Archive for the ‘CNN’ Tag

The Republican National Convention begins today   Leave a comment

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…Already, there is controversy over the anti-Trump delegates being blocked from efforts to prevent his nomination. I just watched the spectacle a short time ago. Clearly the pro-Trump faction is consolidating power by drowning out dissenting voices. We already knew there would be anti-Trump protests inside and outside the convention as well so…yeah. CNN is reporting Bush 43, the previous two Republican Presidential nominees and even Ohio Governor John Kasich will NOT be at the RNC. Many other establishment GOP members have also said they will not be attending the RNC in protest of Trump becoming the Republican nominee.

To say the Republican Party is a divided party goes without saying.

The Republican Party collapsed during Bush 43’s second term due to a variety of factors, the biggest being blue-collar Republicans learned for the first time what everyone else already knew: Reaganomics was the biggest, most broken lie they ever bought into. Trickle-Down Economics–the idea that as long as the rich are kept happy, maybe the wealth will flow down to the middle class and poor–paved the way for the Recession in the second half of Bush 43’s second term and calls for a party rebrand. To say the GOP’s credability and reliability were shot to hell would be an understatement.

For the 2008 election, the GOP chose Arizona Senator and Vietnam Vet John McCain as their Republican candidate. Joined by Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin, the Republican platform was crushed by the Democrats’ choice: Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden. The fallout from 2008 election followed the GOP in the 8 years since then. The rise of the National Tea Party Movement–an extreme Right political group within the Republican Party–divided the Republican Party even further. This cost the GOP in 2012 when the Tea Party’s hand-picked candidate–former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney with Paul Ryan as his VP–failed to deliver on his promise to make Obama a 1-term president.

In the four years since then, the Republican Party has only become more fractured. Like most Democrats, many Republicans don’t like or trust Washington. Their insistence on being on the wrong side of history in regards to Civil Rights, Foreign Policy and National Security has led most to call the GOP “the party of hate”.

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…This brings us to the Republican Nominee, Donald Trump.

Him being a DEMOCRAT aside, let’s review how we reached this point. In 2013, Donald Trump was speaking at a public event and said was talking about something he’d like to do if he was president. The media picked it up and as usual, decided to coerce him into running in the 2016 election. Being a businessman and reality TV star, it wasn’t hard for Trump to convince himself he needed to run for president. Mind you, no one actually thought he had a chance of becoming the nominee, let alone as a REPUBLICAN candidate.

We all laughed at the very idea. Then he started saying all the things the Republican Party didn’t dare say publicly. “There’s no way he’s serious about getting elected.” we thought to ourselves. “He’s getting bad advice.” we thought. Perhaps to his own surprise, racists and biggots who felt the same came out of their parents’ basements and out of the woodwork to voice their support of him. Much to the shagrin of  the at one point 17 other Republican Candidates, Trump’s popularity within the party continued to rise until he was the last man standing.

For those wondering who is to “blame”, the media first for pushing him to run and the GOP second for taking him seriously. Alot of the hate towards Donald Trump because of the things he’s said is unncessary. As I have said before, he’s the red herring.  Everything he’s said and reiterated is to help his “opponent” get the White House: Hillary Clinton. The term I heard alot this time last year is “Coronation”. That is the correct phrase for what will happen in November but I’ll speak more about HRC next week during the DNC.

I’ll say what the whole country already knows: Donald Trump will NOT win in November. He’s not scripted to. The only ones who don’t know yet are Donald Trump and his supporters. Everyone else knows it. My hope is this will bring the GOP around to overturning Citizens United, the lobby that opened the door to the practice of putting a price tag on elected officials and seats. Elections are now decided by who has the better personality and who has the most money. No longer is it a matter of who can unite the country and is the best person for the job.

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All that said, the GOP’s focus since the 80s has been hate, violence, xenophobia, death, regulating women’s bodies, revenge and war. And they wonder why terrorists want to kill us. What’s sad is I know not all Republicans feel this way. I have friends who are Republican or formerly were Republican and while we disagree on a few things, we agree on alot more things. The Republican party was once a respectible Party. It’s said and hard to believe the same party once led by Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt–both Republican Presidents–is no longer recognizable.

