Archive for the Guest Commentators Category

On the Psychology of Hitler and Trump

Posted in Guest Commentators, On Donald Trump with tags , on September 7, 2018 by playthell
Trump Raging at his “Enemies”

Comparative Psychoanalysis of Hitler and Trump

So far, 70, 000 mental health professionals, have signed a petition initiated by psychologist Dr. John Gartner calling for “the removal of President Donald Trump from office due to “serious mental illness” that they agree, “renders him psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of President of the United States.” Narcissistic, sociopathic, histrionic and borderline psychotic are just some of the words that have been used by prominent mental health professionals in their description of Trump.

Ironically these words are very similar to words used to describe the German Dictator Adolph Hitler by various mental health professionals over the last 75 years. These include Psychologists Dr. Henry A. Murray, in his report on Hitler to the (0.S.S.) Office of Strategic Services, Dr. Walter Langer author of the Book, The Mind of Adolph Hitler, and later by psychiatrist Dr. Harvey Cleckley in his book The Mask of Sanity.

COUNTERACTIVE NARCISSISM

Langer is quoted by Harvey Cleckley M.D.  as having said about Hitler, “he was not insane but was emotionally sick and lacked normal inhibitions against anti-social behavior.” The OSS also came to the conclusion that Hitler was “an hysteric bordering on schizophrenia.“ An Excerpt from The Introduction to Murray’s Report reads as follows. “Murray pegged Hitler’s personality as ‘counteractive narcissim,’ a type that is stimulated by real or imagined insult or injury. According to Dr. Murray, the characteristics of this personality type include: holding grudges, low tolerance for criticism, excessive demands for attention, inability to express gratitude, a tendency to belittle, bully, and blame others, desire for revenge, persistence in the face of defeat, extreme self-will, self-trust, inability to take a joke, and compulsive criminality.”

Adolph Hitler

In a Characteristic Rage
THESE WORDS FIT HITLER TO A (Donald) T

Does Inability to take a joke describe Donald Trump, the man who goes on a tweet tirade because he is made fun of on Saturday Night Live? Do the words belittle and bully describe the man who said of Rosie O’Donnell, “If I were running my business, I’d fire Rosie, I mean, I’d look her right in that fat ugly face of hers and say, “Rosie, you’re fired?” Doesn’t every word in Dr. Murray’s description describe Donald Trump? Histrionic is the modern word that approximates what was meant when Hitler was described by Dr. Murray as “Hysteric.” Attorney Elizabeth Beck in an interview with CNN, said that Donald Trump had an “absolute meltdown” when she requested a break from a 2011 deposition to pump breast milk.

Beck said, “He got up, his face got red, he shook his finger at me and he screamed, ‘You’re disgusting, you’re disgusting,’ and he ran out of there” Recognize that this Hissy fit over Breast Milk comes from Donald who had no problem when his girlfriend now wife Melania in the words of British GQ Magazine,” was featured in (a) naked profile shoot on his customized Boeing 727 wearing handcuffs, wielding diamonds and holding a chrome pistol.” He also contained his hysteria when she appeared naked and in the embrace of another naked woman on the cover of the New York Post. He did, however ,demonstrate lots of histrionics when he appeared in a video apparently attempting to breast feed from fake breasts worn by Rudolph Giuliani dressed in drag. Go to this link to see a video of this.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M

CAN A PERSON HAVE 4 PERSONALITY DISORDERS?

Sociopath is the modern word used for Psychopath, and Antisocial and Borderline personality is a word modern psychiatrists sometimes use to describe what Langer most likely meant when he spoke of Hitler’s “ bordering on schizophrenia.” Narcissistic personality is the word used now for the Narcism described by Murray. But how could a person have 4 different personality Disorders?

The answer is that in general they cannot but people often have characteristics from several personality disorders in the same Cluster or family of personality disorders. The particular cluster that so many have thought describe both Hitler and Donald Trump is called Cluster B. The 4 personality disorders in Cluster B are Narcissistic, Histrionic, Borderline and Sociopathic. What the Cluster B disorders have in common are Dramatism and impulsivity. Hitler had many Cluster B traits with perhaps narcissism and Sociopathy predominating and so does Donald Trump.

IT’S NOT FUNNY

Although some of the things about Trump make people laugh, similarly to how people laughed at Charlie Chaplin’s movie “The Dictator,” in the words of Larry Hamm, Activist and Chairman of Newark’s People’s Organization for Progress this weekend at a community meeting at CEMOTAP, Center in Queens, “It’s really not funny.” What Larry meant of course is that a dramatic impulsive person is now commander and chief of the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marines and Airforce and has access to America’s nuclear weapons and nuclear codes. Hitler only had access to traditional explosives and nearly destroyed Europe.

IF YOU ONLY HIRE BARBERS, SOMEBODY IS GOING TO GET A HAIR CUT

He has also threatened at least one other head of state with “Fire and Fury” and has been appointing more Generals to the Cabinet than any other president since World War II. Comedian Dick Gregory quipped before his recent transition, “This man has appointed 5 generals to the cabinet and y’all don’t know where he’s going?”

