Archive for November, 2016

It Was Bound to Happen!

Posted in On Foreign Affairs, On Nuclear War with tags , on November 24, 2016 by playthell

a-new-russian-missile-ii

A Russian Nuclear Missile capable of hitting US Targets.

Reflections on the New Russian Missiles

Often virtually alone among American pundits, I have repeatedly warned about the danger of NATO expansion into Eastern Europe.  My abiding fear is that, given the vast superiority in conventional forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – an American led military alliance whose raison d’etre was the containment of the Soviet Union by military encirclement – the continued expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe will eventually lead to nuclear war.  Hence I have argued against such menacing intrusions into the region, because given the critical role of computers in the launch function of nuclear weapons systems: Accidental nuclear war is more likely than ever.

This is due to two major factors: The US refusal to recognize Russia’s Sphere of Influence, and Article Five of the NATO Treaty which commits the US to engage Russia militarily should they have a military conflict with Latvia!  Alas, very few Americans are even aware of this fact, let alone understand that it could precipitate a conflict that could destroy the world.  In fact, most media commentators talk about the antagonism between Russia and NATO i.e. the USA, as if it were a wrestling match not a march toward Doomsday.   The deployment of this new missile system forces us to confront the terrifying reality of nuclear holocaust.

The question being asked by most American foreign policy analyst is “why now?”  The answer given by a professor at the Naval War College, who serves as a consultant to MSNBC, is that there are two basic reasons for President Putin’s decision to deploy the missiles just now: Putin’s “contempt” for President Obama, and based on the things Trump has said regarding improving relations with Russia Putin feels that Trump would never go to war due to a conflict between Russia and a former member state of the Soviet Union.

I think it is more the former than the latter; Putin would have considered such a move too risky earlier in the Obama presidency, especially when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.  An anti-Russian hawk whose views were forged in the heated environment of the Cold War era, such a move on Putin’s part, although perfectly reasonable in view of NATO’s strategy of encircling Russia with military proxies, would have been a dangerous act of brinksmanship.

And under a Clinton presidency would have plunged the world to the edge of disaster.  Hence if there is any silver lining to be found in the dark clouds that surround the election of Donald Trump, it is that he does not share Hillary’s hostility and paranoia regarding Russian military power and Putin’s intentions.  Although it has been used against him by Democrats and Republicans alike whose attitude toward Russia was forged during the Cold War, Trump’s position that we should be friends with Russia rather than enemies, and NATO is a dangerous anachronism whose cost is far greater than its benefit to the US is the more enlightened position.  Even it is true – as his critics commonly claim – that Trump has no real knowledge of the situation and is just guessing: He is like the broken clock that’s right twice a day.

The most surprising thing regarding the deployment of these new Russian missiles is that it should come as a surprise to anyone who has been observing NATO’s strategy in Eastern Europe with any degree of objectivity.

a-new-russian-defensive-missile-batteryIskander Missile Battery in Kalingrad

I have written repeatedly this would happen, and Professor Stephen Cohen- arguably the most insightful American scholar on Russia – has issued many dire warnings that NATOs aggressive actions  was pushing Putin into a corner and he would be forced to take a stand.  Now it has happened and the world is a more dangerous place because of it.  Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was unambiguous about Russian intentions in deploying the Iskander Missiles:

“Russia is doing all that is necessary to protect itself against the backdrop of NATO’s expansion toward its borders. NATO is indeed an aggressive bloc, that is why Russia is doing everything that is necessary.  Russia has all the sovereign rights to take the necessary measures across all the territory of the Russian Federation.”

Although Russian officials are reluctant to specify the exact model of missiles they deploy, Viktor Ozerov –  the Senator who Chairs the Defense and Security Committee in the Upper House of their parliament – told the news channel Russia Today that the Russian decision to deploy these new missiles was a response to the danger to Russian security posed by the US cruise missiles recently deployed to Poland and Rumania – two former members of the disbanded Warsaw Pact, the Russian dominated counter-part to NATO.  Senator Ozerov explained:

“One of the reasons why Russia opposed the deployment of the American ABM [anti-ballistic missile] system in Europe was the concern that this infrastructure may be quickly converted to deploy strike systems, in particular land-based cruise missiles. These concerns are being confirmed today.   In response to that we will be forced to beef up our air and space defense system in that direction, [and to] deploy additional forces to defend our military facilities and command centers. This includes the deployment of S-400 and Iskander systems in Kaliningrad, and the formation of new units in the Western and Southern military districts”

Both of these missile systems are defensive in nature.  The Iskander system is capable of firing cruise and ballistic missiles, and the S-400 is an anti-missile system designed to protect critical Russian sites such as cities and strategic missile silos, both of which are critical to the survival of the Russian nation.  Hence in view of NATO’s steady encroachment into the Russian sphere their statement to the Associated Press that the Russian missile deployment “does not help to lower tensions or restore predictability to our relations”  or “avoid incidents and the risk of misunderstandings” rings hollow.