While it is obvious a reset is in order for the party, the TRUE values of the Republican Party–advocating self-reliance, maintaining core American traditions, championing civil liberties and whistleblowing divisive policies–have been replaced with their exact opposites. it is a party that’s all about isolationism, intolerance, violating rights and advocating divisive policies. The Republican Party is once again trying to make the already disproven arguement State and Local politics supercede federal politics. They say it’s a matter of “giving power back to the people” when in fact it’s about consolidating power into the hands of a few people. True Republicans have been trying to get the party to return to its roots in recent years. Believe it or not, the Tea Party was a misguided effort in that regard.

To those who are Democrats, Independents and otherwise it is EXTREMELY important that you follow the discussions at the RNC. The Republican Party is a divided and broken party and thats exactly why it needs to be watched very closely. On that note, the Democratic Party has its own set of issues which I will get to next week.

The Mainstream Media’s no longer credible thanks to Social Media   Leave a comment

That’s the conclusion I came to after the last few years. Last week’s Democratic Debate was another nail in the coffin. CNN’s not even trying to hide the fact that they’re backing Hillary Clinton anymore. It really is shameful when you literally have these media outlets literally telling people to ignore the truth and listen to them.

It reminds me of the motives of Persona 4’s true villain, Izanami: She created the Midnight Channel to provide the means for mankind to see what they wanted to see and in the way they wanted to see it. The fog in the TV World is used to distort the truth and reality so that only what a person wants is ever present. A false reality, in other words.

The Shadow versions of the characters in Persona 4 were the physical manifestations of thir true selves: The selves they don’t want others to know exists. To face your Shadow means to face that aspects of yourself that you are but don’t want to admit is a part of who you are as a person. When you overcome your Shadow, you accept the undesirable aspects of yourself, which then becomes a Persona that you can use to help you.

In the example I just used, CNN/Fox News/MSNBC are Fog. The billionaires who own them are Izanami and their programming is The Midnight Channel. Thanks to Social Media–The Persona in this case–we have the power to expose the lies, false pretenses and distortions perpetuated by Corporate Media.

It is why I made this blog in particular my first blog on WordPress. Contrary to what the Journalism Industry may want you to think, you don’t need to be a professional journalist to be a journalist. All you need is a medium through which to share knowledge. Of course, this isn’t the first time I’m referenced Persona 4 in this blog. It probably won’t be the last, either =D

Moving on, the national media is guilty of twisting the truth on more than a few things. Too many to list here, in fact. Here’s a few to get you thinking:

  • Most recently, CNN’s pundits said Hillary Clinton won last week’s debate. Everyone else not only said Bernie Sanders did but overewhelmingly provided the data to prove it.
  • Fox News’ Bill O’Rielley announced in August that he is making it his personal mission to destroy Black Lives Matters. Why? Because they’ve been educating the public on why watching their network is bad for their health.
  • Within hours of the hospital bombing in Afghanistan, everyone blamed it on terrorists. FAIR was the first to blow the whistle on that fiction: Not only did the U.S. know it was there but they also knew it was a hospital. Within a few days of the truth being spread all over Social Media, President Obama called the President of Doctors Without Boarders to apologize for the bombing.
  • During the conflict in Gaza City last year, the media said Palestinian Terrorists were attacking civillians. CNN got it right for once and did a story on Israeli soldiers being ordered to kill Palestinian civillians. Why? Because Israel’s Prime Minister said “all Palestinians are fair game” even if they have Israeli citizenship.
  • Disgraced Clerk Kim Davis was portrayed by Fox News as the posterchild of their tagline “Religion Under Attack in America”. She gained notariety for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples despite the Supreme Court decision earlier this year. Then the Hacktivist group Anonymous released information about her five divorces. The Westboro Baptist Church recently announced they will protest outside her job.
  • This has been said to death since 2007 but The “War on Terroism” in the middle east is not America’s Longest War. The honor goes to The Korean War (1952-Present), which technically never ended. If you want to talk wars that ended, then the title goes to the Vietnam War (1958-1975).
  • I mentioned this alot two years back then but during the Boston Marathon Bombing’s investigation, it was called Boston’s 9/11 by Fox News. The problem with that is on 9/11, both of the planes that hit the World Trade Center departed from Boston’s Logan Airport. Whoops!
  • Speaking of the Boston Marathon Bombing: The same day of the bombing, there were two shootings in  Boston and 4 people were killed. The media ignored both despite the possability they could have been connected to the bombing investigation.

 

Look, everyone’s entitled to their opinion. The problem with the media is its’ supposed to be impartial regardless of who’s paying them. They have all these political experts come on just to give the illiusion of impartiality when in fact, it’s always folks who will serve THEIR interests. They’ve shown time and time again an unwillingness to go after their own in the name of truth and honesty. They don’t even bother doing editorial corrections like they used to anymore.

