Have you ever heard this saying, “if someone calls you a horse, laugh at them. If two people call you a horse, think about it. If three people call you a horse you’d better get a saddle”. I may be misquoting or phrasing it wrong but I think one can get the gist. For months now, few people were talking about impeachment (of Trump), as time went by more people began thinking about the impeachment (of Trump), today more people, elected officials and the media are beginning to talk about the impeachment (of Trump). Maybe it’s time for Trump to “get a saddle.” We see how this “noise” is making Trump crazy (well crazier) than we have seen him before.
Last month (December, 2018), Trump met with Democrat, and minority House speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Senate Speaker Chuck Schumer, in the White House and before television cameras for all the world to see, threw a tantrum and literally stated that he would shut down the government and not blame them (Democrats) but would gladly own that shut down if they do not give him the money he wants for his border wall. Perhaps he thought that this threat would intimidate Pelosi and Schumer into getting the Democrats to cave in, however to Trump’s dismay, they did not cave in and he, in fact, did shut down the Government.
On January 3rd the Democrats took control of the house of representatives and Trump no longer has a “yes man” congress and is losing his mind. Trump stands firm on his position that Congress allocate 5 Billion Dollars for the building of 240 miles of a new border wall. Congress is standing firm on not allocating these funds. So the federal government has been shut down now for three weeks. What does this shut down mean? Well for the federal employees working in the affected federal agencies it means working with no pay. Many of these employees are low wage earners – that means that most of them live pay check to pay check and for them there was not a very Merry Christmas.
Today I saw a television paid for by Trump’s supporters and endorsed by Trump wherein they try to paint Pelosi and the House of Representatives as left wing kooks that support, or at least embrace, terrorism and the influx of illicit drugs.
Trump does not care about facts and statistics. His own administration has repeatedly contradicted his claims. Trump, one the does not like to be contradicted, would either A) ignore their findings, of B) fire them or pressure them to leave.
I really do not understand why his base is so loyal to him when he lies on television, I mean there is no one earth that has not seem and heard Donald Trump lie. His lunatic rants has already cost the GOP the Congress. The momentum in the country is swaying away from the right and beginning to normalize. Normalize means a happy medium although it does seem that the left leaning branch of the Democratic party is gaining some ground. Sure Nancy Pelosi was re-elected Speaker of the House but it was not a walk in as she may have once thought. Remember that in the 2016 presidential race it was Bernie Sanders (Independent, Socialist) that was leading the pack and not Hillary Clinton. It was only because of dirty dealings by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the then leadership of the Democratic Party that she became the party’s nominee.
That in house bickering, along with Russian meddling and Trump’s corruption, made it possible for Trump to steal, I mean win the presidency.
That ugliness made it possible for an unknown, Socialist Democrat, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, to unseat a very powerful New York Congressman. Sure that is only one seat in a very crowded house, but it was a very significant win. So significant, in fact, that she has become the newsmedia’s darling. Ocasio-Cortez has already garnered more publicity than some senior congress people. Four days after being sworn in she was featured on CBS’ 60 Minutes. This is no small feat. But Ocasio-Cortez is not the only breadth of fresh air. For the first time in American history the house of representatives is truly diverse. As an aside, and this is only my own thought, this is exactly what the “Extreme Right Wing” is afraid of. When “they” chant “take back our country”, we know that that is code for keeping the country “white”. Ok back on track, this diverse Congress consist of 42 women, 24 people of color, 25 of these Democrats are progressives. Included in this mix is two Muslim women, several gay or members of the LGBT community.
Could this be the beginning of a more realistic, human thinking government? I mean we hear them say that there is a separation of Church and State on the one hand, but then condemn an elected official that does not embrace “the church”. I think that godly thing should be left in God’s sphere and earthly things should be left, well on earth. For me thinking like this or speaking like this many will say I am blaspheming, which I am not. I am not talking against god I am merely speaking for human kind. I consider myself a reasonably intelligent man. I know that planet earth is huge (the equatorial circumference of Earth is about 24,901 miles) with many different people (7.7 Billion to be exact). I also know that depending on what part of the planet one lives in, the belief in God differs. Some people worship Jesus, some worship Allah, other worship Buddh and there are many other beliefs as well. Do you realize that historically most wars were fought because of one groups belief vs another groups belief. What I am saying is no one really knows what God’s name or sexual identity for that matter, is.
I don’t want to be negative or step on anyone’s beliefs but from where I sit, from where my ethnicity stems, Christianity has not been very loving, welcoming or friendly. We can look back at the Crusades. Christians went on a mission to eradicate Muslims. Christianity was used to stupefy natives in many lands. While the United States of America leans toward a judeo-Christian philosophy, it is one of the most violent and corrupt nations on earth. Lets not forget that the bible was used to justify the enslavement of black people and that America’s largest terrorist organization, the Ku Klux Klan, claimed to be “Good, White and Christian”.
On the other hand, I am not so naive as to think that all white people or all christi ans are evil or bad or corrupt, or that all blacks, Muslims or Hispanics are good, moral and decent. The facts are that there are bad seeds in every group. The problem comes when one group is so prevalent that it actually dominates and can assert undo influence (good or bad) on others.
As I end this article, my question is this: How is shutting down the government beneficial for “We, the people?”
The Trump era has tried, and in many cases succeeded, in reversing many of the safeguards that have made America the strong, inviting country that it has always been.
Trump and his associates have attempted to take the country back to a time where business and profit where more important than the people that work every day, the people that toil endlessly to make ends meet and whose labor make the rich richer.
Old men, old white men, have, since the founding of this nation, done everything possible to keep the power and wealth among themselves. They did this at the cost of millions of human lives. It began by the irradiation of the so called red man, the native peoples that inhabited this continent for centuries before the white man came here and infected them with there disease. The diseases where not just illness, but the disease of greed, violence and need to feel superior.
These wealthy white men exploited everyone that was not like them. They used the black man to toil within the many industries of this country while keeping them out of the competition, the competition for education, exploration and innovation. The Black slaves built this country and did not reap any of the riches or rewards.
These wealthy white men used the so called yellow man, the Chinese, to build the railroads.
These wealthy white men kept women out of the development of this country.
In short, this country was developed on the backs of everyone that was not a wealthy white man. Violence was the mechanism used to drive this development and fear was the tool used to justify this violence. Fear of so-called foreigners, fear of people of color, fear of women entering the workforce.
From slavery to child labor, from only white men landowners having the right to vote, to the quashing of civil rights. The history of the United States of America is both beautiful and ugly at the same time.
