Bearing The Cross

Posted in On Donald Trump, Playthell on politics with tags , , on November 20, 2019 by playthell

Lying Linsay: Low Life Lackey In Chief

GOP Trash Constitution and Court Disgrace for Dirty Donald

Senator Lindsay Graham is looking increasingly haggard these days, as if he is bearing some great burden and has taken to the bottle.  As a leading Republican in the Senate, perhaps the blues that bedevil his spirit is conjured up from their futile attempt to defend the indefensible: The character and conduct of Devious Donald Trump. A fool’s errand for sure.

Alas, the misguided Republicans have rejected all commitment to truth and honor, as they enter into a classic Faustian Bargain. And as all who are familiar with the legend of Dr. Faust knows, if you make a deal with the Devil he will eventually claim your soul. Alas, even an unchurched heathen like me can see: The soul of the GOP – Grand Obstructionist Party – has gone to the Devil!  Perhaps that’s why Lying Lindsay looks like a man who has lost his soul.

Indeed, anyone who watched the witnesses that testified before the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment hearings, and is neither mentally impaired nor morally deformed, cannot fail to see the vast difference in character, intelligence, honor and commitment to service between these career public servants and Donald J. Trump – a pampered pootbutt potty mouth grifter for whom all of life is a con.

Born to wealth, Dirty Donnie Dimwit has never had to struggle for anything in life. And having lived his life as head of a small family owned real estate company masquerading as big business, where he has never had to account to anyone, Teenie Weenie Treacherous Trump has spent his entire adult life cultivating the instincts and habits of a dictator.

To the astonishment and horror of millions of observers at home and abroad, that’s exactly how “The Donald” has conducted himself in the Oval Office. And never has his character deficiencies been more prominently displayed than when compared to the dedicated career public servants, who answered the summons to testify before Congress, that are exposing his high crimes and misdemeanors

But for those who have been paying attention, who have read the tell all books informed by insiders, this came as no surprise. For we have been well warned that Devious Donnie is a compulsive liar, avaricious churl, incompetent blowhard, paranoid pathological narcissist, belligerent bully, mobbed up real estate huckster, wannabe autocrat, racist, sexist, serial sexual predator, and possibly a traitor…Putin’s Puppet as Hillary Clinton called him.

Unfortunately for Donnie Dimwit, his foolish attempt to attack the motives and belittle the character of the witnesses comes across to the thoughtful observer as akin to a knight without armor, riding a lame horse, wielding a dull sword and broken shield, attacking a well armed Calvary mounted on stalwart stallions! It is a horrendous mismatch.

Since Trump is apparently clueless as to what honorable service in the national interests actually looks like –  with no record of public service or philanthropy, his paramount goal is life has always been self enrichment -he was stupid enough to attack Masha Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine and more dangerous stations, during her testimony before Congress!

Since the Ambassador was abruptly removed from her post and inexplicably slimed by Dirty Donnie – despite three decades of distinguished service as a foreign affairs expert and diplomat – in what we now know was a disgraceful abuse of presidential power for corrupt purposes, the Moscow Mole has presented the Congress with yet another charge to add to his Bill of Impeachment: Witness intimidation!

The evidence that emerged from Witness testimony last week make a strong case that Ambassador Yovanovitch, whose career in the Foreign Service spanned thirty years –  was abruptly recalled from her post because she was in the way of a criminal scheme masterminded by Rudy Guiliani – which National Security Advisor John Bolton called “Rudy’s drug deal.” 

A political reprobate and Neo-Con chicken hawk, whose finest hour was as a member of the now defunct Project For A New American Century, the architects that provided the blueprint for the invasion of Iraq, John Bolton has a well earned reputation as a loose cannon  with a fatal attraction to foreign intrigues.  Yet Rudy’s reckless activities scared him, prompting him to warn that “Rudy is a hand grenade that is going to blow everything up!  Would to God that he could have shown such insight in the Iraq fiasco.

Working in a stealth fashion outside the normal State Department channels, and promoting a policy often at odds with official US policy, Reckless Rudy’s objective was to coerce the new president of the Ukraine into announcing that they were opening an investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter, while also looking into the bogus Republican claim that it was really the former Ukrainian government, not the Russians, that interfered in the US presidential election of 2016 to help Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Although, as Ambassador Yavanovitch reminded Trump’s Republican co-conspirators on the Committee that the US intelligence community has unanimously concluded it was the Russians that interfered in out presidential election to help put Trump in the Oval Office!

Central to Trump’s demand that the Ukrainian government announce opening an investigation of the Biden’s, was the threat that over 400 million dollars of desperately needed military aid appropriated by Congress would be withheld, and a promised White House meeting with the US President would be canceled, if the new Ukrainian president did not bow to Devious Donald’s demands.

The Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, as able and honorable an elected official as our nation has to offer, call’s this demand “bribery!” Adopting this plain English word instead of the confusing Latin phrase “Quid Pro Quo” is no picayune matter, because “bribery” is explicitly mentioned in the Constitution as an impeachable offense in Article II Section 4.

However this should not obscure the fact – as the Trump shills in the GOP are trying their best to do – that the grounds for impeachment are much broader than those which are explicitly stated. Gerald Ford, the strait laced mid-westerner who was elevated to the presidency from vice-president following the resignation of Richard Nixon, declared the grounds for impeachment are “whatever the Congress says they are at the time.” Yet it must be remembered that he said this as a president in his party was on the verge of being impeached.

There is more that a little truth in Ford’s observation however, because the Constitution leaves it to Congress to define “high crimes and misdemeanors.” We can get a good idea what the architects of the Constitution were thinking, and thus a better understanding of their intent, by consulting the Federalist Papers. A series of 85 polemical essays on the meaning and importance of the newly drafted Constitution – written as letters to newspapers in 1787 and 1788 by the eminent statesmen and political theorists John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, published under the pseudonym “Publius” – they were later published in a book titled The Federalist.

Hence we now refer to them as “The Federalist Papers,” and they remain our most reliable guide to the thinking of the Founders of the American Republic on the structure and function of government based on our constitutional principles. Confronted with the abject failure of the Articles of Confederation – the first attempt by leaders of the white English speaking colonies at building political unity on a continent that was also occupied by French, Spanish and Native American societies – they were seeking to form “a more perfect union,” as the preamble to the Constitution declares.

The white colonists were also aware of the fact that they were incorporating the seeds of their own destruction by maintaining the evil system of racial slavery; which contradicted the principles they professed, posed the ever present threat of bloody slave revolts, and caused Thomas Jefferson to fear for the fate of the new nation “when I reflect upon the fact that God is just.”

The major problem of the settler colonists was how to establish a stronger central government without creating a despised monarchy, as some of the colonist had begun to suggest. At one point things had grown so chaotic under the dysfunctional Confederation, some people had actually begun to call for the importation of a European monarch to bring order to their fledgling country, a place so shaky disgruntled farmers had taken up arms against the government because they disagreed with tax policy.