This is why I say in no uncertain terms the media can no longer be trusted to tell the truth. If you take what they say ar face value, you’re a fool. I don’t mean everything across the board: I mean things that really matter. We already congressmen are owned by companies and billionaires.

So is the national media.

Social Media can’t be bought or bribed. Sure, millionaires may own the websites but you can’t put a price on the unfiltered truth.

I see now why so many celebrities go out of their way to keep the media at arms-length. They do more harm than good in the end.

The Problems with American Politics and why the National News Media can’t get enough of it   Leave a comment

I’ll give you the short version first and then go into a much longer, more detailed explaination.

First, the short version:

  1. Except for Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and a few others, NONE of the people elected to represent America in Washington has the people in mind. They ran their campaigns with lies and empty promises to get where they are.
  2. Almost all politicians run with one or two policies in mind. When forced to deal with something outside their focus, that’s when things get complicated. Unfortunately for us.
  3. The National News Media–or as I’ve started calling them in the last year, Government Media–and I mean CNN, MSNBC and Fox News control the audience. NO ONE can run for Congress or President and expect to win without being “approved” by one or all three news outlets. That’s just the way it is.
  4. MSNBC is backed by the Left (Democratic Party), Fox News is backed by the Right (Republican Party) and CNN, which likes to say it’s politically neutral is clearly Leftist.
  5. Speaking of Fox News: It’s a WELL-KNOWN FACT the news outlet LIES on everything and not just politics. Everything they say should be taken with a grain of salt as chances are good what they say is both biased and untrue. If you believe what they say at face value, you’re a fool.
  6. On that note: Anyone who takes ANYTHING reported on the news as fact is also a fool. Those who follow me on Facebook knows I fact-check every big story CNN covers for inaccuracies. They prettymuch demanded it with their company tagline “Keeping them honest”. Well, I’m keeping CNN honest when they run with their biased and forceful interviewing tactics. I actually started doing it during their coverage of the manhunt in Boston after the Matathon Bombings two years ago.

Before I get into the long version, I do want to reiterate what I’ve said to folks in person about looking into pursing a career in journalism. I feel there’s been too much focus on national news over the last 20 years and as a consequence, local news coverage has fallen by the wayside. This is especially true with the American Media when it comes to covering Politics, Acts of Violence/War/Mass Shootings and more recently, The New Civil Rights movement. As I said in a recent blog post, Fox News has declared war against Black Lives Matter so…yeah. The National Media in general is as corrupt as Politicians and more shameless than GOP Presidential Candidates. Everything they do is for the sole purpose of sensationalism for the sake of ratings and sponsors.

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…This brings me to FAIR, which stands for Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting. Click the picture to go to their website. This nonprofit company has been fighting the good fight against the media’s biased reporting since 1986. The national media has proven it can’t be trusted to tell the uncensored truth so I will fact-check with FAIR on every story. FAIR actually calls out biased reporting as they happen and actually names and shames the offending media outlet. They also correct the faulty reporting at the same time.

In a recent article for example, the media’s push to make Presidential Candidare Bernie Sanders go away has been ramping up. They’re all using every trick they can think of to turn the public against him. Another example is the bombing of that hospital in Afghanistan. First, they blamed it on Russia and the Taliban. Later in the same day, they said the U.S. was investigating the incident. Finally, they said the U.S. was being blamed for it. All in the same day.

Care to guess which one was actually true? Yep, the last one. President Obama called Doctors Without Boarders to personally apologize, in fact. Based on the info released by the non-profit group, there was simply no way it was an accident or The Pentagon did not know where it was. Alligations enemy combatants were firing at U.S. Allies from the hospital were also proven false. This was a deliberate attack on a civillian hospital and as usual, the U.S. Media got caught trying to help cover something up.

For far too long, the the national media has been allowed to run free and unregulated. FAIR is the only organization that is actually “Keeping Them Honest”–take THAT,  CNN!–and they’re only barely staying relevant. My time off from work for 5 months this year opened my eyes to the deliberate misinformation and half-truths CNN pushes out every day. The funny thing is my Critical Thinking professor said as much about the network 6 years ago. I didn’t believe him until this past summer. It’s a shame when every major American news outlet needs to be fact-checked every day. This is what FAIR does.