Like a town crier in the night, Professor Cohen has been sounding the alarm in a thus far futile effort to get American policymakers to turn away from the road to war with Russia.  Reading his cautionary writings in retrospect they seem like exhortations from Old Testament prophets warning the Princes and Powers of their time to reject the path of death and destruction and choose the path of live preserving righteousness.

 Conventional NATO Forces amassed on the Russian Border
nato-forces-on-russian-border-ii
******************
nato-forces-on-the-russian-border-iv
***************************

nato-forces-on-the-russian-border-iii

The US would not permit similar Russian forces in Mexico or Canada

Cohen argues that this build-up is unprecedented even during the last 40 years of the US/Russian Cold War and amounts to the opening of a “NATO Eastern Front.”  This kind of military mobilization accompanied by bellicose rhetoric and saber rattling, looks like preparation for war to a country that has been invaded from the west twice and lost millions of its citizens in their struggle to resist.

Due to America’s self-righteous arrogance fueled by the dangerous mythology of “American Exceptionalism” – which is shared by both President Obama and Hillary Clinton, but ironically not Donald Trump – is pushing us straight on course for a military conflict with Russia.  Professor Cohen candidly points out the suicidal folly of this policy.

What NATO is mobilizing there is a lot more than a couple of divisions here and a couple of divisions there, some armor here and some there.  We need to understand that tens of thousands of western troops will be parked now permanently, they may say that they are rotating, but they are there permanently on Russia’s borders. Along with nuclear-ready missiles, along with a lot of tanks and, above all, in Russia’s eyes, the missile defense installation.  The US builds up forces all around Russia and then blames Moscow for Holding on to Nukes this is so serious, so fraught with the possibility of war.”

Alas, According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientist, who are the world’s foremost authorities on the causes and consequences of nuclear war:  “The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon.”  To note the dire state of the human predicament, as I write the scientist have set the Doomsday Clock at three minutes before midnight!  Let us hope…and pray if you are the prayerful type, that our leaders can be persuaded to change their nihilistic course before the hand strikes midnight…..

***************************************

Dr.Stephen Cohen on the Myth of Missile Defense

********************

Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
November 23, 2016

“All These Stones”

Posted in Guest Commentators, On Donald Trump, On the 2016 Presidential Election with tags , , on November 18, 2016 by playthell

Demonstrators protest against U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, outside the Trump Tower building in midtown Manhattan in New York March 19, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Speaking Truth to Power at Trump Tower!   Righteous Anger over the election of a Hater
 When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, 6“As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.” 7They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” 8And he said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them. 9“When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.” 10Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; 11there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven. 12“But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. 13This will give you an opportunity to testify. 14So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; 15for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. 16You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17You will be hated by all because of my name. 18But not a hair of your head will perish. 19By your endurance you will gain your souls. NRSV Luke 21:5-19
Sermon TSP 26th Sunday After Pentecost Year C – 13 November 2016   21718

 A Canadian Divine Reflects on the US Elections

What a week it’s been! Maybe you saw the picture in social media, of a Church Sign in Massachusetts – it read, Jesus is coming; hopefully before the election.”    I spent Monday to Thursday with clergy from all across Canada at a preaching conference. Our guest professor was from Georgia, and when she saw that we Canadians were just as anxious as she was, we all huddled together to watch the election that left the world in such shock and disbelief. Since then, I’ve been trying to keep up with the commentaries, trying to make sense of what happened – what it means when a business-oriented person with no political experience takes over the highest, most powerful political position in the world. Add to that the rhetoric of hate, racism, exclusion and misogyny, and the fact that he doesn’t even seem to care that statements he denies can be proven instantly with blatantly incriminating footage, and we’re left with a lot of confused and frightened people.

So what do we do about this? You’ve heard me say that it’s not up to me to tell people who to vote for or which political party is better. My role as a spiritual leader is to be clear about what Jesus taught us was important as we make our decisions. But when someone speaks a vile rhetoric of fear and hate and exclusion into the world, I’m going to say something. I have to.