From the late 1800’s to the mid 20th Century America was the engine of industry and growth. It was the fastest growing industrial nation in the world. After dropping the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the United States became the world’s first super power. With it’s fake moral authority it flexed its muscle around the world. Forcing other nations to embrace a moral stance that this country itself did not practise.
Everything changed in this country in the 1960’s. This era is refered to by many as the great cultural revolution. Everything changed in the United States in the 1960’s. Blacks started demanding civil rights more forcefully then ever before. Men started wearing long hair and growing beards. Woman starting burning their bras and young men began to defy the government by refusing to go to war and by burning their draft cards.
Change was in the air and the nation was heading toward a morality that would level the field for all those that were left out of the great American experiment.
Progress was being made for the human factor, and while wealth still vibrant and a goal of many, it was not as important for most as the human factor was. Blacks were now more integrated into society and as a community began developing it’s own wealth. First in Entertainment, then sports, and eventually in fashion, music and business, and Black politicians were getting elected. Years before the first black supreme court justice was appointed and things really were beginning to get better.
Women had fought for and in the 1970’s began entering the work force in numbers unheard of or even imagined ever before. Eventually women began entering the board rooms, and getting elected into political office.
After protest, police beatings and arrests, gays began flexing muscle to the point that in the 2000’s got integrated into society. No longer having to hide in the shadows. In several states, gay marriage even became legal. America was slowly beginning to live up to its credo of “All Men Are Created Equal”.
In 2009 the nations first black president was sworn in and most of the world celebrated. The election of an African American to the most powerful position in the world signaled hope for many across the globe. With the success of the first black president’s administration, it was a canel free eight years, it seemed that the nation was poised to elect it’s first female president.
But the ugly monster of misogyny, xenophobia, and racism was again awakened. Fanned by the mutterings of a wealthy white man that needed to be like the titans of industry that made this country, i.e., the Rockefeller’s, Vanderbilt’s, Carnegie’s and Morgan’s. These men at first rivals eventually joined forces to elect a president favorable to the needs of big business, namely Monopoly’s. Donald J. Trump, however, was not content on owing a president as those titans once had, his ego drove him to actually want to be the president. And he decide to run.
He began setting the stage with his racist rants manifesting itself when he went after the first black president. By insinuating that Barrack Obama’s presidency was illigitimate, that he was not actually an American, he initiated the extreme right wing and white supremacist to mobilize. This mobilization became known as the birther movement. Then at the foreign correspondent’s dinner the President got a chance to fire back at Trump by mocking this rumored bid to seek the presidency in 2012. President Obama stated “We all know about your credentials,” he quipped, bringing up Trump’s decision to fire Gary Busey in a recent episode of Celebrity Apprentice, joking: “These are the kinds of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled.” Trump did not like being the butt of the joke and was seen to be fuming. To Add insult to injury, the following night which was supposed to be the show that got the Celebrity Apprentice back on top, it was pre-empted with the news that Osama Bin Ladden had been killed. Trump’s ego was crushed and his distain for Barrack Obama became more apparent. In his ego-centrical mind he thought that the killing of Osama Bin Ladden was done on that night, at that time, to take away from his show. This single incident made Trump focus on his birther movement even more and he went after Obama’s birth certificate with reckless abandon and a vengeance. Despite the facts to the contrary, Trump continued to state that Obama was not a U.S. Citizen and his presidency was illegal or illegitimate. Right wing hate groups began to take up the mantle and a whole new generation of hate and white supremacy emerged.
To ensure that he won his bid for the Presidency, he did what all powerful and wealthy white men have historically done, he cheated. We went he eliminated all of his opponents, Republican and Democratic, in the most despicable way ever seen in American politics, he was left facing his bitter rival Hillary Clinton. Trump had it in his mind that if Hillary Clinton was elected president it would amount to nothing short of another term for Barrack Obama whom he despised even more than her. To ensure that he was the victor, his machine did what ever needed to be done to guarantee it. That meant forging alliances with America’s historic nemesis, Russia. Via an intermediary known as Wikileaks, Russia began to infiltrate social media with “fake news”. Soon the tide of fake news becomes insurmountable and an entire anti Hillary Clinton movement was born.
And to the surprise and astonishment of all, on November 8, 2016 Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. Enter the era of disparity.
Trump is president now, and the facts of his corruption are being played out daily in the news. No presidential administration has ever had so many of it’s cabinet members and high ranking officials to be indicted or have so many sent to prison. And a special prosecutor was named to investigate the alleged Russian collusion. While the investigation is on going, and may continue for some time, the evidence which seems to be mounting, and in my opinion, will lead to the removal of Trump from the presidency. This removal may be by resignation or by impeachment, but I am confident that Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of these United States of America, will not complete a second term in office. Wishful thinking? We’ll see.
The day Donald J. Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency of the United States, he did so by defaming the Hispanic people. In his announcement speech, Trump laid the foundation for his platform on the back of immigrants. He stated that if elected president he would stop Mexicans from crossing the border. He labeled Mexicans as “murderers”, “Drug Dealers”, and “Rapist”. To Trump, and many of his followers, all Hispanics are Mexican. He, like many white Americans, did not know that Puerto Ricans are U.S. Citizens by birth and that Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States or that its citizens have been American’s since 1917. Donald Trump’s, and his followers, xenophobia is deep rooted.
The first act that Trump decided to take upon becoming president was to impose a travel ban on seven Muslim countries. He, like so many whites, are unable to separate the Islamic fanatics from the true believers of Islam. Never mind that the largest terror organization to ever reside in the United States of America, the Klu Klux Klan, professes to Christian. Xenophobia, bigotry and the hatred of people that are perceived to be different be it because of skin color, sexual orientation, or language spoken is a sickness born out of insecurity. It is a sickness that gets passed down from generation to generation, a sickness that is learned not one that is innate.
I have heard white people say that America (they mean the United States) is their home and everyone else is a visitor. They go on to say that this great country is only great because of the ingenuity of the superior race, the white race. All my life, and I am 64 years old, I have listened to how great whites are and how inferior all other peoples are. I have listened to them say that Puerto Ricans and Blacks are animals, uncivilized and classless. Many think, as does Trump, even if they are not articulated, if it weren’t for the Caucasian race the Negroid and Mongolian Races would have perished long ago. To that I say BULL SHIT, pure rubbish. The white race, if we want to really analyze things, is one of, if not, the most violent and blood thirsty of all of God’s human creatures.