I have been talking about the media needing to be held accountable for biased reporting for two years now. I was thrilled when I found out there actually are people who have been doing this for decades so…yeah. The national media is the only entity that is allowed to get away with biased, dishonest reporting.

That needs to change.

 

Reminder: The Presidental Election is 16 Months Away   Leave a comment

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Bobby Jindal

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Democratic Presidential Candidates Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Hillary Clinton (D)

 

…And holy crap, there’s 15 (official) candidates!

Fresh off the heels of CNN finding out Rick Santorum, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz accepted money from White Surpremacist Earl Holt–and are now returning it after being outed–it’s become more important than ever to know who exactly supports the 2016 Presidental candidates financially and otherwise.

For example: You know the Westboro Cult, right? I use the word “Cult” because they are no longer officially considered a church and are officially considered a hate group by the U.S. Government. Hate-filled demonstrations at funerals will do that. Now here’s where things get interesting–and I know you’ll get a chuckle out of this like I did when I found out–the Ku Klux Klan has a problem with WBC. My theory is the attention. The Klan wants to be relevant again. Anyway as you can probably guess, WBC plans to demonstrate at the funerals of the 9 people who were killed in Charleston, S.C. Here’s where things get interesting: The Klan plans to be there to block them. This creates a bit of a dilemma for us normal, non-racist non-hatin’ folk: Do we intervene or make some pop corn and watch both groups destroy each other?

I mention WBC and the Klan in the same sentence—and I still can’t believe I just did–because of the the issue of racism last week’s shooting brought front and center. As CNN Political Analyst Mark Blount often said, alot of white people thought racism died with Obama becoming president. As we all know, there’s been a string of high-profile shootings in which unarmed black men have been killed by whites police officers or while in police custody in recent years. I bring that up because thr Charleston Church Shooter specifically mentions the Trayvon Martin case in his manifesto.

I also mention it because the candidates are going out of their way to avoid talking about racism.

Given 13 of them are White (Carson is Black and Jindal is Indian), 12 are former or sitting elected officials (Carson, Florina and Trump never held political office) and two are related to the previous three presidents (Clinton and Bush), the public DOES deserve to know what they think about racism in America. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, former pastor and presidental candidate reluctantly talked about the need for the Confederate Flag to be removed from the South Carolina capital but only after the state’s governor called for the state’s congress to vote for its removal on Monday. Remember: This is a guy who wants to become the next POTUS–President of the United States.

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Switching gears, of the current Republican candidates it’s obvious Trump is only doing it for the publicity. He’s not going to win the nomination. No way, no how. We all know this is just a publicity stunt. Nothing more or less. That leaves 12. Dr. Carson’s political inexperience is made painfully obvious every time he makes a public statement. I’m sure he has advisors but he’s obviously not listening to them. He’s gonna embarass himself at the next upcoming debate with other candidates. That leaves 11. Florina’s running with the mantra “I’m not Hilary” and not much else. Huckabee’s time as a political analyst for Fox News will always be a weakness for him. That leaves 8. Graham, Santorum, Cruz and Pataki simply don’t don’t have the support needed to win in the primary.

That leaves Bush, Paul, Perry, Jindal and Rubio. Of the five, Bush’s last name prevents him from becoming president. It won’t happen so we’ll put him down as a possible V.P. Perry and Rubio are Tea Party-backed while Paul has voiced opposition to the Tea Party fairly recently. Jindal is anti-establishment across the board and anti-Tea Party. It’s how he became a Republican governor despite not being White. No doubt Bush wanted to be the dark horse Jindal now is bur due to pressure from the media, he was forced to officially get in the race earlier than planned. As much as I hated Paul’s rcently retired father (a former senator), he and Jindal are the GOP’s best shot of the current thirteen. I say that for two reasons: They’re both outspoken and don’t mind disagreeing with members of their own party. As for a running mate, Bush would compliment either of them IF they’re willing to take him. Or even each other. Of the two, it could go either way. A Paul/Jindal or Jindal/Paul ticket would be a tough match for either of their democratic opponents. If not Bush or each other then they might end up being forced to take Perry or Rubio to keep the Tea Party happy like McCain did in 2008 with Palin.