Now, we don’t know how this will play out, and we know that there’s a lot going on under the surface in terms of what people were resisting in this election, but here’s something to think about. People are deeply concerned because values they thought were universal are now in question. People are afraid that racism and exclusion and treating women without respect, have been“normalized” during this campaign. Since the election, there are reports about little children telling their Muslim classmates that they’ll soon be deported. And crude jokes that objectify women have been circulating at an alarmingly increased rate. I’ve read articles from the U.K., Canada and Europe expressing concern about these trends spreading out from the United States.

People are asking, “What can we do to resist this?” Well, here’s a start…maybe our reaction should be to dig deep within ourselves, and figure out who we really are, and what values are most important to us. You know, we’ve been fairly sheltered in North America, particularly those of us with white privilege. We can spout a rhetoric that’s politically correct, because it costs us nothing. But it looks like now is the time to put ourselves on the line to stand up for what is most important.

If we truly value racial equality – it we really believe women should be treated with respect – if we’re honestly offended when we hear someone talking about deporting innocent citizens, then it’s time to shake off our protected comfort zones and speak up – to live into what we say we believe. We generally assume that people want to be kind, to respect others, to be honest and to care about vulnerable people. But now we have an opportunity to sharpen our awareness of how we want to live…an opportunity to be more intentional about living with grace and respect: A chance to speak up when we see signs of this “normalization” of treating others poorly.

A priest from this area wrote an open letter to her adult sons on social media, and many of us followed her example. She wrote that open misogyny, hatred, fear, racism, and bold faced lying have taken the reins of power in our neighbours to the south, proving that any one of us, any nation, can lay aside kindness, honesty, love and mercy the moment they feel their privilege is threatened. She went on to say that she herself would look within to find the grace to preach love and to try to live it, but that she had great hope that her sons and their generation, who were raised to be tolerant, to be excited by diversity and difference, would lead us into a future where love and mercy would remain paramount as they reshape our world.

What I’m getting at here is a suggestion that while riots may or may not be the answer, I don’t think that being quiet or ignoring the facts is an alternative for those of us who follow Christ. At a time like this, we’re called to speak our truth and model it clearly for all to see. Something I’ve been thrilled to see in response to the deluge of hate and fear, is the bold voice of love – a voice that has faith in strength and integrity that exists in the hearts of most people. Trusting that God’s power working in us can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. And as is so often the case, today’s gospel helps us to see how to respond when what’s important is threatened.

Jesus is responding to people who are admiring the great beauty of the Temple. He warns them that at any moment, the Temple could be razed to the ground – and all those huge stones that made the mighty walls will be reduced to a pile of rubble.  He predicts great upheaval and betrayal. What’s Luke getting at here?  Luke is trying to make a statement about the impermanence and uncertainty of human achievement.

The people are marvelling at the Temple’s glory, but Jesus pulls their attention away from its beauty and structure, hoping that they’ll focus on something that’s much more important…..their faith, and how it shows up in their lives. Just before this story, Jesus had drawn their attention to a poor widow putting her two coins into the treasury. Nobody would have ever noticed her amidst the grandeur of the Temple, and the respected leaders parading with their prayers and great offerings, until Jesus pointed out that she was an example for all of them – it was her heart that was sincere.

We can have the most beautiful place of worship in the world, and still get it all wrong. What’s more important than the building is what we learn while we’re inside, and how we take it into our lives and into the world. That’s what the people said in Mississippi when the church of a Black congregation was burned and vandalized by political haters….they said you can burn down our church building, but you can’t take away our faith. God’s transformation of their lives was not something that could be destroyed.

This is certainly a challenging story for us right now. The question of the importance of our house of worship is a complex one. Recently, I’ve had occasion to go downtown to our Cathedral a few times. And you know, when you walk toward it, the bells calling you in from way down the street, there’s something quite beautiful you feel as you go inside. This is our Diocesan Mecca. Our Jerusalem. This is the great Cathedral that has gathered us together in Christ’s name for decades.

The ceilings are high and the surroundings are glorious. The choir is heavenly and the organ is majestic. It’s wonderful. And it’s emotional. It hits us on a very real, visceral, human level. And I think of our family from St. Paul Lorne Park, and the grief that is still very real about losing the place where God touched you, met you, challenged you – where there were weddings and funerals and baptisms and celebrations over the years — beautiful memories that go deep, but now that building is no longer home. Buildings do matter.