Trump has so far appointed General John Kelly as Secretary of Homeland Security, General James “Mad Dog” Mattis as Secretary of Defense, General Michael Flynn- retired general replaced in the wake of lying about the Russian scandal with Mike Pompeo former Army Captain and West Point Graduate, as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, General John Kelly as Secretary of Homeland Security, Former Army Reserve Captain Sen. Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, Steve Bannon, former Naval Lieutenant (Equivalent of a Captain in the Army) Trump’s chief strategist, and Commander Ryan Zinke a former Navy Seal , and former “Dean” of the graduate school at the Naval Special Warfare Advanced Training Command as Secretary of the Interior.

Why would you need a Navy Seal to oversee, the management and conservation of federal land and natural resources, which is the purpose of the Department of the Interior? If you hire only barbers, somebody is going to get a haircut.

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

 

 

Note: This essay was originally published by Dr. James C. McIntosh – a practicing Psychiatrist in New York – as part of a series on the psychology of Donald Trump in the New York Amsterdam News.

Posted at Commentaries On the Times 9/7/2018

Captain Oliver Law Takes Command!

Posted in A Rendezvous With History, Guest Commentators, On Foreign Affairs with tags , , , on June 18, 2018 by playthell

Anti-Fascist Hero of the Spanish Civil War

 Heroic African-American Communist Fights Fascism in Spain

 General Colin Powell was three months old when at 33 tall, broad-shouldered Texas African American Oliver Law, became the first Black Commander of an American Army. The date was June 12, 1937. Law was selected by a committee of three white officers to lead this integrated army.  Heard of Colin Powell but never heard of Oliver Law? Hardly surprising. Law’s not mentioned in school books or social studies classes and has yet to find a place in most college texts or history courses. But Law made his mark on world history in June 1937 and for very good reasons.

Oliver Law was among a brave band of 2800 American men and women (including 90 other African Americans) who rushed to help the Spanish Republic Spain during its Civil War (1936-1939). Their aim was to stop Hitler and Mussolini from seizing and using Spain to launch their march across Europe. This was a crucial Nazi warm-up for World War II. These brave Americans were joined by 40,000 other men and women fro52 countries who also volunteered to save Spain’s Republican government from Hitler and Mussolini and General Francisco Franco, their Spanish fascist ally.
For the only time in world history a global volunteer force left their homelands to defend democracy in a distant land. Though few volunteers had any military training they aimed to shame and prod their governments to stop fascist aggression “at the agates of Madrid.” But at this point England, France, the US and other democratic governments did nothing about fascist aggression – and England and France encouraged it. So, as one American Volunteer said, “someone had to do something!”

Among the US volunteers in the “Abraham Lincoln Brigade” military experience ran a low fourth to enthusiasm, commitment and sheer guts. Oliver Law was different. In Texas he had served six years in the Buffalo Soldiers, “US Colored Troops.” This was during the long night of US segregation and lynching lasting through World War II. US War Department policy prevented Law from becoming an officer or reaching higher than corporal.
But for African Americans in Spain life was different. “I can rise according to my worth, not my color,” Law said. This volunteer army included Black and white men and women who united during the Great Depression to fight for unemployment insurance, union rights and social security, and to end to segregation, discrimination and lynching.
After the Lincoln Brigade’s first battle at Jarama, Law’s courage was
rewarded with a promotion to lieutenant. Next he was placed in charge of a machine-gun company. Then Lincoln Brigade Commander Marty Hourihan recommended him for officers’ school.

When the position of Lincoln Brigade Commander became available on June12th, a committee of three white Brigade officers voted Law a Captain and Brigade Commander. One of the three, Steve Nelson, who had worked with him in Chicago, told why they picked Law: “He had the most experience and was best suited for the job.” Further, he was “the most acquainted with military procedures on the staff at the moment . . . he was well liked by his men . . . .” Nelson continued, “When soldiers were asked who might become an officer — ours was a very democratic army — his name always came up. Itwas spoken of him that he was calm under fire, dignified, respectful of his men
and always given to thoughtful consideration of initiatives and military missions.”
The rest of the story is sadder — for Law, the Lincoln Brigade, the International volunteers and the world. At 10:00 AM on July 9th at the battle of Brunete Commander Law insisted on leading his men against a fortified fascist position at Mosquito Ridge. Law, his runner New Yorker Harry Fisher recalled, was “running to the top of the hill,” waving his men on. Law did not “attempt to protect himself, and in a matter of seconds, machine-gun fire ripped into him.” Law’s other runner, Jerry Weinberg of Chicago, crawled across the battlefield to pull law to safety.  It was too late: “He died less than an hour later, Fisher recalled.

The Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Battle

Oliver Law’s comrades buried him under a sign that proudly declared
him the first Black commander of a US military unit.  Hitler, Mussolini and Franco defeated democracy in Spain and five months later, Nazi Germany’s marched into Poland and began World War II. Had the democracies heeded the warning of the 40,000 volunteers, the
story of World War II might have been different.
Though Oliver Law and a majority of the Americans died in Spain,
survivors returned home to again fight fascism after Pearl Harbor. After the war veterans of the Lincoln Brigade continued to battle racism in the United States and oppose imperialist wars abroad, some into the 21st century. Now this year the last one has died.