On the Democratic side, there’s two choices (so far): Clinton or Sanders. I’ve already thrown my support behind Sanders 100% obviously. Sanders, who is in fact an Independent is a no-nonsense common sense guy who actually knows what he’s talking about. And he can make snap decisions. Once more people hear his ideas, support for him will grow. There are alot of Conservatives who support him already. That said, Hillary Clinton is CNN and MSNBC’s picks to win despite her baggage: Like Bush, she is related to a recent former president. She was also a U.S. Senator and Secretary of State during Obama’s first term. The weird thing is like I mentioned before, WBC endorses her as the next POTUS.

Let’s say Clinton wins the Democratic nomination. Who will be her running mate? I can’t see Sanders willing to be her V.P. since they disagree on more than a few things fundamentally. He’d be a distraction as her V.P. Biden has said he might run himself so he’s out. That leaves New York Governor Andrew Coumo (D), older brother of CNN anchor Chris Coumo (whose father died a few months ago) as a possible running mate. A possible dark horse she could tap is Arizona Senatatorial Candidate Aaron Marquez (D). I know him personally from our time in City Year 10 years ago and I know that if asked, he would definitely would run as her V.P.

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As for Sanders, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) is the obvious choice. They agree on alot of things and like Sanders, she is both a whistleblower and outspoken. It’s how she was elected. In other words: The elite, rich, Wall Street and Super PACs fear her as much as, if not more than they fear Sanders. She’s been sharing their agenda publicly on social media along with Sanders ever since she was elected a few years ago. Like Clinton, she doesn’t have a problem telling it like it is to the elite who come grovelling to congress asking for tax breaks and special exemptions. A Sanders/Warren ticket would be awesome XD

…Here’s the best part I saved ’til now: Sanders holds no alliegiance to the Democratic Party. There’s no lip service with him. He’s running literally for the reasons he said he’s running. He was up front about it when he decided to run for POTUS. He’s just using the party to get elected because this country insists on being slave to a two-party system. Even if Clinton wins the primary, he’s raised enough money and has more than enough support to run as the Independent he truly is. It’s how he got into Congress =D

I will do two, maybe 3 most posts on the presidential race between now and next October. The Republican field is sure to get bigger butthe Democratic field is expected to grow as well. Things should get interesting come the National Conventions next year ^_^

Post-Charleston: Still think “Racism is dead?” I’d say it proved it’s alive and well.   Leave a comment

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From the shooting itself, the way the national media is falling over themselves trying to characterize it to the shooter’s manifesto to the public outrage against such a horrific act of violence. I’d say last week’s mass shooting proved beyond reasonable doubt the desire to carry out racism-driven acts of mass murder never faded away. The shooter himself pointed out in his manifesto the White Supremacist groups have simply moved their activities to the internet where it’s easier to keep what they talk about and plan hidden from the Feds.

This might surprise some of people (but I don’t think it will surprise that many folks) but I first learned about this history of racism in America when I was in the 4th Grade. I didn’t learn it in school though we did have social studies. I learned it from what was then a 10-year old history book I found in the school library the librarian let me keep. The book, which covered pre-American history to Reagan’s first term didn’t mince words in the topics of the Slavery, the Civil War, The Holocaust and what I call The Old Civil Rights Era.

After I finished that book for the first time, I remember seeing the 1988 movie Glory. That was when I was reminded I’d seen the Confederate Flag in black & white pictures taken during the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s and asked someone who was in high school during the 1960s about it. The person I asked lived in my neighborhood and they were White. I just can’t remember if it was a man or a woman. Anyway, they said after World War II some people felt Adolf Hitler was right about in Whites being the one pure race. They said some people felt the only people who should be allowed to be called Americans were those with blonde hair, blue eyes and were born in the U.S.A. They said some people felt blacks and other minorities were to blame for all the country’s problems. They said some people feel America should make black people slaves again because that’s how the country was at the time it was formed. They said some white people feel it’s in their right to hurt black people just for being black. They said some white people feel black people enjoy getting mistreated by white people.

…Mind you, I was 9 at the time. Even so, I remember being pretty impressed with how they summed up the history White Supremacists in like 5 minutes! The amazing this is until last week, I had convinced myself 1960s-era racism was just that: history. Then I saw the age of the Charleston Church shooter. That’s when I realized racism never left in the first place.

Remember this?

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…This was when I really should have paid attention. Looking back at the ’08 election and the ’10 midterms, I wish I took a more serious look at the rise of the National Tea Party Movement for what it REALLY was: A front for White Surpremacist groups. Tea Party leaders claim the group was founded in Boston during the American Revolution. The problem with that arguement is I live in Boston and I obviously know my history. There’s not a shred of truth to back that claim up. Plus, no one even HEARD of the Tea Party until a few weeks after the ’08 election.