And I think of the Trinity people who have the same deep connections right here, in this space, all that history, all the prayers whispered in this space, and now we’re in the process of changing things, and it feels uncertain. Buildings do matter. I for one, am thrilled at the wisdom of your vestry vote that said that getting to the bottom of the structural issues causing flooding is to come first in our priorities. I think your wisdom in this will pay off big time. And the changes to the worship space are also practical, in fixing a spongy floor, and bringing us up to full accessibility with a code ramp, which the Diocese and the Province both insist on. I believe you’ve been faithful stewards of these resources coming to us. We’re not going for fancy – we’re going for solid. Thank God for that.

But in all of this, I am aware that our worship spaces mean just as much to us as they did to those people centuries ago, who travelled miles whenever they could, to get to Jerusalem’s beautiful Temple. We can’t help but become attached to our places of worship. They mean something to us. Our prayers are in them, our stories are in them, our faith journeys have been formed in them. And I think Jesus gets that. I think he sees it. He knows what it’s like to make that trip to Jerusalem to worship in the Temple…to see the scrolls be taken out and read to the people of God.

And yet, Jesus tells us that buildings are not forever, but our faith is. Jesus knows that our life of faith must go beyond our temples and synagogues and holy places. He knows that there will come a time for all of us when we will be called on to give an accounting of our faith outside of these walls. A time like the present. So we have to ask ourselves, without this building, what’s left? How would our faith and trust in God survive the loss of this structure?

My friends, we are called to be good stewards of our buildings and the money we use to maintain them. But we are also called to be good stewards of the Great Story of Salvation and Liberation that we tell within these walls. We are called to bear witness to the world about what matters the most. Even in apocalyptic times, when things get rough, when money runs short, when governments fall apart or challenge our peace. What is Jesus’ answer to how we respond to these apocalyptic events? Testify, he says! Tell the world what you have found in following me.

Now, I’m not talking about standing on a soapbox and screaming about Jesus from the street corners. I run away from people like that. I’m talking about living an authentic life out there that shows who we really are and models what we believe. Tell that person who feels unworthy that they matter to God, that they are precious to God, even when the world sets them aside. Tell that local politician that you’re counting on them to care for the marginalized. I think we church people always live in this tension between the faithful and responsible care of our buildings, and the faithful sharing of what we call the Good News.

Our faith is not confined to a building or defined by it. We will do our best to care of it, but Jesus says, when things get tough, tell your stories of salvation. Tell what these years of gathering here around word and table have done for you – how they’ve changed your life. When a nearby government seems to threaten what’s important to you, testify! Tell your children and your neighbours that you believe in love and mercy and truth and grace, and that no influence from any womanizer, liar or racist, will ever change that.

My friends, the world is full of the grace and love of God. The people of God down through the centuries, even in the hardest of times, have been called to speak up against oppression – to stand strong for justice. And today Luke asks us, where, and on what, is our gaze fixed? If our eyes are locked on temporary things, we might miss seeing those beautiful things that will last. If we only see grandeur and splendour, we may miss finding the beauty in the lost soul nearby. And if we blindly tolerate or ignore the negative rhetoric out there right now, we might miss our chance to affirm all that is life-giving, all that is worthy and true.

What the world needs right now, is people who dare to humbly say out loud what we’ve learned within these walls – to speak boldly about peace overcoming violence, about truth overcoming lies, about love overcoming hate, about care for others overcoming greed. My friends, it’s time to share who we are and how we’ve been transformed by love. It’s time to testifyHallelujah!

**********************

Reverend Susanne Sharon
Episcopal Diocese of Toronto, Canada
November 1, 2016

 

On Racism, Facebook and Me!

Posted in On the 2016 Presidential Election with tags , , on November 17, 2016 by playthell

a-racist-fb-post-fromwestvirgina-booga-bear-ii

The Racist Bitch that Insulted our first Lady
 How Does Facebook decide which comments are Unacceptable?

Today Facebook removed a post of mine and blocked access to my account for three days because they say my post violated community standards!  Well, I protested this action and requested that they tell us what action they took against the West Virginia officials who posted this offensive racist attack on our First Lady., and what is their policy regarding white racist posts on Facebook?