Known to history as “Shayes Rebellion,” a group of armed farmers in Western Massachusettes led by Daniel Shayes, a former captain in the Continental Army that had fought in the recent War of Independence against Great Britain, marched on the seat of government in Boston, the capitol of the Bay colony and a cradle of the colonial rebellion against King George III.

Hence all of these matters were pressing on the minds of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia during the summer of 1787, just a few months after the suppression of Shayes rebellion. That’s why it is the acme of absurdities to suggest, as the moronic gun nuts on the Republican Right are prone to do, that the Second Amendment was drafted in order to arm American citizens against the excesses of a “tyrannical federal government.” Such arguments represent the essence of ahistorical “Bullshit” – as Princeton Philosopher Harry G. Franks defines the concept – masquarading as serious political argument.

However, the arguments presently being proffered by Dirty Donnie’s GOP flaks in Congress – like Lying Lapdog Lindsay, Scurrilous Stevie Scalise,  Jive Ass Jim Jordan et al – regarding the Constitution’s prescriptions for the impeachment of a president who abuses his power, equally trashes historical fact and injures truth! While verbose vulgarians like Jive Ass Jim and that odious California sod buster Duplicitous Devin Nunez, like their “Great Leader,” that clueless clown Doophus Donnie Dimwit, can be dismissed as pugnacious ignoramuses, Lying Lap Dog Lindsay is a learned lawyer, so he knows better than the putrid prattle pouring outta his pie hole.

Lindsay, the senior Republican Senator from the backward boonies of South Carolina, is stinking up the well of the Senate promoting pernicious pootbutt poppy cock. He knows the grounds for impeachment encoded in the Constitution is much broader than criminal charges that can meet the test of evidence in a court proceeding.  But, alas, like the rest of the invertebrate lickspittles in the Grand Obstructionist Party, Lying Lindsay has adopted a permanent lips to posterior posture and his head is buried so deep in Trump’s Rump he can credibly claim to the untutored mob that he can see or hear no evil.

Yet I am so certain that Lying Lindsay knows better than the propaganda he is presently preaching I would yield to temptation and bet my balls, risking castration without hesitation. A very dangerous wager with a white Southern male of his generation, a deeply perverted group with a long history cutting off black men’s balls for fun.  My claim that the grounds for impeachment are much broader than narrow legal issues is clearly stated in Federalist Paper 65, authored by Alexander Hamilton.

In Hamilton’s view there need be no violation of statutory laws; he argues that impeachment is a just remedy for the “misconduct of public men, or in other words from the abuse or violation of some public trust.” Hamilton goes on to argue that the impeachment remedy is essentially “political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.” 

Ironically, despite his shameless hypocrisy today, when he was a prosecutor in President Bill Clinton’s Impeachment Trial twenty years ago, Lying Lindsay’s argument echoed Hamilton’s:

“You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if this body determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role,” the politician said. “Impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”

Today however, when his ace boon coon Dirty Donnie is the subject of an impeachment inquiry, Lapdog Lindsay is crooning a very different tune.  He says he opposes the impeachment because the Mueller report “didn’t establish the he had obstructed Justice.” However that is a willful misreading of Mr. Mueller’s position and Lying Lindsay knows it.  The fact is that the Mueller Report cites ten instances that could be construed as “Obstruction of Justice,” but he explained ad nauseum that since the Department of Justice had ruled an indictment could not be returned for a sitting President, he could not decide the matter and left it for the Congress to resolve.

However Bill Barr – a rotund pie faced fellow who bears an uncanny resemblance to the comic character Fred Flintstone – the highly partisan Attorney General with an expansive view of executive power appointed by Devious Donald, jumped the gun and pronounced that the report had concluded  “there was no obstruction of Justice.”  But the fact that Mr. Mueller made it clear that although they could not indict the President it “Did not absolve him” of guilt.

And when one takes into account that a thousand former federal prosecutors, democrats and Republicans, who had served in all regions of the country urban and rural, concluded that they would have indicted anyone for obstruction based on the evidence against Trump, it is clear that a case for impeachment could have been brought except for the Department of Justice rule.

Now the case for impeachment is being brought on different grounds.  And while I believe the Congress should should return a Bill of Impeachment that is much more broadly based – because as a former history professor I believe all of Dirty Donald’s impeachable offenses should be officially noted –  the unimpeachable testimony given to the House Intelligence Committee under oath, bearing witness to Donald’s Dirty Deeds before a watching world, supplies an embarrassment of riches from which to fashion articles of impeachment.

I am supported in this opinion by Professor Allen Lichtman, a political seer who predicted Trump’s election when all other prognosticators assured us it couldn’t happen.  Author of “The Case for Impeachment,” Professor Lichtman argues that the evidence for Don tha Con’s demise by impeachment is abundant, and Congress does not need to hold further hearings to make their case.  But now Lapdog Lindsay has declared in a hissy fit that he does not wish to see, or hear, the evidence being gathered by the House Committees conducting the impeachment hearings.

Notwithstanding the phony theatrics of Lying Lindsay, Jive Ass Jim, Duplicitous Devin, and their GOP co-conspirators who are bearing the cross for Dirty Donald, hysterically declaring his innocence, I believe he is guilty as sin! We will examine the evidence in the next installment of the Impeachment Chronicles.

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The Struggle to Save American Democracy

Posted in On Donald Trump, Playthell on politics with tags , , on November 13, 2019 by playthell

 Assistant Secretary of State George Kent and Amb. William Taylor

What is at Stake?

What is at stake in the Impeachment hearings against Donald J. Trump? Nothing short of whether a functional constitutional democracy in America will survive. Some of the most thoughtful Americans have recognized that our democracy is fragile and might not be permanent.

Indeed, at the time of the Constitutional Convention during the hot “Dog Days” of August 1787, when the US Constitution was drafted and ratified in Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin who did not participate in the Convention but was a distinguished resident of the City, said to the delegates “Well gentleman, you have got yourself a republic…if you can keep it.”

This proved to be a prescient observation, because 75 years later our constitutional Democracy collapsed as the country fell apart in Civil War, due to the leaders of the slave holding states of the South placing their personal interests above the fate of the nation. It was the bloodiest and destructive war in the history of the world at the time, because it was the first modern war where industrial technology was employed on an unprecedented scale

Although many of President Lincoln’s most trusted advisers urge him to seek a settlement with the south as the murderous war trudged on, Lincoln turned a deaf ear to their pleas because, although he was not an abolitionist at the beginning of the war despite the lies and hysteria of the slave holders, he had become during the bloody trials and tribulations of the war that it’s severity was Gods punishment of America for “the sin of slavery.” Hence he was determined to see it through to the til the total destruction of the manifestly evil institution of human slavery noting: The Judgments of the Lord are always right and just!