I think back to that moment when Jessie Jackson wept once Obama’s ’08 victory was confirmed. When a journalist asked him why he was crying, he said it’s going to be very hard for Obama and was afraid for what he would have to go through. Looking back now, THIS is what he really meant. The White Supremacists are out in force and they are deeply embedded in American Politics now.

Mind you, there have been mass shootings in the past. Until Sandy Hook, Columbine was the worst. After every mass shooting since Obama became president, there’s been a sharp increase in gun sales in certain parts of the country immediately aterward. There have always been anti-government millitant groups in the U.S., the majority based on the west coast and in the southwest. These groups have become more radicalized ever since Obama became president. One of these groups, who call themselves “The People’s Millitia” say their their mission is to be ready to remove the president or any other politician by force “for the good of the country”. These groups were pretty quiet when Bush 43 was in office. The Feds have noted a dramatic increase in chatter by these groups ever since Obama became president.

Not a coincidence.

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The numbers are static but notice which states have the highest numbers. Most were formerly Confederate States. I forgot to mention this before but in the first two years of Obama’s presidency, a word unheard since the years leading to the Civil War has been uttered: Cecession. The hate is so strong, people are saying states should break from the rest of the country because they don’t like the fact a black man is in the White House.

This is also the true reason behind the whole “Birther Movement” when he was running for president. The racists did everything they could think of to disqualify him from before and the election in ’08. Yet, no one said a thing when Piyush “Bobby” Jindal and Rafiel “Ted” Cruz” were running for president even though both were not born in the US. Jindal’s citizenship was not vetted until after he became an adult and Cruz was actually born in Canada. The irony, of course is the GOP was noticably silent. One thing Obama should be given credit for is simply by being president, the whole world was reminded America still has a race problem.

The Media and the Government both want you to believe ISIS, Iran, Russia, Al Qaeda, China and North Korea are all the biggest threats to our country. These hate groups are the REAL enemy. They have always been here, patiently biding their time. The Charleston Church Shooter–and by the way I’m not saying his name on purpose–said he wanted to start a race war. In his manifesto, he said he wanted to be the one to move the Neo Nazis, Skinheads and other groups to violence against blacks and other minority groups. The conditions have been in place ever since Obama became president. It’s not widely talked about on the media but President Obama has gotten more death threats than every other president before him COMBINED. The majority laced with racial epiphets and obscenities.

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Let’s go back to the ghost from the past that was buried in 1865 but refuses to rest: The Confederate States of America.

Now, for those who don’t know their history, 13 states ceceded from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America immediately after Abraham Lincoln (Republican) was sworn in as the 16th President of the United States. The reason: They were afraid Lincoln was going to abolish Slavery (which he did but out of desparation to win the war). They felt the federal government had no right to interfere with their way of life and so they formed the Confederacy using the Union’s constitution as a blueprint for theirs. Fortunately–more for the Union Army–Europe stayed out of it and didn’t get involved with either side.

Fast forward to the war’s end: The Confederacy was defeated and rejoined the Union. In a move that can only be viewed as classy, Lincoln pardoned all of the Confederate soldiers taken prisoner at the end of the war. Rather than punish the Confederacy for the cost of the war, all was forgiven. Now let’s fast forward to the formation of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). The story goes, Confederate vets dressed in white sheets walked in on blacks meeting in a church. The vets said they were the ghosts of Confederate soldiers who died during the war. Terrified, the meeting ended immediately and the blacks fled for their lives. To say the KKK is the spiritual successor to the Confederate Army would be no understatement. Throughout history, they are often seen with the Stars and Bars: A clear sign of their anti-black and anti minority ideology.

The Confederate flag joined the swastika and the Nazi Flag as a symbol for White Supremacy in America after World War II. Speaking of, alot of people seem to have forgotten when WWII started in 1939, Hitler made a call for “all purebloods to come to the motherland” to fight for Germany. Thousands of Americans answered that call and fought FOR Nazi Germany under “The Eagle Corps”. After the war, many brought their White Supremacist views with them back to the U.S.–just in time for the Civil Rights Movement.

 

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Switching gears, one (White) pundit said it right on CNN a few days ago: More White Americans need to stand with Black Americans in solidarity. They need to do it more and they need to do it proudly. The reverse is also true: Black Americans need to stand with White Americans in solidarity. They need to do it more and they need to do it proudly. This is the most effective way to show the racists on BOTH SIDES they are not welcome in this country. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said either we learn to live together in peace or we will perish together as fools.