Think about it. The Caucasian race has gone all over the world to dominate other peoples. There is not one country on this planet where the white man has not caused death and destruction. Some may attempt to justify it using Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, you know the one that says only the strong survive. Funny, but Darwin was a scientist and many white supremacist do not belive in science, they belive in the theory of Adam and Eve. They frown on the notion of science and the possibility that science can explain the existence of Man (and woman). But let’s say that the theory of Adam and Eve is the true one, let us analyze that a little. According to this story, the first crime ever committed was the defiance of God’s law, do not eat from the tree of knowledge and wisdom. Then the first violent crime ever committed was murder. It took place when Cain killed his brother Able. So the first crimes ever committed where not committed by a Black, Brown, Red or Yellow man, it was committed by a White Woman, and the first violent act (murder) was not committed by a Black, Brown, Red or Yellow man, it was committed by a White man. So far we are on a roll.
Lets skip past all the bloody centuries of white on white murder in their quest to grow their empires, you know the whole Viking, Roman, Greek, Turkish and Ottoman expansion years. Lets fast forward to the 1400’s. You know the years were Christopher Columbus is credited for “discovering” a new world. The problem with that concept is that there were people living in this new world for thousands of years prior to Columbus. So, how can he have discovered this so-called new world? Well like the destructive forces that Cuacasion’s have proven to be, they need to eradicate the natives that live here. Then, after these natives welcome them the white man goes on a murderous campaign and to steal their land, gold and culture. The indigenous peoples that populated the so-called new world were systematically wiped out by the white mans diseases and by the white mans murder and greed.
Centuries later, after the west was won, and all of the natives were herded into reservations, the United States of America that we know today begins to get forged. Black human beings are called animals and white people accept this concept freely. They justify it by using the bible. The history of the United States is fraught with barbaric atrocities perpetrated by whites on all peoples of color. So that today many whites believe that they actually own a superior intellect. I would beg to differ, I would say that they have a more violent and destructive propensity but definitely not a superior intellect. In fact, as soon as people of color were seen as human and allowed to participate they have not only made great strides, they have in fact in many cases superseded their white counterparts.
I say all these things not to say the white man is the devil, or that all white people are evil. I mention all this to say that the field was not level. Because of violence and the use of weaponry whites were able to keep people of color out of the game, so to speak. But as soon as the door was opened and people of color were seen as human and allowed to participate great strides were made.
The United States of America is a great nation. Men like the Vanderbilt’s, Rockefeller’s, and the Morgan’s shaped this country. They invented and built the railroads, invented steel and used it to build the structures, and processed the fossil fuels used to power the nations growth. As a result of those marvels, other great men were able to build upon and move this nation forward. Men like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Those inventions have been made and used to create infrastructure. There is no way a person of color can catch up today. The offspring of those titans of industry inherited the wealth and many of them have gone on to found industries of their own. The field was not and is not level.
So, going back to my original thought, from the 1960’s until 2016 the United States of America was on a course of self correction. The right wing thinkers call it the era of political correctness. Because of their fears they had fought to abolish affirmative action, and in the late 1990’s they succeeded in watering it down until by the turn of the century affirmative action was no more. They said that it was not fair to give preference to a person simply because of the color of their skin, their sexual orientation or because of language barriers. If all things were truly equal they would actually have a point. The problem is that all things are not equal. People of color were kept out of the forging of this nation. People of color could not invent and build railroads, invent steel or use it to build structures, nor could they process fossil fuels. People of color could not even attend schools, never mind institutions of higher education. People of color had to pick cotton, pick fruits and vegetables, shine shoes or clean the homes of the white people, people that held them in such contempt. The 1960’s ushered in a new, modern thought and after much pain, suffering and struggle, people of color were granted entry into the American way of life.
For the white supremacist thinkers, threatened by the progress initiated in the 1960’s, in the Trump era xenophobia and racism again erupted. Policemen were killing young black men at alarming rates. The situation became so bleak, got so out of hand that a new movement was born and they called it “Black Lives Matter”. This new movement itself sparked fear in those with racism and hatred in their hearts. To counter this movement the xenophobes and racist began retorting “All Lives Matter”. The irony is that no one ever said that other lives did not matter. They just could not get it because it was not whites lives that were getting snuffed on a daily basis by the people that are supposed to be protecting them, the police. The point that was being made by the black lives matter movement was that, yes white lives matter, but so do the young black lives that were being taken, those lives matter.
Thankfully as a nation we survived that ugly confrontational period in our history. That is not to say that the struggle is dead, because black lives continue to matter, it just means that the situation has been quelled to a point where people can now at least begin honest dialogue about race and inequality. So Trump and the xenophobes needed to find a new outlet for their pent up rage and hatred. The focal point once again became Hispanic immigration. Trump, at el, continue to demand a wall. A wall that Trump insisted the Mexican Government would pay to build. Well, the Mexican Government in very certain terms as matter of factly stated that they will not be paying for Trumps wall. As I write this the government is about to shut down, its Christmas time and federal employees are about to be left without a Christmas. All this because Donald Trump insists on getting 5 billion dollars for his wall project and Congress refuses to fund this asinine request.
During the later part of the summer of 2018 the Trump administration found another way to justify separating Hispanic families, this time by separating the Hispanic families and putting their children in cages.
These practises caused outrage and were played out in the news media all summer long. Meanwhile on another front special investigator, Robert Mueller, was making headway in the whole Trump embroilment. In August Turmp’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleads guilty to illegal campaign contributions ‘at the direction of a candidate for federal office’. While Trump was not name directly, everyone knows it was he that Cohen was speaking about since it was Trump that was running for a “federal office” aka President. As usual Trump began his Twitter tirades and rants. To make things even more worrisome for Trump, Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight counts of fraud. Despite Trump’s bravado stance and rambunctiousness it became obvious that the walls be caving in, no pun intended.
As the midterm elections drew closer and Trump’s momentum seemed to have been stymied because of the [Mueller] investigation, Trump did what he does best, he caused a media sensation by decrying an immigrant invasion. Trump focused on an immigrant caravan that was heading toward the Mexican, American border. While it was yet thousands of miles away Trump began fanning the flames of hatred and fear. Soon the caravan was the only thing the news media was focusing on and the immigrant “invasion” became the rallying cry for the Republicans. The nation was again polarized. On the one hand Trump supporters embraced the immigration bashing, on the other anti Trump demonstrations argued against the Caravan bashing. Then Trump announced that he was issuing an executive order and sending 2000 military personal to safeguard the border. Every single news outlet focused on the Caravan and immigration concerns as the midterm elections drew closer.
