Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Foreign Policy Matters, etc.

Recently, Donald Trump had a meeting with Vladimir Putin. This took place in Helsinki, Finland. People shouldn't be surprised at its outcome. Trump blatantly minimized the seriousness of the Russian meddling of the election of 2016. While America isn't perfect, the Western indictment of Russian intelligence officials for illegal, criminal acts of manipulation of the election is very serious. Putin has denied all allegations when Mueller has been very judicious in detailing the acts of criminality on the part of Russian intelligence. Not to mention that people connected to the Trump administration have pleaded guilty for crimes. Both Trump and Putin are unison in lying, in promoting anti-democratic policies, and promoting the worst form of xenophobic nationalism. There are several examples of this. Trump has gone out of his way to continue to place child migrants in internment camps. Also, Trump has cut off crucial environmental regulations that help our lands, air, and water. Putin permits a kleptocracy where select oligarchs control a large portion of the economic functions of Russia when Russia has massive economic inequality and many Russians suffer violations to their civil liberties, their freedom of the press rights, and other human rights. In 2017, the number of Russians who own more than $5 million rose by 27 percent from the previous year to 38,000 people, according to the World Wealth Report published by the company Knight Frank. The super-rich (those owning $50 million or more) saw their numbers rise by over 26 percent (2,600 people), while the number of Russians whose wealth comprised over $500 million rose by 22 percent from 2016 to 2017 to 220 people. Knight Frank has calculated that together, the Russian multimillionaires own $1.2 trillion, which is the equivalent of 73.5 percent of Russia’s GDP in 2017.

Therefore, I'm not a neoconservative in advocating some military response to Russia (as I don't agree with imperialism. We don't need reckless wars. I don't believe that Russia is to be blamed for every foreign policy crisis in the world. I make a distinction between Putin and the vast majority of the Russian people who want real freedom), but we ought to reject naivete about the authoritarianism of Putin. Putin is no progressive and he is no hero. He is an oligarch, a former KGB official, and a habitual liar just like Donald Trump. People from both political parties have criticized this meeting and it's a lesson for the world to concretely realize how far we have to go in advancing democratic principles. Trump's statements in front of the world were blatantly disgraceful, abhorrent, and retrograde. The working class and all people who love freedom should unite internationally to not only oppose the extremism of Trump (which must be done), but to cultivate a wide spread movement for social justice.

Also, it is important involving the Helsinki trip to not go into the 2 extremes. One extreme falsely views Putin as a hero and true democratic leader, which is a lie. The other extreme wants us to omit the mistakes done by the CIA, the FBI, etc. when the FBI enacted COINTELPRO, which was created to harm pro-freedom movements in America. The CIA has been involved in Operation Phoenix (which was an assassination program against Vietnamese people), Operation Mockingbird (which was about the CIA infiltration against the U.S. media. You can look this up), the torture in Guantanamo Bay, and funding coups against democratically elected leaders for decades. The corruption found in the FBI and the CIA on many occasions have been documented by the Church Committee back during the 1970's. Therefore, we have to be honest and both condemn the autocrat Putin's policies along with the bigotry of Donald Trump (along with advocating solutions dealing with accountability involving the ridding of the 2016 election and the protection of our human rights in America and throughout the world). We don't have to support either the reactionary Trump or Western imperialists. Many of the hypocrites who are legitimately criticizing Putin are neo-conservatives who brought us the Iraq War, the Libyan war disaster, the NSA warrantless spying program (which was wrong), and other imperialist policies that ironically harmed America. There is tons of evidence to prove that the Trump administration leaders collaborated with some Russians during the 2016 election. It's a fact that members of the Russian intelligence community also meddled in the 2016 election too. That was wrong and evil. We aren't naive. People have to stand up against anti-freedom authoritarians who are Trump and Putin.

Yesterday was the Birthday of another legendary singer named Regina Belle. She is now 55 years old. For decades, she has expressed her soul throughout the world. She can sing, write songs, and she is an actress. Belle's most notable for two hit duets, both with Peabo Bryson: "Without You", the love theme from the comedy film Leonard Part 6, recorded in 1987 and "A Whole New World", the main theme of the Disney's animated feature film Aladdin, recorded in 1992, with which Belle and Bryson won the Grammy award. She was born in Englewood, New Jersey. She was raised singing songs in the church like many great singers were. She has been inspired by artists like Phyllis Hyman, Billie Holiday, Shirley Caesar, Patti LaBelle, and Nancy Wilson. Her debut album was All By Myself which came out in 1987. She does gospel music too. Also, she is a mother and a wife with many children. Eloquent, inspirational lyrics are found in her music and she definitely has lifted the spirits of human beings for over 30 years. I wish Sister Regina Belle more blessings. A legend and a trailblazer accurately describes this human being. It is was her birthday and she is Sister Diahann Carroll. She not only performed magnificently in a diversity of movies plus TV roles. She has inspired future generation of actors and actresses to pursue their careers with earnest, with diligence, and with an appreciation of the legends that came before them. She definitely greatly performed in the film of Carmen Jones back in 1954 and Porgy and Bless back in 1959. She was the first black woman leading actress of a television show with Julia back in 1968. She was born in the Bronx, NYC. She starred with Sidney Poitier, Paul Newman, and Joanne Woodward in the 1961 film Paris Blues. In 1962, Diahann won the Tony Award for best actress (a first for a black woman) for the role of Barbara Woodruff in the Samuel A. Taylor and Richard Rodgers musical No Strings. In 1974, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for the film Claudine. She was in the Five Heartbeats, A Different World, and Grey's Anthony. She continues to act in the 21st century. Her beauty is not just found outward, but it's found inward too with her charitable work, with her words of encouragement to people, and with her actions in helping others. I wish Sister Diahann Carroll more blessings.

Days ago was the Birthday of Sister Ida B. Wells. She was one of the greatest black heroes in history. Holly Springs, Mississippi was the place of her birth. She was a newspaper editor. She was a teacher in Memphis, Tennessee too. She was a writer. She was a fighter against lynching. She not only defended the lives of black people. She risked her life in doing the due diligence of promoting freedom. When anti-black pogroms existed, she advocated for the African Americans to get weapons to defend their homes. When many black people were falsely accused of rape, she wrote literature defending black people from false allegations. Being one of the founders of the NAACP is part of her life as well. When white racists confronted her, she didn't back down. She was married and had many children. Also, she knew Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. DuBois. She worked hard for freedom in Chicago. Her cause is our cause too as we want black freedom and justice.
Rest in Power Sister Ida B. Wells.

By Timothy

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