The first step is admitting America STILL has a problem with racism. It never went away. It’s not history. It’s here. It’s happening now. It’s not a problem that one person or one group of people can confront alone. It requires a strong, unified response to defeat it and claim the victory over it. Until that happens, America will never truly be free of this aspect of its past.

 

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Me and my City Year Team during my 2003-04 Corps Year

HPR at Haley

Me and my City Year Yeam during my 2004-05 Corps Year.

 

The City Year program shows it’s definitely possible for people of different walks of life to come together, work together and share their struggles together. In my case, I thought it was so nice I did it twice: The red jacket I’m wearing in the second picture? They’re from my first year, which was City Year’s 15th Anniversary. I still keep in touch with most of my team mates from both of my teams via Facebook.

Getting to the point I want to make with these pictures, at the very beginning each Corps Year, the whole corps goes to a weeklong retreat. At the retreat, we confront the hatreds and biases that separate us as human beings head on. The three most powerful topics were the workshops on race, sexual orientation and gender equality.

For the race workshop, the facilitators separated the group by race. They took out big sheets of flipchart paper and had the group list every racial slur and things they didn’t like about the other races that they could think of. Both years, the slurs for whites done by the black corps members spanned two pages. My first year, I noticed none of the second year corps members participated. That made more sense when the group came back together and saw what the other groups had come up with. Then we were challenged to talk about the lists, how it made us feel and how we would feel if someone called us one of the listed slurs. These were biases team mates who would be working closely with for the next 10 months felt towards members of other races.

Everyone knew coming in that they would be working with a diverse team. No one thought they would deal with such a personal matter in such a public way. I think it was effective and did what it was designed to do: Give us pause as for some corps members–and this is gonna be hard to believe–this would be their first time working closely with blacks or whites. My second year doing this workshop is the one I will never forget. Not just because of how it ended but who made it so memorable: My team mate and brother Marcos Antonio set the tone for that week. After we finished, he stood up and said “I think we should take all of these lists, put them together and burn them.”

And that is exactly what we did. The retreat was at a summer camp so naturally, there were campfires. We threw the lists into a fire pit, lit them and watched them burn to ashes. No one moved until the fire burned itself out. I STILL can’t put into words what that felt like 10 years later. It was amazing.

I think something like that needs to be done today.

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Kudos to CNN for Humanizing the Conflict in Gaza   Leave a comment

While I usually would be the first to jump at the chance to bash the most hypocritical of the three U.S.-based News Networks (the other two being MSNBC and Fox News, which are just as bad actually), I have to give them credit for doing what both Palestinian and Israeli leaders chose to ignore: The Human cost of the Conflict in Gaza. It’s not a war betwen Israel and Palestine as the violence is concentrated in Gaza or more specifically it’s capital, Gaza City. I’m going to share a few pictures I pulled from a quick Google Image Search. They’re hard to look at but relax, they’re safe for work:

 

 

I liken the conflict between Israel and Palestine to what a conflict between the United States and Mexico would look like. Both sides would feel the effects but let’s be honest, Mexico can’t hope to hold a candle to what the U.S. Military is capable of. That’s prettymuch what’s going on in Gaza. While yes, Hamas has made it clear it will not be satisfied until it wiped Israel off the map, realistically they will never be able to do that. The U.S. aside, their Islamic neighbors won’t stand for it.

Families on both sides of this conflict have lost loved ones but if we’re comparing casualties, almost all of the 1300 Palestinians killed were civilians who have nothing to do with Hamas’ extemeist agenda. It’s true they have political power in Palestine as of about 10 years ago but you can be damned sure the people who gave them that power regret their decision to give them said power.

On the other hand, Israel has the right to defend itself from all threats. America threw sovereignity out the window when it invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. It also felt damaging its relationship with Pakistan was worth it when Navy SEALS went in and took out Osama bin Laden. Any sane person would want their government to do something if some of your neighbors made it clear they won’t be happy until you and your family have been wiped off the map.