As the election results began coming in the notion of a big blue wave was set aside. Republicans regained the senate, as was predicted, and in fact gained two additional seats. As predicted the democrats took the house. The results for many of the races did not come in as quickly and in some instances took several days. A few governorships were contested and had to be settled in court. The senate race in Texas was a nail bitter with the very real possibility of Ted Cruz losing his seat to his Democratic opponent, Congressman Beto O’Rourke. In the end, Cruz won re-election by a very slim margin.
When all the results were finally in it became apparent that a big blue wave did in fact occur. As usual Trump down played these victory’s and instead boosted how he came to the rescue of the Republican party.
The next battle Trump decided to embark on once again was the need for the funding for his wall. Trump demands 5 billion for his wall, the Democrats refuse to give in. As the deadline for the budget looms Trump states that if his wall funding is not met he will shut down the government. The clock is ticking. The Democrats remain steadfast and Trump stubbornly will not give in. It appears that many federal employees will not have a Merry Christmas because once the government shuts down there will be no money to make payroll. On television Trump tells the Democratic leadership that he would gladly claim this government shutdown because his wall is that important.
Trump Tweets that he is ordering the withdrawal of troops from Syria. In an outrage his secretary of Defense, General James Mattis, resigns. Many in Congress, on both sides of the isle, express outrage at the Presidents stubbornness. Mattis, A 40 year military man respected by most in government says that his resignation comes because of the President’s refusal to adhere to the conventional wisdom of his military and foreign defense advisors not to withdraw these troops.
The deadline comes and goes and the government shuts down. Trump is furious that he was unable to get his budget passed before the new congress which will take control of the house on January 3, 2019.
And now we wait.
As 2018 comes to a close, and Donald J. Trump has been in office for two years, his ratings are the lowest they have ever been. It finally appears that Trumps numbing spell on his base is being broken. As we approach 2019 it seems that it will in fact be a happy new year as for the first time it appears that Trump will have a very tumultuous year and his re-election no longer seems to be a shoe in. In fact, 2019 may turn out to be the year of the Trump impeachment, and no funding for his wall, the wall he swore to build during his campaign. The wall that promised Mexico would pay to build.
I’m sixty four years old as I write this today, Saturday November 24, 2018. In 1974, the year that Patty Hearst was “kidnapped” I was twenty years old. Back then I was in the throes of my heroin addiction and was going in and out of jails. In fact, I had just come home after serving 23 months in the so-called Rockefeller program. I was in a prison in the city of Buffalo called Masten Park that was classified as one of the drug facilities of the so-called Rockefeller program. The only diffierence between Prison and the Rockefeller program is the jurisdiction of the agency superiving it. Prison’s and city jails are under the perview of the Department of Corrections. The so-called Rockefeller Program was under the perview of the Narcotics Addiction Control Commission.
In 1974 I remember the breaking news of Patricia Hearst, the granddaughter of one of America’s wealthest men, media magnet William Randolph Hearst, being kidnapped by a hereto unknown revolutionary group called the SLA, the Symbionese Liberation Army. One has to remember that the 1960’s and 1970’s were the years that America changed forever. That period is the era of social revolution. From the uptight crew cut boys and bobby socker girls, to the long haired men and outspoken women. It was the era in which John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King jr. were assasinated.
In the 1960’s the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was the figure head of the Civil Rights Movement and their ideology of peaceful or non-violent resistence. In the 1970’s the climate was much more radical. Stokie Carmicheal, Huey P. Newton and Angela Davis formed the Black Panther Party and began taking a more aggressive stance when J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI began killing young black for organizing the community for self determination; Cesar Chavez following the non violent philosophy of King organized the farm workers, on the East Coast the Puerto Rican Young Lords Party were orgaininzing around health care and the deplorable housing Puerto Ricans were religated to, white College students were protesting the Viet Nam war; women were burning their bra’s and the police departments across the country were bashing in heads.
After Patty Hearst was a “kidnap” victim for about 73 days she broadcast to the world that she is not a kidnap victim but is in fact a voluntary members of the SLA, whose name is Tania. Shortly thereafter in a video taped bank robbery Patty “Tania” Hearst is seen carrying an automatic weapon during the robbery. She is seen looking at her watch as she keeps the time for the team robbing the bank.
Weeks later in a sporting goods store foiled shopping spree, Patty, who had been sitting in the car as the get away driver picked up her weapon and began shooting at the store clerks that had tried to detain William Harris as he excited the store.
It was almost two years later that the surviving members of the SLA were arrested. In the newsreels one can see Patty Hearst handcuffed and sitting in the back of the police car raise her arms in what is commonly known as the revolutionary salute. That is arms out stretched and her hand balled into a fist.
“Stockholm syndrome is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity”.</span.
I remember how I was upset because certain segments of the population and some of the media began floating the idea that Patty Hearst was a victim of “Stockholm Syndrom”. Why was I upset? Because it was her attorney who at the time was the most well known, successful criminal attorney in the United States F. Lee Bailey that was postulating it as a defense strategy. I knew, because history continues to prove it, that since she is white, female and rich she will get away with. I was upset, and as I write this get upset again, because I was suffering from a disease*, the disease of addiction and I stole to get money to buy drugs. I was a petty thief because I was hooked on drugs. I was in and out of jails and had just completed 23 months. I did not hold a weapon to anyone, I did not physically hurt anyone. I broke into a closed store and store. Yet I have a criminal record and served time.
Patty Hearst, a rich white girl, caught on video tape in a bank robbery, heard on tape admiting to being a voluntary participant in many of the crimes committed by the SLA, including one bank robbery in which one woman was shot dead. Turns on her “comrades” and accuses some of them of rape. Despite her lawyers getting several wins, namely seperating her from the murder charge, Patty gets sentenced to seven years. In 1976 me, a petty crook, drug addict gets sentenced to the same length of time.
But the story does not end here. In the end white priviladge and wealth do prevail. Petty Hearst’s conviction has been commuted. She had been out on bail during the appeals process so in essence out of all the time she was originally sentenced to she may have spent six months in jail. Then in the ultimate display of wealth, power, and white privilage her family manages to get her a full pardon. This means that she entire criminal record is totally wiped from her record. It is like it never happened. Whats this mean, well for one thing if she wanted to she could run for the United States Senate and or President of the United States. While me, I had dedicated my life to service, to making amends for all the things I did while I was using drugs. And while I have what is known as a Certificate of Relief From Disabilities, which restored most of my civil rights I am still considered a felon.