I think that Facebook SHOULD police offensive comments on their site, along with quickly detecting and removing bogus “news” sites.    And if I had just attacked these women out of nowhere, if they had committed no offense against anyone on FB, I think their action against me would be justified.  But under these circumstances I think FB’s response was excessive.  Pammy called FLOTUS a “gorilla” and I called her a Dog!  Sounds like a restrained response to me; she really begged  for a much stronger response.  If Facebook  wanted to remove my post so be it, but I feel that they should have simply explained their action and ask me not to repost it with the “offensive” comments.  THAT’S IT!

The cover photo above is a picture of the racist West Virginia official that posted the racist comment along with the comment.  Check them out, read my Facebook post below, then look at the photos at the bottom of the FB post and decide if you think my response is JUSTIFIED!

*******************

A REALLY STUPID CRACKER BITCH!!!!

SAY WHAT? This washed out BOOGA BEAR PAMELA RAMSEY, Director of some Non-Profit outfit in West Virginia called the “Clay County Development Corporation” – had the unmitigated gall to disparage the looks of our gorgeous First Lady? NO SHE DIDN’T!!!!!!!!! Does this silly white trash peckerwood cracker – and that stupid plain Jane Mayor Beverly Whaley who looks like Olive Oil in the Popeye comics and has been KICKED OUT OF OFFICE – EVER look in the mirror? This in-bred, pie faced, country-ass jaggerbat looks like Andy Panda on crystal meth!!!!!

I wouldn’t bang her with The Donald’s little pecker if she put a gun to my head!!!!!! And her comment about class tells us that she has NONE! Based on her comment she appears to be a retard like most of those dumb pecks in Appalachia who voted for Trump, believing this megalomanaical New York rich boy is their friend and savior…DUH??? Trump wouldn’t piss on these suckers if their asses were on fire!

Pammy girl says she finds it “refreshing” to have a “Classy and dignified First Lady back in the White House.” News flash stupid Redneck: Melania Trump is EURO-TRASH! Like you she is WHITE TRASH…. but with money. Just like her husband!!! Melania Trump is a college Drop-out and a soft porn Model whose claim to fame is that she bagged a lecherous rich man old enough to be her daddy!

When I see her sitting next to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, I am reminded of Trump’s conversation on air with Howard Stern when they laughingly agreed that Ivanka was “A NICE PIECE OF ASS!!!” I am also reminded of how Trump said he “would date” Ivanka if he were not a “married man” and then belatedly noted that she was also his daughter! (I AIN’T MAKIN THIS STUFF UP FOLKS…IT’S ON THE PUBLIC RECORD!) Thus I am forced to wonder if Melania is the personification of “The Donald’s” incestuous fantasies!!!!!

In any case Michelle Obama is a GREAT LADY by any standard. She is a splendid wife and mother – her daughter was just admitted to Harvard – she is a lawyer who graduated from two of the world’s best Universities, Princeton and Harvard, she was once Barack’s boss in the legal profession while he was a student at Harvard Law! Michelle Obama is a stunningly beautiful, powerful woman in mind and body, who would look GREAT in a potato sack….A WALKING ADVERTISEMENT FOR FITNESS AND HEALTH THAT GIVES HER CREDIBILITY AS A SPOKESPERSON ON THE SUBJECT!

SHE HAS BEEN A GREAT FIRST LADY AND IS THE IDEAL ROLE MODEL FOR YOUNG WOMEN AND GIRLS ALL OVER THE WORLD!!! Compared to this First Lady, MELANIA TRUMP IS A GIANT STEP DOWN IN LOOKS, STYLE, and especially CLASS AND CHARACTER…..NOBODY UNDERSTANDS THAT BETTER THAN MELANIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (SEE: THE BEST LOOKING FIRST LADY EVER at https://commentariesonthetimes.me/2009/09/20/the-best-looking-first-lady-ever/

********************

Mayor Beverly Whaling

a-racist-mayor-beverly-whaling

No Beauty Queen here: She reminds me of “Olive Oil” in the Popeye Comics

Michelle…..Oh Well!

a-fashion-photo-of-michelle

 Yes….People all over the world LOVE HER!
 She has been a Magnificent Representative for the US

 barack-and-michelle-obama-fashion

 The Epitome of Elegance, Grace and Serene Dignity
After plagiarizing her Speech Melania professed great Admiration for FLOTUS
michelle-and-melania-at-the-white-house 
And After Meeting Michelle Melania said she was great!

 *****************************

Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
November 16, 2016

What Afro-Americans Stand to Lose…..

Posted in On Donald Trump, On the 2016 Presidential Election, Playthell on politics with tags , on November 7, 2016 by playthell

donald-trump-and-dad-fred

A Chip off the Old Block! Donnie Dimwit and his sexist, racist, Dad Funky Freddie

……if Devious Donnie becomes President!

As Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for the US presidency, watched his favorability ratings plunge while the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s continue to rise, his handlers decided that if he is going to win the most powerful office in the world he would have to dramatically reach out to minority voters.  This explains the dramatic changes in strategy adopted by his campaign; which is manifested in his sharp turnabout on the promise to deport 11 million illegal aliens – a position he vociferously proclaimed as a cornerstone of his platform but is now running from it like the Zika virus.  It also fuels his belated attempt to court the Afro-American vote by finally admitting that President Obama was born in the United States after leading a five year “Birther”  movement that attempted to deny he is an American citizen.                                                                                                                                                           Clumsily spouting some hastily assembled and flawed statistics compiled by his speech writers, uncharacteristically read from a teleprompter, in which he blamed Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for all the ills that inflict inner-city black communities, Donnie Dimwit shouted out to black folks: “Take a chance on me; what have you got to lose!”  Since Donnie has repeatedly revealed himself to be a devious dummy in the political arena, a man with no experience in public service and manifestly devoid of moral conviction, whose allegiance is determined by expedience in matters of principle, it is hard to know if he has any real understanding of how silly he sounds…or if he thinks black people are stupid.

After all, Trump correctly assumes that his core white audience is stupid, and he evidently thinks all black people are stupid too…it’s called hubris.  It is so obvious that longtime Republican stalwart General Colin Powell says “Trump talks to us as if we are idiots” and called The Donald “a national disgrace!”  General Powell went on to declare: “There is nothing that Trump can say” that will convince the majority of Afro-Americans to vote for him.  My feelings exactly, and as I write his 4% favorability rating testifies to the truth of Powell’s prediction.

On the face of it we can easily identify several critical areas where Trump’s attitudes and beliefs will lead to actions which will greatly injure the life’s chances and arrest the progress of Afro-Americans should he become President.  Among these are: Supreme Court Appointments; enforcement of voting rights laws and the restoration of the “pre-clearance”clause; indifference to police murders of black men and red lighting unconstitutional stops and searches; support for institutional racism in corporate America regarding the hiring and promotion of Afro-Americans regardless of credentials; historic tax cuts for the rich while lavishing even more money on the obscenely wasteful military budget – which will  deplete funds for desperately needed public sector jobs rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure while saving his family four billion dollars – initiating a thoughtless trade wars with China and Mexico that will send the price of many manufactured goods soaring; denial of climate change which contributes to increasing incidents of unprecedented natural disasters like the devastating hurricanes along the Atlantic coast, floods in the mid-west and wild fires across the far west, and emboldening armed white racists who believe he is on their side by selecting the racist verbal arsonist Stephen K. Bannon as the “Chief Executive” of his campaign.

Contrary to the beliefs of most of his followers, Trump could wreck the US economy just as two other millionaire Republican Businessmen who became US President did: Herbert Hoover and George W. Bush.  The latter President even held an MBA from Harvard – America’s premiere business school. Hence Trump’s argument that success in business has prepared him to run the American government and manage the economy with great efficiency is just so much pompous bullshit. The fact is that businessmen deal with micro-economic problems while a President must make macro-economic decisions that are better left to top economists who formulate policies on order to achieve the president’s economic goals.

We should heed the warnings of 370 world class economists, including some Nobel Laureates, who have issued a statement arguing that Trump’s stated economic plan will lead the world to ruin!  It is instructive to note that in the last economic crash during the Bush presidency Afro-Americans lost over 60% of all the wealth we had accumulated since the end of slavery!  When all of these factors are taken into account it is clear that a Trump presidency could wreck Afro-American aspirations and set us back immeasurably.  It could take us a century to recover…if ever!

And that’s not the end of the catastrophes we would face.   Consider the consequences of a Supreme Court with a Republican majority, three of whose Justices were appointed by Donald Trump.  Ignorant of constitutional history and the role of the high Court in interpreting that foundational document from which are bequeathed our rights as citizens, and upon which the laws of the land are based, appointments to the court by Trump would likely be determined by whim, intuition and ideology. And I think pretty much in that order.

Trump has already told us that the late Justice Antonin Scalia would serve as the model for his jurists.  A conservative Catholic, Scalia opposed a woman’s right to an abortion. And he is on record stating that the legal protections provided by the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was a remedy for the long denial of the right of Afro-Americans to vote despite the fact that it is a fundamental right of citizenship, amounted to an unfair  “racial entitlement.”  He also voted with the majority in the Court in the Citizens United Case, which struck down the McCain – Feingold Bipartisan Finance Reform Act that limited the amounts of money which could be poured into elections by third parties to support a candidate.