Standing amid the destruction and stench of death on the battlefield at Gettysburg, in the aftermath of a battle in which over 20,000 men had been slaughtered at the hands of their countrymen in a society where political disputes were intended to be settled by debate in Congress, conducted by elected representatives, a beleaguered President Abraham Lincoln said the great Civil War was being fought to determine “whether government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall perish from the earth.”

That is the question which is being asked with the hearings that began today. Whether government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall long endure in theses United states of America. Alas, the answer lies in whether the Republicans in Congress shall place the dictates of the Constitution, which the basis of our Democracy, over the interest of their party in which is invested their personal political interests.

Yet after listening to the Opening statement of former Republican Committee Chairman, Devin Nunes, an exercise in pure obfuscation conducted by a shameless charlatan, I fear for the fate of our nation. I am reminded of Thomas Jefferson, sitting on the veranda of his well appointed mansion at Montecello in Virginia, watching his black slaves laboring in the fields and wrote:”I shudder for the fate of my country when I reflect upon the fact that God is just.”

While I am not a God fearing man, the Republicans in Congress scare me big time! For in their actions I can see the erosion of democratic safeguards that will pave the way for the rise of an Autocratic government in the US.  Anybody who thinks this is a “hysterical response” to contemporary political developments, that it “can’t happen here” because our Constitution would prevent it, should look at how Adolph Hitler, an obscure “Austrian Corporal,” became a Dictator in Weimar Germany, one of history’s most enlightened constitutional democracies, by democratic means!

One of the constant refrains one hears from civic leaders, oppositional politicians, news paper editorials and assorted intellectuals was: “Our constitution will save us from the establishment of a dictatorship.”  Yet, despite their abiding faith, history shows their constitution did not save them.  That is the question I address in the essay “A Made in America Autocrat,” ( https://commentariesonthetimes.me/?s=A+Made+in+America+Autocrat”  It is a lesson that, properly understood, could save our Democracy.

From the Republican comments in response to the opening statements of Ambassador William Taylor and Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, the initial fact witnesses in establishing Impeachment charges against Donald Trump, who are long standing public servants of impeccable character and credentials,  all indications are that the Republican members of the Intelligence Committee have no interest in uncovering the truth.

Sadly, they appear to have rejected the oath they swore to “protect the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, and instead are on a mission to obfuscate the facts and obstruct the proceedings.  If this proves true alas, then the viability of our Democracy is in dire straits and it’s preservation is problematic.  And that, finally, is what’s at stake.

 

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
November 13, 2019
NOTE: This is an installment in an ongoing series on the Impeachment of Donald Trump

 

 

 

An Open Letter to Admiral McRaven

Posted in An Open Letter to Admiral McRaven, On Donald Trump with tags , on October 25, 2019 by playthell

A Highly Decorated Soldier…an Officer and Gentleman

History Not Racist Mythology is the Balm to Heal America!

Dear Admiral

Let me begin by expressing my gratitude on behalf of a thankful nation for your brave, selfless and heroic service, both in uniform and the courageous fight for what you believe is right now as a civilian. Coming from generations of soldiers that served as officers and enlisted men, and having served myself – although my generation was the first that was allowed to serve alongside white soldiers in a racist American military- I have a high regard for the character of the men and women of the armed forces, even though I often disagree with their mission. But I place the blame where it properly belongs, on the misguided civilians who make policies that the military is tasked with carrying out.

And although I regard many of these “candy ass” civilians as unworthy of directing our armed forces, it remains the best method of exercising control over the military establishment as free citizens in a constitutional democracy. Indeed, I have no doubt that along with creating a system of checks and balances among the three branches of our government, establishing an independent judiciary and a free press whose role is protected by the First Amendment, placing the military under civilian control is an act of prescient genius that has prevented a military coup in a country with the most powerful military establishment in world history for over two hundred years.

Yet it is precisely the apolitical nature of the active duty military that makes your decision to speak out as a retired military hero returned to civilian life so important. But even so, I know that speaking out so boldly criticizing the Commander-In-Chief could not have been an easy decision for you, having lived most of your adult life under military discipline. And the fact that you would be attacked by the Trumpanzee pack – scurrilous amoral jackals whose weapons of mass distraction are lies and character assassination – must have given you cause for pause.

For a man whose life has been guided by duty and honor, your good name is far more precious than gold. Indeed, as Iago says in Shakespeare’s Othello, a tragic tale about a noble general: “Good name in man and woman dear my lord/Is the immediate jewel of their souls.” Hence it is yet another demonstration of your devotion to serving this nation that you have exposed your hard won reputation to the poisonous slings and arrows of outrageous charlatans in Dirty Devious Donald’s dishonorable legions of liars.

Since the best defense against lies is the truth, you have captured the high ground in your critique of the dirty deeds perpetrated by treacherous treasonous Trump and his feckless fearful flunkies posing as public servants. By choosing the sterling example of those who serve in the military and foreign intelligence services, routinely risking their lives in the shadows without fanfare or accolade standing guard over the nation, you have justly celebrated virtue and shamed the civilian charlatans! In an Op-Ed Column published in the New York Times boldly titled “Our Republic is Under Attack From the President,” you tell us:

“Last week I attended two memorable events that reminded me why we care so very much about this nation and also why our future may be in peril. The first was a change of command ceremony for a storied Army unit in which one general officer passed authority to another. The second event was an annual gala for the Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S.) Society that recognizes past and present members of the intelligence and Special Operations community for their heroism and sacrifice to the nation. What struck me was the stark contrast between the words and deeds heralded at those events — and the words and deeds emanating from the White House”.

You go on to paint a revealing portrait of the dramatic contract in character between the amoral con man who is Commander-In-Chief, and the brave soldiers he commands, by offering a compelling representative anecdote.

“On the parade field at Fort Bragg, N.C., where tens of thousands of soldiers have marched either preparing to go to war or returning from it, the two generals, highly decorated, impeccably dressed, cleareyed and strong of character, were humbled by the moment. They understood the awesome responsibility that the nation had placed on their shoulders. They understood that they had an obligation to serve their soldiers and their soldiers’ families. They believed in the American values for which they had been fighting for the past three decades. They had faith that these values were worth sacrificing everything for — including, if necessary, their lives.”

It is quite enough to study the poignant portrait of your leadership model in order to readily understand why you are appalled by the lying, ignorant, incompetent, braggadocios, draft dodging, candy ass coward planted in the White House with the extensive assistance of Russian military intelligence. Since you know for a fact that all the “Deep State” blather is bullshit, you take seriously the findings of the Mueller Report – conducted by a former Marine Corp combat officer and life long public servant – and the estimate by the former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who says Russian intelligence units directed 157 million disinformation messages at an unsuspecting US electorate; all designed to hurt Hillary and help Dirty Donnie!