…The problem is Israel is using a bazooka to kill flies. A bazooka is powerful, yes but there is sure to be collateral damage. Here’s one such example that stuck out to me:

 

This is Shaymaa Sheikh al-Eid, who was born last Thursday in Gaza by Energency C-Section after her mother was killed in a bombing that also took the lives of her entire family. The only reason she survived was because when doctors brought her mother into the hospital, they found her (the baby’s) heartbeat. This is, for all intents and purposes a miracle that happened in an active combat zone. As of yesterday Shaymaa, who was born a few weeks premature is clinging to life. As you can see in the above picture, she relies on a respiratior to breathe.

My opinion is the same as the political anylists who’ve been appearing on CNN all day: Both sides prevent civilian casualties at all costs.  There have been reports Hamas has been using Palestinian civilians as human shields. Their own propaganda videos indicate this isn’t true. In war, truth is always the second casualty after innocence.

Poltically, I predict Palestine will cut its ties with Hamas very soon. Israel has made it clear its only interest is taking out Hamas militants firing rockets into Jewish settlements. The one truth both Palestine and Israel have in common over the last 3 weeks is for every ceasefire proposed, Hamas either refused it or broke the ceasefire. No other Islamic militant groups or governments–Egypt and Lebanon included–are openly backing Hamas. Ergo, common sense dictates you remove Hamas from the equation.

The tragic thing also true about both sides is apparently, no price is too high for their respective goals. One can only hope the innocent people caught in the middle are not forgotten to history.

Can’t believe I only just realized this about CNN   Leave a comment

For all the resources they have at their disposal, they’d rather focus on entertaining speculation than stick with the facts.

The whole world saw this firsthand during the near-24 hour manhunt in Watertown that led to the capture of White Hat (see my April 20 blog if you need a refresher as to why I will not use the surviving bombing suspect’s name). Today, CNN is the only news outlet that actually infers White Hat’s three friends (the ones arrested today) willingly hid and/or destroyed evidence the day before his capture after a brief conversation with one of them. The obvious problem is they–along with everyone not directly involved with the investigation–have no basis for such speculation.

Let’s look at the largest Manhunt on U.S. Soil (Reminder: over 12,000 Law Enforcement personnel involved). Myself–along with nearly 4 million people worldwide–were listening to the Police Scanner during the manhunt that lasted 22 hours starting with the initial report of shots fired at MIT. Use that link if you want to download a hard copy of history. Anyway, during the entire manhunt I had the TV set to CNN. The correspondants got as close as they dared a few times but each time they were pushed back. The radio chatter I was listening to along with Google Earth allowed to track exactly where law enforcement was in real time. Unlike most of those who were also listening I livei n Boston. I’m also familiar with Watertown and I put that knowledge to use as streets and intersections were called out. After 8 hours I was sure I could do a better job reporting the facts than CNN based on what they were saying up to that point.

At one point a correspondant ackowledged they were aware people were following everything via police scanner but weren’t going to use information gathered from that because they couldn’t “authenticate” the information coming in. In other words, they didn’t want to trust it. Had they simply said they didn’t want to inadvertantly tip off the suspect to the police’s movements (which I’m sure was also a factor) I’d have accepted that. When the public knows more than the media does that’s one thing. When I know the exact address they tracked White Hat to four hours before the media does…yeah. The nail in the coffin for me was when they initially reported White Hat had been killed during the final moments of the manhunt in Watertown. In reality he was on his way to the hospital about 45 minutes before they said that.

CNN got roasted at the White House Correspondance dinner by the president and Conan. In retrospect they deserved it. For the so-called rivalry they have with MSNBC (openly liberal and supports Democratic values) and Fox News (openly conservative and supports Republican values) at least their competators are consistent (CNN leans to the left most of the time but claims it is politically neutral). What they don’t seem to get is it’s the fact that they keep insisting they’re unbiased is why alot of people don’t like them. This takes me back to what I said at the top of the blog–they’re trying to say the three suspects arrested today knowlingly interferred with a federal investigation. On the contrary, the known facts suggest they acted on their own and did not conspire with White Hat. It’s more akin to just knowlingly doing something they throught was right at the time despite knowing they’d be found out eventually.

From now on I know I can’t trust CNN to tell the truth when it covers criminal cases. I’ll literally be fact-checking them on everything now. I don’t watch TV for anything politics either so…yeah. The sad thing for me  they have a talented team of reporters and correspondants. Plus they can get a camera in hot spots within 24 hours. Even so, I think of Rick Sanchez (a reporter fired from CNN for telling the truth a few years ago on the air) and hope Anderson Cooper, Dom Lemon and Wolf Blitzer have the common sense to leave CNN before the same thing happens to them.

 

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