The knights are restless and for good reason.

Archive for the category “Slavery”

Rag Mop Does It Again

Rag Mop is a name for the Donald that has not yet caught on. If Trump can use an Elton John song to label the leader of the un-free world, can’t I use one for Donald by the Ames Brothers? Am I dating myself here?

Since Trump got the Electoral College majority last November (assuming the Russians didn’t hack that one, too), I’ve had to place shoe-proofing around my T.V. set. Otherwise I would have been forced to replace the screen, several times a day.

We now live in a world whose most powerful nation is controlled by a narcissistic maniac. If you think those are harsh words, over a half million people responded to a request to submit a single word to describe this unprecedented President. Over 26,000 words came back, many of which you wouldn’t want your child to hear. Overwhelmingly, the words were not favorable.

None of the experts in the field saw the election results coming, including the great Nate Silver, CEO of Five-Thirty-Eight – the polling group that never, ever gets these predictions wrong.

What was not obvious to Silver, nor to Trump’s Democratic challenger, was that Rag Mop knew how to get his people to show up on Election Day. He figured out that his supporters do not use critical thinking for many of life’s most important decisions. Does who will be the leader of the free world qualify for that distinction?

His rival in 2016 has since learned to strike the word “deplorables” from her lexicon. What should have been obvious, Hill, is that you don’t get voters by insulting them. Unfortunately, her bevy of advisers failed to warn her about that. I haven’t read her New York Times Best Seller, What Happened? I assume she addresses that in the book.

And no matter what Rag Mop says, and about whom he says it, seems to have no ragMopnegative consequences on the folks whose support he won (well, at least according to that great bastion of democracy, the Electoral College).

A few members of Trump’s staff tried to warn him not to launch a verbal attack on North Korea. But I guess no one got around to telling him that the United Nations was established to preserve peace in the world? Otherwise why else would he use that platform to deride four member nations? Or, as Rag Mop might say it, “Who knew that you had to be diplomatic when addressing that fake world body?”

The President needs to watch the amazing Ken Burns documentary series about Vietnam, if only he could pull himself away from Fox and Friends. He would see the futility of wars, especially those America fought after WWII (Cuba, Korea, Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq). The series (roughly eighteen hours long – giving me several restless nights) begins with the Korean blunder of 1950. It lasted just three years, but managed to kill over 36,000 Americans, not counting the 7,747 the Pentagon forgot to report (since corrected). N. Korea suffered over a million casualties, and S. Korea about the same number. China reportedly lost about 600,000 of its military, but estimates vary widely

The U.S. cannot claim a single victory in any of those conflicts, but Ronald Reagan sure did kick the shit out of those Grenadians.

But these tragic events, some of which still continue today, seem to have no end, and profit no one, with exception of the Military Industrial Complex, Ike warned us about. Yet Rag Mop waves his nuclear finger at Rocket Man without any regard to the possible consequences. If I were living in any adjacent region to N. Korea, all of my nights would be restless.

Trump ran on the slogan “Make America Great, Again.” Are we sure he didn’t mean, “Hate, Again?”

And speaking of making our county great, again: Exactly what was the time period in which this greatness occurred? Was it the ‘great’ way African Americans were treated from our nation’s inception (and in many cases, still – ask Colin Kaepernick)? Or perhaps it was our treatment of the indigenous people (remind me not to open an ice cream store called “Custard’s Last Stand”). We honor President Jackson by putting his face on the Twenty, without regard for the Trail of Tears that occurred during his administration. This was a series of forced removals of Native American nations from their ancestral homelands in the Southeastern United States to an area west of the Mississippi, which had been designated as Indian Territory.

Why not remove ‘Old Hickory’ from that bill, and replace him with a female American SBA_onTheTwentyreal hero like Susan B Anthony, or Clara Barton? That would be one way of establishing American greatness (even Syria has a female face on it’s currency –a depiction of Queen Zenobia). That might make up for the fact that it took 140 years from our Declaration of Independence to grant women the right to vote? To be fair, we were not much different from other nations on the subject of women’s suffrage. The delay in granting it was blamed on guess what: World War I, one of the most costly and dumbest conflicts in world history.

I won’t fail to mention that the Nazis were not the only ones to use concentration camps.


Takei Fencing After being let out of the fence

We interred the entire Japanese American population, including Star Trek star, George Takei. We didn’t grant German Americans the same experience. It couldn’t have had anything to do race, now, could it?