This was a major victory for those intent upon destroying our representative participatory democracy, a system where presidential candidates are elected by the majority of citizens, and replacing it with a plutocracy, where elections are bought by the super-rich 1%.  The reason that laws regulating campaign financing in the first place was become big corporations were outright buying state legislatures and making politicians on all levels beholden to their largess.  It does not require a great political theorist to see that this practice is antithetical to the ideal of participatory democracy: government by the people.

Antonin Scalia: Racist Thug on the High Court

scalia

May this odiferous polecat stink his way to hell!

Scalia also supported the right of Americans to own military assault weapons, although the historical justification for this 18th century Constitutional Amendment no longer exists.  At the time the US had no standing army to speak of and the danger of invasion from European powers was a real possibility.  Furthermore, since the right to bear arms was restricted to free men, who were mostly white, it was also a protection against revolts by African slaves and subjugated Native Americans whose land the European colonial settlers were stealing.

And of special importance to Afro-Americans Scalia was opposed to Affirmative Action remedies; he even resorted to questioning the intellectual capacity of black Americans in his opposition to Affirmative Action in college admissions…this despite the magnificent achievements of black professionals who entered college under Affirmative Action programs.  It has been a startling success; a gift that just keeps on giving!

Given the historical relationship between the advancement of black people in American civilization and decisions of the Supreme Court, a Republican majority dominated by Trump appointees poses a historic catastrophe for Afro-Americans. White Americans love to brag about their “constitutional rights,” but few people understand that the precise interpretation of those rights have varied widely over time, especially for Afro-Americans.  This is because the Constitution means whatever the majority of the Supreme Court Justices says it means at the time.  Two cases decided by the High Court are sufficient to provide compelling evidence for my claim: Plessy v Ferguson 1896, and Brown V the Board of Education 1954.

To fully appreciate the importance of these cases in the history of race relations in the US, a brief review of that review is essential.  In 1847 Roger B. Taney, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, wrote this opinion in the Dread Scott Decision: “Black men have no rights that white men are bound to respect.”  This decision left Afro-American without any legal protection in the country of their birth, a country whose creation they had fought and died for during the war of independence from England just 71 years earlier.  This paradox was due to the strange fact that the white settlers had fought a war based on the idea that all persons had a right to “life. Liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” yet maintained African slavery.

This is the first time in the history of the world that a “revolution” was fought to maintain slavery as the brilliant historian, Dr. Gerald Horne,  has shown in his recent book “The Counter-Revolution of 1776.” This is the most compelling example of American Exceptionalism, albeit one that is completely ignored by those who talk the loudest on the subject.

In order to correct this legal atrocity after the nation fought a Civil War that ended slavery in the US, the radical Reconstruction Era Congress passed seven Civil Rights bills and added the 13th 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution and impeached President Johnson, who ascended to the presidency after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.  President Andy Johnson appealed to the same demographic elements that our wannabe President Donald Trump appeals to. The most important of these Reconstruction Era laws in terms of defining the status of Afro-Americans in post-slavery America is the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which guarantees equality in all spheres of American life.

However these rights were dramatically abridged by the opinion of the Supreme Court in the Plessy v Ferguson case of 1896, which legalized racial segregation and supplied the basis for the de jure racial caste system that established white supremacy in the US.  An extended discussion of the complexities of the Plessy decision is beyond the scope of this essay, so I will sum it up the essential point.  The Plessy v Ferguson Decision is popularly known in constitutional law as the  “Separate but Equal” decision, because the court ruled that facilities for blacks people could be maintained separately by law so long as they were equal to those for whites.

This was a disastrous legal fiction that led to a socio/political catastrophe for Afro-Americans because while the facilities and opportunities for blacks were separate they were never equal….throughout the south in particular facilities were often atrocious!  Yet the phonemon of systematic racial discrimination against black people in the USA was not by any means confined to the South.

The distinction in legal terns is that southern apartheid was required by law i.e. de jure segregation, and in the North it was de facto, more a matter of deeply engrained custom than a legal mandate cofified in the law.   I can provide first hand testimony on this system because I grew up under the American Apartheid system, spending winters in the South and summers in the North.