Hence the full measure of contempt you must feel for the “insane clown” – properly named by crack journalist Matt Taibi, after covering Trump on the campaign trail – that is presently befouling the White House, defies description even in in the powerful language of Shakespeare and the King James Bible. I know, because words are my game, and I am challenged daily to find suitable invective to describe the scurrilous deeds of Dirty Donnie Dipshit! You will, of course, recognize the latter term as the common military designation for sad sack fuck-ups! Aye, in all of the above our views are Sympatico Sir.

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But, alas, as I read further into your much celebrated text, our views sharply diverge…for we are confronted with a persistent American Dilemma: The vast contradiction between the universal humanist ideals such as “all men are created equal,” expressed in the Declaration of Independence, and the realities of race and power in America. And it has been ever thus! In your enthusiastic celebration of these high ideals alas, you simply do what millions of white Americans have done for centuries now: Deny reality! Of course, you white folks, mostly hetero-sexual males, have been able to get away with shamelessly manipulating reality into a self-glorifying myth, because you own and control the apparatus of mass indoctrination.

Fortunately, by virtue of the fact that we live in a country where the government is constitutionally restrained from suppressing the publication of books they may not like, an army of enterprising historians armed with an array of formidable research techniques, have published a treasure trove of fact based historical narratives. And they tell, as Othello said, “a round unvarnished tale.” Unfortunately Sir, your text appears to be innocent of their findings; otherwise you have engaged in a cold blooded act of subterfuge in your narrative of our nation. Which begs the question….why? Are you, like most Euro-Americans, so ashamed of your actual history that you willingly recycle easily disproved time worn myths?

It is both fitting and proper that as a moral Euro-American man you would feel shame at fundamental facts regarding the founding of the United States of America – which was made possible through genocide, armed theft of massive tracts of land abundant with rich resources, and 250 years of chattel slavery, a system in which the children of African Americans were seized from their parents and auctioned off like live stock…which was the legal standing of my ancestors during the long ordeal of slavery in this “Land of the free!”

The brilliant abolitionist writer and orator Frederick Douglass, who had personally endured the horrors of bondage in America, said during a famous 4th of July speech in the turbulent 1850’s, a period of instability and crisis much like today, that US slavery was a practice which “would disgrace a nation of savages.” And he astounded his mostly white audience in Rochester New York by declaring their claims to be a free and just society: “mere bombast,” “fraud,” and “unholy license!” Unless you are a soulless white supremacist Sir, you must be ashamed of the horrendous crimes which were essential to the founding and growth of the United States of America.

Yet judging by this statement you, like the overwhelming majority of Americans, seem unable to distinguish between the myth and the reality of America.

“Later that week, at the O.S.S. Society dinner, there were films and testimonials to the valor of the men and women who had fought in Europe and the Pacific during World War II. We also celebrated the 75th anniversary of D-Day, recognizing those brave Americans and allies who sacrificed so much to fight Nazism and fascism. We were reminded that the Greatest Generation went to war because it believed that that wherever there was oppression, tyranny or despotism, America would be there. We would be there because freedom mattered.”

This passage encapsulates all that is wrong with the master narrative of American civilization; as history it is farce but works as propaganda because it is partially true. Yet it is such transparent drivel it could only be uttered by an ignoramus who knows but little of American history, or a white supremacist charlatan for whom official crimes against people of color based on a master race ideology doesn’t count.

It ignores the fact that Hitler confessed to adopting much of his “master race” ideology from the writings of Madison Grant, a white American leader of the Eugenics movement. In a letter to Grant Adolph enthusiastically opined: “Your Book is My Bible,” in reference to Grant’s racist 1917 treatise “The Passing of the Great Race.” This is the Bible upon which Hitler based his ideology of Teutonic superiority! Are you aware of these well established historical facts Sir?

Do you not know that the blueprint for Nazi immigration policy was the racist American “National Origins Act,” which gave preference to certain racial groups; a policy Trump would love to resurrect, and was roundly praised by Hitler? That Nazi policies regarding euthanizing “defective people” and the forced sterilization of women deemed unfit for procreation were adopted from the American Eugenicists? That the concentration camps were inspired by American Indian reservations, and the corporation IBM provided the system for counting and classifying the doomed Jewish inmates? Are you really ignorant of the fact the Nuremberg laws discriminating against German Jews on the basis of “race,” were based on US laws sanctioning a racial caste system in which Afro-Americans could be legally oppressed by segregation and discrimination?

Alas, the argument that the “Greatest Generation” of white Americans “went to war because it believed that wherever there was oppression, tyranny or despotism mattered” is hypocritical prattle. A reality check sir: Avery Brundage, who headed the American Olympic Committee, was a well known Nazi sympathizer who would not allow Jewish Sprinters on the US relay team to compete because they might win and displease Hitler; the Black Olympic champion Jesse Owens was treated better in Nazi Germany than in his home state of Alabama; Nazi prisoners of war in the US were treated better than the black troops guarding them, and they were allowed to sit down and eat in the dining car when traveling by train in the US, while black American troops traveling on the train were forced to stand and eat out of paper bags!

Indeed, the legal oppression of Black Americans and the master race ideology that justified it had much in common with the Nazi attitude toward “inferior races,” which was it’s spawn. Throughout our history Black Americans were routinely denied basic human rights such as “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” which were celebrated ideals in the Declaration of Independence in the 18th century, yet had not been fully achieved by most Black Americans in the middle of the 20th century, when “The Greatest Generation” of white men went off to war in defense of these ideals elsewhere in the world.

In fact, many of the white “Founding Father’s” held Black Americans as slave property, including Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration, and George Washington, leader of the Continental army and first President of the United States of America! Recent scholarship such as “Slave Nation” a study of the motives for the US war of independence from England by two law professors, and “The Counter-Revolution of 1776,”an in-depth reinterpretation of the causes and objectives of the white English colonist who revolted against their mother country, convincingly demonstrate that the fear of losing their slave property was a far greater impetus for the revolt against Great Britian – where slavery had been recently outlawed by a decision in the Somerset Case – than defending anybody’s freedom.

As I write the legacy of Afro-American oppression and economic dispossession is manifest in the yawning wealth gap between black and white families in the US. The failure to face this fact with candor demonstrates the extent to which the white majority is willing to embrace fiction as fact, and accept comforting lies over troublesome truths.

And when whites are force fed the truth about their history of racial tyranny – such as in a recent depiction of the murderous violence launched against the black community of Tulsa Oklahoma by whites jealous of their economic success – they respond with shock and denial. And “Slave Play” a work that takes a candid look at the tragic legacy of race in America by young Afro-American playwrite  Jeremy O Harris, is setting  Broadway afire as I write. This black play is literally the talk of the Great White Way.

Yet,  such atrocities against black Americans, committed by our white countrymen, statesman and citizen alike, by legal and extra-legal, means, is a persistent theme that runs through the whole American narrative. This is why there has been such a widespread and consistent effort to suppress and deny the teaching of Afro-American history. And as a co-founder of the WEB DuBois department – the first free standing, degree granting Black Studies department in the world – I know whereof I speak.