Another brilliant move by the Offender-in-Chief is his ever-changing travel ban. As of this writing, the citizens of the following countries are not permitted to migrate here: Chad, Iran, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Venezuela. I was trying to recall the last time I was attacked by a Chadian. But countries that actually had participants attacking the U.S., namely Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, were excluded from the ban.

Apple stockholders and iPhone addicts (like me) should be grateful that the ban didn’t exist in 1952. This was the year Steve Jobs Syrian-born father (Abdul Fattah Jandali) fled the Middle East.. Without Jandali’s arrival in the U.S. there would be fewer Jobs (including Steve). Take a bite (or byte) out of that, Donald.

Our stunning victory over the Axis powers in 1945 was where America defined its greatness.  Our entry into that war, however, was prompted by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor – and not by Axis attempts to take over the entire world. So, great again? I guess it depends upon how you define the word “Great.”







Reason – R.I.P.

The Death of Reason


Reason is defined in the Catholic Encyclopedia as “The name given to that period of human life at which persons are deemed to begin to be morally responsible.”  Too bad the leaders of that Church didn’t exactly subscribe to that code of morality. Also beginning to behave responsibly is only a small first step. Example: stepping out of your house to protest some evil thing a corporation (like a bank) or your government is doing is the first step. But when you don’t actually go to the protest rally, and choose to have a latte at Starbucks instead, you can’t exactly claim credit for activism.

Legislators are not the only forces stomping on reason. As reported by NPR, Tennessee magistrate, Lu Ann Ballew refused to allow the parent of a child to name it “Messiah.” And her reason was quite sound. “The word Messiah is a title and it’s a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ,” she said in an interview. Not only was she not reasonable, but worse: she used a run-on sentence. So, you folks out there named “Jesus” (and there are probably hundreds of thousands of you) or “Mohamed,” prepare to be called Jim or Moe, especially if you live in the Sippin’ Whiskey State.

Webster’s defines Reason quite differently. In one of several variations of the noun form, it‘s “the power of comprehending, inferring, or thinking especially in orderly rational ways.” What a unique concept: Making decisions actually based on logic. Who’d a thunk it? But based on the actions of some state legislators and all of the U.S. Congress, logic has become a dirty word. This could explain our march back to the 19th century, in which we seem to be goosestepping.

CommonSenseThomas Paine, wrote a two-part book on the subject (The Age of Reason), the first of which was published in 1794. If you would like to examine its contents, you’ll find it here. The book focuses on religion, and Paine’s take on it (you could say it was a painstaking effort). He defined himself as a Deist, translating as: Belief that a creator god does exist, but that after the motions of the universe were set in place he retreated, having no further interaction with the created universe or the beings within it. Who can blame him? When God saw the mess he created he decided to bear no responsibility for it.  Paine was not the sole Deist of his era. In the cadre of Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and George Washington were Deists as well. So the notion that we are a Christian Nation, and must be ruled by the word of God is simply the result of using drugs that are illegal in most states.

Let us begin:  Friends, family and former beneficiaries of Reason

We are gathered together to celebrate the life of an idea that had lived for several centuries and has now disappeared. Though it did live, it was never fully accepted by the majority of world populations, who would rather have believed in bullshit then examine it for telltale odor.  For those of you that have come to this hall for the funeral for Journalism, it’s the next room on your left – and many of you will wish to attend both ceremonies.

Reason as defined by candidates and elected officials and political appointees:

Ignore the parts of the Constitution that are contrary to your point of view, and completely change the intention of the Founding Fathers. An example might be that many Americans accept the NRA definition of gun rights, and not the original wording: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” That is what is written in the Second Amendment. I don’t see anything about AK47s and Ar15s, do you? Hey you with that Glock 19. Where’s your militia uniform?

Another is the selectivity in the interpretation of the Fourth Amendment, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” I know, those 18th century folks were too stupid to include emails, phone conversations and Social Media.  Paraphrasing President Obama (not Bush), in a recent speech. “We have a court that will protect Americans against those kinds of invasions of your private information.” FISA stands for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. See FISA Court. Rubber Stamp. The judges on this “court” are all appointed by Chief Justice Roberts. I hope you can appreciate how much fairness we can expect from that.

