Wednesday, May 24, 2017

On Many Issues.

Also, it is important to fight poverty. One of the great ways to fight poverty is to address income inequality. Also, it is important to teach men and women about being producers of resources beyond just consumers. Regardless of what economic philosophy that we embrace, it is important to learn about producing resources and other concepts of financial literacy (financial literacy is learning about the trough and understanding the tools to spread wealth to future generations and the poor too). I do believe in investments in developing infrastructure, a living wage, improvements in health care, and improvements in education. Men and women should always be encouraged to set up their own enterprises from book stores, clothing stores, restaurants, fitness locations, museums, cultural centers, recreation centers, and other facilities that inspire people. We do this not for the sake of greed. We do this, so societies and communities among our people can grow and flourish. I could never be a libertarian because of many reasons. Libertarianism is about the near deification of the individual without much concern about collective power. It readily ignores human solidarity and it abhors government (even legitimate government to help the sick ,the poor, the minorities, the elderly, women, and other human beings). Government should be by, of, and for the people (not dominated by corporate interests). The invisible free market is a myth, which has never existed in human history. Some people confuse bad government with legitimate government. We want legitimate government to promote the general welfare not bad government that represents oligarchical interests. Real government should fight against evil too. For example, the federal government was used to end Jim Crow and promote civil rights and voting rights. We desire justice and true justice is always bounded by integrity, character, and just treatment. Justice is about love for love and justice go together. That is why I believe in altruism, social justice, and human solidarity.

There is the testimony of the former CIA Director John Brennan. He gave his testimony to the House Intelligence Community. Afterwards, many people accuse the Trump administration of collusion with Russian intelligence. Right now, many investigations are happening to find the truth. Donald Trump has tried to stop the investigation. The greatest attention was given to Brennan’s declaration that there had been a pattern of contacts between Trump aides and Russian officials that aroused the suspicion of the CIA during the summer of 2016. “I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals,” he told the panel. “And it raised questions in my mind again whether or not the Russians were able to gain the cooperation of those individuals.” Brennan refused to identify any of these individuals or answer a direct question about whether Trump was one of those targeted. Later in his testimony, after considerable badgering by Republican representatives, he reiterated that there were still matters to investigate. When he left office on January 20, 2017, he said, “I had unresolved questions in my mind as to whether or not the Russians had been successful in getting US persons, involved in the campaign or not, to work on their behalf, again, either in a witting or unwitting fashion.” Brennan never explicitly said that collusion existed. He did spoke about contacts among the Trump administration and Russian officials. There should be an independent investigation. Yet, we shouldn't be like McCarthyites and Cold Warriors and blame Russia for everything wrong in the world. Brennan said that the CIA in 2016 found out about alleged accusations of Russian interference via its intelligence services in the 2016 election. Significantly, Brennan seemed to downplay claims that Trump had committed a gross breach of national security by disclosing classified information about an alleged ISIS terrorist threat at a White House meeting earlier this month with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. It will take time to sort all of the facts out.

We send prayers and condolences to the victims of the Manchester arena attack. One thing that we won't do is to scapegoat everyone in a religion for the actions of one person. That one murderer is solely responsible for his demented action. Murder is wrong. In order to fight back against terrorism, we must stop murderers, form collaborations to help people, abhor xenophobia, and condemn Islamophobia at the same time. The proposed Trump bill is one of the most (if not the most) draconian, anti-poor bill involving the budget in American history. It has massive cuts to not only Medicaid, but to SNAP, the Earned Income Tax Credit, massive tax cuts for the super wealthy, etc. We still have massive poverty, health care issues, and environmental problems. We don't need this abhorrent budgetary bill. This bill cuts about $1.7 trillion from social programs. The poor, the working class, and human begins of goodwill should unite to stand up for social justice and economic rights. I watched a DVD called, "Birth of a Movement" (from PBS) which is about the resistance to the racist 1915 film Birth of a Nation. It focused on the life of the Boston civil rights activist William Monroe Trotter. He was a contemporary of WEB DuBois (who went into Harvard like Trotter). He or Trotter believed in black people using direct action in the streets in order for black people to get justice and true equality. He tried to get the Birth of a Nation banned in theaters. Trotter, DuBois, and Booker T. Washington (who all had ideological differences) united in their opposition to the Birth of a Nation film. Trotter modernized much of the direct action protests that we see during the 1960's. I do recommend the documentary as it showed early 20th century America in great detail. People like Washington, DuBois, Ida B. Wells, Trotter, and other black human beings were part of that early 1900's era of Black American history.

Through life, I have faith. Racism, discrimination,and other evils never caused me to be a pessimist in my life. The reason is that I looked to history. During the unspeakable atrocities of slavery, Brothers and Sisters stood up with action and faith to abolish slavery legally in America. Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman, and other heroes fought on until the Confederacy was defeated. I have faith, because of the work of Ella Baker and Fannie Lou Hamer who spoke out against injustice and used their gifts of strength and courage to help their neighbors. Ella Baker worked for more than 50 years in the cause of liberation. As we approach 2020 (when I will be in my late 30's), I am still renewed in my spirit to continue onward in the work to make a better society real in the world. Black creativity is true, dynamic, powerful, and inspirational. For centuries and thousands of years, black people have audaciously built civilizations, created timeless music, and invented so much that the world cherishes. The Brother Obasi Shaw have a made a senior thesis (involving Harvard University) that deals with a music album. That album is not only inspired by Medieval literature. It has shown issues about slavery, racism, and the other characteristics of our modern day society. Today, there is still the capitalist exploitation of society by privatizers and others who desire oligarchy instead of true human justice. There is still the evil of police brutality in the world. There is also a remnant of dedicated human beings who sincerely want and are fighting for the real change that we all seek. His desire to be a software engineer is very good as we need more black men and black women involved in STEM Fields (as STEM fields are part of the touchstone of invention, innovation, and the further development of a progressive society). His Liminal Minds is historic and will undoubtedly further reach those in the world who seek a comprehensive education. Rap, when it is executed in the right way, can be a positive force for change and the enrichment of humanity. I wish Brother Obasi Shaw the best in his endeavors.

Comedy enriches the soul and focuses on not only wit, but analysis on how things are in society. Sasheer Zamata is a Sister who not only have a great gift involving comedy. She has worked hard to promote her talent in a diversity of formats. She loves truly to bring smiles to people and to cause people to think honestly about the many social realities that we face as human beings. I wish her all of the best. This reversal in one school was long overdue. Not only the banning of 2 black teenagers from wearing braids (as found in one school) discriminatory and wrong. It represents the cultural insensitivity that some have in our society. Girls and women have every right to wear braids or their hair in a diversity of ways without shame and without ridicule. Sophomores Deanna and Mya Cook are black girls with so much of their lives ahead of them. They were mistreated and the charter school changed course, because an injustice must be rectified. The reversal by the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School is good. We want all people with braids to be treated with respect and live in the world to fulfill their own happiness plus aspirations succinctly.

By Timothy

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