The question raised by this history of lies and obfuscation which lay at the heart of the sanitized American saga, where well established truths are routinely excluded from the Master Narrative of American civilization promoted in our public schools and broadcast throughout the media ad nauseum, is to what extent has this duplicity desensitized white Americans to self-serving lies? And how much has this history contributed to a willingness by millions of citizens to accept a pathological compulsive liar as their president?

Alas, the fact that they not only accept him, but demand that their representatives in Congress defend him – despite the proven fact that Russian military intelligence helped put him in office – tells us tells us that the moral rot so evident in the character of Donald Trump, whose flawed and failing presidency you have now stepped forward to bravely denounce, mirror the deep moral failings of our nation that was evident long before the rise of Dirty Donald.

Yet even in this courageous and noble action, you too have failed to tell the unvarnished truth about who we are, and in doing so you have added rank insult to our very real injuries. How do you rationalize this Sir? Are you even aware that you are contributing to a dangerous fog of ignorance and confusion? Do you ever reflect upon the fact that the Justifications of President Andrew Jackson and Supreme Court Justice Marshall used to steal “Indian Lands” was that “America would remain a wilderness unless whites possessed it. But the white stewardship of this land has destroyed the environment and is leading to the extinction of our species?

A real Christian might conclude that Thomas Jefferson was right to despair for the fate of his new nation when he reflected “upon the fact that God is just.”  One thing is certain, when confronted with the facts of slavery and genocide that were central to the creation of the United States, the portrait of America you present here conjures up lines from Shakespeare’s Tragedy Macbeth: Tis a tale “Told by and idiot/ full of sound and fury/Signifying nothing.”

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Playthell G, Benjamin
Harlem, October 25 2019
PS: For a fuller understanding of American History Sir, consult the following:

Dr. Gerald Horne: The Counter-Revolution of 1776

To fill in other important holes in your knowledge of ignored American history read some of the books by Dr. Horne cited by the host introducing Dr. Horne.  With this your REAL education in US history has begun in earnest!

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  From Slavery to Emancipation 

A Documentary Film

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On the Plight of Black Americans 20 years after Nazism’s Defeat

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/memphis/#part01

On: “The Color of Law”

 Discussion of a study of how the segregated black “ghettos” and the wealth gap between white and black Americans is REALLY THE RESULT OF US GOVERNMENT POLICIES!!!!  And whether Afro-Americans should be paid “reparations.”  With Scholar Richard Rothstein and award winning journalist Ta Nehesi Coates.

The Hidden Perils of White Supremacy under Trump

Professor Tricia Rose

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ON THE ORDEAL OF THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

Aka “American Indians”

Aftermath of the Holocaust Today!

How the Land Was Stolen

“American Indian” Activist Russell Means Recounts US Government Corruption Crimes against his People before Congress.

A Clear an Present Danger is Upon Us!

Posted in On Donald Trump, Playthell on politics with tags , on October 10, 2019 by playthell
Dangerous Donald in a Rage

                                 Portrait of A Madman with Nukes

With each passing day we are witnessing the full extend of Trump’s madness – which 70,000 Psychaitrist and psychologists have been telling us about in their statement:”Duty to Warn.” Symptoms of the “Malignant Narcissism” and “Paranoia” the doctors diagnosed in the personality of Daffy Donald is everywhere on display! As the myriad dirty deeds Devious Donald did in the dark come to light, we see the extent of the danger he represents to our country. Over the week end for instance, Donnie Dimwit, the twittering Twit, tweeted 75 times! One does not have to be a trained head doctor to see that this is the graffiti of a very dangerous mad man!

It is worth getting a Twitter account in order to follow the growing madness of this man who has possession of the US nuclear codes. In case you don’t understand what this means, all you really need to know is: There is nothing to restrain the Mango Mussolini from launching a nuclear war which would destroy the world but the refusal of the head of Strategic Command to refuse to act on his his orders. Since such a refusal would subject the Commander to a charge of Treason, we cannot count on a trained military automaton to refuse Trump’s command: This is the shocking state of the human condition as I write!
One of the things that has intrigued me for decades is that the average citizen does not want to know how easily our planet can be destroyed by nuclear weapons. Yet it is an indisputable truth that every city and town in the US can be reduced to piles of highly radio-active rubble a half hour from the time you are reading this essay. The most common response that I get from people when I tell them this dreadful fact is that since there is nothing they can do about it…. they would rather NOT THINK ABOUT IT!!!

I have always found this conspiracy of silence curious given the survival of our species is at stake; although I confess it is a difficult truth to live with. But I had no choice in the matter. Having been stationed on a nuclear strike base in the Strategic Air Command at the height of the Cold War, when I was a teenage college dropout, the full knowledge of these terrible weapons was thrust upon me. I went from practicing “atomic bomb drills” in 1959, to being perched in the center of America’s nuclear strike force in 1960!

I had a TOP SECRET security clearance, which meant that I was privy to discussions about US Nuclear War Plans, which was the nuclear destruction of Soviet Russia.” I thought the end of the world was at hand during the “Cuban Missile Crisis,” when the US and Russia almost destroyed the world in a conflict over the little Caribbean island nation of Cuba! It made a lasting impression on me, and I have followed the development and deployment of nuclear weapons ever since.

That’s why I understand that things, on an average day, are more dangerous now. There are far more missiles and they are now on line! And there are A MILLION AND A HALF ATTEMPTS A DAY TO HACK INTO OUR COMMAND AND CONTROL COMPUTERS! Hence a Commander, if ordered by the President to fire a nuclear weapon may feel that there is no time to adequately check, and double check, to see if our nation is actually under attack.

Yet until we rise up and demand that OUR GOVERNMENT lead the world in a nuclear disarmament effort. It is altogether fitting and proper that this historic role should fall upon Americans, since the US government introduced nuclear weapons into the weaponry of the world, has the biggest arsenal, AND REMAINS THE ONLY NATION TO USE THEM IN WAR!

The reason that I am thinking about nuclear weapons just now is because the man in charge of this DOOMSDAY ARSENAL is becoming visibly UNHINGED!!! My fears are compounded by the fact that Trump’s illness “Malignant Narcissism and Paranoia” first enters the psychiatric literature when the distinguished German Psychoanalyst, Eric Fromm, developed a psychiatric profile of ADOLPH HITLER, under a contract from the American government during World War II. Dr. James McIntosh, one of the psychiatrist who signed the “DUTY TO WARN” statement, has written a comparative analysis of the psychology of Hitler and Dirty Donald for “Commentaries On The Times.” It is compelling…and frightening!

As a supreme egotist Trump, like Hitler, conflates the nation with himself. In this view, only what’s good for Dirty Donnie is good for the nation. As I write I am listening to Lawrence Tribe, Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard, who tutored both President Obama and Chief Justice Roberts about the Constitution, expressing deep anxiety and fear about what Trump is capable of when he is impeached!