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

By: William Katz

 

NOTE:  This article is based on THE LINCOLN BRIGADE: A PICTURE HISTORY and based on interviews with Brigade veterans Steve Nelson, Harry Fisher, Sam Walters, and others during two trips to Spain with the veterans and their families.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes on Claude, Cooper and Coates

Posted in Book Reviews, Cultural Matters, Guest Commentators with tags , , on October 13, 2017 by playthell

A Meditation on the Meaning of the Obama Years

A Book Sparks Reflections from a Manchild in New Jack City

 First, let me say the Ta Naheshi Coates’s new book, “We Were Eight Years In Power” is powerful. I am still traveling within it but already I have been abducted by the fine writing and weaving of this piece, and the sure hand of the conductor on this train. Now, as to the title here…Growing up in Harlem, my serious reading began with Claude Brown’s “Manchild In The Promised Land.”

I can remember this is when I started to understand a bit more about the hard streets I was given to play on. It wove together a black experience I was made to realize every day. I flew down the five flights of stairs from our old tenement building ecstatic about the discovery that somebody had painted such a powerful portrait of my world. But the book was also about failure and survival. It hypnotized me, readjusting my focus and better setting my attention and aspirations higher than I might’ve otherwise thought of.

My own time outside of that book was spent unknowingly navigating what I had learned from it, as I grew up just a few blocks from where Claude Brown told his story of the world we came from. I was just starting a new school they built above the #3 train yard on 7th Avenue right down from my block, “Frederick Douglas Intermediate School 10,” affectionately known back in the day as “The Dime.” One of my very best friends back then was Barry Michael Cooper. I didn’t know it then, though we spent a lot of our time discussing our neighborhood’s blessings and curses, that he would grow up to become a brilliant writer with an original voice and penned such insightful and powerful film scripts as “New Jack City,” “Sugar Hill,” and “Above The Rim,” providing a gripping first-hand view of the style and substance of Street Life in an American metropolis.

Novelist Claude Brown

Manchild In the Promised Land

The Best Selling Novel that called the nation’s attention to the black Urban  Plight
Barry Michael Cooper

A Peerless Chronicler of the underbelly of Urban Life

A harrowing report from the front lines of the crack wars

Ta Neheshi Coates

A Brilliant commentator on the Black Experience in America

These flicks were an extension of Barry’s stellar chronicling of Harlem’s early rap, drug and gangster scenes in gripping essays published in the Village Voice, during its glory days of the 1980’s and 90’s, to large applause from careful readers and media critics. Barry had thought to write all this stuff down from our boyhood conversations while sitting by the old bust of Dr. King in Esplanade Gardens, the upscale middle-class Harlem apartment complex where he lived. Barry and I were actually witnessing and living what Claude Brown had written about in his own life many years earlier in the 1960’s, on even slicker, more dangerous streets.

So between these two guys, Claude Brown and Barry Michael Cooper, I now come to Coates. His book has taken me on another journey into the deeper understanding of all this stuff in my nearly 60 years of life. Instead of Brown’s sort of “Playbook on surviving the streets” tone, and then Cooper’s kind of voyeur takes on it all happening to us in real time, Coates has cross-stitched the varying realities together with even greater depth and perspective, while casting a keen eye on the larger history of what has gotten us out from between a rock and a hard place, or left us dazed and bewildered still within it.

Every word of this book is interesting, and so is Coates. A college drop-out with the eruditeness of another brilliant Harlem writer I was blessed to know as a co-conspirator and friend, Playthell Benjamin, who has the same sort of unique story of not going exactly the “right” ways to reach success or just to be heard. Perhaps their visions of success were different, as both their voices in the struggle are made of grand knowledge of all the great warriors but at the same time uniquely their own. You will love this book; it pieces together the larger history of Afro-Americans and tracks our progress, while comparing it to yesterday through the perspective of the Obama years in the White House. Yet it is not just about this amazing man and his wife, but more so about us all, the good and the not so good told by a variety of our heroes and unknowing villains.

Coates is an amazing young brother that is an impressively grounded and gifted writer. It’s not about whether you agree with everything he says; he is telling a story in perhaps the most unique time in our history, not just the big picture but every intricate detail of the frame and hooks on the backside, heck even the covered wall and dogged nail holes underneath. It is a fascinating work, not told by an elder but by a young buck that was listening and carefully watching what brothers like Claude and Cooper caught great whiffs of in their own revealing journeys.

I hope one day I get the opportunity to meet Ta-Nehisi Coates (and maybe, hopefully by then I will be able to better pronounce the brother’s name), as in my time, I have happily met and known both Claude Brown and my man, Barry Cooper. I think he’s in NYC, and I’m just across the GWB, so hopefully we shall meet. And y’know, I have also written a book myself, though never got around to publishing it, but given all the new ways of publishing that have emerged due to the internet.

What I do know is that it is writings like those described in this essay that have inspired me most all along my way. These agitations, echoes and experiences mirror my own, and those of many other Afro-American males, and I can feel the spiritual connection as they show the way forward and sometimes confusingly back again. Everyone should read We Were Eight Years In Power; it is a tonic and torch for the mind and soul of seekers after wisdom and truth.