Bank robbery 1. Caught on video tape baring a semi automatic weapon and observed keeping time for the crew.
Mel’s sporting goods store shoot out, Patty Hearst is the only one shooting a semi automatic weapon.
Bank robbery 2. A woman is murdered, Patty Hearst was one of the archetects of this robbery and the get away driver.
Patty Hearst plants a bomb under a police car, fortunatly it did not go off.
Several more car bombs were planted, a few did go off luckiely no one was hurt.
So this Thanksgiving season, Patty Hearst you should be very thankful. Thankful that you are a white female born into massive wealth because you escaped prison for some very brutal and heinous crimes. While thousands of poor black and brown people serve long prison stretches for crime that do not come any where near as serious as those you participated in.
Disease: a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific signs or symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury.
Such obviously fake outrage by GOP Spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany regarding Representative Kamela”s comparison of ICE and the KKK. McEnany, charged Representative Kamela Harris [Dem. California] with “comparing ICE officers to the KKK, and it’s absolutely disgusting.” Where was that outrage when Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign by calling Mexicans drug dealers, murderers and rapist? I think it is she that is playing politics with jargon. In the same way that Trump used the caravan, or, as he referred to them, “invaders” to scare his idiotic base to the polls.
It’s ludicrous how white people get upset whenever a black or brown person makes analogies based on our frame of reference. Even well meaning white people, of which there are many, can not fathom what it is like to be a minority in the United States. We have to contend with being called invaders, drug dealers, murderers, rapist, or even terrorist- with nothing to base this on other than skin color or language. But if a member of our community uses the same type of language to describe acts by white people, acts based on fact, we get blasted.
But, let’s call a snowflake a snowflake.
Who was it that rode around on horseback wearing pillowcases over their face and lynching people?
Who was it that was gunning people down on the streets of Chicago?
Who was it that blew up the Federal building in Oaklahoma?
Who was it that walked into a crowded movie theater and began wontonly shooting?
Who is it that has been shooting up the schools, malls, nightclubs and houses of worship, the last few decades?
Who was it that mailed bombs to several Democratic leaders, journalist and media outlets two weeks before the 2018 midterm elections?
Who walked into and shot up a synoguge one week before the 2018 midterm elections?
Who is it that rampantly kills black and brown men (and sometimes even women) for being black, brown or speak a different language?
These are our reference points, don’t feign outrage when we refer to it. Do something to change the narrative
So, is ICE bring used to enforce the laws and are there any parallels with the Klu Klux Klan?” It could be a matter of perception.
As a kid in public school I was taught that “sticks and stones could break my bones but words could never harm me”.
What a load of crap. Do you realize how many kids were ruined because of that asinine concept? I mean yes it’s true that sticks and stone could break my bones but what is not true is that words could never harm me.
A broken bone hurts like hell but it could be mended and after time the pain is forgotten and you’ll probably get full, or at least partial, functionality of that limb again. The pain of a verbal assualt is with you forever. As time goes by it may dissapate and is forgotten. But unlike a broken limb, something can trigger that memory and the pain is real again. The funny thing is that the trigger can be anything, a song, a smell, a color, a person, a place or an image. Once that memory is triggered the pain is as real as when it first occured.
So many people seek counseling, and undergo years of thrapy due to the verbal abuse inflicted my a parent or guardian. Or because of the name calling they recieved from the school yard bully.
I myself remember the first time someone called me a spic and I learned what that word meant. Before being called a spic I was an innocent kid and saw the world though rose colors lenses. I did not know anything about race and ethnic pride. When I was called a spic my whole world view changed. I saw people for what they are. I saw that many of the white people in the world (well around me and on TV) did not like other people that were not white. I was beat up my the Italian and Irish boys whom would call me spic, chico or mira mira. I saw the news and how the blacks were not allowed to eat in certain restaurants and then I saw the police hose them down and have their dogs bite them as they marched proclaiming “we shall over come”.
Vile and dispicable words shouted at me cut through me and the pain was real. It’s so real that even today when I flash back to that period my stomach knots up and the pain resurfaces.
So when the 45th President of the United States, a man surrounded my white supremicist and other hate mongers calls Mexicans (I’m of Puerto Rican decent but he like many other white people think all hispanics are Mexican) drug dealers, rapist or murderers, or labels all Middle Easterners terrorist, or calls the news media fake news, and calls democrats – and a few he calls out by name – enemys or haters of America, those words hurt. But even more hurtful than that is the affect those words have on his followers. The crazy’s and white supremist that follow him and listen to his rhetoric and take his words to heart, the actions they take as a result are even more painful.
Two nights ago one of 45’s followers walked into a Synagogue and killed 11 people and wounded at least 6 others. This nut job was a follower of the precedent (misspelled on purpose) and posted his distorted views on social media sites.
Last week the nation was in a state of terror as high ranking democrats, certain news outlets, entertainers and other prominent figures started getting bombs mailed to them. When the FBI finally arrested this whacko his van was plastered with Trump and Mike Pence posters, hate spued sayings, as well as guns and boxes of ammo and other bomb making parphernalia.
Tonight the precedents press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders actually scolded the news media and blamed them for fomenting the hatered in this country. This lady has been lying to the public, on behalf of this precedent, ever since she was appointed to that post. This administration is utterly dispicable.
In less than two weeks the nation will be going to the voting booth to elect a new congress. I hope, no I pray, that sensible minded Americans go the polls and vote blue so that we can begin getting this country back on track.
Donald Trump is the most vile, dispicable and devisive president I have ever witnessed in my life. I am 64 years old and have expereinced some hateful presidents. Nixon, Reagan, George H. Bush, George W. Bush. As hatful as those prior presidents have been, none of them was as dispicable and devisive as Trump. As a candidate he declared his presidency by calling Mexicans crooks, rapist, drug dealers and murderers. As a candidate he was caught on tape telling Billy Bush of Access TV that he grabs women by their XXXX and can get away with it because he is famous.
This is the president that openly mocked a handicapped reporter, ranted against the parents of a fallen war hero because he happened to be Muslim.
This is the president that stood by Americas biggest enemy, Valdimir Putin, and sided with him against every single American, and allied, intelligence agency.
This is the president that has had over 11 of his top officials and cabinet members indicted within the first 18 months of his administration.
This is the president that goaded Hillary Clinton for using a personal email server while he continues to use his own, unsecured, personal cell phone. A cell phone that he was on several occasions left in his golf cart out in the open for anyone to grab.