Tribe points out that Trump is already practically calling for a Civil War to halt the impeachment process. He notes that Trump’s ego is such he may well be willing to try and bring the nation down with him! This is what troubles me most, because when Hitler came to realized that he was losing the war, and therefore his power, he wanted to destroy the German people, who he felt was unworthy of a GREAT LEADER such as he!

That’s why Hitler refused to surrender and save Germany from total destruction even after he realized that the war was lost! Who knows WTF Dangerous Delude Donald Will do! WHAT WE SHOULD DO IS ANOTHER MATTER! THE FIRST THING YOU SHOULD DO IS CALL YOUR CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION – HOUSE AND SENATE – AND DEMAND THAT THEY PASS THE LIEU-MARKEY BILL! THIS WOULD RESTRAIN THE PRESIDENT FROM ORDERING A NUCLEAR STRIKE WITHOUT CONSULTING CONGRESS!!!!!!! NOW HOP TO IT…YOU LIFE AND THE LIFE OF OUR PLANET IS AT STAKE!!!

NOTE – See The paper linked below:” ON THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HITLER AND TRUMP” at, https://commentariesonthetimes.me/…/on-the-psychology-of-h…/

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
October 10, 2019

Impeach Treacherous Treasonous Trump Now!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 29, 2019 by playthell
Devious Donald ” The Moscow Candidate” and his Handler

Kick Dirty Donald’s Corrupt Cakes to the Curb!

Like the wise seasoned political pro and master strategist that she is, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has orchestrated the impeachment process to remove Dastardly Don from office like a grand Maestro conducting a complex symphony of many movements. Politically astute voters and pundits committed to preserving constitutional democracy in America, this writer prominently among them, have been calling for Dirty Donnie’s impeachment for a while now. We thought it was time to kick him to the curb when he repeatedly violated his oath to “defend the Constitution,” and enforce the laws of the land.

Devious Donald’s cavaleir disregard for law and established custom, when he began violating the Emoluments clause prohibiting US presidents from accepting payments from foreign governments through his various businesses; refusing to take measures to defend the US electoral system against Russian cyber attacks; obstructing justice by firing Jim Comey, and using his bully pulpit to repeatedly attack the American press as “Enemies of the people” for carrying out their constitutionally mandated duty to serve as the people’s watch dog over those we elect to positions of power.

Thomas Jefferson, arguably the most thoughtful of the Founding Fathers, warned that “a democracy cannot work with an ignorant electorate.”  Hence he viewed creating an informed citizenry to be at the heart of their project of building a functional constitutional republic of self-governing people that could stand the test of time.  Tis belief no doubt inspired Jefferson’s declaration that, if given a choice between “a free press and no government, or a government and no free press,” He would choose “A free press and no government!”    Nothing so dramatically exposes how far Dirty Donald has wandered from the spirit of governance envisioned by the architects of the American Republic as his assault on our free press.

These are times that conjure up Benjamin Fraknlin’s statement upon the drafting of the US Constitution in Philadelphia, his home town, in the hot dog’s days of August 1787: “Gentleman you have got yourselves a republic…if you can keep it.” Trump’s scurrilous and unconstitutional attack against our free press – a fundamental pillar of American democracy would have been odious in any case, but to call them enemies while repeatedly praising Vladimir Putin, whom all 17 US intelligence agencies say ordered the subversion of our election to help Dirty Don tha Con become president, is treasonous!

And Trump has been openly accused of Treason by former Governor Weld, and the other pretenders to the Republican presidency.  The simple fact that the heads of US intelligence agencies all say that they have never been tasked with either developing an assessment of the extent to which Russian interference determined the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, nor to develop a plan to counteract such Russian interference in the future, provides ample grounds for the charge of treason.

It does not require a deep knowledge of US Constitutional law to recognize treason when we see it. Treason is clearly defined in the Constitution as “giving aid and comfort to an enemy with whom the nation is at war.” All one need understand is the President is first and foremost our Commander-In-Chief, entrusted with the responsibility of defending this nation against foreign enemies, and Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States has failed to do this. The only possible refutation to the verdict of treason is to argue that Cyber-Warfare is not really war.

I would argue that such a position is the acme of absurdities! Cyber-warfare is an extension of the technological arsenal in the war making arsenal of nations.  And it is no exaggeration to say that Cyber-attacks are rapidly becoming the most powerful of our weapons; given the diverse capabilities to inflict harm on the enemy it provides. Alas, cyber-warfare can not only subvert elections, it can jam communications systems, bring down electrical grids, freeze banking functions, and threatens to break into nuclear weapons system and fire the nuclear nuclear weapons of another nation.

Indeed, Cyber-Warfare is not only real war, it is rapidly becoming the most dangerous form of war! And Devious Donald, our commander-In-Chief, has not only refused to defend the nation against Russian Cyber-War attack, but continues to deny that it even happened despite mountains of detailed evidence presented in the Mueller report, and has not only defended Putin, even publicly taking his word over his own intelligence agencies, but has met with him in private for over an hour with no American observers present in Oslo, and told Russian diplomats in the Oval Office after firing FBI Director Jame Comey, who was the chief investigator into the Russian affair, that their intrusion into our election was no biggie because the US does it too!

Despite the fact that Treasonous Trump’s statement was true: It is not the business of American president’s to give aid and comfort to an enemy who gas committed and act of war against the nation he is sworn to defend!  This Scurrilous act is part of the reason why Nancy Pelosi, leader of the House of Representatives – upon whose shoulders the Constitution places the awesome weight of removing a duly elected American President from office – finally ordered the commencement of a formal impeachment inquiry.

The Speaker’s caution had begun to seem  like inexplicbale foot dragging to those of us who feel the case for impeaching Don tha Con had long been made.   The Specame around to empowering six committees in the House to conduct investigations to provide evidence for drafting Articles of Impeachment. Although she has been slow getting there – albeit wisely proceeding with caution – it is better LATE THAN NEVER!

Nancy Pelosi: Speaker of the House

Argueably the Most Effective Speaker Ever

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Witness Nancy Pelosi’s Evolution on the Impeachment Issue

 

ABC News Coverage of Speaker Pelosi’s Announcement of
Impeachment Inquiry

 

Nancy Pelosi: “Barr Has Gone Rogue!”

See CNN

 

Republican Presidential Challengers:

ACCUSE TRUMP OF TREASON!

 

Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

9/29/ 2019

The Midnight Ravers Presents!

Posted in Music Reviews, THE MIDNIGHT RAVERS PRESENTS! with tags , on September 21, 2019 by playthell

“Sweet Mama Stringbean” aka Ethel Waters

Women!  Tangled Up in the Blues

The Euridite Blues philosopher Albert Murray observes in his seminal text “Stomping the Blues” that blues as music is the antidote to the blues as such. Hence far from being a sad lament of resignation in the face of life’s trials and tribulations, the Blues is a music that celebrates life. It’s sensibility is “the opposite of sack cloth and ashes. Indeed Blues musicians chase the blues away, “they stomp the blues!”

