant experience.  A planned book tour was cancelled.

Personally, the book was insightful for me. ¬†It’s the closest I’ve ever come to appreciating the experience of a migrant trying to cross the Mexican border illegally.

It’s fiction. ¬†Not reality. ¬†I understand that.

Amazon

 

 

 

Rise and Fall of the American Empire – Wade Davis

UPDATE –¬†Deanna Kreisel posted a rebuttal to the Wade Davis article:

The Unraveling of ‚ÄúThe Unraveling of America‚ÄĚ

Wade Davis is a Colombian / Canadian professor of anthropology and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia.

One brilliant man.

A recent article of his in Rolling Stone sums up how COVID-19 signals the end of the American era.

In a dark season of pestilence, COVID has reduced to tatters the illusion of American exceptionalism. …

No empire long endures, even if few anticipate their demise …

In 1940, with Europe already ablaze, the United States had a smaller army than either Portugal or Bulgaria. Within four years, 18 million men and women would serve in uniform, with millions more working double shifts in mines and factories that made America, as President Roosevelt promised, the arsenal of democracy.

When the Japanese within six weeks of Pearl Harbor took control of 90 percent of the world’s rubber supply, the U.S. dropped the speed limit to 35 mph to protect tires, and then, in three years, invented from scratch a synthetic-rubber industry that allowed Allied armies to roll over the Nazis. At its peak, Henry Ford’s Willow Run Plant produced a B-24 Liberator every two hours, around the clock. Shipyards in Long Beach and Sausalito spat out Liberty ships at a rate of two a day for four years; the record was a ship built in four days, 15 hours and 29 minutes. A single American factory, Chrysler’s Detroit Arsenal, built more tanks than the whole of the Third Reich. 

In the wake of the war, with Europe and Japan in ashes, the United States with but 6 percent of the world‚Äôs population accounted for half of the global economy, including the production of 93 percent of all automobiles. …¬†

COVID-19 didn’t lay America low; it simply revealed what had long been forsaken.

As the crisis unfolded, with another American dying every minute of every day, a country that once turned out fighter planes by the hour could not manage to produce the paper masks or cotton swabs essential for tracking the disease. The nation that defeated smallpox and polio, and led the world for generations in medical innovation and discovery, was reduced to a laughing stock as a buffoon of a president advocated the use of household disinfectants as a treatment for a disease that intellectually he could not begin to understand.

… With less than four percent of the global population, the U.S. soon accounted for more than a fifth of COVID deaths. …¬†

Odious as he may be, Trump is less the cause of America‚Äôs decline than a product of its descent. As they stare into the mirror and perceive only the myth of their exceptionalism, Americans remain almost bizarrely incapable of seeing what has actually become of their country. ¬†…

The Unraveling of America

 

If Trump were gone tomorrow, the USA is still screwed because of FOX News and right wing media. And the GOP.

If a vaccine were available tomorrow, half of Americans would refuse to take it.

Wade Davis:

… even should Trump be resoundingly defeated, it‚Äôs not at all clear that such a profoundly polarized nation will be able to find a way forward. For better or for worse, America has had its time. …

BAYONNE, NJ – MAY 3: A wind blown American flag at the Tear Drop 9/11 Memorial flies over the skyline of New York City as the sun sets on May 3, 2020 in Bayonne, New Jersey. (Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right

With a rating of 4.36 / 5.00 on GoodReads, this book is popular. And depressing.

My takeaways:

  • Stop worrying about Russia. It’s the richest of the rich deciding American politics.
  • Charles and David Koch started as Libertarians. In fact, David¬†ran in 1980 as candidate for Vice President for the¬†Libertarian Party. In recent decades everything the Kochs do is to enrich themselves. #FollowTheMoney

  • The Kochs will cheat, lie, steal, intimidate to enrich themselves. The GOP are merely a means to an end.
  • The Kochs are good businessmen, employing many. For all the hundreds of millions they’ve spent, mostly on Republicans, they’ve made more back on legislation enriching the richest of the rich.
  • The¬†2010 Supreme Court‚Äôs Citizens United decision made the situation much worse.
  • Because their business is mostly Petrotoxins, the Kochs are keenest on¬†preventing action on climate change.
  • Currently¬†Americans for Prosperity is the main Koch lobbyist.
  • The¬†E.P.A. identified Koch Industries in 2012 as the single biggest producer of toxic waste in the United States.

The U.S. political system is a fail, I’d say.

40% think Trump is doing a good job. A majority of those, I’m guessing, believe what they hear on FOX News and right wing radio.

Americans so easily misled deserve worse education, worse health care, medical bankruptcy, etc. … There’s no helping people like that.

I keep thinking American voters will figure out the richest of the rich are taking too much money. They don’t

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (2016) is a non-fiction book written by the American investigative journalist Jane Mayer, about a network of extremely wealthy conservative republicans, foremost among them Charles and David Koch, who have together funded an array of organizations that work in tandem to influence academic institutions, think tanks, the courts, statehouses, Congress, and the American presidency for their own benefit.

Mayer particularly discusses the Koch family and their political activities, along with Richard Mellon Scaife and John M. Olin and the DeVos and Coors families.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Jane Meredith Mayer¬†is an¬†American¬†investigative journalist¬†who has been a staff writer for¬†The New Yorker¬†since 1995. …

In 2016, Doubleday published Mayer‚Äôs fourth book,¬†Dark Money, which became an instant national best-seller, and the New York Times named it one of the ten best books of the year. …

Mayer revealed that approximately six investigators, led by former New York Police Chief Howard Safir, had been hired by the industrialist Koch brothers in an effort to try to dig up dirt in order to smear her reputation, and that accusations of plagiarism had been leveled at her. She responded by publicly airing those tactics of intimidation, effectively debunking the smear campaign.

 

American politics went batshit crazy starting with Newt Gingrich

I ignored American politics until 2004 when ‚ÄĒ inexplicably ‚ÄĒ George W. Bush was elected for a second term after being unbelievably bad in his first term.

What the Hell was going on?

Jim VandeHei explains why the USA has such extreme politics in 2017: Newt GingrichFox News (1996), MSNBC, CNN, Facebook and later Twitter, Sarah Palin and finally Trump.

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert documented the idiocy.

It’s easy to say Americans deserve the politicians they have.

My fear is that other nations will evolve in the direction of the American way. ūüė¶