Some elected officials ignore reason in favor of biological urges. There are too many to count. But making it into the news recently was the re-emergence of Weiner (so to speak).  After losing his seat in Congress following a “revealing” discovery, he swore off junk texting (Junk Male).  But memory did not serve him in that as a Mayoral Candidate HE DID IT AGAIN? So he loined from past experience, as we Brooklynites would say. And if that is not unreasonable enough, check out the Parliamentarian for Queensland, who texted a picture of his John Thomas, suspended in a glass of red wine. Now anyone with the bad taste to pair his schlong with a red wine doesn’t deserve the trust of the people, even the Aussies. Isn’t it common knowledge that only a Penile Noir should be used on these occasions?

Many elected officials are using reason to try, for the fortieth time, to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act, pejoratively known throughout the moronesphere as Obamacare. Instead of wasting our tax money on legislation that has as much chance to pass as Michelle Bachmann suddenly acquiring a brain or Dick Cheney acquiring a soul, why not work with the President on a jobs-creation bill? Putting people back to work, or moving folks off those temporary, part time, healthcare-free jobs (does not mean free health care) into dignified work would be a win-win.

The Supreme Court, the majority of whom were named by Republican Presidents, contributed to the death of reason by rejecting key portions of the Voting Rights Act, a landmark civil rights achievement by President LBJ dating back to 1965. They seem to prefer 1865, or better yet, to a time pre-dating the Emancipation Proclamation.

This august body has also reasoned that Corporations are people, in the notorious Constitution-defying Citizens United ruling. And why not? Corporations write the laws, thoroughly confusing and lengthy to make their understanding virtually impossible.

GettysburgAddressTo account for this sad reality, let us address Abraham Lincoln’s memorable document: We need to make a word replacement. This quote from the last paragraph of that historical speech, “- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Let’s substitute the word “corporation” for the word “people.” Because, in the words of Walter Cronkite (Funeral next door), “That’s the way it is.”

Racism and Restlessness

I know we should go along with the First Testament, with all of its sound ideas, but somehow, slavery doesn’t seem quite right to me.

Knowing the Lord was offended by the wearing of mixed fibers (Leviticus), and aware of the recommended treatment for such an offense was the very reason I donated my leisure suits to the Salvation Army. But He found no quibble with the owning another human being?

This could explain the tolerance for slavery that began a little more recently, as in the 17th century (CE), when several Abrahamic religions conspired to steal Africans from their villages, and send them on a cruise to the New World.

Their accommodations were not exactly posh. And I don’t think they were allowed to take part in Smorgasbord Sundays aboard ship.

So, when we overthrew our British masters and declared that all men were created equal, we seem to have interpreted that as some being more equal than others. As a matter of fact, slaves were 3/5th equal to whites, as was written in the Constitution.

The racism that lives on in America is probably rooted in the idea that God thinks owning slaves is swell. I hate to break this to those engaged in hatred and/or violence toward another, purely based on skin color, but we did eliminate slavery back in 1863, or thought we did. We were a little late getting started, as the Brits, the very slave-mongers we became free of, emancipated theirs in 1833, by an act of Parliament. France first did it in 1789, but a little fella named Napoleon decided God was right, and reversed the decision of the First Republic Convention. But they did eventually come around, beating us to the punch by some 15 years.

How can you say America is racist, you ask, especially since we elected a partially white person to be our President? Well, I believe that Obama’s election served as a catalyst for the racist tendencies many ignorant Americans still hold.

Knowing that we are all products of our time, I asked myself this question:
If I were alive during the early 18th century, would I have thought that it was cool to own another human being? Obviously, this is an unanswerable question, but I would like to think that given the knowledge that the human race consists of many variations (including within each racial group), and that no one race is genetically superior or inferior to another, how else should such a question be answered?

But we are in the 21st century, much to the disbelief of certain Republican candidates, and we know those facts to be true.

I’ve heard some cry out against the injustice of declaring George Zimmerman guilty before he’s had his day in court. But Trayvon Martin didn’t exactly have his day there either.

I suspect that the Stand Your Ground law that protected his (alleged) murderer, passed in Florida (again, so proud), and in a multitude of states across America, is rooted in racism. Martin was convicted by a court of one for WWH (Walking While Hooded.) What would Zimmerman have done to an Imperial Wizard? Not giving him a restless night, I’ll wager.

So, come on, walk a shoeless mile in the garb of a slave and try to have some empathy.

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