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

Click on Link to Hear Coates Discuss his Book
https://www.cbsnews.com/videos/ta-nehisi-coates-on-obama-presidencys-impact-on-trumps-election/
Marion Boykin
Inglewood, New Jersey
October 13, 2017

Dr.WEB DuBois On Robert E. Lee

Posted in Dr. Dubois on Robert E. Lee, Guest Commentators with tags , on August 24, 2017 by playthell
Dr. WEB DuBois: Historian, Sociologist, Economist, Poet, Seer
Chastizing the Racial Mythmakers

Each year on the 19th of January, there is renewed effort to canonize Robert E. Lee, the greatest confederate general. His personal comeliness, his aristocratic birth and his military prowess all call for the verdict of greatness and genius. But one thing–one terrible fact–militates against this, and that is the inescapable truth that Robert E. Lee led a bloody war to perpetuate slavery. Copperheads like The New York Times may magisterially declare, “Of course, he never fought for slavery.”

Well, for what did he fight? State rights? Nonsense. The South cared only for State Rights as a weapon to defend slavery. If nationalism had been a stronger defense of the slave system than particularism, the South would have been as nationalistic in 1861 as it had been in 1812.

No. People do not go to war for abstract theories of government. They fight for property and privilege, and that was what Virginia fought for in the Civil War. And Lee followed Virginia. He followed Virginia not because he particularly loved slavery (although he certainly did not hate it), but because he did not have the moral courage to stand against his family and his clan. Lee hesitated and hung his head in shame, because he was asked to lead armies against human progress and Christian decency and did not dare refuse. He surrendered not to Grant, but to Negro Emancipation.

Today we can best perpetuate his memory and his nobler traits not by falsifying his moral debacle, but by explaining it to the young white south. What Lee did in 1861, other Lees are doing in 1928. They lack the moral courage to stand up for justice to the Negro because of the overwhelming public opinion of their social environment.

Their fathers in the past have condoned lynching and mob violence, just as today they acquiesce in the disfranchisement of educated and worthy black citizens, provide wretchedly inadequate public schools for Negro children and endorse a public treatment of sickness, poverty and crime which disgraces civilization.

It is the punishment of the South that its Robert Lees and Jefferson Davises will always be tall, handsome and well-born. That their courage will be physical and not moral. That their leadership will be weak compliance with public opinion and never costly and unswerving revolt for justice and right.

It is ridiculous to seek to excuse Robert Lee as the most formidable agency this nation ever raised to make 4 million human beings goods instead of men. Either he knew what slavery meant when he helped maim and murder thousands in its defense, or he did not. If he did not he was a fool. If he did, Robert Lee was a traitor and a rebel–not indeed to his country, but to humanity and humanity’s God.

Two of the 20th Centuries Greatest Revolutions
Dr. DuBois and Mao Tse Tung: “The Great Helmsman” and The Pan-Afrcanist Seer
Dr. WEB DuBois
New York
1928                                                                  ********************
A Note on Dr. DuBois
Yesterday a former student of mine when I was a Professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where I was a co-founder of the WEB Dubois Department of Black Studies, the first Black Studies Department in the World!  (See: “Dr. DuBois Then and Now” at https://commentariesonthetimes.me/2013/12/15/dr-dubois-then-and-now/) posted the article above by Dr. DuBois on my facebook page.
Since only one person appears to have read it in the 24 hours since it was posted, I have concluded it is because the readers on my page do not have a proper appreciation for the place of Dr, Dubois among 20th century thinkers.  Actually The Doctor’s life and thought spans two centuries.  He came of age intellectually during the 19th century, and was the most broadly learned, prophetic and consequential American humanist intellectual of the 20th century!  He was the father of Black Studies and American scientific sociological investigation of race relations.   He was also the central figure the militant black liberation movement in  the US, and a Father of Pan-Africanism.  He was a prolific writer who combined the rigor of the scholar, the vision of the seer, and the pen of the poet….he has no peer!
Here is the link to a lecture/discussion of Dr. Dubois’ legacy by Playthell Benjamin and Stanley Crouch, from the National Black Writer’s Conference in Harlem, New York captured by C-Span Book World.  See https://www.c-span.org/video/?176136-1/reconsidering-souls-black-folk

 

Dangerous Liaisons…

Posted in Guest Commentators, On Donald Trump with tags , on May 11, 2017 by playthell

Ministers of God Genuflect before Mammon

 Faith Sells Out

I’m an Anglican Priest in Canada, watching in disbelief as the Trump administration trashes every high principle which we know that most people of the U.S. hold dear. With my brother and his extended family living in Massachusetts, New York, Florida and California, what happens south of the border matters to me. Personal reasons aside, however, it’s also tragic to watch entire groups of people dismissed… poor people, sick people, people from foreign countries, people who are ‘different’, people from ‘other’ religions…you know – all those people Jesus welcomed in a heartbeat.