The differences in the laws represented a distinction without a difference to the victims of racism and white supremacy residing in the North or south. Recently MSNBC’s Dr. Rachel Maddow interviewed the rental agancy for Donald Trump’s apartment complexes in Brooklyn and Queens, who recounded how when he presnted Fred Trump with two applications from Afro-American professional women who had superior qualifications to many of the white tenants Fredie said: “You know I don’t rent to NIGGERS!!!  And tore the applications up.  He recalls a teenaged Donald at his father’s side in enthusiastic agreement with his daddy’s decision.  All that we black folk need to know is that “The Donald” says :”My daddy was the smartest man I knwo…I learned everything from him.”

Suffice it to say that the ideology which supplied the intellectual and philosophical underpinnings of the system of white supremacy in the US was adopted by Adolph Hitler and became the basis for his “Master Race” thesis – a thesis that donald Trump has enthusiastically embraced on video tape, where he can be seen declaring that his success in life is “due to my German blood.”  Hence this is no picayune matter; it is further evidence of the American Provenance of German Nazi ideology.  In fact we have it from an unimpeachable source, Adolph Hitler himself, who wrote a letter to the influential American racist Madison Grant – a native New Yorker like Donald – thanking him for publishing his 1917 book “The Passing of the Great Race,” in which he declares the blond Teutonic’s a master race.  “Your book is my Bible!” Hitler rejoiced!

Hence when the folks around Trump pine for the good old days and vow “to take our country back,” and “Make America Great Again” – a fascist slogan Herr Drumft borrowed from the Italian Fascist Benito Mussolini – we should be aware what they are talking about….their hopes and dreams.  Donald Trump has promised them that he will appoint Supreme Court justices that will turn back the clock.  Like the turn of the 20th century, the dawning of the 21st century has many “native” white Americans feeling vulnerable: both as a result of immigration and black progress.  In the 19th century African Americans witnessed the end of chattel slavery after waging a mighty struggle along with white allies that threw the country into a bloody and destructive Civil War. But the reconcilliation between whites in the north and south – the blue and the grey – let to a precipitous decline in the legal status of Afro-Americans in the US.

In the 20th century African Americans and their progressive white allies brought down “Segregation,” the evil and oppressive racial caste system in the American South born if the Plessy Decision – and most heavily practiced in the former slave holding states of the Confederacy. Now we have emerged in 21st Century America holding positions at the very top of American society.   This is true in the corporate world, the military and government. The ultimate symbol of black success is a black family in the White House!

There is an entire generation of white kids who have spent critical developmental years living under the leadership of a black president.  They have watched him lead at home and represent the nation on the world stage.  How they perceived this depends on who their parents are.  If their parents were highly educated and not mentally impaired by racist pathology then they saw Barack and Michelle Obama as the smartest, hippest, sharpest couple that has ever occupied the White House, a source of national pride from whom they can take inspiration.

But if their parents were “poorly educated” white racist who were enraged by the sight of “niggers” in the White House, then you grew up mad that this secret Kenyan born incompetent Arab terrorist managed to con his way into the Oval Office.  This would make them the perfect candidate for Donald Trump, whose incessant crusade against the President employed and popularized these very arguments!  Right after Obama’s victory Trump even said that Barack should not be “allowed to take office.” And conducted a five year crusade to discredit his presidency by denying that he was even an American…this second generation descendent of German immigrants!

It is no wonder that Trump supports laws that the federal Court says were “surgically” designed to prevent Afro-Americans from voting.  He fully understands their racist nature and appreciates how they can help him win.   However the ball is in the Court of black America and we can determine the outcome of this election: All we have to do is turn out for Hilary Clinton in the same numbers that we turned out for Barack in Ohio and Florida and it’s a done deal!

Those Afro-Americans who support Trump are damaged people, lost souls who have made a deal with the Devil, a classic Faustian Bargain where one barter’s one soul for worldly gains like money, prestige and power. – It’s an old story with no lack of poster boys: Judas Iscariot and Benedict Arnold immediately come to mind.  They are traitors to our ancestors and our children…they dishonor the past and betray the future!  For what, after all, what do Afro-Americans have to lose by a trump victory: Our Wealth; Our health; Our homes; Our Dignity; Our lives!  In short, everything that means anything to any self-respecting community. That’s what we have to lose!!!

Omohosa: Race Traitor Numero Uno!

trump-and-omorosa

Donnie couldn’t recruit a Navajo…So he Settled for a Nigga Ho!!!

************************

Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
November 7, Pre-election Night
2016