This is the president that has been spuing his zenophobia for so long that racism has resurfaced in America with more violence against people of color since Jim Crow days.
This is the president that while the immigrant carvan rolling across Mexico is more than 1000 miles away hypes it up and has his minions calling them invaders. His words incite crazies and whacko’s to pick up guns and kill people different from themselves and to mail bombs to those he himself has labeled enemys.
This is the president that has his minutemen and his armed forces at the ready at the boarder for the anticipated influx of immigrants that may never happen. That carvan may stop at anytime before it gets to the American boarder, it could be a massive movement simply to call attention to their plight. Of it could actually be people seeking asylum. After all their is a lady that stands tall in New York harbor as a beacon of hope with an inscription that proclaims “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door”!
This is the president that teachers refuse to allow their students to listen to because of, wait for it, his WORDS!
So while sticks and stones can break my bones they will eventually heal. His words will live on for perpetuity and will hurt the American people over and over again. It will take generations to repair the damage this guy has done. And, if the democrats are not successful in taking back at least one of the Houses we may wind up in the new Nazi Camp. Hail Trump!
It was 1969 that Sly and the Family Stone released the song, EVERYDAY PEOPLE, decrying the horrific state of race/class relations in the United States. I am 64 years old and can attest to the fact that race relations had at least become tolerable.
Unfortunately after 2016 hatred and zenophobia reared its head again.
Violence against non whites by white supremicist has risen. White cops killing black men, white women calling the police just because they see a black person in there neighborhood, the President saying that we need to: build a wall (to keep Latino’s out); ban muslims (those muslim nations that he has no business ties with); put armed guards in our places of worship, etc., etc.
He is my repharsing of that Sly Stone song for 2018.
Sometimes I’m right and I can be wrong
My own beliefs are in my song
The butcher, the banker, the drummer and then
Makes no difference what group I’m in
I am everyday people, yeah yeah
There is a RED STATE that won’t accept the BLUE STATE
That won’t accept the DEMOCRATS that won’t accept REPUBLICANS
And different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo
Oh sha sha we got to live together
I am no better and neither are you
We are the same whatever we do
You love me you hate me you know me and then
You can’t figure out the bag I’m in
I am everyday people, yeah yeah
There are the CHRISTIANS that do not like the JEWISH
For WORSHIPPING A DIFFERENT GOD that wont convert to CHRISTIONDOM
And different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo
Oh sha sha we got to live together
There is a white one that won’t accept the black one
That won’t accept the brown one that won’t accept the yellow one
And different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo
I am everyday people
I much as I disagree with almost everything Republican, I must admit that I admire their tenacity and ability to identify an issue and stick with it until it comes to fruition. By hook or by crook Republicans always seem to get thier’s.
Rebublicans have a view of America and work toward it. Even when defeated they simply move forward. They have played the long con and it seems to have worked.
As a party they made efforts to elect candidates to state-wide office, which I must say, they have managed to do brilliantly. Democrats, on the other hand, seem to have concentrated almost exclusively on the executive of both State and Federal levels. Why are state positions important to the overall Republican plan? Well for one thing the electoral college. The electoral college is made up of the congresperson and senators of each state PLUS the state level elected officials, that means State level offices and party leaders. If you recall, Both George W. Bush and Donald Trump lost the popular vote but won the office because of the electoral college. If you don’t know what the electrol college is you may want to check this out.
Millinials are to young to remember the whole hanging Chad incident that caused Al Gore to challenge the ballots. This challenge made it all the way to the Supreme Court where the conservative block gave the election to Bush. That election more than any other demonstrated how important every SINGLE vote is.
The election of 2016 had Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote by a margin of 3 to 1 yet it is Donald Trump that sits in the Oval office.
The lesson should be that there is no room for apathy among people of color and other minorities. For every person of color that throws up thier’s hands and refuses to participate in our democracy, three Republicans and or Conservatives get bolstered.
Even hustlers and players and all manner of street people better snap out of the apathic state they are in. The rights that just about every American knows of from TV cops, you know the one that says “you have the right to remain silence”. Well those rights are called the Miranda Rights and they come from a 1966 criminal case that made its way to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court, the highest court in the land interprets the law. If that court is made up of a majority of conservative thinkers, then one thing we can be certain of, they will have the ability to interpret the law in a manner that serves thier needs and views and not the views of the rest of the population or the 99% and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Why? Because Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life. They can not be fired they can only be removed by impeachment and then sentenced to firing by the US Senate. And in the entire history of the USA that has never happened. There has never been an impeachment of a Supreme Court Justice. In fact only 2 Presidents in history have ever been impeached. The first was Andrew Johnson, in 1868, for dismissing Edwin M. Stanton as secretary of war and the second was Bill Clinton, in 1998 for charges of lying under oath in regards to sexual relations with a White House intern. But never a Supreme Court Justice.
With the confirmation of Brett Kavenaugh to the high Court the Conservatives control the majority of the votes on the Supreme court. That majority on the court puts many things in jepardy. Things like:
Roe Vs. Wade which has to do with a womans right to control her own body, ie reproduction.
Immigration, Climate, Evolution Vs. the so-called intelligent design, and so many other rights that I can’t enumerate here.
But, for the first time in America’s history the Republican party controls all branches of government. This happened one time before when FRD was President thanks to the New Deal Coalition. Because of this realignment of Government Blacks, Catholics, Jews and other minorities were allowed more participation in the electoral process in this country, which made it possible for the election of Barrack Obama, the first African-American President. Since then, Republicans have been trying to gain control of the Government in order to reverse some of the rights minority Americans have gained. The Republicans feel that those rights have deminished the white mans rights and as they have been shouting in election after election “We must take back our country” or more recently “Make American great again” but that means building a wall, striping women of thier reproductive rights, doing away with what’s left of affirmative action, doing away with any debate for sensible gun control policy, etc, etc. We are in danger of fascism.
A dictatorship lead by Donald Trump in which the 1% will control all wealth, access to food, water and everything else that makes us free human beings. In less than 3 weeks Americans will have one last chance to put our country back on course. If the Democrats do not take back at least one house we will become another World War II Germany but this time it will not just be Jews that get incinerated, it will be everyone that is not SUPER RICH, and by the new definition super rich means being multi-billionaires. If you dont believe what I’m saying, consider this, Trump allowed a few multi-millionaires to be part of this cabinet just so he can say the poor are represented.