Which brings me to my incentive for writing; the Executive Order on Religious Liberty that Trump just signed. It’s no surprise to me that millions of people look at organized religion and find it wanting. What are we to make of this noise about a religious ‘liberty’ that in essence works to secure Trump’s hold on the Bible Belt and ensures that he may receive cash endorsements from religious organizations? Trump commented, “This financial threat against the faith community is over. No one should be censoring sermons or targeting pastors.”  The named financial threat is a reference to the ever-present question of the relationship between church and state, and whether churches should be taxed.

What many people don’t realize is that most government structures in both Canada and the United States are keenly aware that, should the churches be taxed, it could well compromise their ability to pick up the slack in caring for the hungry, the mentally ill and the homeless – the poor souls who fall through the cracks by the thousands in the governments’ inadequate systems of care. According to recent research, it’s estimated that for every single dollar a church spends in ministry programs, the city benefits to an amount of $4.77 in services provided to the marginalized. (See link below to The Halo Project, a Canadian research study based on a similar study in the U.S.)  Hence churches understand well that the government simply cannot afford to tax them.

The financial issue is more about Trump easing the way for religious organizations to back him with big bucks from the Bible Belt Bubble. As for “…censoring sermons or targeting pastors” as a priest, I can promise you that the church and clergy already have freedom of speech. We’ve all heard the gossip that in February a version of the Executive Order was drafted which contained provisions to protect religious leaders who speak out against same-sex marriage, transgender issues or pre-marital sex. So of course, this softened final version has disappointed religious conservatives. But trust me, they’ve been energetically preaching against these people from the pulpit for years, and they’ll continue to do so.

I was dismayed to learn from the Rev. William J. Barber II’s lucid response to Trump’s first National Day of Prayer, which Barber called a “public spectacle” (see link below)  that the Billy Graham Evangelical Association donated ten million dollars to the Trump campaign. For years, this organization has been a light in the darkness – a witness of compassion and integrity. Billy remained scandal-free, kept his hands off the money and told the world of God’s endless love for decades, without trashing or excluding anyone. But the witness of the Billy Graham Association has been compromised. We all loved Billy for his humility and grace, and we’re surprised that his compassion and wisdom seem to have eluded his son, William Franklin Graham III, the current CEO. His donation to, and affiliation with the Trump Administration are rich with irony.

If any of the Christians on the grass roots level of these organizations behaved even remotely like Trump has, they would be kicked out, “read out of the assembly,” so fast that their heads would be spinning. I was raised in conservative fundamentalism and I know from brutal experience how it works. They might be technically ‘forgiven’ but they’d be alienated from community from that moment on, and yet they embrace Trump’s lies, racism and misogyny with all their hearts. What’s going on, here? How do they justify this disconnect between what they preach and who they’re getting into bed with?

In my tender years in Fundamentalism, I was taught that politics had no place in the pulpit. Politics stayed out there in the secular world, and we stayed pious and sheltered, in the spiritual world. We didn’t have to worry about injustice or war or caring for the environment or racism, because the ‘good’ people would all escape to heaven and that would be our bliss. But it’s not only Evangelical Christians who struggle with the relationship between politics and faith. As an Anglican Priest (Episcopalian in the U.S.) I’ve been attacked for preaching about social issues and for reminding people of their Christian mandate to speak up for justice. I’ve been told, “I don’t come to church to hear about politics or the problems of the world. I come here to escape them.”

For years, this has been the position of the religious right generally, until the likes of Pat Robertson realized the clout the Bible Belt had in elections, and the power they could seek through close ties with conservative political allies. And now we have Franklin Graham climbing into bed with a President whose lies are documented on film, even as he lies about the lies we can all see so clearly.  There’s a huge problem in going to church to escape the problems of the world, but there’s also a huge problem in climbing into bed with politicians. If we truly want to follow Jesus, we’re going to have to follow him into passionate engagement with the problems of the world.

Televangelist Pat Robertson
He Married the Evangelical Movement to the Republican Right
Billy Graham Passing the Bible to Son Franklin

But in his political wheelings and dealings he dropped it!

If we truly want to follow Jesus, there’s no escaping the fact that we must follow him into being a voice for justice; crying out against the corruption and racism and imperialism and self-serving structures we find in both the church and the state. Belonging to the church or to a political party does not negate our responsibility to be a critical voice. But to align with the Trump administration, casually dismissing the horrifying decisions and behaviors that rob people of their dignity and their place in the world in exchange for support for the religious right’s desire to exclude and control is, quite simply, not Christ-like. Jesus didn’t seek to build a fortress of power that would keep others out. Jesus called a lie a lie. Jesus insisted that everyone belongs. Everyone. Jesus said that the bottom line in what God wants from us, is for us to love others as we love ourselves…not to decide who’s in and who’s out.

This Executive Order is not for the church. It serves only Trump. It gives the churches essentially nothing they didn’t already have, but it works as a giant flag-waving opportunity for Trump to ensure the continued donations and votes of the religious right, vaguely affirming their fierce intentions to control women’s rights and to exclude and vilify the LGBTQ community. This Executive Order doesn’t serve the church, and the religious leaders gathering around it should be ashamed of themselves.