The essential lesson of the blues Professor Murray argues, is although “life may be a low down dirty shame we got to keep on swinging anyway.” Just keep on keepin own as the old colored folks used to say down home. Certainly this was true of the pioneering women in the blues tradition.

Although few in the audience may have known the troubles she had seen, when these ladies of the Blues took the stage they were powerful, often risque, triumphant Divas who were large and in charge on the bandstand; the opposite of a downtrodden helpless female. The themes of the songs they sang were varied and covered a wide rage of  emotions and experience that capture the essence of the human condition in the modern world.

For instance, W. C. Handy’s iconic blues ballad “St. Louis Blues” is such an accurate mirror of the urban milieu in which he was living at the turn of the 20th century, that the distinguished Afro-American sociologist E. Franklin Fraizer refers to it in his analysis of the character of black life, culture and chances in their transition from rural southern to northern urban communities.

When Handy begins the St. Louis Blues with the lines “I hate to see that evening sun go down,” it was literally true, because he was homeless and sleeping in a park at the time!   The claim that popular song is the “literature of the masses” is as valid for the blues as for the ballads of the great Trinidadian song poets of the Calypso tradition. Among it’s themes are magical conjurations, natural disasters and  personal tragedies; most often expressed in their ordeals with men.

There are also comedic songs, the most clever of which is the double entendre songs which are often risque – such as “Handy Man” and “I’m Sellin my Porkchops but giving my gravy away,” marvelously  performed by Alberta Hunter and Memphis Minnie linked to the bottom of this essay. They were wild women whose calling was to drive the blues away with their sassy songs which – as the Afro-American novelist, essayists and blues musician Ralph Ellison argues -confronted the unpleasant vicissitudes of life with “a tragi/comic sensibility.”

Female Blues singers were pioneers in the record industry as they were among the first Black singers and Blues artists who were recorded. They were also instrumental in popularizing the 12-bar Blues throughout the U.S. When they sang, they usually were accompanied either by pianists or small Jazz ensembles, which were generally males who worked for them. As employers of men, this made Blues Women pioneers pioneers in another important respect, for there were very few women who publicly bossed men around publicly as the head of an economic organization. Blues bands were not just artistic ensembles, they were also a business. Hence, blues women had to also be good businesswomen.

This required an independence of spirit, vision, self-confidence, and strenght of personality that was essential to success for any entreprenuer, but doubly so for a woman boss in a man’s world, and triple so as black women in a racist white mans world. As has been said of Ginger Rodgers, Fred Astaire’s dance partner: “She did every complicated step Fred did, but she did it dancing backward wearing high heels.”

For black women in the racist apartheid America of the early 20th century, it was like dancing backward, in high heels on one leg! This is why the Blues woman emerged as a heroes of the feminist movement; they were the kind of strong willed independent women successfully competing in a male dominated arena that has emerged as the feminist ideal.

This special is dedicated to these artistic Amazons who were the pioneers in the illustrious tradition of Black Blues Women, women who were willing to hang out all night in dives jammin with “The Cats” in order to master their art. In Victorian America, where the Blues was born, “respectable” women didn’t hang out in such places alone in the early evening; let alone the early morning.  It was this rebel spirit that inspired the song “Wild Women Don’t Get The Blues.”

Gertrude “Ma” Rainey (born in 1886, died in 1939), is known as “Mother of the Blues,” and is credited as the first to perform the Blues on stage as popular entertainment when she began incorporating the new music into her act of show songs and comedy around 1902.

Ma Rainey and Her Band

In her recording of “See See Rider,” a tale about a cheatin two timing man, we see the combination of vulnerability and strength that would define the Blues Woman’s dramatis persone:

“I’m goin’ away, baby, I won’t be back til fall Lord, Lord, Lord

Goin away, baby, I won’t be back till fall

If I find me a good man, won’t be back at all.

I’m gonna buy me a pistol, just as long as I am tall

I’m gonna buy me a pistol, just as long as I am tall, Lord, Lord, Lord

Shoot my man, catch a cannonball

If he won’t have me, he won’t have no gal at all.”

Ma Rainey’s music would inspire African American poets such as Langston Hughes and Sterling Brown. More recently, Alice Walker looked to Ma Rainey’s music as a cultural model of African American womanhood when she wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Color Purple.

Mamie Smith (born in 1891, died in 1946),was the first Black female vocalist to record the Blues. Titled “Crazy Blues,” the song was recorded in 1920 and sold over 75,000 copies. Smith became known as “America’s First Lady of the Blues”. In 1920, the vaudeville singer, Lucille Hegamin, who was born in 1894 and died in 1970, became the second black woman to record the Blues when she recorded, “The Jazz Me Blues”.

Mamie Smith

Bessie Smith

But the most popular of the classic Blues singers was Tennessee-born Bessie Smith (no relation to Mamie Smith), who was born in 1894 and died in 1937. She first recorded in 1923 and became known as the “Empress of the Blues”. She signed with Columbia Records and became the highest-paid Black artist of the 1920s, a fertile period for Afro-American musical innovation, recording over 160 songs.

Alberta Hunter (born in 1895, died in 1984), attained recognition in 1923 when her original song “Downhearted Blues” was recorded by Bessie Smith. In 1926, she replaced Smith in the leading role of How Come? on Broadway. Hunter toured extensively for the USO during World War II and again during the Korean War. After World War II, she performed in England, toured Canada, and played long residences in Chicago. She retired from active performing in 1954. Amazingly, she worked for 20 years as a nurse then came back to recording and performing in her eighties.

Ida Cox (born in 1896, died in 1967), was a vaudeville performer and a pioneering Blues singer who, along with Gertrude “Ma” Rainey and Bessie Smith, founded the Female Blues genre which was an early form of Blues music popular in the 1920s. An amalgam of traditional Folk Blues and urban theater music, the style is also known as Vaudeville blues. A savvy businesswoman, Cox served as her own manager and producer, and enjoyed a lucrative career. Marion Harris (born in 1896, died in 1944), became one of the first white female singers to record the Blues. She also appeared in a few movies.

Ethel Waters (born in 1896 or 1900, died in 1977) was a singer and an actress. At the age of 17, billing herself as “Sweet Mama Stringbean,” Waters was singing professionally in Baltimore, Maryland. It was there that she became the first woman to sing the W.C. Handy classic “St. Louis Blues” – a composition which introduced the Blue Note into western musical literature – on the stage. After roles in Broadway revues and musicals, in 1933, Waters appeared in Irving Berlin’s musical, As Thousands Cheer, her first departure from shows with all-black casts. Her rendition of “Heat Wave” in that show linked the song permanently to her. Considered one of the great Blues singers, Waters also performed and recorded with such Jazz greats as Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman. Two of her other signature songs are “Dinah” and “Stormy Weather “.