I’ve been on this earth for 64 years now. I guess I’m in the last quarter, the last inning, my last down. So what am I to do? Should I lay down and just die? Hell not. It aint over until…
One of the advantages of living this long is the ability to say what I need to without any fears “no tengo pelo en mi lengua”. I mean whats anyone going to do fire me?
That said have you ever hear the stupid expersion “It Ain’t Over Until The Fat Lady Sings”? In this day and time that expersion is so inappropriate. Its misogynistic and sexist. So I decided to Google the term to learn its origins. I found out that there are two trends of thought as to its origins. One explaination attributes the term to Brunhilde from Richard Wagner’s last show in his four-opera Ring Cycle Götterdämmerung. The character Brunhilde is a robust lady who appears for a ten minute solo at the end of the 14 hour run so it would seem to be logical that the term answers the question when is the show over? It ain’t over til the fat lady signs.
The other explaination comes, if you can believe it, from the sports world. Some people attribute the saying with former Yankee catcher and manager Yogi Berra while others attribute it to the sports
commentator, Dan Cook.
Me, I favor the saying I hope its over before the fat man’s term. The fat man being Donald Trump, who to me is and has been the worst president in my life time. Being 64 years old I have lived through several presidential administrations. The first being Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States from 1953 to 1961. Of course I don’t remember his presidency. The next president, and the first one I do remember was John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. Perhaps I remember him because of his assasination but I really think it has more to do with the fact that I was in elementary school during his years. Kennedy was the youngest man elected president and was loved by everyone, save Republicans. His book, Profiles in Courage, and the movie PT109 about his heroics while in the navy where studied in school during this time so yeah, that has a lot to do with why I remember him. After his death, Lyndon Baines Johnson became president. I remember him because he was the arcitect of the Great Society which expanded many social programs, created the war on poverty and passed the voting rights act of 1964. Becuase of the Tonkin Gulf incident, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which granted Johnson the power to use military force in Southeast Asia without having to ask for an official declaration of war. Under Johnson the American (solider) death rates soared, sudents burned their draft cards, the Viet Nam protest escalated and riots broke out across the country. Next came Richard M. Nixon aka “tricky Dick” the 37th President, from 1969 until his resignation in 1974, Nixon is the only president to ever resign from office. This was due, of course, to the Watergate breakin and his refusal to release the tapes of him giving the order for the (Watergate) break in. Before his resignation Nixon appointed Gerald Ford to the vacant post of Vice President, whom then became the 38th President after Nixon resigned. Ford’s 895 day-long presidency is the shortest in U.S. history of any president who did not die in office. Ford ran for re-election but lost to the Govenor, and former peanut farmer, of Georgia Jimmy Carter whom became the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981. On his second day in office, Carter pardoned all the Vietnam War draft evaders. As president, Carter established two new cabinet-level departments, the Department of Energy and the Department of Education, established a national energy policy that included conservation, price control, and new technology, pursued the Camp David Accords, the Panama Canal Treaties, the second round of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT II), and the return of the Panama Canal Zone to Panama. The end of Carter’s presidency was marked by the 1979–1981 Iran hostage crisis, the 1979 energy crisis, the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. His response to this invasion escalated the Cold War when he ended détente, and imposed the grain embargo against the Soviets, which enunciated the Carter doctrine, and lead the international boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. While in 1980, Carter faced a primary challenge from Senator Ted Kennedy, he won re-nomination at the Democratic National Convention. Unfortunately he lost the general election in an electoral landslide to Republican nominee Ronald Reagan.
Ronald W. Reagan then became the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. While today Reagan is known as the great communicator, back then he was reviled by a significant section of the American public. Reagan’s supply-side economic policies, better known as “Reaganomics”, advocated tax rate reduction to spur economic growth, economic deregulation, and reduction in government spending. This translated into cuts in all social, education and anti-poverty funding. Reagan is famously known for his speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany in which he challenged the Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall!”. The Berlin Wall fell, Germany reunified the following year, and the Soviet Union collapsed. This is a great accomplishment but let’s not forget that racism began to re-emirge under Reagan and that it was Reagan that initiated the attacks on the War on Poverty.
George H.W. Bush, Reagan’s Vice President became the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993. Bush’s presidency is pretty much bland. Other than the fact that he was the head of the CIA before becoming Vice President, and being the point man on Reagan’s “War On Drug’s” which by the way created the climate for the Crack epidemic. Bush’s presidency is pretty much looked over in historical terms with no significant accomplishments.
Our next President took America by storm. His campaign message of “It’s The Economy Stupid” changed the face of the demoractic party. William J. Clinton became the 42nd President of the United States, January 20, 1993, to January 20, 2001. Before becoming president Clinton was Govenor of Arkansas. His presidency, however, was mared by sex scandels from the very begining. The “Moral Majority” spearheaded by televangalist Jerry Falwell and the Republican Party went after him with everything they could muster. Clinton presided over the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in American history but was unable to pass his plan for national health care reform (pre-cursor to “Obamacare”). Then in the 1994 elections, the Republican Party won unified control of the Congress for the first time in 40 years. In 1996, Clinton became the first Democrat since Franklin D. Roosevelt to be elected to a second full term. Clinton passed welfare reform and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. In 1998, Clinton was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice following the sex scandal involving Monica Lewinsky. To the chagrin of the Moral Majority, Clinton was acquitted by the Senate in 1999 and completed his term in office. Bill Clinton is the second U.S. president to ever be impeached, the first being Andrew Johnson. However despite this “Vast Right Wing Conspiricy” during the last three years of his presidency, the Congressional Budget Office reported a budget surplus, the first such surplus since 1969.