If Christians really want to model ourselves after Jesus, we should be walking alongside the suffering, rather than deciding who we should exclude. We should be praising the government when it establishes policies that care for the marginalized and the vulnerable, and calling them out when they don’t.  But the fundamentalists, it seems, have missed that faithful stance, having gone from one extreme to the other…from non-involvement to completely selling out. The religious right has become an angry force for exclusion. Where’s that divine love? Where’s that marvelous grace about which they sing every Sunday?

They Claim to be Brides of Christ….

So why Are they cavorting with Lucifer?

It’s alarming to the point of shock that they choose to support a leader whose words, actions and policies fly in the face of the One they claim to follow. Perhaps it’s time for all people of faith to join the modern day prophets like Rev. William Barber, and put a little more effort into reclaiming the essence of faith and resisting this environment that would make God into a bully for the sake of its own agenda. Perhaps it’s time for faith leaders to remind the world that following Jesus is simply about embracing love.

Rev. Susanne

09 May 2017

                                                                                                                                                                                     Link to The Halo Project                                                                                                         https://www.haloproject.ca/phase-1-toronto

Link to The Rev. William J. Barber II on Trump’s First National Day of Prayer https://thinkprogress.org/rev-barber-religious-liberty-discrimination-27331473e4f4

 

Was Sarin Gas Used in Syrian Attack?

Posted in Guest Commentators, On Foreign Affairs, On War and Peace in the Mid East! with tags , , on April 18, 2017 by playthell
  At the Scene of reported Sarin Gas Attack
 A Brief Clinical and Epidemiologic Comparison with the Japan Attacks

The June 27, 1994 sarin terrorist attacks in Matsumoto, Japan, and on March 20, 1995, in the Tokyo subway, provide the most through epidemiologic and pathologic case reports currently available for the evaluation of mass poisonings with this extremely toxic gas. The facts regarding the Japanese attacks are as follows.

  • In Matsumoto members of the Aum Shinrikyo group released sarin in a residential area. It was a) an attempt to murder magistrates deliberating a real estate dispute; and b) an assessment of the poison’s efficiency for mass murder. The logistics of the crime included a refurbished refrigerator truck containing a heater for vaporization of twelve liters of liquid sarin, and powerful fans to diffuse a thick cloud of gas near the residencies of the involved judges. The sarin was 70 percent pure.
  • Over six hundred residents and rescuers were poisoned, fifty-eight were hospitalized, and seven were killed. The calculated mortality-morbidity ratio was approximately 1.16 percent (7/600). (“Sarin Poisoning in Matsumoto, Japan, The Lancet 7/29/1995)
  • On March 20, 1995, during the peak of morning rush hour a second sarin attack disrupted several Tokyo subway lines. This attack was focused on the stations close to the Tokyo National Police Agency and other central government centers. Aum Shinrikyo members punctured plastic bags of liquid sarin in subway cars jammed with workers headed to government offices. The liquid sarin was 30 percent pure.
  • More than six thousand passengers and rescue workers were injured—eight hundred required hospital treatment or evaluation and twelve died. The mortality/morbidity ratio was 0.18 percent. (Yanagisawa, N. “Sarin Experiences in Japan,” Journal of Neurologic Science.
Sarin Victims in Tokyo Subway

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

II – On April 4th, helicopters or airplanes of the Syrian Arab Army dropped airborne ordnance over the village of Khan Sheikhun, Idlib Provence, Syria. The village was under the supervision of several groups currently in armed opposition to the government of President Bashar Al-Assad. Mr. Assad’s government has secured the support of the Russian armed forces, the Lebanese Hezbullah, and Iranian forces under the command of the Iranian revolutionary guard.

  • Casualty reports were extremely variable. Injury numbers ranged from three hundred to more than five hundred, and reported deaths ranged from early accounts of fifty-eight to eighty-seven. Later sources reported fatalities in excess of one hundred, with children’s deaths ranging from ten to twenty-seven. Many of the major world journals, such as the New York Times have reported mortalities in the ranges above.
  • Thus the reported mortality-morbidity would range from approx 72/500 to 100/300. This gives a range of 14.4 percent and 33 percent. Expressed in percentages, this represents an increase between 1,241 percent and 16,666 percent. The purity was not reported. However, earlier studies of weaponized sarin, in this region, particularly in the Iran-Iraqi War, had a purity in the 30-60 percent range.

Discussion:

The reported Iblid mortality-morbidity ratios are incompatible with sarin use as the etiological agent in the attacks of April 4, 2017 Khan Sheikhoun, Iblid Provence, Syria.

This could be due to several reasons:

  1. Another unidentified chemical agent was used.

2- Differing mortality-morbidity due to the differing mechanisms of gas dissemination. However, the two Japanese poisonings had, markedly, more intensive, prolonged exposures, which should have produced higher mortality-morbidity rates.

3-The differing availability of treatment and evacuation? While the Japanese civil defense was better equipped overall, the organizations involved in Syrian rescue operations had basic response preparations for the gas attacks and were able to evacuate injured patients to better-equipped Turkish medical facilities.

4- The casualty count was exaggerated.

5- The 1994-95 Japanese studies were unreliable.

 

Conclusion:

Currently no credible evidence exists confirming sarin as the etiologic agent responsible. Hence the claim that sarin was the etiologic agent is highly unlikely.