Alberta Hunter

Ida Cox

Memphis Minnie was born in 1897 and died in 1973. Female Blues singers seldom recorded as guitar players and female guitar players (such as Rosetta Tharpe and Sister O.M. Terrell) were seldom recorded playing Blues. Excluding contemporary artists, the most notable exception to this pattern was Memphis Minnie. She was the most popular and prolific blueswoman outside the vaudeville tradition who earned the respect of critics, the support of record-buying fans, and the unqualified praise of the Blues artists she worked with throughout her long career. She recorded for Columbia, Vocalion, Bluebird, OKeh, Regal, Checker, and JOB. Her best work consisted of deep Blues like “Moaning The Blues”.

Sippie Wallace (born in 1898, died in 1986), carried on the tradition of Texas-styled Blues that emphasized risqué lyrics and rough-cut, rural vocal phrasing rather than the sophisticated accents of the era’s more cosmopolitan Blues singers. Wallace’s first recorded songs, “Shorty George” and “Up The Country Blues,” sold well enough to make Wallace a Blues star in the early 1920s.

Koko Taylor (born in 1928, died 2009) became known as the “Queen of the Blues.” She was known primarily for her rough and powerful vocals and traditional blues stylings. In the late 1950s, she began singing in Chicago Blues clubs and was spotted by the great Blues composer Willie Dixon in 1962, leading to larger venues and her first recording contract. In 1965, Taylor was signed by Chicagos’ Chess Records, the premiere lable for Blues music, for which her single, Wang Dang Doodle (written by Dixon, and a hit for Howlin’ Wolf five years earlier) became a major hit, reaching number four on the R&B chart in 1966 and selling a million copies. After her recovery from a near-fatal car crash in 1989, the 1990s found Taylor in movies such as Blues Brothers 2000.

Memphis Minnie

She Was Also an Accomplished Gituarist
Sippi Wallace

Koko Taylor

 

It must be noted that Katie Crippen, Edith Wilson, and Esther Bigeou, among others, made their first recordings before the end of 1921. These Blues recordings were typically labeled as “race records” to distinguish them from records sold to white audiences. Nonetheless, the recordings of some of the classic female Blues singers were purchased by white buyers as well. As has been the case with all genres of Afro-American music from Ragtime to Hip Hop, for black music has been the sound track for the American saga. “America as she is swung” as the brilliant blues philospher Albert Murray put it.

Other classic Blues singers, such as Clara Smith, and Sara Martin, who recorded extensively until the end of the 1920s These early Blues singers were an influence on later singers such as Mahalia Jackson and Janis Joplin. These Blues women’s contributions to the genre included “increased improvisation on melodic lines, unusual phrasing which altered the emphasis and impact of the lyrics, and vocal dramatics using shouts, groans, moans, and wails. The Blues women thus effected changes in other types of popular singing that had spin-offs in Jazz, Broadway musicals, torch songs of the 1930s and 1940s, Gospel, Rhythm and Blues, and eventually Rock and Roll.”

Listen to the Broadcast

At

https://www.wbai.org/archive/program/episode/?id=5904

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Playthell Benjamin

Midnight Ravers

WBAI FM 99.5

New York, 9/20/2019

Listen to the Blues Diva’s Wail

Ma Rainey

“See See Rider”

Bessie Smith

The St. Louis Blues

 

Mamie Smith

 

Ethel Waters

Stormy Weather

 

Alberta Hunter

My Man is Such a Handy Man

A Risque Double Entendre Song

Memphis Minnie

I’m Sellin my Pork Chops but Giving my Gravy Away

A Risque Double Entendre Song
Hoodoo Lady

Here Minnie’s Superb Gituar Style Can be Heard

Ida Cox

Lawdy Lawdy Blues

 

Sippi Wallac

Women Be Wise…Keep Yo Mouth Shut!

 

 

Billy Holiday and Louis Armstrong

“Farewell to Storyville”

Who is the Best Reciever in the NFL?

Posted in On Sports! with tags on September 17, 2019 by playthell

Julio Bogarting the Ball Up Top

Stating The Case For Julio

At the end of the day an argument could be made for several of today’s top wideouts. Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., Deandre Hopkins, Michael Thomas are all great. Yet If I were the General Manager of an NFL team, I would run not walk past all these names to sign who I believe to be the best receiver in the NFL, Julio Jones!

As a physical specimen Julio is a freak of nature. Like the Six Million Dollar Man he is “Bigger, Stronger, Faster.” At 6’4” 220 lbs. he dwarfs the competition. Antonio Brown 5’10” 185lbs.; Odell Beckham Jr. 5’11” 198; Michael Thomas 6’1” 212lbs. DeAndre Hopkins 6’1” 212lbs. What’s even more amazing is that Julio is actually the fastest of the group running the 40 yd. dash at 4.31 while Brown runs a 4.47, Odell a 4.41, Thomas a 4.58 and Hopkins a 4.41.

Julio Jones reached the 10,000 receiving yards milestone in just in just 107 games; faster than any receiver in the history of the game. But since each of our contenders vary in the number of years they have been in the league, it would be more useful to compare their per game averages. Julio leads the pack in both number of receptions per game and receiving yards per game. With respect to touchdowns per game Julio averaging .5 per game does lag behind both Odell with .7 per game and Antonio with .6 per game, but Julio has a greater percentage of catches per target both in and out of the end zone. Julio has more 250+ yard games than any of his contemporaries and is the only one them that has ever gone for over 300 yards (vs. .he Panthers on just 12 receptions).

Beyond his statistical dominance Julio is the perfect teammate. The only stories you ever hear about Julio have to do with his dominance on the field. While Antonio Brown has been making headlines from “helmet-gate”, to altercations with his G.M. resulting in his release from Oakland, and now rape allegations which are taking away from his new team – the World Champion Patriots – early dominance; Julio Jones, during a contract re-negotiation, quietly went about his business at camp, preparing for the new season. When asked he said he never considered a holdout as he felt it was important to be in in camp so he could continue to mentor his young University of Alabama protégé Calvin Ridley – which displays both maturity and generosity of spirit. On the field he brings it every game. If the defense double teams him, creating opportunities for his teammates and the team wins, he feels he’s done his part and praises his teammates accomplishments.

A Real Mellow Fellow

He is all about the team!

I began by saying there could be a case could be made for a number of other wide receivers in the league, but as I consider my arguments for Julio Jones, it’s simply not true. Julio Jones is the best wide receiver in the game period! And by the end of his career might just be the best ever.

“That’s what I do, I run away from people.”
Julio Jones

 

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Watch Julio In Action

 

By: Leon Kwaku Saunders
Atlanta, Georgia
September 17, 2019