When George Walker Bush became the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009, he inherited a 13 trillion dollar surplus. Bush, perhaps unfairly, became known as the idiot president because of his constent mispronounciations. Bush was constantly undermined and the public perception was that he was nothing more than a glorified puppet for his Vice President, his dad’s good friend, Richard Bruce “Dick” Cheney. George W. Bush, like his father, was a blase president and was about to be nothing more than a footnote in a footnote in history. Then on September 11, 2001 the world, and Bush’s, fate changed. As american’s were in schock, and feared invasion, Bush stood by the workers in the middle of ground zero, perceived by many as holy ground, telling the world that we will track down the perpetrators and master minds of these horrific attacks and bring them to justice. Suddenly Bush was the great comforter. As the focus became getting to the bottom of the reason for and the planning of the 9/11 attacks, Bush’s status grew. His new status did not last very long because rather than going after the known leader and master mind of the 9/11 attacks, Osama Bin Ladden, Bush chose to go after Saddham Hussein. Despite the scandels with ENRON, because of Bush’s percieved leadership role after the 9/11 attacks he was re-elected. After seven years of chaos and fear, America began to function with a semblence of normalacy. But nothing good last with a Republican administration, the greed has to emerge. And it did. First in the news was the massive ponzi scheme orchestrated by Bernie Madoff. Then the news reports about the massive bonuses the top executives were giving themselves as most Americans were struggling to make ends meet. Finally we were in a mortgage crisis, had a credit crisis, major banks collapsed and the housing market crashed. Many of these major financial markets lost more than 30% of their value. Millions of Americans lost their homes and other property. Millions of Americans lost their jobs. The United States was about to go into a greater depression than the Great Depression caused by the stock market crash of 1928. This financial crisis soon began to spread around the world. It soon became a global problem, a threat to the entire civilized world. This crisis gave birth to two new movements in America. The first had to do with the dissatisfaction with the financial structure in this country. Occupy Wallstreet became a wordlwide movement almost overnight. People began protesting the financial structures in their respective countries as well as the world bank. In America, people literally did occupy wallstreet.
The second movement had to do with politics and we saw the birth of the Tea Party.
Barack Hussein Obama II was elected the 44th President of the United States. He was a two term preident and the Countries first African American elected to the highest office in the land. He served as president from January 20, 2009, to January 20, 2017. During the campaign season the Tea Party really became animated. The ugly side of America becan to re-surface. Racism was interjected into politics once again. Despite this uglysness and the concerted efforts of the Republican Party to hinder and block any progress proposed by Obama, President Obama was able to navigate the country out of the biggest financial crisis this country, and the world, had ever faced. The U.S. government had to step in and bailout the banks. Slowly but steadily and surely the economy becan to stabilize. Then Obama did the unthinkable. He was successful in passing what Bill Clinton was unable to, he reformed America’s health care system. Republicans in an effort to mock him and his health care reorm bill began to call it Obamacare. But rather than fight it, Obama embraced it and he himself started to call it Obamacare. Before his second term was up, Obamacare was passed and the health care crisis was fixed. As I stated above, the ugly side of American politics again resurfaced and a real estate developer from New York, turned reality TV show host began to attack President Obama insinuating the Obama was in fact not an American citizen. Donald Trump gave birth to the so-called birther movement. For years Trump kept insisting that Obama was not born in the United States. This nonsense occupied many headlines giving Trump the publicity he loved and craved. Then on June 16, 2015, Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president. No one in their right frame of mind actually thought Trump had a fighting change at winning. There were many good candidates from both parties running. The nation assumed the we would have our very first female president in Hillary Clinton. Then Trump did what he does best. He cheated. In one of the very last debates he begged Russia to please find the emails hidden by Clinton and expose her for what she is. Trump went on to win the election even after having lost the popular election. Since his election till this day Trump has been the most rev,iled and hated president in American history. As I right this the special investigation into Trump’s Russian collucion is about to wrap up.
Five of Trump’s most senior and close advisor’s have either been or have made deals with the special federal investigator, Robert Mueller. Trump’s nimination to the United States Supreme Court is embroiled in a sex allegation and both sides are in negotiations asto how the hearing into this allegation will proceed. The Republicans, being the swine that they are, are trying to rush this confirmation and the accuser wants to testify before Congress with no outside attorneys representing Brett Kavenaugh (the nominee). Stay tuned as this winds down because it aint over until the fat man sings.
Tradition eleven states that * “Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.”
I am watching the second season of Iron Fist the Marvel Comics story on Netflix. In this Netflix version one of the principal characters, a rich guy named Ward Meacham, is a member of the anonymous 12 step program, Narcotics Anonymous. theology-assistant
Woven throughout the story line is Ward’s drug addiction. If you go back to season one you will recall that he enjoyed inhaling drugs. In this season, Ward attends NA meetings, as he is counting days he has a relapse. Not to cast any dispersions here because, of course, relapse is a part of the recovery process. Another scene shows Meacham in bed with his female sponsor. This is wrong on so many levels. While it is not a written policy in Narcotics Anonymous, it is a common practice for sponsorship to be same sex for obvious reasons, SEX. This Netflix TV series depicts NA meetings, they talk about a higher power, the steps, and of making amends.
As I write this I am watching episode 10 of season two and Ward is in front of the room at an NA meeting “qualifying”. As the scene progresses you see Ward and his sponsor talking outside of the meeting, she is telling him to trust his higher power as he moves forward in the recovery process but that she can no longer sponsor him.
Now this TV series is a work of fiction, and there are many movies these days that refer to the anonymous programs, usually AA. Can one say that society has finally begun to embrace the fact that “normal people” can also suffer from addiction? Recently the news headlines were talking about Demi Lovato and here recent relapse. A few years ago it was Charlie Sheen making headlines. When celebrities are shown to be suffering from, and then recovering from addiction in a very public way, the face of addiction changes. It is no longer seen as just street thugs and common crooks or prostitutes that are drug addicts. Society is slow to embrace change, this is often called a cultural lag, but eventually it catches up to real life.
When Narcotics Anonymous gets depicted in a comic book storyline on TV or in the movies that is huge. Millions of people, especially young people, around the world will see this show and hear about Narcotics Anonymous. That is a good thing because in a fictional character is seen a recovering, the operative word being fictional because “Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films”
Perhaps it would, however, be even better if the depiction of NA was a little more accurate but I guess the journey of a thousands miles begins with that first step.
NA has been around 65 years. While today it is saving lives in over 173 countries around the world and has been translated into more than 70 languages it was not always so. It was only a few decades ago that in New York City addicts could not congregate to help each other stay clean. If two addicts or more were seen together trying to recover they’d get arrested for “loitering”. Much like women seeking abortions, addicts wanting to stop using had to sneak around and meet in secret to order help each other. For many years America wasted money and resources criminalizing addicts rather than trying to treat them. Without getting into a moral debate here, had those same resources been used for treatment rather than incarceration America would be a very different nation. At least today, 2018, the American Medical Association (AMA)and society as a whole is beginning to see that addiction is a disease and should be treated as such.
The thing that many get confused with this concept is that they think that proponents of drug addiction treatment want to forget the crime element. That is not so, if anyone commits a crime they must pay the penalty of that crime. The addiction issue is separate from the criminal act. But that is for the professionals to sort out. This blog is just about the depiction of NA in the Netflix series, Iron Fist.