Sources:

“At Least 58 Killed in Alleged Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria.” April 4, 2017.www.independent.co.uk, accessed April 4, 2017

Khaddar, Kareem, Schams Elwazer, et al. “Suspected Gas Attack in Syria Reportedly Kills Dozens.” CNN. April 7, 2017.

“Worst Chemical Attack in Years in Syria; U. S. Blames Assad.” April 4, 2017. New York Times.

Seto, Yasuo. “The Sarin Gas Attack in Japan and the Related Forensic Investigation.”www.opcw.org, accessed April 11, 2017.

“Scores Reported Killed in Gas Attack on Syrian Rebel Area.” April 4, 2017. Reuters.

Yanagisawa, N. “Sarin Experiences in Japan: Acute Toxicity and Long-term Effects.” Journal of Neurologic Science. November 1, 2006.

——. “Sarin Poisoning in Matsumoto, Japan” The Lancet, July 29, 1995.

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By: Dr. Joseph Harris, MD
April, 2017
Harlem, New York
Note: Dr. Harris has worked as a physician in Rawanda and other war zones. he was participant at Doctor’s Without Borders when the were awarded  the Nobel Peace Prize.

 

The Opposition Research Files

Posted in Guest Commentators with tags , on February 4, 2017 by playthell
donnie-trump-and-the-devil
A Convocation of Devils?
Notes on Trump’s Actions during his First Eight Days in Office

The best Organizers are the ones with the most knowledge on the issues. They are able to use the facts at their disposal to galvanize support, squelch opposition and sometimes even convert opponents. Because of the depth and breadth of Trump’s many actions against our country is hard to fathom.  Thus, I have checked off 15 actions or reactions to Trump that caught my attention in particular.  This does not include information purged off the White House and other and other government websites.

Pre-Inauguration Hype/Post-Inauguration letdown? (MLK Week January 15th-22nd):

I- Trump feuds with Civil Rights Icon and Congressman John Lewis. In the past year, Trump has gotten into public disputes with a beauty queen anthe Muslim parents of a dead soldier. But on the eve of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Trump went back and forth with a man whom John McCain once called “one of the most respected men in America.” – Cleve Wootson Jr. (Washington Post 01/15/2017).  Congrats Mr. President-Elect, for any political capital or good-will you might have even attempted to garner from the Progressive-Wing of The Democratic Party, was squandered right here before you even took one step in the Oval Office. Trump actually showed his true-self so effectively that out of 192 Democrats in the House of Representatives over 1/3rd of all members of the Democratic House Caucus, about 70 members, skipped the Inauguration, reports Simone Pathe, on rollcall.com 01/17/2017).

II –What is Trump’s Obsession with Crowd Size, anyhow? Delegitimizing the media is important to Trump because delegitimizing certain facts is important to Trump.”-Ezra Klein (Vox.com 1/21/17).
III – Monday January 23rd
On Trump’s first week-day on the job, Trump implemented a Hiring Freeze on all Federal Workers:
“President Trump’s hiring freeze will prevent many veterans from getting jobs. At the same time, it will cause longer waits for VA medical care, and increase the backlog on VA disability claims.” – Harry Stein. (The Hill.com 1/27/2017). I thought the goal was to put people to work, not put them out of work.

4-Killing TPP! “The US president, Donald Trump, has signed an executive order formally withdrawing the country from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, following through on a promise from his presidential campaign.” – Al Jazeera 01/23/2017). TPP probably is one of the most widely debated issues we have going on, split among both major political parties. Democrat for President Bernie Sanders was very much opposed to it, as was Hillary Clinton. (Although, I’m not entirely sure Hillary had much conviction in opposition, or just went where the wind blowed, here).

5-Trump reinstates the “Global Gag-Rule”; Having Women’s Rights Groups Reeling.

“In the past, the global gag rule meant that foreign NGOs must disavow any involvement with abortion in order to receive U.S. family planning funding. Trump’s version of the global gag rule expands the policy to all global health funding. According to Ehlers, the new rule means that rather than impacting $600 million in U.S. foreign aid, the global gag rule will affect $9.5 billion” – Michelle Goldberg (Slate.com – 1/24/2017).  The re-enforcement of the Global Gag Rule, is not a surprise to anyone who has knowledge of this ruling. It was started by President Reagan in 1984 and has gone in and out of existence internationally depending on who is President of the USA and who isn’t. And if you didn’t notice, it is a favorite ruling of Republicans, but is swept away under Democrats.

VI -Tuesday January 24th
DAPL and the Keystone Pipeline is Resurrected

This action is yet another rung up the ladder towards our ever expanding Ecological Apocalypse. “President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed executive actions to advance approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines. The decision to advance the pipelines cast aside efforts by President Barack Obama’s administration to block construction of the two pipelines, while making good on one of Trump’s campaign promises” – Diamond, Jones, Krieg.”  (CNN.COM 1/24/17).

The long-term consequences of this could be potentially devastating. For a country and a world that already has such an over-dependence on Oil, I find this move equal to that of a Crack Addict moving from smoking it daily, to having an IV of it in both his legs and both of his arms to get a quicker longer-lasting sustainable high.

Not only that, but DAPL is further homogenizing our country and our world, displacing Native Americans from their home and deliberately trying to wipe out one of the few remaining indigenous populations we have left in the United States.“The outcome of this battle, and the way it gets told, may set the stage for similar environmental and humanitarian disputes yet to come. For members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the pipeline is a major environmental and cultural threat. In addition to trampling over ancestral lands, they are concerned a break near the Missouri River could pollute the reservation’s water supply.”- Cayte Bosler (11/23/16 Observer.com).

For more on Standing Rock, visit: http://www.ienearth.org/stand-with-standing-rock-no-dapl/
VIII-WEDNESDAY JANUARY 25th

 Build Walls not Bridges?  “President Trump has signed two executive orders related to immigration and border security, moving ahead with his plans to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico and to deport people who are in the country illegally” – Chappell, Keith, Kennedy (NPR.ORG 01/25/2017).  Aside from the diplomatic fall-out from this (noted on Thursday’s headlines) this just goes to the heart of the image people have of America. Depending on who you ask, they usually will give you an opinion on this matter one way or another.

IX -Trump and Immigration/Sanctuary Cities my blood is starting to boil over this one. “President Trump released an executive order on Wednesday to support immigration enforcement and punish local governments that don’t comply with federal authorities. 

In some so-called “sanctuary cities,” officials refuse to hand over illegal immigrants for deportation. Because jails are typically run by counties, rather than cities, county policies can matter more to immigrants.” – Darla Cameron (Washington Post 01/25/2017).  Again, here we see and can anticipate huge ripple effects.

X- THURSDAY JANUARY 26th

 American and Mexican Relations make a significantly sharp turn for the worse. “Peña Nieto said on Twitter on Thursday that his administration notified the White House that he won’t meet with Trump Tuesday, as originally planned. “The cancellation came after Trump tweeted earlier in the day that “If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.” The cancellation of the long-awaited meeting between the two leaders marks the first significant diplomatic rift between the two countries in decades”. – DeCordoba, Montes. (WSJ/marketwatch.com 01/26/2017)

XI – FRIDAY Janury 27th

“Trump banned Refugees on Holocaust Remembrance Day. That says everything. Cecilla Wang.  (theguardian.com 1/28/2017).

XII -Public Officials Cowering to Trump’s Sanctuary Ban; the Miami-Dade Mayor is among the most notable political cowards!!!

XIII – And of course there is always more and more evidence that most of us suspected, Donald Trump is a Man-Child, and he and his people can’t keep secrets worth a damn! (WaPost 1/26/2017).

XIV – Probably the most damaging Anti-Obama Care Attack than any other hollow statement or non-binding resolution. “The Trump administration has pulled the plug on all Obamacare outreach and advertising in the crucial final days of the 2017 enrollment season, according to sources at Health and Human Services and on Capitol Hill. Even ads that had already been placed and paid for have been pulled, the sources told POLITICO. This decision sends the clearest signal yet that President Donald Trump is determined to fulfill his campaign pledge to repeal Obamacare”. – Paul Demko (politico.com 1/26/2017).  I mean this action by Trump right here, to pull ads already paid for to get people to enroll in the open-market to get health insurance. Why doesn’t Trump just pull the plug on Obama Care and deal with the consequences of it now?

15- Saturday January 28th

Let us not forget about the damaging Anti-Muslim Ban Trump implemented over the weekend, which has created mass-protests all across just about every International Airport in America.

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

demonstrations

The Growing Opposition to Trump’s Folly!

Note:

I did not post anything about “The Women’s March” even though all across the country, it was lit!  I also didn’t post anything on Trump’s “Unfounded claims” on mass-voter fraud. Nor did I bring up this crazy 20% tariff Trump wants to put on Mexican goods, or Trump’s trashing of environmental protection laws and banking regulations under the Dodd-Frank Act, or repealing the ban against mentally ill people acquiring fire arms.  All of which endangers the safety of the American public that he has pledged to serve and protect!  I also didn’t bring up how California’s is more serious about leaving the Union than they have ever been.

Nor did I bring to attention any of the bruising confirmation fights ahead to fulfill Trump’s Cabinet.  Although, the confirmation hearings, I believe have been widely covered far and wide as these confirmation battles are often long simmering stories, but other News, traveling at the speed of light, doesn’t always get its due!

Also, if I were to assume we all knew about “ALL” of his actions and misdeeds, I’d be doing a disservice to all of us, by letting us forget how much damage he has already done during his already incredibly brief time in office. In fact the damage he’s done to this country started well before he got inaugurated, but I think some of our lasting memories of Trump and the staying power of “Trumpism” is best captured starting with the week leading up to his Inauguration.  Hence, why I started with Trump’s incorrigible behavior towards Congressman Lewis.

A Definition of Trumpism – “A gospel politicians preach to instill fear in locals: illegals are bringing crime and robbing their jobs, and radicals among Muslim refugees are terrorizing the “infidels.”  (Urbandictionary.com)

By: Joshua Pressman Jacobs
New York,  February 2017
*NOTE: No person or entity can re-publish this post without the expressed written consent of the author.